Top Secrets of Success for Meal Planning | SparkPeople
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Top Secrets of Success for
Meal Planning

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Make Meal Groups

When I find a meal that meets all my nutrition goals, I save it as a meal group. But I save it as, LUNCH apple/cracker/pb. It is an easy way to stay on track and know I'm eating right.

- Submitted by CIVILSPARKY 5/25/2014 in Weight Loss | 0 Comments
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1LB Ground Meat = 4 Meals with 4 servings per meal!!!

Use 1lb ground meat and lots of veggies to make 4 different meals! Add bulk with lots of different veggies (shredded or chopped). You get up to 4 servings per meal (approx. 12-16 servings). I stretch meat and save money too. I do the same with boneless chicken breast and boneless pork. Some weeks I get 12-14 individual meals that I would add different side dishes, salads or more veggies too! All my lunch & dinner entrées for the week done!!

- Submitted by LTCARTWRIGHT 8/15/2013 in Cooking | 1 Comment
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Paprika App

After much research, I'm loving the recipe management app "Paprika". It lets me capture recipes from sparkrecipes as well as many other recipe sites & my own personal recipes! With all my recipes in one place, I can build the week's meal plan & hit a button for a grocery list. The big plus for ME is that I can have everything offline, since I'm not always on wifi to use sparkrecipes. It costs $20 for MAC, $5 for iPad, $5 for iPhone or iPod and uses a cloud to sync everything together. Awesome!

- Submitted by AZURELITE 4/13/2013 in Organization | 1 Comment
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Prelogging my food tracker & menu planning

Something I realized I needed to do in order to be successful was to prelog my food for the whole day, preferably at breakfast and sometimes in bed before I get up.

I pretty much eat the same breakfast M W F, a different breakfast Tu Th, another breakfast on the weekends. My lunches follow a similar pattern. This also helps me create a shopping list.

In my Favorites list on the Food Tracker, I created groupings for these different days and labeled them "Breakfast - MWF", "Lunch - MWF", etc.

- Submitted by MOJOLO 4/11/2013 in Using SparkPeople | 4 Comments
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Pick a "clean the pantry" day

This is a great money-saving move! Pick one day per month (or week) to clean out the pantry/fridge/freezer. Go over what you have and get creative to make something from it. Make soup, casserole, stir fry, whatever you can think of. If you can stretch it to a week, more power to you! It prevents older food from going to waste and saves you from a grocery run for one more day.

- Submitted by FALCONGIRL2010 1/14/2013 in Saving Money | 1 Comment
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Meal Planning

Each night when I clean up after dinner, I make sure that I have things underway for the next night's dinner. I make sure that I know what I am planning to make and I double check that I have all ingredients. If something needs to be taken out and defrosted, I get that done.

- Submitted by SUZANNE65203 1/14/2013 in Cooking | 1 Comment
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PlaNNINg Meals

Is so very worth it. When I plan my meals on Sparks Nutrition Page, I easily stay within my calorie range. It gives extra strength to my willpower. I know I can do it !!!

- Submitted by TIME2BLOOM4ME 12/11/2012 in Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
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Eat Freggies First

I have a hard time eating fruits and veggies, so I try to eat them first at each meal, before I fill up on carbs & protein. Or I'll have a piece of fruit while I'm cooking/preparing my main meal. Not only do I make sure I get my freggies, I usually end up eating less during the meal because I already have something in my tummy.

- Submitted by RANDOMLY_HONEST 10/8/2012 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Pack my lunches for the week on weekend for work

I was buying food at work, but it was expensive and not as healthy as what I pack for myself. Now I fix my lunches on the weekend and just grab and go in the morning. Besides losing wt I have found that I save money too!

- Submitted by DORY1949 9/5/2012 in Weight Loss | 0 Comments
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Meal Planning

Plan out the meals that you are going to make for the week. Figure out what you have on hand or what is on sale at the stores for the week, search through Sparkrecipes, your Spark Cookbook or other healthy recipe books and sites. Find the recipes and enter them into your meal planner for the week.

- Submitted by KARLARAMA 5/6/2012 in Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
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baby steps to organize

Flylady.net is a wonderful site to help you organized everything from your home to your office/desk at work, even your finances. She really seems to understand that unorganized people have similar problems, like wanting to take on too much at once and getting stalled, that you lose your bills, forget lots of things. It's a great and free site.

