CHALLENGE 2: Create a one-week meal plan
Do you really have time to make healthy meals in your busy life of job and military duties, family obligations, social activities, and trying to sleep 8 hours and exercise regularly? Yes, you do! When you invest some time each week into planning, shopping for, and preparing your meals, you’re investing in your health, performance, and readiness.
Consider the benefits of cooking at home:
- It leads to a higher-quality diet, which typically leads to better health and weight.
- It costs less than eating out or ordering takeout.
- You can control the ingredients and portions—especially important if you’re focusing on weight loss.
- It’s a great way to connect with friends and family.
- It can be really fun!
If you share a kitchen with family, friends, or roommates, have them join you in your meal-planning efforts. They can help you decide what to cook, choose new ingredients or recipes to try (quinoa or eggplant), or share the cooking or clean-up duties.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t plan to cook most of your meals at home, creating a meal plan for the week is a great way to help you achieve your weight goals. If “taco Tuesday” is a meal you like to stop for on your way home from work, you can look for ways to eat lighter for the rest of the day to balance out the extra chips and salsa (and possibly a beer or margarita)! You might also decide to make favorite takeout meals at home so you can have more control over the ingredients and portions.
Remember, most people tend to default to the quickest and easiest option. So, make sure balanced, high-nutrient meals are your default. Planning ahead can decrease stress—and create leftovers for the next day.
TASKS to achieve Challenge 2:
- Find out what makes a “healthy” weight-loss eating plan.
- Consider the pros and cons of popular eating styles.
- Learn how to eat to fuel your performance.
- Learn more about fad diet red flags.
- Read our sample grocery list—then write your own.
- Practice smart grocery shopping on a budget.
- Review our sample 7-day meal plan—then create your own.
- Arm yourself for success with these 6 tips for your wellness mission.
- Get tips on making healthy choices when you’re out.
Additional resources: Challenge 2
Find more resources on how to plan meals and make healthy choices.
5 reasons to toss your take-out menus
Help your partner lose weight
Help your family lose weight
Quick and easy meal and snack ideas
Raise healthy eaters: Age-specific tips
Taking dietary supplements? Eat real food instead
Weight loss supplements: What you should know
Download the PDF version of this guide here.