So you’ve started up on a mission to lose weight and know that a big part of that is getting your nutrition down pat. You also know that meal planning is a key part of the game. Without a plan, you’re essentially planning to fail.
But yet, as you get started with your diet plan, you just aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for. You’re left scratching your head, wondering where it all went wrong. You feel like you’re doing everything right, but yet, the scale says otherwise.
The problem is likely not one of lack of effort, but rather, incorrect planning from the start. How you plan is a big part of the success equation, so figuring out how to do that correctly will get you back on track.
Here are the four primary errors that many people make with their meal planning and how you can overcome those and enjoy the success you deserve.
Meal Planning Mistake #1: Lack Of Calorie Control
Some people out there think that as long as they’re choosing healthy foods, that’s all it’ll take to see weight loss success. So they set out planning their diet loading it up with every healthy food they can find.
They’re preparing new healthy recipes left, right, and center – and enjoying them all at the same time. While it’s great to get excited about cooking and all the healthy recipes that are now available, you must remember that your energy intake does matter.
You can still gain weight eating healthy food if you eat too much of it, so calories must be managed in some way. If your meal plan isn’t taking this into account, it won’t lead you to results.
How To Fix It:
The best solution is to start your meal planning first by determining your target calorie intake. Only once you have that number can you then begin fitting the foods you want to have into your diet plan.
If you start feeling overwhelmed with the numbers and fitting everything into that desired calorie intake, don’t sweat it. There are tools available, such as Eat This Much, that will quickly do all the number crunching for you so that you can get back to preparing those delicious but healthy recipes you love.
Meal Planning Mistake #2: Bland And Boring Recipes
When on a diet, do you quickly find yourself growing bored with all the meals you’re eating? Feel like if you have to eat another grilled chicken breast you may just scream?
You aren’t alone. Boredom is a big problem that many people face with their meal plans. And remember, a meal plan is only good if you stick with it. If your meal plan is simply not interesting to you, it’ll never produce the results that you’re looking for.
How To Fix It:
When planning your meals, spice things up a little! Come up with at least one or two new recipes to try each and every week to break away from the routine meals that you turn to time and time again.
Sometimes just a small change like this can be enough to get you interested in eating healthy and according to your plan again, making it less likely that you abandon the approach entirely.
Meal Planning Mistake #3: Unrealistic Meal Schedules
Life is hectic! If you feel like you’re running around a million miles a minute each and every day, there’s a good chance you don’t have time to sit down and eat six meals a day.
You need a plan that works with your busy schedule and allows you to eat the number of meals that will ensure you stay on track.
Or, perhaps you feel the opposite. If you try and eat just three meals a day, you find yourself hungry most of the day and constantly craving a snack. For you, a six meal-per-day schedule is great.
Your diet needs to be flexible to adapt to whatever meal schedule you prefer, whether that’s three meals, five meals, or even eight meals a day.
But remember, as it adapts, it’s important that you still maintain the target calorie and macronutrient intake you’re going for.
How To Fix It:
Use a meal planner app, such as Eat This Much, that will help you make any meal frequency adjustments you need, all while keeping your daily targets in tact. Again, for those who hate doing the math, leverage an app to take all the guess work and calculations out of it.
Meal Planning Mistake #4: Improper Portion Sizes
Finally, the last big mistake that too many people make that costs them their success is improper portion sizes. Usually, this comes down to errors made when measuring and/or weighing the foods you have in your meal plan.
Sure, you may have planned on eating a half a cup of brown rice and accounted for this in your menu, but when you actually go and dish up that half a cup of brown rice, it ends being more like one cup of brown rice.
This small error in judgment, if it happens multiple times per week, could end up eventually costing you most of your results.
It’s critical that you are being accurate with your serving sizes so that you are actually getting the proper amount of calories and macronutrients you planned on getting.
How To Fix It:
To fix this issue, don’t get lazy with your measuring. Yes, it will take a few more minutes each time you prepare your meals and do your menu planning, but it’s time well invested.
If you don’t have a good food scale, also consider investing in one as this will make all the difference in the world in terms of the results that you see.
So there you have the biggest meal planning mistakes you might be making. Half the battle is really just getting that meal plan down and set up properly so that you can see the success that you’re looking for.
This is why using a platform such as Eat This Much that helps you put this on autopilot is so helpful in terms of the success you see.