The ultimate guide to meal planning for weight loss

What is the secret to weight loss?

 

Isn’t that the million dollar question?

 

Weight loss is completely dependent on individual circumstances. It’s all about your food preferences, how active your lifestyle is, your age, your genetics, your gender, any medical conditions, and it’s also very psychological.

 

Attempting a weight loss program can be difficult for many and may leave you feeling defeated just after a few days of trying. After just a few days on your new diet plan you have probably found yourself shouting the following statements.

 

“No more plain chicken!”

 

“Give me all the carbs!”

 

“I can’t eat another boring meal today!”


With so many different methods for weight loss out there, it’s hard to find the right one. There are diet programs to follow, meal plans to follow, exercise programs that promise flatter abs in just 10 days, etc. With all of the weight loss choices surrounding us, you may be asking what’s the best one? Which one will work for you? And how can you lose this weight once and for all without failing AGAIN?

 

The key to successful weight loss is consistency.

 

The weight loss program that will work for you is the one that YOU WILL FOLLOW.

 

If you get another meal plan that is filled with foods you don’t like, can’t afford, or can’t pronounce, you’re probably pretty likely to throw it out after only a few days.

 

That’s why you need your OWN program. Yep, I said it. You can create your own weight loss program according to YOUR needs, wants, likes, dislikes, and what you can actually do.

 

So, how do you do this? How do you set up your own weight loss program despite not knowing the first place to start? Glad you asked! Keep reading and by the end, you’ll be ready to get started on the right path this time!

 

Before we move on though, you’re going to need your ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MEAL PLANNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS. It outlines the exact steps for you to follow to get started and stay consistent with your weight loss. Grab it below!

Before we dive into the meal planning for weight loss, I want to impress the importance of “getting your head in the game” so to speak. So much about weight loss is mental. It’s about understanding why you want to do this. It’s about setting a realistic goal based on your individual circumstances. It’s about sticking with it even when you have a day that doesn’t go so well. It’s about picking yourself back up and moving forward.

 

Before you attempt any weight loss, you must find your WHY.

 

Why are you doing this? What will be different in your life because of it? Why is it important to you? Why is important for your family? Are your goals realistic?

 

I encourage you to sit down and think about these first. Ask yourself the tough questions. Then, write down your goal. Write it somewhere you will see it every day. Look at it often, especially when it’s a particularly difficult day to stick to it. You can do this!

 

Now that you have your why, let’s talk about the tools you need to be able to successfully meal plan for weight loss.

Meal planning for weight loss:

 

Have a plan

 

You’ve been there before, busy, stressed out, and have nothing to eat. So, you hit up the fast food joint agaaiiin. No wonder you’re not reaching your goals.

 

The first key to successful weight loss is to have a plan.

 

Take 10-15 minutes at the beginning of every week to look at your schedule for that week. On busy days, plan easy simple meals that are grab and go. On less busy days, you can spend a little more time cooking or enjoying more freshly cooked meals.

 

Write out meals for each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) - remember to make the majority of them simple and easy to grab quickly as you’re more likely to stick to eating it instead of opting for a fast Wendy’s drive thru line.  

 

Your goal is to do as little prep work as possible in the moment. It’s all about the prep work beforehand (which we will cover in step #3!)

 

Create a healthy plate

 

Ok, you looked at your week and have an idea of what you need to plan based on your schedule. But, what do you eat?! We have to eat multiple times per day and well, it’s probably good to know what to eat to help you lose the weight and be healthy.

 

My favorite nutrition guide comes from Precision Nutrition. It’s a simple guide that you can use whenever you’re planning meals. In fact, I recommend heading over and reading their post about it now.  

 

The general guideline is that you use your hand for all of your portion sizes. Genius, isn’t it? My hand is likely a little different size than yours which means I will need a little different nutrition. Can you imagine how much food Michael Jordan eats daily?!

 

The guide is this simple, for every meal you eat, you want:

 

1 palm-sized protein serving

1 fist-sized veggie serving

1 hand-cupped carb serving

1 thumb-sized fat serving

 

Yep, it’s that simple. Build your plate around that nutrition guide, and you’ll be able to mix and match and eat the things you still love! Just stick with the portion sizes and you’re good to go! In fact, here’s an example for you if you need an idea to get started.

1 palm protein (Salmon)

1 fist veggies (broccoli)

1 cup carbs (rice + strawberries)

1 thumb fat (olive oil)

 

Prep, prep, prep

 

Ah, prep. It’s my absolute essential item when it comes to planning your meals and sticking to them.

 

Take 20-30 minutes after your grocery trip to unload, wash, chop, and store all food into ready to cook, ready to eat, and ready to go containers.

 

It’s that simple. Grab every bit of tupperware you own and start sorting. I personally enjoy cooking my food the night of, so I always prep my food all the way until cooking. Then, when I’m ready, I throw it in the oven or on the stove.


 

There you have it. The 3 essential steps to meal planning for weight loss. You first must have a plan, then set up your plate according the the calorie control guide, and then get it all ready to go for the week!

 

Don’t forget to grab your guide that gives you every step to follow to help you stay consistent with your goal.

 

 

 

Oh, and before I go, I of course must mention that movement is an important component of weight loss. When you’re ready, set a small goal for yourself to move more.

 

The key to weight loss is to start where you are. With nutrition. With exercise. Then, when you’re ready, build up. You will be able to be more consistent as you make realistic goals for yourself.

 

 

 

The Frugal Mom's Guide to Meal Planning on a Budget

In a recent survey I sent to my audience, one of the top complaints was that meal planning and healthy eating is just too darn expensive.

