Do you remember in school, when you had an essay exam, and decided not to prepare ahead of time because you knew you could “BS” your way through it, and come out with a passing grade. It probably worked, and lets be honest, it’s how some of us made our way through some of our classes (obviously not all of them). Unfortunately, healthy eating it NOT something that you can “BS” your way through. It might work for a little while, but in the end, you will end up eating that frozen pizza sitting in your freezer because it is the quickest and easiest thing to make for dinner, and you are STARVING! Don’t worry, I am not judging, we’ve all been there :).
One of the basic (somewhat annoying) facts of living a healthy lifestyle is you have to be prepared and organized, especially if you are working toward weight loss goals. I get it – it’s annoying. Thinking about what you are going to make for dinner isn’t the most glorious way to pass the time…but it’s worth it.
I am far from a model child for organization – you should see my laundry pile. It’s something I am constantly working on, but here are a few things I have found over the years that help me stay on track.
Plan a Menu
This is huge for me. I spend probably an hour a week planning a menu and putting together a grocery list. It saves me money, and I don’t have to brainstorm at the last minute about what to serve for dinner. I am also big on leftovers, so I plan for dinner leftovers a couple times a week.
Weekly Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks
I tend to be a creature of habit, so I plan on eating the same breakfast, lunch, and snacks for an entire week (I always mix up my dinners). Eating this way makes my grocery shopping easy – I know exactly what to buy, and it makes preparing for the week so much easier. Plus, it doesn’t leave me aimlessly staring in the fridge or the pantry at lunchtime, wondering what there is to eat.
I was first introduced to weekly meal prep four years ago, and honestly I thought it was a little “extreme,” but I decided to give it a try, and have been doing it ever since. It really does make my life more balanced. I set aside one day a week to prep my meals. For example: If I know I am having a chicken salad for lunch that week. I will cook my chicken (remember, leftovers don’t bother me), chop my veggies, and make enough dressing to last me the week. That way, at lunchtime everyday, all I have to do is dump my chicken and veggies over some lettuce and add dressing – so easy.
I always have a few things on hand for those days that don’t go as planned, and yes, they do happen. I can always cook up some eggs and veggies, or grab an apple and handful of almonds. I also keep a few prepared meals in the freezer, that are easy to heat up and enjoy.
Those are my basic tips…
What are some tips you have to stay organized?
Do you think weekly meal prep is too “extreme”?