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How to start meal planning for a beginner?



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WRITERDEMAN
WRITERDEMAN's Photo Posts: 18
1/7/14 11:07 P

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Thanks for sharing this. I've done Nutrisystem before and was very successful at it because it was so easy. Only trouble was I got tired of the foods. Your plan is a great alternative and you could switch to home cooked food when that happens. I appreciate your putting your idea out there for the rest of us! emoticon

Have an excellent day,

Jeanne


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DIAMONDLOVR
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7/10/13 8:22 P

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How many calories a day is this? Thanks! It sounds like it could work for me!



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AGBOGER
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2/6/13 12:20 A

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Hey guys,

I thought I'd share what I'm doing, because it's been SO easy to follow, SO tasty, and I fit right into my goals on all nutrients on the food tracker (never ever over and never under - it's PERFECT!)

Breakfast - 1 cup Raisin Bran with 1/2 cup 1% milk
Snack - SlimFast shake
Lunch - Lean Cuisine frozen meal
Snack - Fiber One chewy bar
Dinner - Lean Cuisine frozen meal
2nd Dinner (yup I eat every 2-3 hours) - Lean cuisine frozen meal and half a bag of SteamFresh mixed veggies (broccoli, carrots, peas and water chestnuts I think it is).

It works out to perfect calories, carbs, protein, fat, and even sodium. I know people think the sodium on Lean Cuisine looks horrendously high, but even with 4 of their meals per day, I do not even reach the top of my recommended daily intake.

The food is so easy, and SOOOO tasty! It's working perfectly for me. :)

Good luck everyone!

Edited by: AGBOGER at: 2/6/2013 (10:29)

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BINOJAI
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1/31/13 1:23 A

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Thank you for the suggestion it should help alot!

“Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it.”



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TEDDIANGEL
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1/31/13 12:26 A

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First off, if you have any medical problems, follow your doctor's advice.
You can divide your plate (using a salad plate instead of a large dinner plate) into 3 section. The large one (half the plate) can be fruits and veggies, 1/4th each for meat/fish and carbs.
Check out the Mediteranean diet--it's suppose to be one of the most nutritious.
Work out at a gym, ride a bike, take long walks, etc. Dancing is also good exercise.
Keep a positive attitude and have patience with yourself.



REGNUR617
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1/31/13 12:07 A

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You have shared a lot of good ideas, thanks. I found myself eating way more than 1 serving of cheezits recently. I bought a 2.5 serving bag (rather than a candy bar or chips) at the dollar store, thinking I could control myself, but NO I can't. Dividing out servings immediately and only taking to lunch seems like a great idea! thanks.

regnur617


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SENIORSWIMMER
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10/9/12 5:47 P

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I tinkered with the meal planner this afternoon for the first time. I was really happy to see that you can get a subsitute foods list to pop up, and you can change the menu Spark (Chef Meg?) has written. I doubt I will ever eat fried tofu. (tomorrow's lunch menu) emoticon
I was also happy to see hot meals listed in the substitute list. With this weather change I am NOT interested in eating a salad. I am freezing, and I want hot food. I do love salads, but they won't be on my menu until I have adapted to the weather change.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.


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KAICOR10
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9/24/12 10:55 A

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These are all great tips that Ive been looking for to start meal planning. thanks so much, cant wait to get started!



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AMAKITA
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9/24/12 9:43 A

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Great tips on meal planning! This is the next phase of my journey that i've set aside time today to ensure that i plan my week's meals properly and engage in effective grocery shopping.



KDSTAP
KDSTAP's Photo Posts: 661
6/1/12 10:45 A

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got a few new ideas. Thanks for sharing, everyong!

It's the job that's never started takes longest to finish.
J. R. R. Tolkien


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ARMINO41
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3/6/12 1:02 A

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I like all the different opinions and advice which I found in here.

so far I lost about 6 Kgs by just lowering the amount I ate and playing some squash. however, next month I will be moving to work on a project in a remote area, where all my food will be provided by the company :(

I f someone has any advice on how to lose weight in such cases, I will be really grateful!

Thank you all for all the support :)



FAITHY-
FAITHY-'s Photo Posts: 7
2/22/12 4:41 P

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lots of good advice here, I read some but not all.

But I'll add my 2 cents in......

