You may get sick of me talking about meal planning, but guess what? It’s a part of the health process whether you are strict about it or loosely planning. For some people meal planning involves weighing and measuring and knowing exactly how much protein, carbs, and fat they are eating. For others it simply means having meals planned for the week ahead so that poorer food choices (i.e. takeout, fast food, etc.) do not sneak in. Which side you choose is entirely up to you, your capacity to do one or the other, and your goals. The point is that we should all be planning in some way, shape, or form if we want health to be a priority. The only exception to this rule is if you are happy with where you are health-wise and/or make time daily to make/eat healthy food.
Time is Of the Essence
I hear ALL the time from people that they don’t have time to do something. I use the excuse too for things I don’t want to prioritize or that I’m not sure I need to prioritize yet. It seems as if we will find any excuse under the sun to not prep or plan our meals or eat healthy, or make it to the gym. We blame this thing called time as if time has ever done anything to use (I SEE YOU GRAY HAIRS). However, the same people will find time to go see a movie, binge watch the latest Netflix series, spend hours at the mall finding the perfect shoes, and the list goes on.
Here’s the cold hard truth (that even I need to hear some times). It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you are choosing to NOT prioritize something in your life. Which, hey, that’s OKAY. However, what’s not okay is you blaming your health status (or lack thereof) on lack of time. If you don’t have your health, what do you have? So here’s what I tell my clients, make time, make health a priority, and have a realization that in order to see results you have to put in the work. Time is of the essence but we get to choose what we do with our time, and if that time is spent playing video games and claiming we have no time for meal prepping/planning then who are we really kidding here?!?
Why Meal Plan?
Look I get it, there have been times in my life that I fly by the seat of my pants and tell myself it will be okay. The thing is, I’m a dietitian and a relatively good cook (not to toot my own horn). So, when I fall flat and fly by the seat of my pants it looks a little different than most. HOWEVER, that being said, I still eat better and stress less when I plan ahead, end of story. Here are some of my main reasons for meal planning:
It Sets You Up for Success
No kidding. While the upfront work can seem (and is) like a lot of work, it makes the week nights (and lunch packing) infinitely easier. There are fewer temptations to run to the pizza shop, sub shop, or Chipotle because there is food already at home. While you certainly can forgo the food in the fridge that is already made for you, that’s just a waste of time, effort, food, and money. I saw a meme once that said “Being an adult is reminding yourself you have food at home.” If that’s relatable, then you probably need to eat at home more often!
It Saves You Money
Speaking of money, meal prep/planning saves you money. How? Well, you don’t have to make 10 grocery trips, you will eat out far less AND if you are planning appropriately, you will most likely be shopping what’s in season and/or what’s on sale. The more you do it, the easier it gets, I promise.
It Spices Up Your Meals
You know what happens when it’s 5pm on a week night and no dinner is prepped? You either go get food OR you make something you know is quick and easy. While the latter is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be boring and less than enticing to make/eat on the regular. By planning ahead, you can put those Pinterest scrolling habits to good use and actually try something new that could become a staple in your household. There’s also an argument to be made that eating a variety of foods will give you more nutrients via vitamins and minerals, sooooo spice it up with variety in the kitchen, okay!?
It Simplifies and Streamlines Your Life
Put aside 3 hours of your week to meal prep and perhaps 1 hour to plan. That’s 4 hours TOTAL all week that you can use to feed yourself. There are 168 hours in a week, and 4 hours of that is only 2% of your time. You can find a way to take 2% of your week to plan/prep. If you can’t then you clearly are not prioritizing it, end of story. By setting aside time to meal plan/prep you will simplify the process of cooking and streamline this part of your life, promise.
#SassyApproved Meal Plans
The good news is I can help. If you haven’t heard yet, I am officially riding the entrepreneur wave and am 100% on my own. The company, Designed to Fit Nutrition, that I used to do meal planning for has officially closed there doors. While that news sucks, don’t worry I now am using that same meal planning software IN HOUSE to provide you with #SassyApproved meal plans that fit your lifestyle, goals, and tastebud desires.
I love helping people meal plan and prep, so let’s get after it together, what do you say?!
Happy Friday Friends! Find some time this weekend to sit down and plan for your week ahead, believe me, it will make all the difference.