The last thing most people want to do at the end of a busy work day is prepare dinner. According to the USDA, Americans in 2014 spent an average of 37 minutes a day preparing food and cleaning up. That’s over 4 hours a week! Why is meal planning so important?
Caitlin McCullough, RD, LD, clinical dietitian with the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center, explains: Planning and preparing meals not only saves you time, but helps you stick to your weight loss goals by taking the stress out of creating healthy meals. Knowing you have dinner (and/or lunch) ready at home will reduce the likelihood of stopping for fast food and grazing between meals.
It's simple to start
Start by outlining a menu for the week on a less busy day, and then take an hour or so on the weekend to prepare food in large batches for the upcoming week. Pair lean proteins with non-starchy vegetables to keep you full without excess calories. This week, try baked skinless chicken breast with seasoned cauliflower rice.
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About the author
Caitlin McCullough, RD, LD, is a clinical dietitian with the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center in Willoughby. She meets with bariatric surgery patients pre and post operatively and conducts nutrition classes. She loves educating patients about nutrition and helping them obtain their health goals. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys grocery shopping for new healthy foods and staying physically active.