Tag Archives: meal plan

Is Failing To Meal Plan The Cause Of Your Weight Gain?

Saving Time and Money

You might not realize it, but you waste a lot of time standing in front of your fridge each afternoon deciding what to make for dinner. Not to mention the money you wast running to the shop 4 to 5 times a week to pick up last minute ingredients. By planning your meals in advance, you save money long term.

Eliminating the Last Minute Stress

Everyone knows how stressful it is to make a last minute decision about a meal. If you have a meal plan, you can take care of things in advance and all that is left at the end of a long day are those last few things to cook.

Helping You Avoid Unhealthy Choices

How many times have you opted to stop at the fast food shop on the way home or buy a ready made meal instead of preparing a healthy meal? Probably more times than you care to admit. Meal planning eliminates the need to rely on this unhealthy last minute option.

WHAT TO DO NOW:

  • How many meals you need to plan for 

Take a few moments to think about what you have going on next week week. Taking a quick note of everyone’s plans will give you a rough idea of how many meals you’ll need to get through the week, and how much you can get from each recipe.

  • What you have time for 

If you have a crazy busy week coming up, make a mental note to be on the lookout for quick, slow cooker or make-ahead meals that can served up in a hurry. We’re big fans of the cook once, eat twice (or thrice) approach.

  • Your food mood 

Things like the weather, a change in seasons, and food cravings can impact what sounds good on any given day. Thinking about these things beforehand will make recipe selection process faster and meal times easier on everyone.

Now the fun part! Once you know how many meals you’ll need, it’s time to find some healthy recipes and fill in your calendar for the week.

  • Create a master recipe list

Having a list of go-to meals is one of the easiest ways to expedite the meal planning process. Consider trying one or two new recipes and use a few old favorites to fill in the gaps. Every time you find a new meal you love, add it to the rotation!

  • Find a few new dishes to try

Finding delicious, healthy recipes isn’t hard–you just need to know where to look. Health-conscious cookbooks and food magazines are great but the internet can literally provide millions of healthy recipes at your fingertips.

COLLECT & CALENDAR YOUR RECIPE

  1. Start a master recipe list. Digital versions (like a note on your smartphone) are handy, easy to update and usually within arm’s reach!
  2. Fill in your calendar. Pick some favorites from your master list and 1 or 2 new recipes to try.
  3. Write your grocery list. While doing that, jot down ingredients for each recipe. Then, take stock of what you already have on hand before heading to the store.
  4. Pick a time to shop. Once your shopping is done, you’re ready to tackle food prep.

Example Meals for Meal Prep

Here’s a few examples of tasty meals and snacks you can prepare in advance:

 Hot meals for reheating:

Blackened salmon with sweet potato and broccoli

Thai curry with brown rice

Chilli with brown rice

Turkey curry with brown rice

Fish curry with brown rice

Sweet Baked potato with tuna in brine, avocado & salad

Cold Meals:

Chicken salad (spinach, rocket, pine nut, satsuma

Mackerel salad (shredded lettuce, pine nuts, grapes)

Chicken and avocado salad with salt and pepper

Cold Snacks:

Rice cakes with Merdian almond butter and banana

Juice Plus Protein flapjack

Juice Plus Protein brownies

Juice Plus Protein carrot cupcakes

Any un-salted/roasted nuts

0% Total Greek yogurt with natural honey and berries

Raw avocado

 

Is a Calorie REALLY Just a Calorie?

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy. It’s equivalent to 4.184 absolute Joules.

We’ve all heard that “a calorie is a calorie,” and while there’s truth in this statement, it can lead us astray in our quest to build a great body.

You see, when we’re just talking about mere weight loss or gain, it doesn’t matter where these calories come from. So in this way, a calorie is a calorie. When it comes to PURE weight loss (not factoring in muscle vs. fat, body composition, overall health, physical performance, or energy levels), eating fewer calories than you burn every day will be the main part of the equation. Eat less than you burn: lose weight.

HOWEVER, we’re FAR more concerned with how you look, how you feel, if you are healthy, if you are getting stronger, if your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, and if you live a long life full of activity, exercise, sleeping well etc. You want to do everything in your power to avoid things like heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes – diseases that end your life too early.

When we’re talking about improving body composition (losing just body fat and not muscle, or maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat storage), you must not only follow the principles of energy balance, but you must do so with a proper balance of macronutrients.


A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, and fat. How you balance your intake of these macronutrients has profound effects on how your body responds to the foods you eat. For example, protein is the most important macronutrient to get right when you want to optimize your body composition. The research is clear.

A high-protein diet…

-Is vital for preserving lean mass when dieting for fat loss.

-Is vital for maximizing muscle growth when dieting for muscle gain.

-Is effective for reducing body fat levels, including abdominal fat in particular.

-Increases satiety, helping you avoid hunger pangs and cravings.

-A high-protein diet is even more important if you’re exercising regularly, as this further increases your body’s demand for amino acids.

Despite what you’ve been told, carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. They don’t make you fat or unhealthy. In fact, there are big benefits to keeping carbohydrate intake as high as possible, even when dieting for fat loss, including…

-Better workout performance.

-Improved retention of lean mass.

-Better thyroid function.

-More satiety.

-Better mood.

Trust me–low-carb dieting is NOT GOOD and is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of people looking to lose weight, and is downright detrimental to those trying to put on size.

What does the perfect ratio look like?

In my opinion, the amount of calories consumed and the ratio of what the macronutrients should differ from person to person depending upon their body, goals, and routine. A proper meal plan not only provides the proper amount of calories but breaks them down into the optimal amounts of macronutrients as well.

  

I’d love to hear your thoughts:

Have you had success with counting calories or calculating macros, or did it make you go crazy?
Which methods have you messed around with, and what are your goals? Are you trying to lose a few pounds, lose a lot of weight, get to a minimal body fat percentage, compete in an elite sport, etc.

Do you use any apps on your phone to record claories alone or do you include macronutrients? -Has this article made you reconsider? 

I’d love to hear from you – chloehthomas@gmail.com, or message me on facebook- click here