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Week 5 – Meal Planning

Hi Friends!

We’re into week five of 12 Weeks No Diets.

This series is all about not dieting… but just because we’re not dieting doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice healthy eating habits.

Meal planning is so important. I’m not saying we should write out a weeks worth of controlled menus, but we do need to have some sort of plan to keep us in check. The last thing we need is to feel overly hungry and have nothing healthy around.

To recap – Here are some tips I use for myself and hunger:
*Ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or if you’re satisfying an emotion, bored, or simply eating out of habit. The closer you get to recognizing real, physical hunger, the more control you’ll gain over your eating.

*It’s also important not to let yourself get too hungry. If this happens, you’re more likely to make poor food choices.

*Try not to go more than four to five hours between meals, otherwise your ravenous hunger can result in a binge, and it is usually not a healthy one.

So planning in advance is key, always keep healthy snacks on hand, and schedule snack breaks to energize you and help keep your hands out of the cookie jar.

Planning meals in advance
*Stock your pantry and refrigerator with delicious, nutritious foods. If you want a special treat, go out and enjoy a small portion, but don’t bring it home to tempt you.

*Spend some time each day in quiet meditation — reflecting, breathing, and relaxing.

*Serve meals on pretty luncheon-sized dishes that make portions look larger.

*Package snacks in small bags or containers for portion control.

I really liked this post by Jessica from How Sweet it Is. She has some very practical meal planning tips that I love!

Workout of the week:

Click here for Jessica’s No More Resolutions Workout!

No More Resolutions will run for 12 weeks along with No Diets in the New Year

There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts for everyone! My favorite thing about these workouts is that they can be done at home!


Question of the Day?

Are you a meal planner? I don’t plan formal structured meals, but I do make sure I have healthy foods in stock. Over the weekend I make a couple of bigger healthy dinners so we have plenty of leftovers throughout the week.

19 Responses

  1. Beth @ DiningAndDishing said on February 3, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I am not a meal planner but I should get better at it! I tend to create ideas in my head while standing in front of the fridge :).

  2. Stephanie said on February 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I’m definitely a meal planner, it’s actually one of my favorite things to do each week (I know, I’m weird haha). This allows me to maximize our budget by reviewing weekly ads, have meals that fit our schedule since I also work 40-50 hours a week, and keeps us full of mostly πŸ˜‰ healthy eats!

  3. Kelly said on February 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I am a meal planner but usually not more than the morning of. I always think about what I am going to make for dinner that night but I don’t plan on a weekly basis! This was a great post!! Good tips!

  4. Jessica @ How Sweet said on February 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I loved the flash when I entered the site!! πŸ™‚

  5. Abby (Abby's VeGaN Eats) said on February 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Def a meal planner and I can barely go 3 hours in between!

  6. Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie said on February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Yup a meal planner. It definately helps to get the right stuff the first time at the grocery store and I can just come home and look at the list and say… ok we are having X for dinner.

  7. Heather (Heather's Dish) said on February 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    i love meal planning, but i don’t do it very often because our schedules change on a dime all the time. i try to plan on 3-4 different meals throughout the week, then use the leftovers for other meals if needed πŸ™‚

  8. Mommy RD said on February 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t plan a week’s worth of meals at once, because when I do it ends up changing to much. I do plan ahead to some extent and I agree it keeps us eating much healthier.

  9. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) said on February 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I love this post. I am not a great meal planner. I have a lot of options around the house, but I would prefer to have a menu that I can go to. Part of that is probably because I am at home and can go to the store on a whim…which is not really good. I need to get better about planning!

    By the way, I added you to my blog roll…I hope you don’t mind.

  10. eatingRD said on February 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    great tips! I am definitely a meal planner, just a few extra steps makes a load of difference in time savings. I usually have about 3 meals for the week and they can vary on days depending what’s going on πŸ™‚

  11. Nicole, RD said on February 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Yes! Meal planning keeps my week and grocery bill in control! On Saturday mornings hubby and I pick out several recipes (the number depending on what we have going on for the week — evening conferences, work dinners, etc.) and I shop off a grocery list of the items we need. Helps SO much! And I’ve learned to enjoy it! I give hubby the choice of x, y, or z that we’re planned for and we work off that!

  12. Travel Eat Love said on February 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I loooove meal planning! Well I don’t love it, but I do love having meals planned. I do my best to have everything laid out and planned, breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the work week. I am cranky when I don’t have something filling and yummy!

  13. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said on February 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I wish I were better at meal planning. I go through spurts where I’ll plan a week’s worth of meals and use my new groceries very efficiently. But more often than not I end up in the kitchen at 6 or 7 pm and wonder what I’ll have for dinner. Not the best idea.

  14. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said on February 4, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I dont meal plan per se but I know what we’re going to eat. Hubs eats a version of a couple things, and so do I, and so does kiddo. So I know approx what we’re going to have…and it doesnt deviate much. That said, I always have a boatload of fresh produce and grains for them, and pretty much go from there.

  15. lynn @ the actors diet said on February 4, 2010 at 1:02 am

    i guess i kinda meal plan in the sense that i think about what i’m going to make whenever i pick stuff up at the grocery store. but there’s no recipe or anything really in mind. i always end up making the same stuff! i would like to plan more to get some variety in.

  16. Anne @ the doctor takes a wife said on February 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Normally we are BIG planners, but whenever I just stick to my list, hubby says there’s NO FOOD. So we went off the planning for two weeks. I think we’re going to go back to help curb some cost…

  17. Stef said on February 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

    argh i thought for sure i had fixed the problem of not getting your posts in my google reader, but i guess not because i’ve missed so many! what the heck?!! it’s so weird! oh i love all of these tips, they’re great. esp the ones about not going for hours between meals, and asking yourself if you’re relaly hungry, and planning ahead! great points!