Get a good digital kitchen scale, given you have given your weight in kg, that's awesome because metric is easier and I feel more accurate than the the US ounces.

Weigh out all your food. 1 cup of this or that will vary depending on if it's packed or not and also the size of the food in the measuring cup. But you can't argue with say 100 gram serving of choice. A 100 gram serving is still going to be 100 grams no matter how you dice it or what size cup you put it into. So weighing your food out is extremely important to know what the serving size is that your getting goes with the calories your accounting for. Otherwise you might be going way over or even under!

If necessary create your own "foods" for your diary by entering the info from the nutrition label into the food tracker program here. That way you know what serving your getting by entering it as a weight for a serving size rather than an volume amount. So you might account 20 grams of a serving of something, but say you have 30 grams or just 10 grams, that way the program here can account for those changes. Oh and things like ketchup and peanut butter is a lot easier to measure by weight and not volume. Especially if you zero out your scale by adding your plate and part of your food and weighing out the new addition of food.

Good Luck!

Edited by: FAITHY- at: 2/22/2012 (16:45)

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PLYNSN316
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2/22/12 4:34 P

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I LOVE menu planning!

My suggestions if you're just starting out - make a list of all the foods you really enjoy. Then, do some research to try to find healthier versions so you can fit them in your meal plans. For example, if you enjoy meatloaf and know that no meal plan would be complete without it - check the sparkpeople recipes and find one that fits in your calorie range. Or, use lower fat ingredients (turkey instead of beef), and add healthy filler (grated carrots/zucchini). If you enjoy eggs - try egg whites. Love that fried chicken? Try oven "fried".

After you've made a list of meals you enjoy, and tweaked them to get the maximum health benefit, identify a list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that you a) enjoy; and b) find do-able (i.e. easy).

One of the easiest things for me with regards to lunch is making a yummy dinner that can easily serve as lunch the next day! That way, after I have dinner and I'm cleaning up the kitchen, I can pack away 1-2 days of lunches and they're ready to go before I'm even ready for bed.

I have created a spreadsheet with the days and meals listed, and the formulas for the calories (http://www.mediafire.com/?h8efy2e8n1a7z7e), and I plan out my B, L, D, and snacks. If I really want something - like beef stew - for dinner and I know it's going to be a certain # of calories, it makes it easier for me to plan my other meals, knowing how many calories I have left.

Once I've created my weekly meal plan, I make a grocery list. This means one big shopping day, and maybe a short stop to pick up some fresh veggies/fish. To save money, I try to create menus for items I can either buy in bulk, or that I have on hand.

Name: Jenn
Location: Portland, OR

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious


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GJIDEOFOR
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2/8/12 6:14 P

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emoticonOops forgot to tell you how to make it!

spread peanut butter on half of tortilla, place bannana in center, sprinkle grapenuts + or - honey drizzle. roll up like a burrito.
can be warmed. Tuck the ends in if you add honey or you WILL be sticky!
enjoy

g in MN



GJIDEOFOR
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2/8/12 6:12 P

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Here's a favorite of my kids,we use it for breakfast or snak and even lunch on week ends:

1sm fat free tortilla (90 cal)
1/2 bannana ( if you leave the skin on and cut in half, then after you peel it cut lenthwise)[50cal]
1 teaspoon peanut butter (90 cal)

sprinkle with grape-nuts (less than a teaspoon!)
________________________
less than 300 cal and it has protien, sweet and crunch, fills you up and if you like drizzle with a thin line of honey.
Warm it in the microwave in the winter its a warm bannana cream desert!!!

Gotta go, now i want oneemoticon



SADDYSPOT
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2/6/12 4:23 P

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Here's what I do:

Breakfast. I have a couple of options for breakfast that I do every day--a fiber one chewey bar, a banana, a hardboiled egg. I don't eat until I get to work or I'd be late, so it has to be ready to go. Sometimes I'll buy cereal and have it prebagged to eat dry--I admit, I like dry cereal.

