Weight Loss Success: Why you should make a MENU PLAN!

Menu planning...I know, you're cringing just thinking about it!  There are so many excuses and they all boil down to the fact that it's hard to find the time and energy to do it.  So we don't...BUT, having a plan and executing your plan is SO important to weight loss success and achieving your healthy living goals.  We think it's so important that we require it at least one week during every one of our challenges.  

So, why do we think menu planning is a good idea??  There are so many benefits to planning ahead...

  • Saves TIME:  You may not believe it, but Menu Planning actually SAVES you time in the long run.  There are no last minute ingredient-runs to the grocery store, desperate "easy dinner recipe" internet searches or precious minutes spent with your face in the fridge wondering what in the world you could possible throw together that your kids will actually eat.
  • Saves MONEY:  We all know that when you make that last minute run to the grocery store for ONE item, you ALWAYS end up with extra hunger-induced-impulse-buys that were not in the budget.
  • Less WASTE:  You remember all that broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and celery you purchase with good intentions, but ended up throwing out because you never got around to working it into a meal??  Yep, that's a lot of waste.  When you have a plan and stick to it, you only purchase perishables that are in the plan and therefore, throw out far less.  (This helps with the Saves Money point as well).
  • HEALTHIER meals:  When you take the time to plan a menu, your meals are more balanced and nutritious.  You don't have to resort to Hamburger Helper, Mac 'n Cheese or even McDonalds. When you are intentionally looking for places to add fruits and veggies, it's easier to get in the habit of having those as side dishes instead of breads or packaged products.  

Now you know the WHY...here's the HOW.  

  1. Print out a planning sheet:  You can use one of our Menu Planners.  The DAILY PLANNER is useful if you like to plan each specific day or the WEEKLY PLANNER can be used to make a list to choose from throughout the week.  This doesn't have to be anything fancy...you could even use a blank sheet of paper or create a MEMO on your phone.  You just need a place to write it all down.
  2. Check your calendar:  Look at your calendar for next week and decide how many meals you will need to plan.  Take into consideration the time constraints you'll face on particular nights.  For example, do your kids have dentist appointments right after school that will last until dinner time?  Is your school having "Wendy's night" on Wednesday?  Will you need some quick snacks to throw in the car for soccer practice?  Do you have a late meeting on Monday or plans to meet a friend for lunch on Friday?  These are all nights where you may not have to cook or where you'll need to put something in the crock pot before heading out in the morning.  You may also want to consult the weather.  You probably won't want to grill if rain is in the forecast all week long...and you won't want to eat hot chili if it's 100 degrees outside.
  3. Take stock of what you've got:  Check your pantry, fridge and freezer.  Is there food in there that needs to be eaten soon?  Be sure to plan meals to use those items.  
  4. Be realistic in your expectations:  Don't set out to reinvent the wheel.  There is no need to spend hours pouring over your Pinterest boards finding "new" or "healthy" recipes.  Keep it simple.  If you have a couple of easy meals that your family will eat on a regular basis...use them.  Even if they aren't the healthiest meals, you can still put them on your plan.  Just be sure to include a big green salad or a bowl of steamed broccoli or fresh fruit on the side.  Start small.  You can work your way into healthier meals over time.  Feel free to include "Leftovers" as a meal if your family is willing to eat leftovers or uses them as lunches.  If you make this too complicated, it will become overwhelming and either you will quit or your family will revolt.
  5. DO IT:  Make a list of meals for an entire week that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even sweets (can't forget those, right?).  I prefer to plan for the week instead of for specific days.  I like the flexibility of being able to pick a quicker meal on any night if I end up having "one of those days."  This is absolutely a personal preference.  If you've got a pretty set schedule and like to know exactly what you'll be eating on Thursday night, go for it.  Create a plan that works for you!  Once you know which meals you'll be making, gather the recipes and create a shopping list.  

All that's left to do now is...shop and cook.



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What We're Saying

October 18 2016


Transform your lifestyle by creating common-sense healthy habits. Earn points daily for making choices that ultimately improve your health.

Our 8-week challenges provide the friendly competition and accountability you need to make your weight loss journey fun AND effective

We provide the tools and training that you’ll need to succeed - no diet, no fads. Overall wellness is the NUMBER ONE goal at LWC.