TIPS: Meal Planning

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

Doing your own cooking and eating at home is one of the best ways to help manage your food intake during your fitness journey. Here are some tips and tricks to help you out, whether you’re a rookie cook or an experienced chef.

Meal Plan your week: Use a calendar, a white board, paper, or a weekly planner notepad. Plan, at minimum, the one meal a day where you will have the hardest time maintaining your portion sizes. If it works better for you, plan out more meals, and snacks, if necessary.

Don’t overestimate your skill set or energy level. If you’re tired after the workday, don’t plan a 3-course meal or something very elaborate. You will be tempted to just say no and order out.

Don’t try out new recipes as you get used to meal planning. Use familiar flavours and methods while you adjust to the portion-size guidelines outlined above. Keep it simple.

Make a list from your meal plan and stick to it! There are a lot of really great shopping list apps out there to help with your planning. (https://www.bestproducts.com/eats/food/g1505/grocery-shopping-list-apps/)

Buy healthy snacks to have on hand. Spend some time portioning them out in advance so you don’t mindlessly overeat.

Prepare vegetables in advance to make the actual time spent cooking the meal that much faster. Consider purchasing special produce containers meant to extend the freshness of your produce so you will save on waste. (tupperware.ca)

You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. This is especially important when you eat out. Remember the hand-y portion estimates I gave you in the blog article. If you end up bringing half your meal home as leftovers, that is one less meal you have to prepare the next day.

Plan for leftovers. Cooking extra one day means easier meal prep another day. Plan using those leftovers into your weekly meal plan, either as lunch the next day or a quick-fix dinner..

Browse for recipes. Look at cooking magazines. There are some available for every skill and interest level. Google recipe websites. Use keywords like light, easy, quick, vegetarian, or family-friendly in your search. Search for recipes according to cuisine. Use recipe apps.

Precision Nutrition has a great infographic to help you navigate portion control and meal prep. Print out a copy and use it as a handy reference tool.

If you have your own tips, please feel free to comment below!