Lunch: I pack my lunch, so Ihave to have everything ready and fast to pack. Typically, I have something prepared on Sunday night to just grab one of everything and throw it in the bag. My favorite is pasta with tomato sauce and meat. I change the types of pasta (alway whole wheat or vegetable pasta), I change the types of sauce, and I change the types of meat. Sometimes, I'll grill chicken and package it with rice or vegetables. I like to cook a pound of meat (my husband and me eat off the lunches made on Sunday night) and come up with 2 different meals to make with it so I can have more variety during the week, but honestly I'm not opposed to having the same thing every day for 4 days. Then I go out for lunch on Friday. I know what I am going to order before I go, which limits temptation. With my main course, I have an apple, a yogurt, and banana for my afternoon snack. Usually there will be a small portion of something else, like cheez its. I am a firm believer in 'all things in moderation.' If we buy cheez its, we preportion the entire box from the start. And we only take them in our lunches, they are not an at home snack.

By eating the same thing or variations of the same thing every day, I save a lot of time tracking my food because I can just copy a meal, delete what changed and add what's new.

For dinner, I start by looking at my tracker and seeing how many calories I have left. If it's low, I'll just have a healthy choice meal, or a can of soup with a small salad, or a sandwich, or a baked potato with salsa. If I have more, I'll actually cook a meal, like a low-ish cal version of chicken cordan blue (spelled poorly), or chicken marsala. I like to mix it up by searching recipies for new ones that have decent calorie counts and ingredients I like.

For an evening snack, if I'm still hungry I'll have an orange or some popcorn.

Sounds complicated, but it's not really. For me the key is pre-portioning food so I don't lose control, and having a few go to meals that I know will always work that I have the stuff for in my pantry or fridge already.--And #1: Always track your food. Every bite counts. And remember that if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself, because no one else cares what you put in your tracker.

Kari

In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die, and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.--Eleanor Roosevelt




GOODONME
GOODONME's Photo Posts: 46
2/6/12 10:38 A

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You go girl!


Keeping on Keeping on!!


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KUPERCAYA
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2/5/12 7:43 P

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Thank you, these are great ideas!



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BELLALUCIA
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2/5/12 5:14 P

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Use Sparkpeople menu or follow a doctor approved meal plan!

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Veni, Vidi, Vici---Julius Caesar


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VALERIA928
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2/5/12 3:35 P

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Hello ADREAMA:

I really enjoyed reading your entry. I will start including this plan into my new life-style change. I refuse to call it a diet, because I have always failed at my past diet attempts.
I started at 220 lbs. and it took 3 months to lose 10 pounds, but this past month I've lost 8.4 pounds - I'm down to 201.6 lbs. (looking forward to going under 200). I've implemented the oatmeal or omelette in the mornings and I am having apples with peanut butter for snacks and having as much water as possible (at least 64 ounces) but I count coffee and tea as water!

Although I have not started to exercise yet due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, I am planning to start the stationary bike this week, since the lower back and knee pain is not so bad anymore. I've been walking for as long as my body allows and I do at least the stretching every morning to make sure I can get out of bed and stay active.

Thanks ADREAMA...I will start carrying around a notebook and make an effort at logging as much as I can. I have only lost 1/2 pound each of the last two weeks, I hope to have better results in the next month (February).

Best of luck to everyone!

Val

emoticonemoticonemoticon

Val


JANERIDGWAY
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2/5/12 2:43 P

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Good idea to eat like a diabetic - thank you.



