Saturday, March 21, 2015

(Meal) Planning for Success---

Did you realize that about 80% of weight loss is determined by what you put into your mouth. That means even if you are working out like a beast or running a million miles, if you put crap into your body the results that many of us are seeking are going to be harder to come by.
Meal planning has always been something that I struggle with so I often fall into a pattern of just   fixing the same thing and then get bored of whatever it was I was eating and often allow myself to make poor decisions that slow or derail my goals.
I have been working on being much more diligent with sitting down and coming up with new ideas for what I want to eat. I am not dieting so I don't want to eat "DIET" food-- first off it usually sucks and second it's usually not that good for you anyway with the additives and extra sugar that are often put into lower calorie foods.  So I have focused on trying to eat foods that are whole foods, limit the processed stuff I'm taking in, and working on portion sizes. My typical week usually looks something like this
What I have found since I started being more diligent in my meal planning is that I have added a lot of new options into my diet that provide some variety and help me keep from getting bored.

So here's my tips for getting your meal planning going:

  • I always drink my Shakeology for breakfast- Shakeology is a nutrition dense meal replacement shake. On workdays I am always rushing to get myself and Carter out the door on time so we don't get caught in crazy traffic. I don't have time to whip up eggs everyday-- or at least I don't want to make the time to make eggs everyday. Since starting the shakes in January I haven't missed a day (except for the day I had a stomach bug and couldn't keep anything down). It's become my new go to in the morning ( I used to stop at Sonic for a drink every morning). It powers me up, tastes great, and takes about 3 seconds to make and clean up. (Interested in more info? Check out ) 
  • Snacks: I used to be the worst about eating snacks during the day and then being so hungry after school and going crazy before dinner. I have been trying to incorporate snacks twice a day that incorporate a little bit of protein and some carbs to keep me at a baseline so I don't blow the whole day in a few minutes by making a bad choice when I'm super hungry. 
  • Meals: I always try to give myself a decent portion of lean protein, a veggie, and fruit. I have been trying to incorporate more low glycemic fruits, especially in the evening. I really like raspberries. 
  • So how often can you cheat? Aim for one splurge a week. Plan it--- relish it---and then get back on track at the next meal. I have found the more my body has gotten used to healthy food the better choices I have made even at splurge time. The best meal I had in months was a delicious Sea Bass with Roasted Brussels Sprouts at one of our favorite restaurants here in SA.  But remember occasionally we all have to 

  • I will allow myself a piece of dark chocolate at the end of the night to as a small daily treat if I stayed within my calorie goal or did extra great at my workout. I have found that milk chocolate is my kryptonite-- it'll just be gone. Dark chocolate satisfies the craving but is so much richer that a smaller amount gives me adequate satisfaction (Ghiradhelli's Sea Salt Soiree is our favorite)
  • I try to plan my meals each Saturday and then create a shopping list that I take with me to the store on Saturday morning. It helps shorten the shopping trip and I have a mission instead of just wandering around until inspiration strikes. 
  • I use a spreadsheet template and save my meal plans each week. That way I can easily go back and reference recipes (I link them in the spreadsheet) or look at weeks where I did well and try incorporating some of those same foods if I hit a plateau. 
So that's what I've got today-- make a plan, follow it, and get ready to see some results. 

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