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This is a plan that you have set for yourself that is a healthy meal plan. For instance, eating more fruits and vegatable or eating in smaller portions. It also mean counting daily: calories, all fats, sodium, vitamins, minerals, cholesterol, sugars. These include meals and drinks.
The foods consumed at a particular time of a day constitute a meal. More detail:
Meal planning is the advanced planning of the menu for the next few days, or even the entire month. Complete meal planning involves planning the meals to be prepared, as well as the items needed to be purchased to prepare them. Proper meal planning is important because it helps to ensure the meals meet the family’s nutritional needs, as well as managing a grocery budget and even helping the family as a unit share quality time together. For many families, the evening meal is when they share their daily events with each other, and often is the only quality time they do spend together.
When meals are well planned in advance, the household is able to eat nutritious, low cost meals. Planning in advance allows the use of food coupons, buying food items when they are on sale, as well as planning how to utilize left overs. When planning meals based on available coupons, sales on food items, as well as planning the use of the left overs, a family can save hundreds of dollars a year on their grocery bill. For example, the left overs of a pot roast served one night can then be used for making roast beef lunches for the next day. And if that roast beef was on sale, then it increases the savings spent for those meals considerable. Another example, the left over chili made for dinner one night can be used for chili dogs for the next night. Again, if the ground beef used in the chili was on sale, and if there was a cents-off coupon on the hot dogs, that is another considerable savings.
Dry dog food is far better than canned! It is more economical, takes up less space, and is generally better tasting. With reconstituted dried milk (and sugar if you like) most dry food tastes not too different from dry breakfast cereal. A hundred pound sack of dry dog food contains as many calories as a ton of fresh potatoes. The dog food also contains protein, vitamins, etc., that the potatoes do not. —Robert B. DePugh, in Can You Survive?
Our understanding of the rubber bag has led us to an effective tool that accurately indicates whether too much, too little, or just the right amount of food is going in. In the last chapter you’ve learned how to work that tool, integrating it into your daily and monthly routine so the information it yields can guide your eating.
All the information in the world, however, doesn’t change a thing until somebody takes action based upon it. In losing weight, “somebody” is your body. Now we’ll turn to planning meals to control the calories that go in. Analysis of the trend based on daily weight measurements is the key engineering trick to weight control. Meal planning for predictable calorie intake is the central management tool which closes the circle and achieves control over weight. Why plan meals?
The goal of meal planning is a predictable and reliable daily calorie intake. We can’t really wear an eat watch to tell us when to stop eating, but we can accomplish the same objective with a little paperwork in advance. By planning meals then sticking to the plan, you’re not only guaranteed to achieve your goal, you eliminate the uncertainty about meals and the need for on-the-fly judgements about what, when, and how much to eat that are a prime contributor to weight gain in people living stressful, chaotic lives. Planning meals in advance may seem foreign; an act that stamps out some of the precious spontaneity that makes life enjoyable. I think you’ll see the reality isn’t that bad, but first consider why planning meals is worth discussing at all. Eating is important; it’s one of very few things in life that isn’t optional. If you don’t eat, you die. If you eat too much for too long, you die. You wouldn’t consider for a moment investing in a company that had no budgets, where everybody said, “We just spend whatever we feel like from day to day, and hope it will all work out in the long run.”
Not only would such a business be prone to bankruptcy, its managers would have no way of knowing where the money was going; there’d be no way to measure actual performance against goals to discover where problems lay. No, only a fool would risk his money on such a venture. Yet by trying to “wing it” with regard to what you eat, to balance your long term calorie intake meal by meal, making every decision on the spur of the moment, you’re placing something even more precious than your money, your own health, in the hands of a process you know inevitably leads to serious trouble.
You encounter, in business, the rare exceptions: managers who can run a small to medium sized business without a budget or a plan. They are “naturals,” endowed either with a talent for assimilating vast quantities of detail and extracting the meaning within, or else with a sixth sense for emerging problems and an instinct for solving them. These rare individuals, born with a “sense for business,” are the managerial equivalent of people with a built-in eat watch like Skinny Sam. They can get along without the help of the numbers and calculations the rest of us need to steer a steady course. So it is with weight control. Just because some people manage without planning their meals doesn’t mean it’ll work for you or me. We must, like most managers in business, supplement our unreliable instincts with numbers that chart our goal and guide us there.