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Thread: How much advance planning do you do?

  1. Default How much advance planning do you do?

    When I began at the beginning of this week, I thought that I would plan my meals the night before. I'm doing that, but I'm finding it a little tedious. Also, I'm finding that it doesn't allow me enough flexibility. Say I don't happen to be in the mood for the "ricotta and fruit" breakfast I'd planned, and there happens to be a one or two point difference between than and what I want. I don't feel like I can decide on the fly to change my mind, because it depends on whether I allowed a few extra points at the end of that particular day, and if can afford the points for the day.

    I thought about planning for the week, but that feels overwhelming. I feel like perhaps it might be a good idea to just come up with a few interchangeable meals that I memorize and swap during the week, but I can't quite wrap my head around how I'd do that.


    How are people handling planning?
    Height: 5'1"
    Began WW: Sept 2, 2004
    Recommit: 5/15/2007
    Initial SW in 2004: 149.1
    SW in 2007: 158
    Current Weight: 154
    WWGW: 120
    PG: 105

    1st Mini Goal: 142 (10%)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Central Oregon
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan everything the night before because I need to prep for meals, either chopping or defrosting or both. If I really do not want what I have planned for the meal, I will go with something else and use AP or WPA to cover the difference... however, I rarely change it too often because being obsessed with food and "going for what I feel like" is what got me fat in the first place.
    273.8/266.8/164
    restart 1 November 14

  3. #3

    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I do plan a week in advance but I do it in pencil and/or electronically in Excel. The plan does change from time to time but usually I make my plan for food so good I don't want to change. I can't wait for the upcoming week. It really helps me during hectic times to have a plan. When I get stressed I have trouble making good decisions. If I have a plan, the decisions are already made and it's so much easier. I usually plan for target plus anticipated APs each day then use WPAs for rest days or unplanned changes.
    Last edited by plcm111195; 05-20-2007 at 08:50 PM.
    Joanne
    SW 252.6/WWG 157/2013 Restart 192.6/CW189

  4. Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I don't really plan a whole lot. DH and I are trying to plan more so we aren't eating at 9:00 at night and feeding the kids late. We both work late a lot. As for myself, I have a selection of things in the fridge and cupboards to use for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. That way I can have some sort of variety and there's always something there for me to eat so I'm not grabbing junk food. With dinner, I've been eating what they eat but healthifying it and portioning for myself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Port Aransas, TX
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan a week at a time as I feel doing it daily would be too daunting a task. My weekly menu is mainly for dinners and allows me to do the shopping and thawing. My breakfasts and lunches are pretty uninspired and fairly low points so having a 'big' dinner is not an issue.
    Smoke free since 11/15/07

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    pacific northwest
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    Keep in mind DH and I are retired, so don't have flexible work schedules and kids schedules to work around.

    Being a wee bit OCD , I plan all menues at least two weeks in advance. Two major reasons. We only shop every two weeks and a menu automatically gives me a grocery list. I also post the menues on a cupboard door. We both know that while any given menu idea may not be on that precise day, it will show up sometime in that two week time frame.

    No time? Think them out in the shower. Works for me.
    Breast Cancer Survivor


    Returning to goal and here are my 5# markers

  7. #7
    nurseadams24 Guest

    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I usually try to find something low in points for breakfast and then plan dinner because that is the meal I use the most points on. Then that gives me options for lunch and snack.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan out all my dinners for the entire month. For all that I love lists, the thought of monthly planning freaked me out. I didn't think I'd like it at all. But surprise, I really love it! No more halfhearted debates after work/gym about what to have (what do you want for dinner? I don't know, what do you want for dinner? I don't know). What are we having for dinner? Look on the menu posted on the fridge. It also allows me to make much more precise weekly shopping lists, so I'm not letting things get buried at the back of the freezer or mold in the veggie drawer. I save money that way, too--bonus! I also save time by pulling out items to defrost that morning. I'm not as put-together as Paris and never chop things ahead of time, but it's still a big time saver not to have to defrost in the microwave when I'm already hungry and ready to EAT. I'm a big fan of the monthly menu.


    Of course, there are times when I just don't want whatever I have planned for that night. Sometimes we'll go out to eat instead, or sometimes I'll swap planned meals on the menu. But I don't usually feel constrained by the plan. Since I have completely flexibility for my breakfast/lunch/snack choices, having dinner already thought out is a break, a relief.
    Nikki
    SW: 183 (1/8/06)
    CW:145
    WWGW: 146 (MADE IT! 9/5/07 LIFETIME 10/17/07)
    next minigoal: Get back into the 130s

  9. #9

    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan our meals out a week or so in advance and like others, I tape a list of the meals I bought for on the inside of a cupboard. Then the night before we decide off that list what we'll have for dinner. I make a mental note of what I'll have leftovers for lunch, then I'll buy sandwich meat, frozen things, etc. for those days. I plan my lunch and snacks the night before too and I do change things up. I'll pack a pineapple cup for a snack but then I'm either not in the mood for it or get too busy so then I have an extra point floating around. Then I might have an extra serving of milk at dinner or something, bacon bits on my salad, etc. I usually bring extra snacks and keep them at work for me to choose from.

