Learning to meal plan is hard work. It’s a challenge, and what might work for me or someone else might not work for you.
Even though I might be over here preaching about meal planning, in reality, it might not work that great for you or your family. So, let’s break this down and talk about the pros and cons of meal planning.
Pros of Meal Planning
- You are more likely to stick with your weight loss goals.
- All the grocery shopping is done in one day, so you are prepped for the rest of the week.
- You don’t have to scramble for dinner (or breakfast or lunch) ideas.
- You always know what you will be cooking for dinner, taking out the “What’s for dinner?” question.
- You can save money since you won’t have to go to the grocery store each day (or every couple of days).
- Meal planning can save you time. Time spent driving to the store and shopping add up if you don’t go shopping all in one day.
Cons of Meal Planning
- You might not actually cook all the food you bought at the grocery store.
- You might not want to cook dinner after work.
- The recipes you thought would be great, could end up tasting terrible.
- It takes planning and discipline to meal plan, that you might not have.
- It means setting a schedule and plan and sticking as close to it as possible.
Other Meal Planning Questions:
This is a great question! You save money in 2 different ways while meal planning. You save money by planning out your meals ahead of time. By buying only what is on your list really helps to not purchase random items.
You also save money by not driving to the store more than once a week. Driving only once a week helps you stay within your budget and also saves you time.
Yes, it could. But I personally believe the benefits outweigh the cons. I have wasted food by not cooking it, but I usually am able to cook at least 2 meals during the week.
To help me not overcommit, I only try to cook 3 meals a week each night. Sometimes I feel like cooking more and sometimes I will cook less, but I do try to keep it consistent.
This can totally happen and that is OK! I constantly change the dinners planned for the week depending on how I’m feeling that day. But the main thing is that I at least have everything already at home to cook when you feel like it.
I think having a flexible plan each week is much more realistic to every day life.
While meal planning does have some challenges, it is extremely beneficial to weight loss. Being able to figure out your meals ahead of time, and only buying things on your list will help you from purchasing those last minute items – like donuts or a candy bar.
It also helps knowing that you have everything you need to cook a meal at home. If I go grocery shopping for the upcoming week on the weekend, I know that come Wednesday when I cook my Lightened Up Lasagna, I have everything already there.
I don’t have to stress about stopping at the store on the way home from work (that rarely happens for me). And I don’t have to worry that I don’t have something I need to make it. Sticking to my list ensures that I will have everything I need to cook my meal that night.
The biggest key to successful meal planning to me is ensuring that I cook everything I planned on cooking that week. I know that there will be days that I am just plain exhausted, but I might have to cook dinner that night. Knowing that I have everything I need at home really helps with my weight loss goals.