The Importance Of Meal Planning

My wife has flown back to BC this week for her best friend’s wedding, and has left me all alone. She was incredibly concerned with making sure I don’t starve this week, and asked me a few times whether or not I wanted her to make a few things or meal plan for me. I love her for her obvious care for me, but in the moment I thought it was hilarious. I kept thinking, “She does know that I am a cook, right? I’m pretty sure I will be fine!”

However I have to say, she does have quite an impact on me and my life, especially when it comes to losing weight. She is a planner and a very organized person. One of the things she does is meal plan every week and write it up on a whiteboard on the fridge. This way, I know exactly what we are having every day for dinner, and it helps me plan my calories accordingly.

I bet she is going to be quite happy to know that I have continued on meal planning without her. After I dropped her off at the airport, I went on a quick shopping trip, and when I arrived home, came up with a list of dinners. Her natural ability to plan has really improved my life and I feel like it’s something that I don’t ever want to do without.

Now that’s not to say that everything is set in stone. There’s definitely times when the plan changes and we have something completely different or perhaps we go out on a certain night. But in general, I find that it pays to stick to a meal plan. I also find that planning out what I am going to eat tends to cut down on unplanned snacking, because I already know how much room is left in my calorie budget for the rest of the day.

The process certainly doesn’t have to be difficult. Grab a piece of paper, take a quick look in your cupboards and fridge/freezer, and see what ideas pop into your head! Write them down and plan accordingly.

When I use my calorie tracking app, Lose It!, I can easily select meals from the past that I have already logged, so it makes it even easier. All I have to do is exactly what I described above with one small extra step. Look at what food I have, decide what I would like to make, and then add it into my log for the week. The entire process from deciding what I wanted to having all my data entered only took about 10 minutes, and most of that was the deciding process.

It helps me so much to know what my dinner is, because usually it’s the largest meal of my day. Likewise, if I am planning on having a large lunch or something special at work because it’s something I absolutely love, then I can plan on having a lighter dinner. The whole process of planning my meals (or more usually, my wife planning our dinners) is one of the main things that has given me consistent success in losing weight.

As a bit of a bonus, especially this week, when I arrive home after work close to 8pm, I don’t even need to think about what I want to make. It’s already been done. All I have to do is a little bit of quick cooking and then I’m ready for dinner!

I’m usually a much more spontaneous person, and have never really planned meals, especially when I lived alone. I knew that her planning has really helped me in losing weight and changing how I eat, but when I got home and suddenly decided to meal plan on my own, I realized that my wife has had more of an impact on me than I thought.

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