Meal planning for weight loss is not much different from regular meal planning—whether you’re counting calories, fat, points, or something else entirely, it’s just one more small thing to keep in mind. You might change where you look for your recipes or which recipes you choose, but otherwise, the process is much the same. (My meal planning worksheet even has a column where you can list the points or calories or whatever to help you plan your day and week.
But did you know that the simple act of planning meals can help you lose weight—whether you’re cooking “diet” food or not?
Andrea Burolla Golod, a busy photographer with a husband and two hungry boys tried out my meal planning ebook and worksheet and found that even just the act of planning out her meals for the week helped her lose weight—without even trying!
Here’s what she said:
I’ve been using the meal planning chart for 3 weeks now and I’m proud to say that I’ve lost 3 pounds just from being able to plan ahead. I’m a working stay at home mom with 2 kids and dinner time is always a struggle for me. So many things to consider: Does it have any veggies? Will so and so eat it? Can I make a big enough batch for leftovers? Do I have enough time to feed the baby, go to the store, and make it in time to feed the baby again? And the questions go on and on…
Every night I dealt with this, and by the end of the day I certainly didn’t need the additional stress. I still have to address all the same issues but now its just once a week. I sit down with my cuppa while the baby naps and the other is in preschool, make my chart, peruse some recipes online and make my shopping list.
The meal planning chart results in me saving time through out the week because a) I don’t have to make as many trips to the store and b) I don’t have to try to think up a dinner on the spot that meets all our requirements with the distraction of 2 kids tugging at me. AND the best benefit by far is we’re eating healthier. By no means are our meals the healthiest of heathy out there (it’s a work in progress!) but the fact that it’s homemade saves on calories and portion size. I’ve got losing three pounds to prove it. I’m sold!
This is totally not a fluke. Research has actually shown that the more you think about your meals—before, during, and after eating them—the more likely you are to make better choices and maintain or lose weight.
Pretty easy, right?
Have you had success with meal planning? Let me know in the comments below!