Five Myths of Meal Planning
So if you haven’t heard, I’m a meal prep skeptic.
Oftentimes starting a meal plan or diet is done all at once and can feel overwhelming and time consuming.
Oftentimes doing meal prep can feel impossible.
While one-size-fits-all programs nearly are impossible for most people, meal planning doesn’t have to be!
Here are five myths about meal planning that don’t have to be true for you:
1. Meal planning has to be hard. Meal planning can be easy. It’s all about figuring out what works and does not work for the individual. If you’re not a morning person, there’s no use in convincing you to prep a large crockpot meal at six in the morning.
2. Meal planning has to take a lot of time. Meal planning can be fast. The key is figuring out which meals you care most about. For me, it’s breakfast. Rain or shine, sleep or no sleep I will make a nutritious breakfast to eat (preferred place is in bed with kitty and book). I’d rather wake up two hours early to have a solid breakfast than get extra shut-eye. Maybe your favorite meal is dinner or lunch - then that’s where you’ll focus the energy.
3. Meal planning has to be done all at once. When I think of meal planning or meal prepping, I think of standing in the kitchen for eight hours on a Sunday surrounding by Tupperware, rice and steamed chicken. To be honest, I’m not a fan of any of those things. There are other ways to meal prep! As long as you do it at all, do what works for you! For me, its breakfast and lunch in the morning - before 9am I’ve completed 66% of my meal prep for the day. I have more difficulty preparing dinner after working with clients all day. The key is making sure I have the groceries in advance. With groceries stocked and ready, I’m not wasting energy on grocery shopping at the last minute.
4. Meal planning will not be fun. Meal planning can be fun. Be creative! Choose meals and foods that YOU like, not foods some lofty fitness guru said you had to eat. I follow some basic principles to make sure my meals are health-promoting, but I also have fun! Try color-coded tools like knives and cutting boards, or find a favorite recipe from childhood to bring back warm, cozy feelings.
5. Meal planning has to be all-consuming. Sometimes I feel like the wellness industry and meal programs can be downright militaristic. I once read a book that told me if I ever ate meat again it meant I was stupid, ignorant, and going to die. (Now there is great research behind a vegetarian diet - but that’s neither here nor there. The problem wasn’t the diet recommendation, but rather how author shared the content.) There's always a place for tough love, but that place is not stranger-to-stranger. Meal planning can be a learning process! We don’t have to know all the answers at the get-go. Flexibility and willingness to learn go further than a guilt and fear-based regimen.
Want to get inspired?
Start the 21 Day Meal Habit Challenge & receive the bonus meal prep self-assessment.