My Epic Meal Plan Failure
I know y’all have heard of meal planning. I thought I would give it a try in a effort to lose weight and get my eating under control. I figured it would make things flow a little easier around the house as well. I mean we would know what we were eating on which day. Sounds fabulous right?
Wrong! I sat down and wrote out meals for a full month. they sounded delicious and I was all set. That first week was a little tough but I figured we all needed to get used to the idea. By the second week I knew this was just not working for us.
The meals I was eating was leaving me so hungry that I was binge snacking. The rest of the family didn’t always want what we were having that particular night. I thought I had to be rigid in plan. We had to stick to the plan and it would work. By the end of the month I had actually gained weight rather than lost any and the family was not happy with me.
What’s a Gal to Do?
The next month I sat down and began writing and I swear I could see the family want to cry. So what did I do? I wrote out my list, sat down and had a good cry myself and then reevaluated. I mean the plan I tried was such an epic failure that it brought me to tears.
The first hurdle was that the family didn’t always want what I had planned for dinner. So, I figured why stick with the plan. I could use it as a guide for shopping. Which what I do now. I let the family decide from that plan what we will eat each week. they decide on Sundays and I mark those meals off the list.
Now the Bigger Hurdle
The biggest hurdle was me gaining weight when I was attempting to lose it. I knew that was hungry after each meal. So maybe it meant I was getting enough food. I also knew I needed to figure in snacks not to mention watching what the rest of the family eating all the foods I wanted left me bitter and angry.
I stopped meal planning for myself. I began to eat from the same menu as the rest of the family. I simply ate smaller portions and added in more snacks. I have a mid-morning snack now as well as two afternoon snacks. They both include a little protein and I always ask myself when I feel hungry if I want an apple. If the answer is no then maybe I’m bored more than hungry.
It’s a hit or miss some weeks. Most weeks it’s pretty good though. I’m not hungry and snacking all day long. I feel full so when dinner rolls around I can sit down and have a meal knowing I won’t over eat. It’s still a work in progress as I am still figuring out the snacks. I never planned snacks before. It used to be that I would just get a snack when I wanted one. Of course that is part of my weight problem.
I try to plan out snacks for the rest of the family as well. With the kids it’s important since we will be doing online learning this year and I want to be sure they have the brain power to study during the day as they need to. For the senior citizens I think it is important so I can be sure they are eating properly and getting all the nutrients they need.
What I Learned
I learned that meal planning for us isn’t a good idea. What we need is a lose plan to go by. One that we give us structure but allow us the freedom to make a different decision. Having the option makes me feel so much better about how I eat.
We tried having a meal plan and it didn’t end up going well.
Yeah, I just don’t get how they work so well for some people. It was like Mutiny on the Bounty at my house.
I like reading the meal plans from food bloggers and adjusting them for what works best for me and my family. Being too strict doesn’t work for us either.
I like to read their meal plans as well because it gives me new ideas for meals to try. Being strict was such a nightmare.
I try to meal plan and then end up following the plan for a few days and giving up. Our kids will also be doing online school this year so I really need to get better and definitely need to start planning healthy snacks.
Planning snacks for me has been the most difficult thing. I’m so glad so many other people have had issues with meal planning I thought it was just us! I have to say when I sat down to write out meals for the plan I realized we eat the same things all the time. However without the plan I’m much more likely to try a new dish.
Oh – I know the meal plan failure too! And the weight loss struggle! Feel your pain, sister!
For me, I’ve learned I can only “meal plan” for 3 days max. In real life, it means I have about 3 days’ worth of lunch and dinner meals ready to grab. I can mix up the order if I’m not feeling it one night – and I even meal plan in our meals out. Even if it means I cook 1 big meal the first day and plan on having the leftovers within the next 2 days – BOOM! Two meals “planned” just like that!
I do keep some pantry staples that can be a meal if we want to change – like black beans and rice.
For the weight loss side of things and not being starving, I found a veggie I love and then always add it as a side dish (even if it’s just for me). I LOVE broccoli – so I usually add it to any meal (even breakfast). It definitely helps fill me up with fiber and good-for-me stuff first.
Snacking is definitely OKAY and important – even on a weight loss journey. And some days, we are just hungrier than others – which is normal too! I try to keep good quality snacks around – fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. Popcorn (without butter) has fiber and can be a good snack. We like Hippeas – which are “chickpea cheetos” in our house… they’re like cheetos only made from chickpeas so they have protein = better snack choice!
Five years ago, I started my weight loss journey. I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off since then. My broccoli love certainly helps. And I’ve tried to “train” my husband that if we eat out a bigger meal, the next meal will usually be salad or cereal. I guess I just try to balance calories where I can but I definitely don’t track them. Portion control was the biggest change – so I usually put food on plates and then immediately put the rest in the fridge to stop us from eating too much.
It’s definitely different from family to family – so I hope you find the right groove for you and your family!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Portion control is something I have struggled a bit with. My mother likes to put things on smaller plates which means I end up getting seconds because I didn’t get enough. I use a larger plate and then anything left on my plate because part of my lunch the next day. When we eat out I bring home anything left and eat it the next day. I have found that helps me. Also if I know we are getting something indulgent I will drink a glass of water before and milk with the meal. Both of those fill me up so I eat less.
Meal plans are nive in theory but not so good in practice, I’ve found.
I have discover many people feel this way. It makes me feel so much better.
This sounds good and healthy to me looking good
Thank you Rochelle!
This looks delicious! I am gonna have to try it!
We don’t have a meal plan here (unless you count having half price steak every Thursday at our local restaurant)
Thank totally counts as a meal plan in my book!
Meal planning works well for some, but not everyone. If you are keeping healthy snacks on hand I see no problem having a snack when you need or want one. For the not so healthy treats portion control or in moderation helps. I fell off the wagon this summer as I had done so good with reducing sugar and dairy which helped me lose weight. The most important thing you can do is just take care your body and go with whatever method works for you.