• Hi Jessica Lynn, I’ve totally backslid on meal planning and portion control. At my job, this is our high season so I’m not getting to eat lunch . At night that means I feel as if I could eat a horse and based on my portion amounts (falling of plate style), I probably do! Thanks for the timely reminder for me.

    From Dalia
    February 10, 2012

  • falling off plate :-)

    From Dalia
    February 10, 2012

  • Jessica – My 21st day home was yesterday and I totally “slipped up” – as Bob would say – bc I didn’t have my plan. Your blog popped up on my homepage and gave me the kick I needed to move it to the top of my to do list. Thank you so much! Love the web site.

    From Wendy from DE
    February 10, 2012

  • Thank you!! I needed to read this and be remotivated in my meal planning! I love the ideas about developing a routine! Thats so helpful. I know its not rocket science but can definitely be overhwelming. Thanks for the great ideas!!

    From Allison
    February 10, 2012

  • I’m so glad you all found this post helpful! I hope you all found the time to get your planning done this weekend… and I’m confident that you can WORK your plan too! All the best!

    From Jessica Lynn
    February 13, 2012

Strategies To Step Back Into Meal Planning

While meal planning is essential to weight loss or weight management, it can be challenging for many.  There is no single right way to meal plan and many factors affect how we do it and how consistent we are.  Our palettes change, life demands more time in other areas, travel, motivation, levels shift… whatever the reason, if we look at meal planning from an “all or nothing” approach, we will not find success.  Be realistic with your planning, even if that means starting with planning 2 meals for the week, because having success in that will only bolster your confidence to take on more the next week.  If you’ve been through our program, you may likely have attended my class where we work as a group to develop a 7-day meal plan.  Here are some steps to consider if a 7-day plan just seems too overwhelming for this coming week:

  1.  Break it down.  Start by just planning 3 meals for the upcoming week instead of all 21.  This allows for some flexibility with yourself but still moves you closer to your goal.  You might even surprise yourself and eat healthier for a few more meals as well.
  2. Develop a Routine.  Give your week a basic framework that might help guide your thoughts to specific meals.  For example:
    • Monday is Chicken Night – whether it’s grilled chicken, chicken parmesan or chicken marsala… it’s going to be chicken.
    • Tuesdays/Thursdays are Seafood night – one week might include H3 Shrimp Scampi and Salmon, the next week might be H3 Crab Cakes or Lemon Parmesan Tilapia.
    • Wednesday is Salad night – Steak Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, Spinach Salad with Tempeh… whatever you choose, it’s going on a bed of greens.
    • Friday night’s “Where’s the Beef?” – Steak, lean burger, Spaghetti with meatballs… you get my drift.
    • Pizza Saturday and Wild Card Sunday – keep it fun on your weekend by making pita pizzas or even homemade whole wheat dough.  Sunday is your wild card to be spontaneous!
  3. Play “Go Fish” for meals out. Make a list of restaurants and what meals are “acceptable” to your healthy meal plan.  You could create a card for each meal.  When you choose, or need to dine out, select something from your cards.
  4. Remove and Replace. Identify 1-2 food choices that are contributors to an unhealthy plan and replace them with a healthy alternative.  Decide what your alternatives are now and make it something you can look forward to.
  5. Portions, Portions, Portions!  Get back into the habit of measuring.  Even if it’s still a “bad” food, know how much you are consuming.
  6. Write it down.  If at the beginning of the week you have every intention of eating healthy, and that always seems to fade mid week, you might forget all the healthy planning you did!  Don’t just plan in your head.  Write it down so you can refer back to it.  
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