When starting a weight-loss regimen, meal planning can help keep you accountable and save time by helping you shop and prep more efficiently.
Weight watchers offers many ways to meal plan, but some key strategies include selecting leaner protein sources, including fruit and vegetables in each meal, as well as planning ahead.
Planning ahead can make mealtimes less stressful and help you stay on track with your weight watchers diet. It also makes it simpler to meet nutrition goals, reduce food waste and serve up variety.
You can do this in a variety of ways, from high-tech spreadsheets to old-school notebooks and paper. No matter which option you select, find a strategy that works for your family and implement it accordingly.
To begin, create a meal plan. This should include an organized list of all the meals and snacks you plan to eat throughout the week, taking into account your daily points allowance so as not to go over it too much.
Once you have your plan in place, you can use it to calculate the SmartPoints values of each meal and snack. You also have the opportunity to create a grocery list so that you purchase everything necessary for the week ahead.
According to your diet goals, you might want to incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits into your meals. They’re low in calories and fat while packed with fiber and vitamins. Plus, these filling foods help you feel satiated for longer periods of time – helping prevent overeating or weight gain.
Plan your meals by writing down some of your favorite dishes. This will enable you to see what ingredients you already have on hand and give you some ideas for what else can be made with them.
Next, you should decide which meals will be for breakfast and lunch. This is essential as you need to ensure your body gets enough nutrients in the morning and afternoon. Having snacks handy also provides energy throughout the day; having something on hand will keep you motivated!
You might also want to prepare some of your favorite recipes ahead of time and portion them out into containers, so that they’re easy to grab when the mood strikes. Doing this can save a lot of time on hectic days as well as money and stress.
Once you’ve created your meal plan, take some time to consider your budget and create a strategy for saving money on groceries. Doing this helps prevent unhealthy decisions that will derail your diet and make weight loss even harder.
Before you begin meal planning, take inventory of the foods already in your kitchen and pantry. Doing this can help you make informed decisions and minimize food waste.
Once you know what ingredients you need, you can begin planning your meals for the week. This could be done in various ways, including on paper or using technology; whatever option you opt for, make sure your list stays organized and accessible.
Tracking calories and SmartPoints consumed each day is an important component of any successful diet plan, but especially so for those on Weight Watchers. Tracking your calorie intake allows for healthier food decisions and decreases unhealthy ones.
According to Lara Field, RDN and owner of FEED Nutrition Consulting in Chicago, recording your food intake during the initial weeks can help you become more mindful about what you eat and prevent overeating or overspending on certain types of food. This helps make tracking easier and ensures you stick with a healthier eating regiment.
One way to be more mindful of your eating is by creating a grocery list for each shopping trip. Doing this ensures you only purchase ingredients necessary for the meals planned for the week ahead.
Be sure to note any items on sale this week so you can plan your meals around them and avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Doing this can save you money, time and energy during your next grocery shopping trip.
Some people opt to create meal plans based on coupons or sales flyers. This method can be a great way to save money while staying committed to your weight-loss goals.
Some may find this too restrictive and end up feeling deprived or giving in to temptation when craving something higher in points. Ultimately, the goal of any weight-loss journey should be to lose weight and stay healthy; the best way to achieve this is through eating a balanced diet that incorporates lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Keep a Grocery List
Maintaining a grocery list is an integral part of meal planning on weight watchers. Not only does it help you stay committed to your eating plan, but it can also save time and money in the process.
Once you’re ready to begin shopping, take a piece of paper or digital tablet and jot down all the items needed for the week. Remember that this list should be updated throughout the week as you remember using certain pantry staples or forget something essential.
Next, organize your list by the sections of the store you plan on visiting. Produce items should go on one side and meats, poultry, dry goods, canned foods and other specialty items should go in one corner. Doing this will prevent you from having to navigate multiple aisles while making your way through the store.
Once you’ve created a master grocery list, it’s time to sit down and create a weekly meal plan. You can do this in a bullet journal, but it is also easy to create on paper with all ingredients listed.
No matter if you use a paper list or an app, organizing your meal plans into an organized system makes them much easier to locate and review. Consider investing in a dry erase board or magnetic to-do list that can hang in your kitchen for added convenience; this way, all of the essential items will always be at hand when needed.
Finally, before you shop, take time to check for coupons and sales flyers for the items you need. Many stores provide coupons, 2 for 1 offers and discounts on a wide variety of products.
Saving money on food purchases allows for cost-effective meals that incorporate lower-priced ingredients. Plus, these lists can help plan out weight watchers meals so that you take advantage of sales and promotions whenever possible.
Make a Plan
Planning meals ahead of time not only saves time and money, but it helps you stay on track with your health goals and makes eating healthily much simpler. Plus, having a meal plan provides assurance that you’re getting enough protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
When trying to shed pounds, meal planning can help you stay on track and steer clear of unhealthy snacks or high-calorie treats. Studies have even indicated that people who plan their meals tend to eat healthier meals with fewer calories consumed at each meal.
Once you’ve made a list of your meal choices, it’s time to create either a weekly or monthly menu plan. You can use either a calendar, preprinted meal planner, or even an online tool like this one for assistance.
When planning meals for a crowd, you should take into account who will be eating, any dietary restrictions and how much prep time is available. Certain dishes – like eggs or hard-cooked chicken – require less cooking than others.
A typical meal plan will include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; however, you can customize it according to your individual preferences and dietary needs. For instance, you may prefer eating out more often than cooking at home.
Another essential step of planning is creating a grocery list. Doing this can save time and money if the ingredients needed for each meal are included, plus it helps prevent mystery junk-food items from ending up in your kitchen. A comprehensive grocery list also eliminates the temptation of impulse buying for unhealthy items.
Next, decide how many Points you’ll allocate to each meal based on your weight, height, and activity level.
Once you know how many Points to allocate, it’s time to create your meal plan. If following Weight Watchers, this will be a points-based system that assigns values to certain foods based on their calorie and fat content.
Once you determine how many fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products to include in your diet plan, it’s wise to consult a weight loss counselor about both your goals and individual food preferences.