5 Lazy Girl Meal Planning Ideas For Weight Loss
It’s a vicious cycle.
I’ll tell myself that I need to actually follow the meal planning ideas I read about because I know it helps with weight loss (don’t even get me started on meal prep…but I have a post coming up on that too so stay tuned).
I’ll comb through the grocery ads for that week, looking for sales because, you know, I’m going to plan my meals based on what’s on sale (ha ha ha).
I’ll go to the store, with a list but for some reason, it’s filled with items that do not form any sort of cohesive dish.
I will leave the store and go home only to remember, I never made a meal plan and therefore, didn’t buy any groceries that could make a meal that seemed “planned”.
Because of this, I’ll just raid the freezer for that week and eat whatever I can find.
And sometimes my mom will cook or bring leftover food from a meeting she went to and I’ll be thrilled that I don’t have to cook for a few days.
Then I’ll decide to get some sort of take-out, stretching that one meal out for 3 meals.
This, therefore, becomes my defacto “meal plan” for the week.
Of course, then I’ll feel guilty that I’m not eating healthy because I know I haven’t lost any weight and I’ll vow next week will be different.
I will meal plan next week.
And I’ll mean it with all of my heart…it’s just that I don’t do it …not with any regularity.
Can you relate to any of this ridiculousness or am I alone?
I might get the award for being an expert at making simple things difficult but I doubt I’m the only nominee.
So in this post, I’m going to talk about:
–Why meal planning is so important for weight loss
-Why I make meal planning so hard to do and
-Ways to simplify meal planning, in hopes that it will help you and me both.
Why Meal Planning Is Vital For Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals
For me, it’s really quite simple.
When I meal plan (and execute the plan), I lose weight.
When I don’t meal plan, I don’t lose weight.
This is because when I don’t meal plan, I reach for whatever food is available in the house or I’ll go out to eat.
I just want whatever is easiest to put on my plate.
You might find yourself doing the same thing.
And we grab on to unhealthy foods because when we are hungry all bets are off.
We more than likely aren’t thinking about health and nutrition and unhealthy food is the easiest sort of food to get our hands-on, especially with fast-food restaurants on every corner.
We just want to eat and we’ll sort the nutrition thing out later, if ever.
That’s why it’s vital that we meal plan if we want to lose weight and, even more importantly, meal prep so that we don’t reach for junk food or look up the number to the nearest Mexican restaurant.
Weight loss is just like any other goal where if we fail to plan then we plan to fail.
We have to set ourselves up for success or we won’t succeed.
I remember when I finally realized this.
I actually found some meal planning ideas for weight loss, created a healthy meal plan that fit my lifestyle and followed it.
Then, to make sure I followed the meal plan, I also did my meal prep on Sunday according to the meal plan I created.
After struggling for months to lose even a pound, I actually lost 4 pounds in week.
I couldn’t believe it was that simple.
But of course, life got in the way again and I stopped meal planning and prepping and so did the weight loss.
Related: Weight Loss Meal Plans
Why Do I Make Healthy Meal Planning So Hard?
The reason I make meal planning so hard is because I don’t know what to cook and so it’s like I’m always starting from scratch.
I’ve got recipes bookmarked on my phone, on my computer, on Pinterest, some printed out.
It’s a mess.
There’s no organization, no centralized location for my recipes or meal ideas so it gets very frustrating.
How Can I Make Meal Planning Simple So I Can Lose Weight?
What I’ve been promising myself I would do for years and haven’t yet is to come up with at least 6 or 7 ideas each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and just rotate them every week.
In other words, instead of trying to come up with a new plan or menu every week, I’ll just have a meal idea database in a word or Evernote document.
Then I’ll choose 2 per week for each meal (i.e. 2 breakfast meals, 2 lunch meals, 2 dinner meals) and then when I see those items on sale I can decide to have that meal plan that week.
Doing it this way means I’m not starting from scratch every week like I have in the past.
If you decide to do this, you could also have a list of ingredients needed for each meal and then when you decide to choose that meal for the week, you can just scan the list and see what items you need to buy.
Then you could check and see what items are on sale and choose your meals that way.
Meal Planning Weight Loss Ideas For Breakfast
Here are some of my healthy(ish) meal ideas
Breakfast 1: oat bran, eggs, bacon
Breakfast 2: avocado toast, eggs, salmon
Breakfast 3: sweet potato hash with eggs and sausage
Breakfast 4: french toast on whole wheat bread with strawberries and orange slices
Breakfast 5: breakfast quesadillas with salsa, avocado and sour cream
Breakfast 6: blueberry muffins and fruit
Breakfast 7: eggs with black beans/pinto beans, avocado, sliced tomato and onion and salsa with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for protein
Meal Planning Weight Loss Ideas For Lunch
Lunch 1: tuna salad with grape tomatoes, and chips
Lunch 2: turkey/ham sandwich with grapes
Lunch 3: English muffin pizza and salad
Lunch 4: chicken salad
Lunch 5: marinated chicken with pinto beans and sweet potatoes and greens
Meal Planning Weight Loss Ideas For Dinner
Dinner 1: cheeseburger and baked fries and asparagus
Dinner 2: chicken with starch (mashed potatoes/sweet potato/ risotto/baked potato) and green veg, sliced tomatoes
Dinner 3: pork chops with starch and green veg
Dinner 4: Italian dish (spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna) with a green vegetable
Dinner 5: Mexican pizza, taco salad,
Dinner 6: chili and Mexican cornbread
So let’s say for the week of 4/23/18, I chose to make breakfasts 2 & 6, lunches 4 & 5 and dinners 1 & 5.
I would make a list of ingredients needed for those meals and then check my pantries, fridge, and freezers to see if I have the necessary ingredients to make those meals.
If there were any ingredients that I didn’t have, I would check my local grocery stores to see if any of them were on sale and then buy them along with any other items I needed.
Meal planning done.
5 Easy Meal Planning Steps So You Can Lose Weight
So here it is step by step because I love having things spelled out for me so I can think less 🙂 :
1. Choose 2 meals for each meal type (of course you can choose more if you’d like but I personally choose two)
2. Make a list of what ingredients you need to make those meals.
3. Check your pantry, freezer and fridge to see what items you need to buy.
4. Check the grocery ads to see if the items you need are on sale for that week.
5. Go buy the items you need. Try to choose the grocery store with the most sales and then add the other non-sale items to that same list if it’s affordable.
I personally want to stop going to so many different stores to find the best price ( i miss Walmart price matching so much 😞.) but for point number 5, feel free to bargain hunt for the cheapest groceries you can find.
And that’s my simple way of meal planning for weight loss success.
Conclusion To Meal Planning For Weight Loss Beginners & Next Steps
If you have been struggling with meal planning as a weight loss beginner then I pray that this post has helped you.
In the past, I’ve made meal planning so ridiculously hard but I’m praying that this simple method will be one that I can stick with over the long haul.
I believe that if we do meal plan on a consistent basis, we will meet our weight loss goals because weight loss is mostly about what we eat.
If we make plans to eat well, then the weight loss will naturally follow.
Please share in the comments what your meal planning method is and if you’ve found it helpful in your weight loss journey.
My next post will be about meal prepping so be on the lookout for that.
Okay, that’s it from me. Thank you so much for sticking with me through the whole post and I shall see you in my next post.
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