Friday, April 22, 2011

Life on Weight Watchers . . . Plan, Plan, PLAN

Let's face it, we are of a time when life is all about going.
Go to work.
Go to the doctor.
Go to school.
Go to practices.
Go to games.
Go to rehearsals.
Go to . . . go to . . . go to!

It's like we never get a moment to breathe, isn't it?

One of the hardest parts about staying on an eating plan - ANY eating plan - is finding the time to cook. It's so easy to order that pizza. OR that Chinese take out place that makes the AMAZING cashew chicken and the to-die-for pot stickers . . . oh, yeah, you know what place I'm talking about. The problem with ordering pizza, or Chinese, or going for burgers or chicken is this . . .

It's expensive and it's not good for you.

Still here? Okay, great!
Yes, I know the beauty of Weight Watchers is that you CAN have pizza or Chinese or burgers . . .so long as you plan for them. And that's the entire point of this post. Would you rather spend 25 points on a burger and fries and be hungry later or spend 12 points on good ol' home cookin' and still have enough for that ice cream bar calling your name from the freezer (Jeeeeennifer . . . JEEEEEEEEnnifer)?

Me? I'd rather get to have the ice cream.

So, what do you do?
How do you solve this issue?

Well, by PLANNING.

We track. We calculate. We points plus everything we put into our bodies to death.
And then we're left at the end of the day wondering why we ended up with 9 points left at the end of the day.
Or, worse, why we ended up using up all of our weekly points in one day (this has happened!!)
Planning will solve this issue.
I have to plan everything - my food, my exercise, even my housework and classwork. If I don't, I get overwhelmed and enter self-pity world, party of one. Then I eat. Everything.

Take the Time
I usually few a couple of hours on Saturday to do the following:
1) go through favorite cookbooks or recipe websites to find recipes I want to try.
2) go through my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I have on hand and write it all down.
3) go through the list and see if there's enough of anything to create a meal.
4) plan as many meals as I can through the week using only what I have on hand.
5) plan the remaining meals and list the items NOT on hand I need for these meals
6) make a grocery list
7) go shopping
8) come home, rinse and prep as many vegetables as I can for the week (works great with most vegetables except potatoes)
9) make any meal kits that need to be made
10) refrigerate/freeze it all for later in the week!

Now, keep in mind, this is a little time consuming to do all in one day, so if you have soccer, baseball, or any other slew of sports/dance/gymnastics/music/art/theater stuff going on that day, you may chose to do it another day. Or break it up:

Day 1: Read recipes
Day 2: Take inventory
Day 3: Meal plan
Day 4: Shop/Prep/Meal Kit/Store.

The thing to remember is to PLAN EVERYTHING - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks.

Now, to take it one step further, take a little more time to do some research and checking - find the points plus values for your meals, if you don't already know them, and write them down next to the meal, so you know how many points you have planned. Then you can adjust as you need to account for any extra or missing points.

Rolling your eyes yet?
It seems like it will take FOREVER to do all that, doesn't it?
If you take the time to do this once a week, it will save you time every evening.

You get home at 6 and realize Timmy has a game at 7! What do you do? Look's like it's Burger Queen again. But wait! You planned! You have a meal waiting for you in the crock pot! Or a stir fry meal kit in the freezer!
Dinner takes all of 5-15 minutes to make. You can eat and hit the road in no time.

You're tired and don't feel good and don't want to cook. Looks like the hubbs is going to stop by That Chikin Place again. But wait! You planned! You have a casserole in the freezer just waiting to be popped into the oven. Make the hubbs stop for some salad instead.

As you can see, planning ahead can save you a wealth of time and points plus.

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