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There is one thing that has made all the difference in my life, especially when it comes to the long-term commitment that healthy eating requires.

My schooling and the abundance of information we have at our fingertips certainly helps, but it doesn’t really prepare you for living in the real world. The day to day eating and living well. The daily thoughts about your energy levels, fluctuating hormones or my weight.

Many years ago, when I had three very small children, a house to run and a business to get off the ground, my weight was not where I wanted it to be, my energy was in the tank and I was doing my fair share of mindless eating. I was stressed out and pulled in all directions.

When I started to really get serious about meal planning, my world opened up. The thing is, I knew how to eat well and I definitely could teach you how to cook a healthy meal. What I was not doing was preparing myself for what I was going to eat.

When I embraced the habit of meal planning, I lost the last of my baby weight and eliminated the stressful “what’s for dinner?” question for good.

Here’s what else incorporating the habit of meal planning did for me:

I Said Goodbye To The Chicken and Salad Rut

Before meal planning, I was recycling the same chicken and salad or salmon and kale dinners. Without a nightly dinner plan and a whole lot of busyness, I couldn’t think past my same fallback meals. When done right, meal planning brings out your creative side. It allows your imagination to go to ideas that you might not have thought of, all while staying within healthy parameters. Being mindful about what you put in your plan opens you up to trying new things.

I Could See Where I Needed To Add-In or Take Out

Putting a plan down on paper makes it crystal clear where you might be lacking in certain nutrients, too many calories or indulging a little too much in other areas. If I know I am going out to dinner one or two nights in a week (or have an abundance of holidays like this week) I know where to plug in lighter, healthier meals.

It Helped Me Be In Control Of My Food And Health

Meal planning helps me portion control my food and thus helps me maintain my weight. If I want to eat to support my hormones and energy, certain beneficial foods get factored into meals and scheduled. Knowing what I am eating takes the guesswork out of my health.

I Realized How Much Time I Was Saving

A little bit of time at the beginning of the week to plan out your meals will save you tons of time during the week for cooking and shopping. The bonus is that it will, in turn, save you tons of stress. There is nothing worse than walking into a grocery store at 5 pm, for the third time in a week, only to wander the store wondering what to make for dinner. Am I right?

Start The New Year Right

Meal planning could be the best resolution you make for yourself this year, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are interested in taking control of healthy eating this year consider joining me in January for my Healthy Eating Jumpstart. I will guide you through three weeks of healthy eating and meal planning basics to help you get back on track so you can start the new year right. We start January 21st. Doors open next week.

Next week I will tell you how I do my meal planning so I am successful with healthy eating every week, but in the meantime get a leg up on eating well and download my five High Energy Snacks by clicking HERE