Many people still hold on to the belief that weight loss comes in the form of a magic pill, potion, shake, wrap, or restrictive fad diet. For some reason we still feel there is a secret code to weight loss and other people (companies) hold the key to that code.
What if I told you losing weight is 100% in your control? What if I said that you can create the healthy lifestyle you want and need without the help or advice from the diet industry? What if I told you the secret code to losing weight is within your hands? Literally.
The “not so secret” strategy that has made a huge impact in my weight loss efforts is meal planning. Meal planning? Yes! Many people use meal planning as a tool to save money and time. And while these two reasons are valid and true I also discovered that meal planning plays a fundamental role in losing weight. Taking the time to sit down and plan out my meals and snacks for the week resulted in me becoming more intentional with the foods I ate and actually eating less.
Meal planning provides a weekly food road map.
This road map offers structure to meals and eliminates the stress of trying to figure out what to eat everyday. Having this structure is so important when trying to change your eating habits. Without structure it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused, especially when life gets busy. We all know what happens when we feel stressed, overwhelmed, and don’t know what to eat for dinner. You got it…take out! A meal plan is put in place to reduce stress, keep you focused, and lessen the probability of the pizza guy showing up at your door every night.
However, meal planning does not come without some stress. Believe it or not meal planning, as great as it is, is one of my least favorite things to do. It is a very simple concept but can get complicated fast. In the past, I would spend hours every weekend researching recipes, putting together my meal plan, writing my grocery list, and then shopping for all the food. Then I would get home and spend another couple hours prepping food for the week. It was exhausting and I became less and less inspired to do it. This can be a problem. If something starts to become too much of a hassle then it won’t be a priority. If it’s not a priority then you won’t do it. If you don’t do it then you go back to old ways. If you go back to old ways…well… then… you get my point.
Enter Plan to Eat.
I know you are already aware that Plan to Eat is wonderful for organizing recipes, creating weekly meals plans, and putting together grocery lists. However, it is so much more than that.
I use Plan to Eat to create weekly weight loss meal plans. Did you know you could do that? If not, you do now. Yay!! When I discovered this little trick of the trade I felt like I discovered electricity! I felt so liberated.
When editing a recipe, Plan to Eat offers the option to input the nutritional information. There is also a spot called “generic score” where you can add things like Weight Watchers Points if you choose.
Then you can set the meal planner to show any of this nutritional information.
After that all you have to do is drag and drop. As your recipes are added to the meal planner the nutritional information will become visible and the total for the day will be at the bottom. Once all of your meals and snacks are entered into your planner you can to see your entire week at a glance. Plan to Eat also has a help article that explains more about viewing nutritional data on the meal planner.
This feature has completely revolutionized the way I put together my weight loss meal plans. Now I don’t spend hours typing out my meal plans and grocery lists. Instead I am doing other things like exercising, spending time with my family, or just relaxing.