Do This Once a Week to Lose Weight

Apr 10 2016 - 8:35am

Why Meal Plan?

Step 1: Map It Out

Step 2: Shop

With your trusty lists and shopping bags in hand, carve out an hour or so to go to the grocery store over the weekend. I try to go on Saturdays since Sundays tend to be crowded and understocked. Aim to stick to your list as closely as possible, crossing things off as they go in your cart to make sure you've gotten everything on the list from the red peppers to the avocado.

Step 3: Prep

All those delicious ingredients won't do you any good hiding in bags in the fridge drawers. To ensure your meals happen on the days you planned, take a little time (I prefer Sunday afternoons) to wash, cut, and organize the ingredients. Get large reusable containers, and place all the cut-up ingredients you'll need in the same container. If you're making soup or something in the crockpot, you'll be able to dump it all in the pot, add a few more ingredients, and dinner will be done in no time. Aim to prepare a little something for every night, even if it's one huge salad that you can divvy up each night to accompany your main entree. Or save time by cooking up the whole grains you'll need for your stir fry or roasting a chicken you'll use for a couple recipes later that week. You can also make an enormous batch of soup for dinner, but freeze a bunch to enjoy the following week.

Meal planning may seem like it takes hours and hours, and at first, it might. But keep in mind that all this planning ahead and prepping is well-invested time going into the making of a healthier, happier you. Each week you plan will go by quicker once you get the hang of what works, and it'll make every meal go that much smoother. No more stressing about what to make, no more eating chips and salsa for dinner when you can't decide, and no more throwing together unhealthy meals just because they're easy. It may seem a little crazy to think about eating this way, but give it a try, and you'll soon be a meal-planning convert.

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