For years I wondered why I could never seem to lose any weight. I would work so hard to “be healthier,” but I never had a plan. I would decide it was time to lose weight, head to the store to buy “healthy foods,” and take a 5-minute walk around the block. Then, I’d open up the fridge to look at all the random foods I purchased, trying to figure out what I could make out of them. A week later, I’d give up when I couldn’t see any results of this work in my mirror. The single most important thing you can do for weight loss is meal planning for a healthy lifestyle.
Time to Exercise
Time to exercise must be planned and scheduled into each day. Just like an appointment or a meeting with someone else, it’s easy to commit to exercise when it’s scheduled and on the calendar.
Meal Planning for a Healthy Lifestyle
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks) must be planned before grocery shopping so a concise list can be put together.
When meal planning for a healthy lifestyle, I will look at what is going on during the next week and determine how many lunches I will need.
Next, I decide on 4 snacks for each day and select 2-3 recipes to make for dinner. Breakfast is always 2 poached eggs on toast.
Grocery Shopping & Meal Prep
I always put my grocery list together in the kitchen after meal planning for a healthy lifestyle. Here, I can look over my meal plan and my recipes, while simultaneously checking the pantry & fridge for necessary ingredients.
In the past, I’ve been known to throw together a list during my lunch break at work. That caused a problem because I would run into those funny little one-off ingredients that I was sure I didn’t have. Then I’d get it home only to find that I had two now.
Lunches for the week should be prepared ahead of time to eliminate extra work on busy weekdays.
When I first got started, I was really into my meal planning. Looking back now, I see that I may have been slightly carried away. I had elaborate snacks and salads full of goodies. Meal prep would take most of the day on Sunday and I didn’t mind.
As life has become more and more busy, I have allowed myself to take a step back and re-evaluate this process.
Scheduling Time for Planning
Every week, I spend a little time updating my Franklin Covey Planner for the following week. I schedule time throughout the week for exercise, meal planning, grocery planning & shopping, and of course meal prep.
I like to sit down on Wednesday night and plan my meals.
On Thursday night, I put together a grocery list. Then on Friday, I do my grocery shopping after work.
Typically, meal prep day is on Sunday. Since I am a careful planner, I always know ahead of time if I need to adjust and get it done on a different day.
These days, I make simple recipes for lunch and keep my snacks primarily limited to fruits, vegetables and string cheese. Instead of taking 4 hours of my Sunday, meal prep takes 30 minutes to an hour.
I feel more relaxed now and can focus my energy on things like un-packing all the boxes in our beautiful new home and writing for my blog. But, I am still able to begin each week feeling a sense of accomplishment and preparedness.
While practicing this careful meal planning for a healthy lifestyle, patience must also be exercised. Results do not show in the mirror immediately, but after a couple of months, people begin to notice and it sure does feel good when they ask what you’ve been doing.
The Tool That Helps Me
Planning ahead, and ensuring that you have time available each week for exercise and the planning and preparation of healthy meals is the key to success with healthy living.
I don’t know what I would do without my Franklin Covey planner. This one tool has helped me more than any exercise equipment or kitchen gadget in my journey with health.
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