  • Do you think healthy eating is too expensive?

  • Does the cost of food hold you back from eating your best?

  • Are you not sure exactly how to budget for groceries or let alone stay in your budget?

You’re in the right place! I have spent years helping people learn to eat healthy no matter what their budget and, being on a tight budget personally, I follow it myself. But, I still feed my family a healthy, delicious dinner every night and don’t feel deprived of anything.

 

“Teach me your ways!”

 

I thought you would never ask! Come along frugal momma. I’m on a mission to help you save more at the grocery store this week. But, before we begin, grab your money saving checklist. It’s packed with the steps you must follow to save some serious cash at the grocery store.

Start by knowing your budget

If you don’t know how much you have to spend, it makes things extra difficult.

  • First, find out how much you can spend. Add up all your expenses and then you’ll have a number to work with.

  • Find how how much you already spend.

  • Compare your budget with the USDA’s food cost plans for your demographics. See if you can stick to the thrifty plan!

  • And lastly, determine a budget. Ask yourself:

Are you eating out a lot?

Are leftovers going to waste?

Could you include a few more meatless meals in the week's menu and stay under budget?

 

It may take a little practice to adjust your budget as you figure things out, but keep sticking to your budget. You’ll discover many creative ways to save money!

Did you grab your checklist yet? If not, here it is again. It’s filled with more information than I can pack into this blog post.

Plan meals around sales

This is my #1 tip for saving money. If grapes aren’t on sale, find another fruit that is. Yes, I’ve had to say no to some things I love, but I know they ALWAYS go back on sale soon! Sales at the grocery store rotate, so if it’s not on sale now, it will likely be in the next few weeks.

  • Spend 5-10 minutes looking over your local grocery store ad

  • Plan your meals around the food that is on sale

  • Batch ingredients (use the same ingredients for more than 1 meal during the week)

  • Try to avoid buying food at full price

 

Have a price list

Get a little notebook specific to your grocery shopping and when you get a good deal on something, write it down. Next time you’ll be able to reference when you’re wondering if it’s on a good enough sale. You can also compare common prices for food in your area. Just look for food price lists specific to your state. Chances are, someone has already created a food price list for you!

  • Stock up when the price of an item you use regularly reaches its lowest

 

Avoid the middle aisles

Truthfully, the middle section of the grocery store is primarily packed with snacks you probably don’t need. Chips, crackers, snack bags, etc… are they REALLY necessary? Maybe you have one snack you really love (my toddler can’t go a day without a ritz cracker), but for the most part, you can avoid these. They tend to rack up your grocery bill without giving you any nutrition. See if you can cut back on these items the next time you go shopping.

  • Stick to the perimeter of the store for fresh fruits and veggies to eat as snacks

  • Find ways to make homemade snack bars and energy bites

  • Hit up the bulk bins for snack items as they tend to be cheaper.

 

There you have it. Some great places to save some serious dollars at the grocery store. Because I don’t know about you, but I’d love to some extra cash in my pocket at the end of the week.

If you want some more tips for saving money at the grocery store, grab the checklist! I’m excited for you and know healthy eating is completely within reach for you!

 


How to get dinner on the table when life is busy

5 Ingredient, 15 Minute Dinners

Do you feel like you’re always running around trying to accomplish that forever long to-do list that somehow keeps growing every day? Or do you spend your days dropping off and picking up kids from every which direction?

I hear you! We are busier now than ever. There are so many great opportunities in the world. So many things to learn. So many skills to develop and improve. So many activities to be a part of and so so much more. And although I definitely believe in finding a balance of busy and calm in your life, I also recognize that sometimes life happens.

 

  • Sometimes you don’t have time plan ahead.
  • Sometimes you don’t have time to meal prep.
  • Sometimes you don’t have time to spend putting dinner together.

Sometimes you don’t even have time to breathe, or take a shower.  Heck, it’s 4 PM as I write this and I’m still in my jammies. Yep, life is busy.

 

But… you still want to feed your family a decent dinner.

 

You’re tired of eating out all the time and your wallet is hurting. Eating out is expensive and most of the time, doesn’t make you feel so great.

 

So, what is the solution when you’re too busy to even fathom thinking about dinner? Well, there are a couple options.

Plan ahead for a busy week

You chose to spend a couple hours at the beginning of the week planning for and prepping all your food because you knew it was a busy week. Now, all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge, toss it together, and throw it in the oven. Voila! That’s how it’s done.

But you have no idea where to even start with meal planning or prep? I understand. I was there several years ago. I’ve spent years perfecting the art of quick, easy, and budget friendly meal planning for families. If you want to learn how to do this for your family, click the button below to get you started with simple meal planning guides and templates to follow.

But, sometimes things don’t go as planned and you need another plan.

 

Have a good list of fast, easy recipes

No matter what your recipe collection looks like, it’s important for you to have some go-to, fast and easy recipes for when life gets in the way. I know it’s hard to spend the time scouring the internet to find easy meals. Heck, you don’t even have time to cook, where will you find the time to spend hours deciphering what recipes are actually fast and easy? I’ve got you covered!

All of the recipes are out there, they just take some time to find. So, let me do the work! I’ve spent the time gathering the best ones. The recipes that are for families. Recipes you AND your kids will like. Recipes with not a ton of ingredients and will take only 15 minutes of your time.

 

Do I have your attention now?

 

In fact, the number one request I get from clients on a daily basis is for fast, easy meals to feed their families. So, I’m delivering! Grab your recipe book below and you can thank me later (wink wink). I hope you enjoy it!