MAHAFF
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2/5/12 2:22 P

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I am now 79. I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic in 2004 and for 6 years have had my diet under control and at a normal blood glucose reading. YOU CAN DO IT TO! I would advise that a first-time diabetic attend clinic sessions, if available, and if not available, talk with a dietitian. Sparkpeople is a wonderful tool to help. Don't feel cheated. Feel empowered!
I got a nice big binder to keep all my diabetes information in and typed a big sign for the front of the binder that read "Diabetes". I kept it flat on the kitchen counter. That kept my focus. You can find everything you need to know on-line -- under headings: Basic Facts; Blood Pressure; Carbs and Fiber, which includes subheadings, Carbohydrate Counting, info on fibers, info on sugars and sweeteners, Exchanges, and Exercise.
Next, I recorded my waist and hip measurements and posted them at the front of the binder.
Armed with this information I asked my doctor to not prescribe medications for one month to give me a chance to get my diet under control myself. Then I decided on my path.
I have COPD so exercise is not a big part of my plan, although I still exercise indoors and swim when I can. I was retired, so I am not expending a lot of energy. Someone with a busy lifestyle will have to add more calories to a diet than I did.
I opted for carb counting, and using the "diabetic plate". At first I kept track of all I ate, and tried for balanced nutrition. This is very handy when doing fasting blood sugar tests. You can see what foods are raising the blood glucose. Right away, I used smaller luncheon plates for my dinner. The diabetic plate is simply divided into half for non-starch vegetables (one half of that is for salad or fruit, and one half for a vegetable. The other half of the plate contains one half for the starchier foods, rice, pasta, potatoes, and the other half for 3 ounces of meat. Breakfast was a high fiber cereal, 1 slice of white bread, toasted and with 1 1/2 ounces of no fat-ham or an egg, now I use whole wheat bread. Lunch consisted of an untoasted slice of bread with no-fat ham, or cheese and tomato or grated cheese on 1 slice and broiled, or an egg, or cottage cheese, some fresh fruit, also half a banana, and milk. I found that I would be hungry if I didn't eat the protein at meals. The other half of my banana was kept for a snack. A snack of Glucerna might help you keep hunger at bey.
For the first couple of years I didn't bake. When I started to know what I was doing I began baking with two-thirds white Splenda and one third white sugar, and unsweetened apple sauce replacing much of the fat, but I don't advise it for a beginner. It is too tempting to eat. I found that the added benefit of my eating plan was that I did lose 25 pounds over a few years, which for me was good. You could lose a lot more with exercise, too.
When I discovered that my husband had a b.g. reading of 31.6 (cdn) on Boxing Day I was horrified and embarrassed. His doctor put him on metformin. because he is on Prednisone at times which spikes blood sugar. He is following my eating plan and today, February 5th he had a fasting blood sugar of 5.9. Wow, hasn't he done well!
YOU CAN TOO, and I now advise people to eat like a diabetic so they won't become one.



DDAHUNSI
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2/4/12 10:58 P

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Bridetobe I thank you for your input. I liked your idea of a cheat day and dividing it and the calories amongst the day. Now all I need to do is see if I can divide my favorite meal and dessert from the Cheesecake Factory 3 ways and stay within my calorie limits! emoticon

I believe I can ACHIEVE!


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AUNTWILLIE
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2/4/12 8:14 P

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This may sound unrelated, but for me it's right on target. I was years into adulthood when I finally returned a library book I hadn't finished. It finally dawned on me that if I didn't like a book, I could just stop reading it. Doh!
That realization started a cascade of other realizations for me, including that I can leave food on my plate, eat scrambled eggs for dinner, eat a meal of appetizers. It's hugely liberating!


If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.


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GMAROSE62
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2/4/12 1:28 P

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Hey,
I like your philosophy as it runs pretty much parallel with my own; my parents (lower income with 8 children to feed) also insisted we clean our plates. 60 years later I still have problems with that a lot of times. My late husband was about the first person who told me I didn't have to clean my plate even when he was paying bill at a restaurant. Then we often told our children to clean their plates! Also learned to serve smaller servings and come back for more.



GOODONME
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2/4/12 11:46 A

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Yeah me, with all your help i just lost 2 lbs, thanks everyone!!!


Keeping on Keeping on!!


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VUKELK
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2/4/12 10:26 A

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Adreama:

You have given some excellent advice and sound like a very organized individual. Thank you so much for sharing your thorough plan with me.

Focus! You can do this!


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MELINDAM85
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2/4/12 9:51 A

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What I usually do is go through the grocery flyers to find out what's on sale. Then, I figure out my meals for each day. I usually have the same breakfast everyday and lunch is leftovers. So, I only really need to figure out dinner. I then create my grocery list from that. Hope that helps!



LEANJEAN6
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2/4/12 8:29 A

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line up the water--count calories--journal------ I believe these 3 things really are the key--meal planning?---- lotza veggies-(fresh)----fish as much as you can afford----



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MARIKPC5
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2/4/12 6:17 A

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Hello,
I'm new here also, just started today. I need all the help I can get. Lately I have being craving sweets, so this topic is perfect for me. Thank you for all the tips.



JOANNHUNT
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2/3/12 11:28 P

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Thank you ADREAMA for the great ideas

I WILL SUCCEED BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN DO IT AND I AM MOTIVATED.


