Plan to be Prepared

posted by Jen

Imagine this: You’ve got your busy day planned, or your unplanned day gets busy. You run from one thing to the next and suddenly it’s time to eat and you haven’t given it a second thought. You need something quick and easy. So, you grab what’s convenient – which is usually Fast Food or convenience store snacks. You didn’t plan to eat a burger and fries for lunch. You didn’t plan to snack on chips or candy. You didn’t… well, you didn’t PLAN. And that’s what happens.

If making healthy choices is a struggle, planning your meals is a necessity.

I did a meal plan for the first time last week. Admittedly, it wasn’t for the purpose of healthy eating. I’m trying to cut our grocery budget and thought meal planning would help me shop more efficiently. Plus, it would save me time. It made me realize, however, that meal planning is one of the most effective ways to avoid pitfalls to unhealthy eating.

Without a plan, temptation, hunger, and convenience will determine what you eat.

It’s easier to make better choices if you’ve already chosen ahead of time. Planning your meals prepares you to succeed.

There are several resources online to help you learn to plan meals. It’s not really Rocket Science though. I’m trying to sit down one night a week as I thumb through sale papers and coupons. Right now, I’m trying to plan what we’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for one week at a time. Once I make a week’s meal plan, I go grocery shopping so we have what we need for that plan.

I wish making the plan and buying the groceries was enough, but it still takes sticking to the plan to make healthy eating a success. But, I’ve found that having the plan printed on the refrigerator makes things easier. It helps to know what snack options I have in case I’m leaving the house for a while. I haven’t had a chance to meal plan this week and tonight’s dinner was a reflection. I was busy until 6:45 and knew we didn’t have anything that could be easily prepared at home. So, we ended up grabbing dinner at Arby’s on the way home. The days are seldom slow and boring, so this could happen frequently if I’m not more prepared.

Not having a plan always causes me to fail.

This is the meal planning template I am currently using. It can be filled in electronically, or printed and written by hand.

Do you plan your meals? How do you practically prepare yourself to make the right choices throughout each day?

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