Say When

Why and how to schedule your meals and snacks.
Say WhenWeekly Topic

Oh, to have a personal chef. Just imagine: a healthy-yet-hearty breakfast prepared every morning, a gourmet packed lunch to take on the go and a hot dinner waiting for you nightly. Of course, every delicious meal and snack would be rich in nutritious Weight Watchers Power Foods.

OK, back to reality. Most likely, you're the chef in the house. You probably also have to juggle hectic schedules, never-ending to-do lists, and long work days. But if you wait until 6 p.m. to decide what’s for dinner, it could be greasy takeout on the table. A few of these last-minute "convenience dinners," could tip you back into unhealthy eating habits.

If you created a meal schedule in your Weekly, you’re ahead of the game. Planning meals in advance will help to keep you in control and on track — especially when life gets busy. Plus, your choices will be healthier, since you're not making spur-of-the-moment decisions when you're already hungry. What kind of choices are we talking about? Check out our Starter Meals which offer an array of easy, wholesome options for any time of day, including dozens each for such preferences as vegetarian, lower-carb, gluten-free and more!

5 meal-planning perks

  • You won’t seesaw between “running on empty” and “too full.” Research shows that going too long without eating can make us way too hungry, so that we overdo it when we finally do eat. If you’re having a meal or snack at least every four hours, your hunger and energy levels remain more even and predictable throughout the day.

  • It gives you structure. Knowing when you'll be eating lets you arrange the rest of your day accordingly — so you benefit from a more orderly, controlled schedule all around. Having a solid meal schedule can also have a ripple effect, helping you stick with other healthy behaviors.

  • You can save some cash. Smart food picks don't have to hit your wallet hard. Read some of the ways our Community users keep supermarket costs down. Plus, when you’re doing the cooking, you'll save money you'd normally spend on takeout and pre-packaged meals.

  • It’s an opportunity to teach kids about healthy foods. Get them into the kitchen with you, prepping meals and learning to appreciate the variety of nutritious ingredients and delicious dishes. The more kids learn at home, the easier it will be for them to make smart food choices at school, at restaurants, and beyond.

  • You won't be thinking about food all the time. It might seem counterintuitive, but scheduling meals helps keep your mind off food between meals and snacks because the decision is made. So, you can move on knowing you'll be enjoying a meal or snack at a set time.

How do you schedule meals and snacks? Share your ideas in Comments, below.Then read on for more ways to make meal planning a part of your life:

Is It time to eat yet?
Is It time to eat yet?
If you’re looking for lunch by 10 a.m., or ravenous by dinner, it might be time to rethink your meal planning. Here’s how to tackle five common hunger dilemmas to keep you on an even keel (and still losing!) all day.
7 steps, 7 days
7 steps, 7 days
Get a road map for a week’s worth of delicious, on-Plan meals with these smart planning, shopping, and prep pointers. Tasty snack ideas, too.
Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwiches
A lunch to savor
Not your ordinary tuna sammie, our Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwiches pack lots of flavor — plus veggies — into this revamped brown-bag favorite.
Next week’s meeting topic: Here comes the Super Bowl! How to party without panic.

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