How To Plan Meals For Balance

When it comes to living a balanced lifestyle in work, play, nutrition and fitness planning is key. I run a multi six figure fitness coaching business and have two children (one of which is distance learning). Needless to say life is busy. 

Let me start by saying I am NOT a ‘type A’ person.

I have a very spontaneous, on the fly type of personality. As a creator and coach my life needs both space and structure to allow for all the things to happen. 

Every week we lay out a structure for meals. We factor in our schedule, appointments and energy level when we are creating this plan. If the day is going to be packed with appointments and zoom calls an elaborate dinner just isn’t in the cards. We have no shame in using Doordash to order ramen or pizza. On the days that are lighter, we are happy to get in the kitchen and cook something delicious and filled with that handmade love.

This balance is planned for so there is no guilt in enjoying a few slices of pizza with an ice cold beer after a long day of work. (Is there anything better?)

There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods. There are just some that happen to be more calorically dense than others. Food does not carry karmic value. That donut didn’t kick your dog, it just happens to be around 350-400 calories. This happens to be the same as two eggs, two slices of bacon and toast. One breakfast will keep you fuller longer. However, if you want the donut, there is nothing ‘bad’ about this. Have the donut and move on. Plan the rest of the day to have foods that are higher volume and less calories to allow for it. 

The second you restrict your favorite foods a few things can happen:

  1. You are sad and want your favorite foods. 
  2. You say screw it and binge on those favorite foods. 
  3. You feel guilty while having your favorite foods because you said you wouldn’t. 

I encourage my clients to plan for balance in their meal planning. Create a combination of convenience foods you love and home cooked recipes you love. 

Write your menu with your work / school schedule in mind. Plan your week in a way that makes sense. Coincide take-out meals on days you won’t have to cook. Then plan for lighter meals the rest of that day to allow for the more calorically dense meal. 

Prep and chop parts of meals on days you plan to cook after work. Then you can quickly assemble your meal after a busy work day.

Do you hate cooking? I get it — Purchase frozen vegetables, pre marinated meats, rotisserie chickens or bagged salad in place of fast food. These items tend to be lower calorie, less expensive and bigger portions. This can also be a great no cook option for meal prep. Trader Joes, Costc0, Whole Foods and large grocery stores tend to have premade healthy meal options that are heat and serve.

Planning allows for you to avoid the stress at dinner time and honor your goals. Once a week I suggest sitting down and looking over the schedule for the week.  Lay out your dinner menus with your schedule in mind. Then decide what breakfast, lunch and snacks you will need for each day. Keep meals lighter on days you want to spend more calories at dinner. Then you never feel restricted. 

Do you need guidance with planning meals and calories for your goals? My program provides an easy to follow fat loss framework personalized to your goals. Click here to schedule a free consultation.

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