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TNLADY1960
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2/3/12 11:22 P

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So glad I saw this thread, it has been less than an hour that I decided to make a grocery list and a list of menu ideas to try to help me get back on track. I listed all the things I would love to eat for breakfast and how I could make them healthier, then I went to lunch then dinner and snacks. Then I made a grocery list, it is was too expensive to buy everything in one week but I can start out slowly with just a few things at a time until I get my pantry stocked then go for the items I will have to buy weekly.

Gloria

Dear God,

I surrender my body&my weight loss to your divine care and love. I ask that you remove all excess &unnecessary weight from my body. Return my body to its most healthy&balanced state. Give me eating habits that support my health and life energy.And,finally,teach me to love my body&to care for it from this day forth. Amen
LIFE stands for Look Incredible, Feel Extraordinary!...Joy Bauer


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ADREAMA
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2/3/12 8:40 P

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"A failure to plan is a plan to fail" I don't know who said that or where I picked it up, but it applies so much in all avenues of life be it work or home life. For me, if I dont sit down and set a plan for the upcoming weeks meals I will fall off the wagon, and when I do my groceries I will buy stuff I dont need.
I have a very busy worklife, but I do live alone so its just me to cater for which makes it easy.

I havent had time to read the full thread yet sorry, but here is my two cents worth - sorry if ideas already covered..

1. I have a notebook in which I have a chart for the 7 days, allowing 6 meal slots a day (bfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/snack). On the adjacent page I have a chart where I plot my exercise plan for the week. This is my 'pencilled in' plan and is the basis of grocery shopping list etc. Of course, things can happen during the week so I may make some changes - its the actual eating which I log into SP.

2. before even thinking about what meals I will have, I apply my mind to two things:

Where am I likely to be for each meal? on the road/at the office/at home/with a client or whatever. This way I know what type of cooking facilities (or lack of them), etc I will have for that meal. ie If I have planned in advance for not having anything available like a microwave, then my planned meal will be appropriate, and I am less likely to go into a panic and make a bad last minute choice.

What is my exercise planned for the day? If I am on a high calories burnt tpe day, then that is the day I will slot in treats like baked salmon which is higher in calories than say chicken or white fish. If I know in advance (which I usually do) that I have a client lunch meeting on a particular day, then I slot in high intensity workout that day, and have lower calorie days before and after - then I can have a nice lunch, choosing carefully, but guilt free.

3. I ALWAYS have some easy meal options in the freezer - these are not purchased frozen dinners, they are things I have made in advance. Also, I ALWAYS have things like canned tuna in the cupboard. So, I have always about 5 'go to' options available if my days plans change at short notice.

At the moment, I am following a diet set by my trainer, and it is so easy to plan, I only have about 4 options to choose from for each meal and this will be repeating for 6 weeks...so finding it super easy to stick to the plan, but the method I use above works for me all the other time.

If it is meant to be it is up to me!

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
- Marian Wright Edelman




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JOANNHUNT
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2/3/12 3:44 P

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Thanks everyone for the awesome tips and help I can now move forward as I was stuck.

I WILL SUCCEED BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN DO IT AND I AM MOTIVATED.


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ED2274ME
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2/3/12 1:02 P

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Great celery dip recipe. We enjoyed it very much.



SABLENESS
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2/3/12 12:48 P

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Great suggestions. I found the whole site pretty overwhelming at first. Took me awhile to get the hang of the nutrition tracker. It got a lot easier and more accurate when I figured out how to add my own foods. I like to use the meal plans as a general guide and sometimes for ideas.

FL - Eastern Standard Time

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Confucius


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JTURNBULL62
Posts: 8
2/3/12 12:02 P

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Mercy child but you are organized. Great post, I will definately put some of those ideas into practice.



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DARINJANECEK
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2/3/12 10:27 A

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I do not have much time available to prepare meals. One of the produts I enjoy is Amy's Organics. http://www.amys.com/ The products are organic and do not contain all the sodium, chemicals, and preservatives many other products on the market do.

(No, I am in no way affiliated with the company!)



CUISINEEXAMINER
CUISINEEXAMINER's Photo SparkPoints: (22,657)
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2/3/12 7:28 A

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These are all very useful ideas about meal planning. One of the most effective meal helpers I've found is the Food Saver appliance: cook up a batch of whatever it is you've planned, and freeze in air-free portion-controlled packets. That way, you don't get tired of eating the same meal more than once a week. The packets will keep food at peak several months. I even froze fresh fruit last summer for winter fruit desserts.

