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7 Tips to Start Meal Planning

Posted on July 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM by Lia Bahls, RD


If there is one goal we make with almost all of our patients, it is meal planning and prepping. Think about the number of times you have arrived home after a long day at work and the idea of preparing a meal is so overwhelming that you end up ordering out or snacking? Imagine if you had a meal ready to go in the fridge and your only task was to heat it up (if needed). That’s exactly the purpose of meal planning. Meal planning not only saves you money, but it can also prevent you from making unhealthy decisions, which can be a common occurrence when you’re tired and choosing to order food to go.


Follow the below seven tips for meal planning to stay on track with your weight loss goals:


  1. Food in plastic containers for meal prepPick a day in which you have around three hours for meal prepping. As you get more comfortable with the preparation, you may not need as much time.
  2. Pick 2-3 recipes that you want to prepare for the week. Focus on ones that use similar ingredients so you don’t end up with a fridge packed full of half used ingredients that will potentially go to waste.
  3. Have produce washed and chopped in the fridge as easy grabs such as bell peppers, celery, and onion.
  4. Prepare protein, such as some chicken breast or ground beef that you could quickly toss in a salad or pair with a side of veggies. Be aware that seafood does not last as long or as well as other proteins.
  5. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy quick grab snacks. Pre-portion nuts/seeds into little bags or containers and prepare containers of veggies, so they’re ready to go in the fridge. Snacks such as string cheese and beef or turkey jerky are great options for on the go.
  6. Make sure to have breakfast prepared in advance if you are someone that does not like to cook in the morning. This could be as easy as a couple boiled eggs and a string cheese. Consider options such as egg muffins and overnight oats. Make sure you choose a good source of protein to start your day off right.
  7. Make friends with leftovers. Leftovers make great lunches and save you the energy of having to cook multiple meals. You can also freeze extras and pull them out for another week when you get behind on meal planning and need something quick.


Over time you’ll get better and smarter about meal planning. Remember, the best chance for success is a plan. Consider the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.  For more information about weight loss management, nutrition tips, or to schedule a consultation, visit our website at or call us at 515-327-2000.

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