Meal Planning Done Right
When you get started with a weight loss surgery program, one of the first conversations you are likely to have with your weight loss surgeon or nutritionist team is about the types of foods that you eat regularly, and how to make healthy changes to your way of eating. Every diet program out there focuses on making changes to the foods that you eat, but how often do those weight loss programs encourage you to make a fundamental change in the way you approach your daily or weekly dietary choices?
Weight loss surgery is a sustainable weight loss option because it encourages long-term lifestyle changes. One of these changes is in how you plan out your meals.
Planning Meals to Make Sense
Keeping a daily planner is a great tool to help you along your weight loss journey. A planner is a good place to track your to-do list, which should include the healthy habits that you need to incorporate into your new healthy lifestyle, but also what you actually accomplish during the day. So for example, instead of simply writing that you plan to go to the gym, your planner is a good place to mark down that you did go, and what you accomplished at the gym.
Your planner is also an ideal place to track your meals—ahead of time. Developing a meal planning strategy that works for your lifestyle can help you to cut calories, save money at the food store, and feel much less stressed out about your food choices during the week.
Here are a few tips for planning meals effectively:
- Decide how often you want to go to the food store, and plan out your meals to stretch the entire time between grocery store visits.
- Space meals apart appropriately so that you don’t feel like you are eating the same thing over and over again.
- Plan easy meals for days that you know will be stressful, and more complicated meals on days that you know you’ll have time to dedicate to cooking.
Another helpful strategy that can really change your meal planning game is to do as much prep ahead of time as possible. Freeze meat in gallon freezer bags with the other ingredients you plan on cooking it with, such as spices or garlic, and label the bag so you know what else needs to be done when it is time to cook. This strategy can save you time during the week, and will give you the reassurance of knowing that your delicious meal will be easy to prepare when you get home from work.