As to the issue of having to buy too much food, I live in California and like to visit my local farmer's markets every week for all my produce. It's much less expensive than the supermarkets, because you can pick and choose exactly what you want in exactly the quantities you would like: no plastic-wrapped gigantic pieces of unripe fruit to lug home. And, it gets me outside in the fresh air and walking - a bonus small calorie burn!

When you're on the right track in life all you have to do is keep going. - M. Sarafraz

A great obstacle to happiness is expecting too much happiness. - Bernard de Fontanelle


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BAMBI31311
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2/3/12 6:03 A

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To begin with keep it as simple as possible, that way you have a better opportunity of sticking with the plan. Remember it is a plan only. Grilled chicken breasts and either a salad with as much colored veggies as possible. (pick the veggies that you like, that you know you will eat and enjoy). If you don't really like veggies, you could try them roasted in the oven, somehow the flavor becomes sweet. Use a little bit of olive oil to sprinkle over them with cloves of garlic and a little salt. Roasted they are delicious if you don't like salad or stir fries. Good luck.
Snacks - make up little snack packs of walnuts and almonds and a few raisins or other dried fruits, but take note of the amounts, dried fruits are high in calories, so weigh these out into tiny portions. Keep apples and carrots about too which are both filling and low in calories.




ANDREWH_100
ANDREWH_100's Photo Posts: 73
2/2/12 9:09 P

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Hey Armino,

That was a great question you asked! What I'm doing and it's working for me is like one poster suggested write down what you should eat per day...such as two fruits, two dairy, etc. Just make a template and make copies. The night before, fill in what you will eat, and how much. You will know instantly if you are short a starchy carb or a fruit. The next day go to the market and get what you are missing. You can do a few days worth or the whole week, but you will know exactly what you need.

Also, I'm a struggling cook, so most of the recipes here are out of my league. Nothing I eat has more than one ingredient in it, except for my egg whites..I put salsa on it. ;) I have a George Foreman grill, a steamer basket, a sauce pain, a set of measuring cups, a very cheap Walmart spring food scale, and a microwave. I cook a few days worth of meats on the grill. I steam my veggies in the sauce pan and refrigerate it all. Then I just reheat in the microwave when time to eat. Maybe cut up a tomato to go with it, warm a 1/2 cup of beans from a can, or bake a potato in 4 minutes. It can all be done within minutes if you just spend a few hours every week preparing.

Edited by: ANDREWH_100 at: 2/2/2012 (21:12)
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson


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KIANDMAGELLAN
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2/2/12 7:07 P

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Here is the guideline that I follow. I find it really easy to find food that fits.

Breakfast:
*grain
*protein
*fruit

Lunch:
*grain
*at least a cup of vegetables
*protein
*fruit

Dinner:
*grain
*at least a cup of vegetables
*protein

I allow myself up to 200-300 calories as a treat/ in snacks. I don't really cook except for dinner.



RUNROZERUN
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2/2/12 4:40 P

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I am new to meal planning. I checked out a few books about preparing meals and freezing them. I started with baking a whole chicken and freezing half. Made a beef stew and froze half. Made a veggie stew.

Next, plan to make tomato based recipes (Tomato/Pasta sauce), chili, veggie soup
Then I am going to bake chicken and make stuff from the meat - enchiladas, etc.

From my first 2 weeks, I tell you it was great knowing I had something healthy to eat.

However, I share freezer space with roommates and I can see that is going to be an issue.

Nevertheless - I know its a great way to go.

Tons of books at the library!!! Check them out- free there :-)



Team Leader: SP Class of December 19-25, 2010
Team Leader: Fairfax & Arlington Counties, Virginia
Co-Team Leader: SparkWashington D.C.- The Official Team


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DIANAPOST12
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2/2/12 2:43 P

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Hi, I work nights and I found it is easier for me to cook different things and freeze them individually. we don't have refrigerators at work but we do have microwaves. In doing this I found I save 20 dollars a week by not using the cafeteria and my foods are much healthier. I don't have to use freeze packs because they are already frozen. So when I cook a meal I usually make it for 4 servings, My husband will eat 1 and I freeze the other 2. I mark and date them with painters tape and a marker. By doing this I always have several things to choose from.