- Submitted by REGNUR617 3/31/2012 in Organization | 6 Comments
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Tame Your On-The-Go Munchies

I find that if I miss my snacks between meals, I am much more likely to over eat later or grab something bad for me! Having healthy snacks to grab on a busy schedule can be tough. I keep a stash of health 100 calorie or less snacks, pre-portioned in my car (if you live in temperature extremes pack items that won't spoil or freeze), at work, and 1-2 portions in my purse. I have no excuse to eat poorly on-the-go foods or binge later! emoticon

- Submitted by MCHRISTEN 10/11/2011 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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Freeze your meals - Thaw out your time!

Panning your meals in advance is a success, and this tip will help you one step further. I like to buy the family packs of meat and the separate them into meal appropriate portions. It's extremely economical. Before freezing, season your meat with whatever seasonings and/or marinade. As the meat thaws out they will marinate as well and you can have so many meals prepared in advance this way. It also saves you time because you are doing all the seasoning at once.

- Submitted by CHERISHEDANGEL 6/9/2011 in Organization | 3 Comments
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plan ahead

By planning the night before I have saved a lot of beating myself up.

- Submitted by CQSISTER 5/16/2011 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Breakfast Makeover

Healthy meal planning is a big challenge for a beginner! I'm slowly implementing change by starting each day with a healthy breakfast, focusing on whole grain, fiber, protein, and fruit.

- Submitted by RILLAJADE1 2/6/2011 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Meal Calendar

I have a meal calendar that shows what I have planned to eat. When I follow the calendar, it offers a great variety and is tremendous in assisting me to stay strong and healthy for the day.

- Submitted by SUGARJUNKIE405 1/3/2011 in Organization | 1 Comment
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Avoiding burnout

To help avoid burnout, I shop weekly for foods I haven't tried before. I also allow myself a time or two a week to eat out (within reason) - makes it easier to stay on track!
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- Submitted by JUSFOLK 8/14/2010 in Motivation | 0 Comments
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Grocery List / Menu Forms

I created a grocery list form that has columns to list items that are grouped together in different parts of the grocery store (dry goods,meats,produce,frozen foods,cleaning supplies,pharmacy,other). Add items as you think of them. Menus on other side. When shopping menus can be updated as needed.

- Submitted by KARENSUEBURTON 8/12/2010 in Organization | 1 Comment
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List of Favorite Healthy Meals

Make a list of all of your favorite dinners and put the approximate calorie total per serving next to each meal. Then have that list handy to refer to when you're deciding what to cook tonight. (Or write the calories per serving on the recipe.)

- Submitted by WHISHASTAR 8/3/2010 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Planning your meals

I typically plan my meals on the weekend for the coming week before going to the grocery store. When I looked at the food I already had in the freezer and pantry, I realized that I didn't need to go to the store. I have plenty for the week. "Shopping" what you already have saves money!

- Submitted by STORMTMB 7/19/2010 in Saving Money | 0 Comments
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How often do you hear: "What's For Dinner?!?"

Every Saturday night, I make my husband sit down with me and create a 'Dinner Menu' for the week. I make dinners according to the schedule and we're never sitting there wondering 'What'd you want for dinner???' I allow myself one night off from cooking dinner. I call it 'WHATEVER WEDNESDAY!"

- Submitted by TJKILBORN 7/12/2010 in Organization | 0 Comments
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Main course precooking is SO THE KEY to success!

Having one day a week that is dedicated to household chores includes precooking for the next few days. I love preparing several main courses~meatloaf, buffalo burgers, chicken veggie patties, etc. When doing this I know the whole family is taken care of, and I wont be tempted to be unhealthy. :o)

- Submitted by SMILINDI 6/28/2010 in Cooking | 2 Comments
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Inventory your freezer!

I list the contents of my freezer and post the list on the fridge door. Helps me in meal planning to use what I've already bought - I waste less food this way and save money. I tend to be an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person so seeing a list helps me not 'lose' stuff in the freezer!

- Submitted by SARAWALKS 6/23/2010 in Saving Money | 6 Comments
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Making my menus based on current sales

Instead of planning my menus and then going shopping, I check the store ads. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale? That'll make some meals this week. Grapes and bananas down in price? Chalk them up for fruit choices! Healthy eating can work fine in a budget.

- Submitted by JUSFOLK 6/22/2010 in Saving Money | 3 Comments
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Routine

What helps me the most is to stay in a good routine. Decide what you're going to eat for breakfast and stick with it. Figure out what works for you for lunch and just do it. Taking away the constant need to make decisions can make everything easier.

- Submitted by LIBRARYLISA7 6/13/2010 in Getting Back On Track | 5 Comments
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