I thought I’d take a break from my usual routine of providing a recipe here – mostly because I didn’t make anything interesting enough to include – and talk a little more about meal planning. Specifically, I’m going to demonstrate what a week’s meal plan looks like and use it to explain why they can help when you’re working with a calorie budget.
I’m very much a creature of habit with breakfast, so I don’t actually have to do a whole lot of planning here. My breakfast is usually one of the following:
- Fried egg sandwich, consisting of two pieces of bread, a slice of American cheese, and two large fried eggs. That’s 364 calories.
- Scrambled egg sandwich, consisting of two pieces of bread, a slice of American cheese, and three large scrambled eggs. That’s 436 calories.
- Scrambled eggs, consisting of two pieces of toast, a tablespoon of butter, and three large scrambled eggs. That’s 476 calories.
I like eggs, is what I’m saying. I also recognize that I should be eating some fruit or a vegetables with breakfast, but I’m not pushing myself yet. This is the first week in a while where breakfast hasn’t been “drive through”, so I won’t get down on myself yet. When making breakfast I’ll splurge on occasion and have a strip of bacon or some turkey sausage, but I’m not doing that this week.
This is more changeable, as I like more variety in lunch than I like in breakfast. Here’s what I planned for this week:
- Monday and Tuesday: Chili dogs and chili, which consists of 2 turkey hot dogs, 2 slices of bread, and 13 oz of my Lazy Man’s Homemade Chili. That’s 717 calories, plus an orange, so 785 calories in total.
- Wednesday and Friday: Two bologna and cheese sandwiches, each consisting of two slices of bread, two slices of light pork & turkey bologna, an one slice American cheese. That’s 676 calories, plus either an orange (744 calories total) or an apple (756 calories total).
- Thursday: Two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, each consisting of two slices of bread, 1 ounce smooth peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon of fruit spread. That’s 768 calories, plus an apple, so 848 calories.
My wife’s cooking dinner this week, so I don’t know exactly what I’m having. Still, I’ll have some calories to work with as long as I stick with my meal plan. My planned calorie intake looks something like this (using the scrambled egg sandwich as the baseline for breakfast):
- Monday: 1,153 calories in
- Tuesday: 1,321 calories in (I’m planning on eating a yogurt as well), 979 left.
- Wednesday: 1,180 calories in, 1,120 left.
- Thursday: 1,284 calories in, 1,016 left.
- Friday: 1,192 calories in, 1,108 calories left.
Clearly, I have no concerns that I’ll have to skimp on dinner. As long as I stay on the meal plan, that is.