Bariatric meal planning means asking, “what am I going to eat?” only once for the whole week instead of every day. Whether you choose to meal prep too is a personal decision, but at least have a meal PLAN!
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Bariatric meal planning can take several different forms. The only “wrong way” to meal plan…
…is NOT to meal plan at all!
What does meal planning mean to you?
Time for a little self-assessment: Do you want to plan for all meals? One Meal? One day at a time? One week at a time?
No need to do a full 180 degree turn in a week. It’s overwhelming to go from no meal planning at all to full out cooking every morsel you’ll eat for the entire week.
If you run out the door without breakfast and find yourself in the fast-food lane every morning, then start with breakfast.
If you’re eating out every night because you’re too tired to cook at the end of the day, then start with dinner.
If you’re grabbing processed packaged high carb snack foods throughout the day to curb hunger, then start with snacks.
Time for more self-assessment. The next step is to decide what your “boredom factor” is:
You need the answers to these questions before you can start meal planning.
Maybe you’re planning for breakfast AND lunch. Assess both. You may have different answers for each meal. For example, you may be perfectly fine eating the same breakfast every day, but you may get bored with the same daily lunch. So plan one breakfast to eat for the whole week and two lunches to alternate between.
Once you decide on your meal planning approach, the fun part begins…
Bariatric Meal Ideas:
Where to Find Recipes:
Commit your plan to paper.
Studies show that goal setters achieve their goals. Planning what to eat is a goal! Committing your plan to paper is more powerful than just thinking it through in your head. It “ups” the level of intention and accountability.
Writing your meal plan down forces you to get clear on what you’re going to eat…
…and your grocery list practically makes itself as a result! Oh yeah…that’s an important point you don’t want to miss. In order to eat what you plan, you have to grocery shop!
You can’t eat what you don’t have! Make a list of all the groceries you need based on your meal plan.
Schedule a Day and Time
Schedule your meal planning and grocery shopping time on the calendar like they’re important appointments. Because they are.
If you’re planning to meal prep too, consider spreading out the planning, shopping, and cooking. Of course, it can all be done in one day, but that might be overwhelming.
Once you have a written menu plan and a corresponding grocery list, file it away manually or electronically. Don’t throw all your hard work in the trash! You can pull it out and use it some week in the future when you’re pressed for time. Or you can simply cycle through your meal plans once you have enough of them.