I do. Maybe not for the entire week, but 3-4 days ahead. Reasons / benefits:
a) Grocery shopping is easy and quicker. I cook most of my meals myself, maybe 1-2 lunches out every week. I also might pick up something from the deli, and I usually have it planned what to get. b) I have different macro targets for workout and rest days, so planning is somewhat required. I save time by using a bit of time with my own spreadsheet, than figuring out meals and portions afterwards with fitday etc. c) I know I'll eat enough (food in general and macros). d) I won't eat too much, as I know what I'll have on my 1st, 2nd and possible 3rd meal of the day (doing intermittent fasting).
C is currently the most important, as I'm shifting from weight loss targets to maintenance levels and strength work. D is more of an issue for rest days, as I'm doing leangains-paleo.
I still quite a bit of scale, but I've been doing it so long, I have become pretty good and accurate enough to tell how muchs a certain piece of different food weighs. Planning is more needed if I cook or eat foods higher in fat, like fish a lot of eggs.
Yes. Failing to plan is a plan to fail. Cliched but true. Otherwise the evil forces of fast food slowly creep into the diet and then metabolic havoc is imminent.
Related to this, I still am a bit on the fence regarding Stephan Guyenet's Food Reward series, but...I find that by planning my meals, the Food Reward of my diet (as I understand) is noticeably lower which is aligned with my weight loss objectives. Note that I do not equate this with unsatisfying meals - far from it!!!
To the extent that my grocery bills have never been higher, I am even further motivated to eat healthy since throwing out the food always hurts my fiscally challenged heart. A week of eating at Taco Bell would be 1-2 days of healthy food in terms of $, so the opportunity cost is much greater as a result when not adhering to the plan.
No, cuz I never know what I want till the moment strikes me. I keep a variety of meats, fish, etc in the freezer n shop daily for the freshest organic veggie or two. Besides, nothing makes Spirit laugh louder than hearing we have plans.
These days, no - simply because we have a freezer full of grass-fed beef, pastured pork and chicken and are getting most of our vegetables from our CSA co-op and the farmer's market. It's hard to plan when you're not sure what you're getting, food-wise! Having said that, I did meal plan when my children were small, and was quite strict about it. It was very good for our budget, which was very tight back then, and reduced food waste because I only bought what I needed for the week. Also, it was good for us nutritionally, although I didn't think much about that aspect of it 20 years ago, because for the most part it encouraged us to eat seasonally, because that was the produce that was on sale (even back then I was a bit of a food snob and didn't buy much processed crap).
I plan breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week ahead. Reason/Benefits - we are 1 busy family - I teach 14 fitness/yoga classes per week, hubs owns a barber shop and works 55+ hours, daughter is a competitive Irish dancer... Some weeks never end!
Planning our meals saves time and saves us from the "I don't know what to cook/don't feel like cooking" eating out binge.
Also, my daughter is spending a bit of time with my in-laws this summer who are the exact opposite of Paleo... planning helps me pack her some healthy stuff to take up there with her so she's not stuck with grilled cheese and hot dogs every day (shudder).
YES YES YES! I plan my 7 day menu and hit the grocery store with my list of ingredients! It helps save on wasteful spending, as I only buy what is on my list! Eating primal is more expensive than most lifestyles....so anything that helps to eliminate additional costs, and I find that meal planning does that for us.
When I go to the grocery store I think in terms of what I'm gonna eat that week, when I get home I think of the day at first because I'm all excited about my new stuff, planning is going on in my head from time to time and for differing lengths of time since I bought the stuff. Breakfast is pretty standard eggs with some kinda meat. I improvise lunch and dinner but only sorta...while I'm doing breakfast I'm thinking about lunch and when I'm doing lunch I'm thinking about dinner, make sense? I'm only cooking for one, so it's easy not to be making as much food...but I am not a believer that good food just takes too much time to prepare: Today I drove home for my lunch break, leaving me with 30 minutes to cook and eat some potatoes, eggs, bacon and I ate that with some kimchi, it was phenomenal. My friend used to go home on her lunchbreak at school and make a platter of sushi for herself, planned, yes, improvised, yes too. We have our different ways of planning.
Semi-planned and semi-spontaneous. Like maybe I thought I'd have beef for dinner but a friend shows up with some fresh caught halibut and crab, so I switch! We live out of town so I always have frozen meat, bacon, fish available.
And when I go to town, since shopping is a favourite hobby, I cruise the perimeter aisles looking for things like fresh portobellos that catch my eye and build a meal around them.
Once the garden gets going the veggie part involves a walk outside to see what looks good- yesterday I picked some fresh broccoli to have with roasted chicken thighs and salad.
Life in retirement is a lot less hectic/stressful in the cooking department.