Every day, you have a choice, from the moment you wake up: to make this day a good day or something else. You can choose your attitude. You can change your life! What will you choose today?


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BUCKEYEBRANDY
BUCKEYEBRANDY's Photo Posts: 22
2/2/12 8:51 A

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I started printing spark recipes and put them in a binder to help me with meal planning. I look at the recipes I want to make during the week, and make a list of ingredients I need to buy for them. I try to stick to simple recipes that don't require several ingredients and can be prepared and cooked in 60 minutes or less.

I buy chicken breast in bulk at Sam's and seal and freeze them. I use to buy the already packaged and frozen chicken, but they're not as good. I walk on the treadmill while the meal is in the oven.

For breakfast I keep it simple with a banana, cereal, or fruit bar. For lunch I usually just eat a deli sandwich or soup. I occasionally eat the frozen meals, pretzel, or popcorn.

Edited by: BUCKEYEBRANDY at: 2/2/2012 (08:57)



KRYSTLE74
KRYSTLE74's Photo SparkPoints: (1,897)
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2/2/12 1:54 A

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I am very new here and stay in the shadows. I'm loving all the tips on this thread. Please keep them coming!

Krystle Mims


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KRISZTA11
KRISZTA11's Photo SparkPoints: (52,447)
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2/1/12 3:30 P

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Hi Regina, you don't need to move it, you just enter your weight on your Weight Tracker (on your Start Page), and the tracker is updated automatically.
Good luck! Kriszta

Kriszta

Goal weight:
63 +- 1 kg /// 139 +-2 pounds
CET (Europe, Hungary)

"When life is difficult, you've got to take control of what you can. When confidence is low, that's exactly when you need to be at your healthiest, strongest and most energetic. There is no better time to create your own little corner of sanity and positive energy." (The Spark)


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REGINAK1965
REGINAK1965's Photo SparkPoints: (4,062)
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2/1/12 3:20 P

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Can some tell me how to move the icon on my weight tracker?



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LRBRITTAIN
LRBRITTAIN's Photo Posts: 40
2/1/12 12:45 P

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Go to the nutrition tracker page and click on tracker options then you can choose show meal plans. Hope that helps :0)



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BAMAMOM597
SparkPoints: (1,184)
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2/1/12 8:42 A

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If you like celery I have a lowfat recipe for dipping sauce. Take low fat cottage cheese and pack of Ranch dressing. Mix that up chill and it's awesome to eat with celery.

Changing my body 1 day at a time


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81MSMITH1
81MSMITH1's Photo SparkPoints: (17,720)
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2/1/12 7:25 A

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I find it hard to come up with new things to eat. When I plan my meals for the week, the snacks are so repetative. And I get bored easily. It seems like most cookbooks focus on suppers and meals with piles of ingredients. However, I find I only buy what I need at the grocery store and I don't end up throwing out food that I bought intending to eat, but never got around to.

Edited by: 81MSMITH1 at: 2/1/2012 (07:26)

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HUMDINGER06
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2/1/12 12:02 A

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I am just starting out too. I like to follow the meals on www.justbento.com. The meals are meant to make small portions, which I find useful and it keeps me in check. (If I have a large amount of food made, I know I will eat it or pack too much in my lunch bag.) I'm also living on my own, so I find recipes meant for families a little overwhelming. The writer of the site gives you an idea on how long it will take to make the meal and a rough calorie count.
Hope this was useful!
Good luck!



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CECELW
CECELW's Photo Posts: 1,518
1/31/12 11:04 P

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I agree. Lean Cuisines are convenient and health, but the sodium is so high in them. I also Like to use Smart Ones sometimes.





Cindy


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OHMYGOD49
OHMYGOD49's Photo SparkPoints: (8,183)
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1/31/12 10:32 P

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That all sounds like good advice. I am a pasta/potato lover too. Thank You. It's convenient to have those lean crusines because when you live alone it helps you to eat right. The only thing is all that salt so many of them have.



