Jane and I were discussing what our lives were like growing up.  It’s so different these days not only for children, but for moms as well (and yes of course for the dads too).  Back then, it was more typical for moms to stay home (although ours both did work – funny enough Jane’s mom owned a bookstore and my mom was a reading specialist).

Forty or fifty years ago, moms were not checking their emails or social media before dinner.  There were also not nearly as many fast food options as there are now.  Today, it’s so easy to grab something out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and voila, a “meal” is ready. Today, we can call the local takeout place from our cell phones on the way home and it’s ready for pick up by the time we get there.  Easy right? However, the reality is that there is a trade off. We often wind up sacrificing health for convenience.

So, can you guess what one of the most important strategies is for shedding weight and keeping it off?  PLANNING.  Seriously, you need a plan.  And we’re not talking about a diet plan (that’s not what we’re about anyway).  What we ARE talking about is:

  • Planning ahead . . . yes, that means knowing what you are going to eat and when
  • Not allowing your fridge to get so empty that you are forced to eat “food” that is not only lacking in nutrients, but may contain harmful, metabolism-stalling ingredients27009694_m

Planning not only keeps you on track for your meals but ensures that you have healthy snacks to fuel you when needed. Here are 3 steps to get you started with planning your healthy regime:

  1. Pick one time every week to plan. Set aside 15-20 minutes once a week: write it on your calendar, or schedule it with a reminder on your cell phone.  Treat it as you would treat an important appointment . . . no canceling or putting it off!
  2. Write down what your dinners will be for the week.  Know ahead of time what recipes you will use.  Talk to family members to get their input.  Need more recipes?  Check out our recipe selection.
  3. Type up a shopping list of the food you usually get at the grocery store and print out several copies. Place one on the fridge.  Have household members get in the habit of circling items on the list as they start to get low or finish them.  This will help you avoid multiple trips to the store.  Also, take a look at the meals you are planning to make and add anything you need to your shopping list. HERE is a sample shopping list from one of our past programs to help you get started.

Bringing in the above strategies can make a world of a difference in your health, weight and energy. Incorporating a regular plan into your week is a must do for anyone who wants to consistently eat better.  Plus, it has the additional benefit of cutting down on stress that often comes with rushing and not knowing what to eat after an already busy day.

So tell us, what do you do to plan your healthy foods?  Write them in the comments below.