How planning meals can help you lose weight

meal planning helps you lose weight

How planning meals can help you lose weight

Let’s talk about how meal planning can make a really big difference, if you’re trying to lose weight. Yes I know planning is a snooze-fest, but it really can help you, whatever your health goals.

You can watch the video I made about how meal planning can help you lose weight below. Or you can keep scrolling if you prefer to read.

If you’re trying to feel in control of your eating and eat better then this is one of my best tips. Take some time each week to plan your meals. When I work one-to-one with clients I would say it’s probably one of the most common tweaks that we focus on when we’re setting their action plan. Most of my clients focus on planning their evening meals each week. Some plan their breakfast and some plan their lunch. Some will even plan all of their meals – being flexible within that plan, of course!

What happens when you don’t plan meals…

I see over and over again, when you don’t plan your meals at all, you’re more likely to make unhelpful eating choices. It’s more stressful when you’re busy, you make rushed decisions. You’re more likely to snack between meals or have cravings, because you’re not getting a balanced diet. Also you’re more likely to turn to takeaways and convenience foods. Then you’re more likely to spend more money as well when you don’t plan what you’re eating in advance.

Here’s how meal planning can help you lose weight

1. Meal planning helps you eat a healthy balanced diet

When you plan your meals, you’re more likely to eat well balanced meals. When you think in advance about what you’re going to eat, you’re more likely to make sure meals have a variety of different food groups. You’re more likely to consider whether you’re going to be busy, so you can plan to batch cook meals in advance or plan quicker meals for busier days. Then you can write a shopping list to make sure you get all the food you need so you’re ready to make all those meals.

When you eat well balanced meals you give your body the nutrients that it needs, to nourish and satisfy your body. That makes you feel well, so then you’re more likely to do more of the things that help you feel well. Things like exercising regularly and sleeping better. You’re also less likely to overeat when you feel good.

Find out how to make it easier to eat a healthy balanced diet with my free guide you can download here.

2. Meal planning helps you eat the right amount

Planning well balanced meals to nourish your body, means you’re more likely to eat the right amount for you. This is really important if you’re trying to lose weight and feel in control of your eating. When you give your body all the nutrients it needs, you’re less likely to have cravings. You’re less likely to feel peckish and end up picking and snacking between meals.

When you feel satisfied and well nourished, food isn’t on your mind all the time. Then you’re not obsessing over what you can and can’t eat, and you can get on with your day. You can LIVE your life, without constantly thinking about your next meal. When you stop having cravings for food you can break free from that guilt-binge cycle too! Coz when you crave foods it’s usually the foods you think are ‘bad’ or ‘banned’. You tell yourself you shouldn’t be eating them, so then you feel guilty when you do eat them. That leads to overeating. Coz when you feel guilty about what you’ve eaten you think you might as well eat more to try to feel better or coz you’ve ‘blown it!’

3. Meal planning reduces the stress around food

When you plan your meals, eating well is less stressful. When you have a plan, you don’t have to make that decision in the moment. You know what it’s like – you suddenly realise it’s dinner-time or tea-time and you have to figure out what to eat – argh! Even if you’re busy you can still eat well, because you’ve already picked what you’re going to have. Or you’ve prepared something in advance or planned a meal you can make quickly. There’s no last minute panic or arguments with the family about what to have, because it’s already planned. (OK there’s never any guarantee you’ll have no more arguments with the family about what to eat – sorry!)

Also it’s easier to follow a budget, when you plan in advance and stick to going shopping once a week. You buy what you need for the whole week in one go. So you spend less money, because you’re not constantly popping into the shops to pick up something for dinner, then grabbing little extras each time. When you plan meals and cook from scratch more often, you spend less money, because you buy takeaways and convenience foods less often. Home-cooking means you have less added sugar, salt and fat, so it’s healthier, but it often works out cheaper too.

So meal planning helps you feel less stressed about food and spend less on food. As well as helping you to eat better and lose weight – if that’s your goal. So have a go, all you need to do is spend 10 minutes each week. Even if it’s only to plan your main meal each day, see what difference it makes to you. Try my Anti-dieting Meal Planner to help you with this, which you can download for free here.

Remember your meal plan doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can be flexible within that plan and swap meals around depending on what you fancy!

Ditch dieting forever, because you absolutely deserve better.

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My Weekly Round-up! AKA; what I’ve been up to recently…

  • Tea of the week has been Ceylon loose leaf. I have a tin of it and although it’s been hanging around for ages, it still tastes pretty good. The tin is really pretty too, all purple and gold with elephants on it.
  • I’m still going on my post-school-run walks along the brook most mornings. Also doing pretty well at keeping up my little exercise routine on at least 3 days each week – well done me!
  • Our little family challenge ’22 Hills In 2022′ is complete – woohoo! At the weekend we walked up hill 22, which was a sweet little hill called Wart Hill. It actually ended up being quite a short walk as we took the sign-post of the ‘short-cut’. There seemed to be at least a couple of other routes up and around the hill and we all agreed we’d like to go back and explore it some time.
  • This week I also finished book number 21 for my reading challenge ’22 New Books In 2022′. Book number 21 was ‘The Silk House’ by Kayte Nunn. Although there were some really sad bits, I really enjoyed it and I’m planning to look out for some of her other books.
  • At the weekend I was excited to discover some amazing vegan lemon cheesecakes (yep I’m vegan, but only for the animals! My clients don’t have to go vegan in case you’re wondering!). They were so good and came in little glass tubs you can keep (I’m sure you can guess the company – ha!). I’m planning to grab a couple of those lids you can buy so we can use them as spice jars… but I might need some other ideas for them as I’m sure we’ll end up buying them again they were so yummy!
  • Bird Nerd Report: Last week I saw a kingfisher flying past me 5 times! And I’ve seen a few this week in different places along the brook too. It’s been a good week for seeing birds. I’ve seen a pair of jays in the same area twice. Plus I keep seeing goldcrests and I even saw a woodpecker for the first time in ages too!

Do you know someone who needs to read my blog? Please share it and spread the anti-dieting message!