Plan Your Meals

7 (more) reasons to put your meals on a schedule

Click here to access this week's Weekly Topic

Oh, to have a personal chef. Just imagine: a healthy-yet-hearty breakfast prepared every morning, a gourmet lunch packed to go, and a hot dinner waiting for you nightly. More to the point, every wholesome meal and snack would be ready for you at just the perfect moment: when you’re hungry but not ravenous.

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

The power of planning

For starters, check out the five excellent reasons to sort your meals and snacks ahead of time in your WW FreestyleTM: avoiding external hunger triggers (break-room donuts, you have no hold on me!), maxing your flavour options, saving money at the grocery store, racking up those Healthy Eating Zone blue dots [in your app] and best of all, being able to anticipate and savour your food!

Want more reasons?

Your choices are likely to be more nutritious and well-balanced, since you're not making spur-of-the-moment decisions when you're already hungry. What kind of choices are we talking about? Along with the mix-and-match ideas in your weekly, we have some to-the-rescue weeknight dinners that are easy, delicious, and low in SmartPoints® values

Managing rollovers might be easier. Deciding what to eat when gives you a solid idea of how many SmartPoints values you'll be using, so you can pre-track if you like, and grab those rollovers for, say, Saturday date night (and, of course, you'll be checking the restaurant menu to plan that meal, too!)

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.

You won’t seesaw between “running on empty” and “too full.” Going too long without eating can make us way too hungry, so that we might 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, predictable schedule all around. Having a solid meal schedule can also have a ripple effect, helping you stick with other healthy behaviours.

You can save some (more) cash. We didn't have room to include these in the weekly, but planning also lets you take advantage of supermarket deals, and save money you'd normally spend on takeout and pre-packaged meals.

It's a great opportunity to teach kids about healthy foods. Get 'em in the kitchen with you, prepping meals and seeing the variety of nutritious ingredients and tasty 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.