When you switch from tracking and managing everything you eat, to being a more intuitive eater, the topic of meal planning and preparing might come up. The good news is that just because you are listening to your body more and focusing on your needs, doesn’t mean you can’t also plan ahead!
Plan Your Meals, Don’t Control Them
The key here is to focus on planning ideas for meals in the upcoming week, but not controlling them too much. What’s the difference?
If you are dieting or trying to control your food, your meal plan consists only of foods that fit within that diet. When you are being intuitive, it includes a wide range of foods. This might be a subtle difference between getting egg whites and full eggs, adding a few convenience snacks instead of just yogurt and fruit, or allowing yourself to add items not on your list because they look good.
Make a List of Foods That Sound Good
As you would with any other week of meal planning, just start with a list of foods or meals that sound good to you. This can be foods you eat every week, something new, or just something you haven’t had in a while. Maybe you were watching TV and saw someone eating a bagel, so that sounds really good, or this week you are in the mood to make your favorite chicken casserole.
You don’t necessarily need to get everything on your list, but just start with the types of foods that sound good right now.
Use Foods You Have to Create Your Meal Plan
Go through your refrigerator and cabinets to see what ingredients you already have that could work with meals. This is going to save you money and help give you some inspiration. So many times, you find a random ingredient you forgot you had, like apricot jam, and suddenly realize a recipe you can make with it that also sounds good.
Allow Your Cravings to Guide You
Sometimes, you just have a new craving, and that will help with your meal plan. Remember you are being intuitive, not overly indulgent or binging on anything and everything. You might not get every single thing you have a craving for, but it can guide you towards meals and snacks that will work good for the coming week.