One key to success at losing weight is meal prepping. It has saved my sanity for years for dinners at my house because I no longer had the dreaded “what’s for dinner?” question being asked 35,000 times and me wondering in a panic…..
What IS for dinner?
So, I started printing out a blank calendar for the month and planning what we would have after going through all my recipes and books. Things are always more hectic around here when I DON’T plan ahead. It is as if we enter the dinner hour at warp speed when there is no plan in place. Then, I always burn up on re-entry because I planned ahead about as well as Wylie Coyote.
I never really gave much thought to planning out breakfast and lunch though. Those meals seemed to just take care of themselves. Right? Didn’t they? I mean, why plan “scrambled eggs and toast” when I am perfectly capable of thinking of that on my own. Although-do I? Do I think of that on my own when I haven’t had my first cup of coffee yet and someone forgot to turn the switch in my brain to “ON”?
I mean- I usually don’t know my own name at this point of the day. Let alone coming up with and cooking nutritious meals for me and the other people who might live here.
For years, I ate whatever was in the house for breakfast and lunch. Although, truth be told- I usually skipped both of those meals until nap time rolled around. Then, I was starving and staring at my munchkins as if they were giant turkey legs.
Fast forward a few years to my weight loss journey. I learned that I need to eat breakfast! Not eating all day slows down our metabolism. Not to mention leaves us snarfing through every box and bag in the pantry. We’ve all done it. Evening tv time and you look back and realize that you ( YOU ALONE) ate one large bag of trail mix, box of dry chex cereal, three mini snickers bars, and a bowl of ice cream. All after eating two helpings at dinner. Then commit to yourself that TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT.
Except, it isn’t. Why? You didn’t plan ahead. You took care of everyone else’s needs above your own. Just like when we ride an airplane and the flight attendant instructs us to put OUR mask on first BEFORE our children’s. Why? If we pass out, who will put the mask on our children?
So, where do you start? Print out a blank calendar or meal planning page– I will insert a link here for mine once I fix the link. Or get a spiral notebook and write it in there. Use the back of a junk mail envelope. It really doesn’t matter WHAT you use. What matters is that you are planning.
Start with breakfast. Think to yourself. What do I like to eat? I love scrambled eggs. I could live on scrambled eggs. I also don’t mind eating the same thing every day if it is something that I like. So I would plan on scrambled eggs every morning. Then, I can choose what to have with it. Will it be fruit? Will it be oatmeal? Will it be whole grain toast?
Then- lunch time! Is there healthy leftovers from dinner that will need to get used? At our house, the kids usually have those so my lunches are different. I like to have a large salad, cooked chicken breast with brown rice and veggies, poached salmon (SO easy), etc. I just plan and make sure I know what I will be eating.
Write all of this down on your beautiful planner or the back of that electric bill envelope and put it on the fridge so you can see it all week.
Ok, everything is planned!
“Yay me!” You’re thinking….. Um, except…..Now what?
This is where meal prepping comes into play. That way when lunch time rolls around, we don’t have to think to ourselves about how we really don’t want to wait to cook a chicken breast and some quinoa because we are hungry NOW. What will save you is having made your food for the week and it is waiting for you in the refrigerator. Just needing to be reheated. I did a post on meal prepping here with more to come for ideas on how make yourself succeed.
That is what works for me! What do you do to help with meals at your house?