    Or, I'll leave 4 points or so unplanned in my day and then I'll choose an acceptable snack when I'm ready for it and then write it in.
    HW 220
    CW 134
    GW 129

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ont.
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan a week ahead too, lunches and dinners, as well as the extras for snacks and the baby. This way I get a grocery list that ensures we have healthy, balanced food in the house! The meals don't necessarily get eaten on the day they are written in for, but they do get eaten sometime in the week. So basically I plan 6 dinners and 7 lunches (we have takeout on grocery night). It's also a good way to make sure you're not wasting food because you can use, say, a celery for more than one recipe, and also I have found that I have better lunches because I'm more likely to buy and bake an extra potato for myself, for example.

    Just my thoughts!
    Restart: Sept. 4, 2006 (had DD)
    SW: 206.5 CW: 179.5 Change from last week: -2
    PPGW: 171 GW: 140
    10%: Apr. 30/07
    Current goal: halfway: 33lbs ~ 173.5
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Chester, Virginia
    Replies
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    A buddy taught me the best way thats working for me. Take your recipes and decide on 5-7 depending on how many days you are planning for, go threw and decide on which ones for the week, also can check the sales paper for you local grocery store so you can pick sale items. Then right a list for all the ingriedients you need to make those meals and have the stuff on hand. Then you know you have the stuff to make any one of those meals any night of your choice. You can do the same with lunches if ya want but I only do it for dinners. I make sure I have things I can go to fast for lunches. Hope this helps.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan a week in advance, down to the snacks, when I'm most on track and do the best on program. It also helps with shopping, so I have on hand what I need for our meals. Frankly, I'm not sure how I'd grocery shop without having at least dinner planned out for the week.

    I'm a stay at home mom and planning a week at a time takes some time once a week but it saves time the rest of the week when the meat is defrosted or veggies are prepped and dinner comes together easily, so it all evens out.
    Locavore on Core, eating local, organic farm-fresh foods, avoiding "Frankenfoods," and blogging all about it!

  13. Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    Awesome responses - thank you!

    After a few more days OP, I've found what you all say to be true - especially if you're cooking, it's much better to plan. It's easier now that I'm finding OP recipes and learning to cook in a way that's more points friendly. I realize the problem was that ALL of my meals were pretty points heavy, so choosing to eat one thing over another really wasn't easy, because it could send me over. Now that I've restocked my fridge and pantry with mostly points friendly food, whatever I pick up is relatively low, so I can kinda interchange my meals a little easier...

    I do love to plan, and I wanted to try to adapt the organizedhome.com version of that menu planning grocery list (like another poster mentioned) to my new lifestyle. I think I just didn't have the right recipes in rotation, was all. So what I do now is a combo of what you all suggested - I chose 20 recipes off the WW site and I just pull a few according to what we might eat for the next few days, use the shopping list function at the site, and it generates a list of what I need. I add basics, and I take it to the store. Easy!

    Now I just have to figure out how to get these breakfasts and lunches together. I just don't know what I like to eat in the morning! All these years eating, you'd think I knew exactly what my go-to breakfast would be.

    Anyway -- thanks for the responses. You rock, buddies!
    Height: 5'1"
    Began WW: Sept 2, 2004
    Recommit: 5/15/2007
    Initial SW in 2004: 149.1
    SW in 2007: 158
    Current Weight: 154
    WWGW: 120
    PG: 105

    1st Mini Goal: 142 (10%)

  14. Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I don't do any planning...I just make sure the cupboards have good choices in them. With three children and busy schedules, I have to be able to be spontaneous...

    I do have a typical amount of points that I usually "spend" at each meal, though. Up to 4 for breakfast, up to 6 for lunch, up to 8 for dinner, and that leaves at least 2 points for a snack (usually a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich).
    Carla

    SW 172 -- 08/10/06
    GW 135 -- 12/14/06
    CW 145 -- 11/29/09 (My "Oh, Crap!" number)
    Lifetime member gettin' back to goal!

  15. #15

    Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I plan our dinners and make sure all the necessary ingredients are at home or on my grocery list. Dinners are always 8-10 points. Then I have a very short list (about 4-5 items each) on my refrigerator of breakfasts and lunches. These are based on things I that tend to be staples at our house. The breakfasts are 7-8 points and the lunches are 5-6. This makes it really idiot proof!
    Louise

  16. Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    I find with Core that I am free to do as much or as little planning as I want to. I keep the pantry stocked with good "quick assembly" meal ingredients, so I'm never at a complete loss. Dinner is time my husband and I usually spend together, so I like to consult with him to see what he feels like that day - at least how hungry he is. We do big shopping every couple of weeks and will swing by the store while we're out to pick up items we want - often determined by what's on sale, as with tonight's steamed clams dinner.

    On Core, I don't have to worry about the "pointiness" of a meal, because I always eat to satisfaction. A big plus for me is that it often means lunch for tomorrow is leftovers from dinner tonight!

  17. Default Re: How much advance planning do you do?

    Thanks again for responding, everyone.

    Backtobasics: I'm sure Core is much easier to "plan" for. You don't really need a plan at all as long as you have Core allowed foods on hand. Unfortunately, Core is a license to binge for me, so I'm not on that program.

    Thanks anyway!
    Height: 5'1"
    Began WW: Sept 2, 2004
    Recommit: 5/15/2007
    Initial SW in 2004: 149.1
    SW in 2007: 158
    Current Weight: 154
    WWGW: 120
    PG: 105

    1st Mini Goal: 142 (10%)

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