BAMEIBOO
BAMEIBOO's Photo Posts: 658
1/31/12 10:28 P

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I am gluten free so I have to cook most things from scratch. I also try to stay away from processed foods. I make a week of menus for dinners. It makes cooking and shopping much easier. I love using the crockpot.I am trying something new- cooked a huge turkey, had a semi traditional meal tonight, and bagged up 2 cup portions for future meals(10 of them). So I have two different soup bases, meat for salads, pizza, stew, stroganoff,enchiladas etc. Next I'm trying a ham and then a roast if I can get ten meals from each that means I only bought three piece of meat for a month! Having said that I like to have fish at least once a week, so I'll work that in too.

Michelle from the Space
coast Florida


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JESSICACTORRES
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1/31/12 6:18 P

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I have a bunch of different mini-meals that are quick and easy to make and transport for breakfast, lunches, and snacks. For example, oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts, yogurt cups, granola bars, wheat toast with a bit of peanut butter, orange, banana, apple, hardboiled egg. I just have these on hand and grab a few different things to take with me to work to cover breakfasts/lunches/snacks. Then all I have to do is plan dinners for the week, and the best way to do that is just do it! You'll get better over time, but I find only worrying about one planned, cooked meal per day makes it much less daunting!



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OHMYGOD49
OHMYGOD49's Photo SparkPoints: (8,183)
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1/31/12 11:33 A

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Good luck to you Thursday, Creature. Sounds like you are going forward in all you do like taking a cooking class. I'll be thinking of you. emoticon



ILOVEPEKES
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1/30/12 11:05 P

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Thanks sarah for sharing your meal choices. That is always the hard part for me - figuring out what to eat. Like your choices, so i'll start incorporating them.



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CREATURE55
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1/30/12 4:47 P

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Thank you so much for the info RCIZME. I will check in to that. I live in the KC, MO area. Hyvee does have those on sale once in awhile. We are a very limited income right now so most of the food we get come from food pantries. I am trying to get my disability and my hearing for that is this Thursday, Feb. 2. So until I get my disability we are living on less than 800 dollars a month. I love fruit and I am beginning to love fresh vegetables. I took a cooking class for healthier eating sponsored by one of the food pantries. I am not a fan of eggplant but in this recipe you couldn't even tell eggplant was in it. Anyway, thanks again for the info.



MELJPULLEY
MELJPULLEY's Photo SparkPoints: (411)
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1/30/12 4:45 P

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Hello! I have a weight loss blog where I share my weekly menu's(including recipes) if you want to check it out. www.melonylostandfoundit.blogspot.com. My meals are family friendly since I am Mom to 6! Good luck!

To our shared success!
Melony
www.melonylostandfoundit.blogspot.co
m


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CHILLRIDGE
CHILLRIDGE's Photo Posts: 28
1/30/12 3:23 P

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Hi Jashanti,
I had the same issues as you I was a big pasta and potato girl and I found that when I went to the grocery store and bought fruit a lot of it went to waste. Here are some of the tricks I found worked for me....

1) I purchased the food Lovers diet. I don't follow it religiously but it did really help me understand good verses bad carbs. I'm not big on meal plans because I know eventually I'm going to have to make my own decisions about what to eat.
2) I track everything i put in my mouth right down to gum and tic tacs. I was amazed at how many empty calories I took in on a given day.
3) There are some really tasty Lean Cuisine meals that are less than 300 calories and contain pasta, potatoes and rice. Not sure about your hometown but here in Denver I can almost always find them on sale 5 for 10 dollars at one of the chain grocery stores.
4) Everyone in a while give into the cravings but do so in moderation, have a baked potato with spray butter, broccoli and sargento's low fat cheese or some whole wheat pasta with home made sauce so you know exactly what is in it. Plus I've tried the Chef Meg recipes and they are pretty darn good. emoticon

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.



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CHOCSUNDAE
CHOCSUNDAE's Photo SparkPoints: (52,366)
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1/30/12 11:56 A

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Carlosjrf, I have a meal plan everyday here on spark under "my nutrition". I really don't use it though because to me, some of the meal suggestions are pretty disgusting sounding. I do, however, track the things I do eat as substitutions for the meal items listed and it helps me to see eactly where I stand.

Are you not getting that? There might be an option you need to check off in your preferences if you are not.

Everyday is a new start!

Here we go Steelers, here we go!!

God will make a way

Shop and get paid!!



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