Excerpt: “The Complete Plate” Five Days Planned, Two Days Smart
Meal planning reduces stress during the busy work week and protects you from consuming energy-dense convenience foods. Being prepared and organized is essential for establishing positive relationships with food and for being successful in the execution of maintaining healthy eating habits.
The Complete Plate is designed so that no matter what plan you choose from the 30 meal plans, you will consume a complete set of nutrients for the day, purely through dietary means. As someone who loves to organize, I find meal planning an effective tool for weight management—especially when I eat Five Days Planned, Two Days Smart.
Why five days and not seven? The common theme you will find throughout this book is that success is all about sustainability. Planning meals for seven days of the week is not realistic for everyone. Breaks from cooking are important, planning for leftovers, making a simple grilled cheese, or eating out for a night is all a part of fostering a healthy relationship with food.
One approach that I’ve found to be successful is what I call Five Days Planned, Two Days Smart. For five days I eat specific to the meal plan portions. I am considerate of portion sizes and measure everything out. I do not estimate my portion sizes, because when I am hungry estimating 1 Tbsp turns into a 1/4 cup. For the two days that I don’t have a meal plan, I make sensible eating decisions. Whether it’s having some of the leftovers from the week or dining out with my husband and daughter, I appreciate the freedom that comes with making wise eating decisions. If I have a hankering for French fries, so be it. If I want the chocolate-almond croissant at my local patisserie, I’ll indulge. We all have favorite comfort foods and so long as we make considered choices and consume in moderation, we can establish a healthy relationship with food.
Five Days Planned, Two Days Smart requires a bit of pre-planning and the process may seem slow at first, but with routine and habit, it’s something you can easily incorporate into your life.