Meal Planning 101

Fit.Church recommendations for meals

Remember that our suggested breakdown of food each day is 35% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 25% fat (find the Fit.Church Eating Plan here).

This percentage breakdown is a guideline, and not a hard and fast rule. One may find that what works best for your body is 30% or 25% protein, and 45% or even 50% carbohydrate and even as little as 20% fat. Each must determine the breakdown that best fits his or her needs. We encourage you to start with our suggested breakdown for the first two weeks and then make adjustments.


Simple Tips for Healthy Meal Planning

1. Small steps are the best steps.

There are little steps that you can take the will continue your health journey. Many of us when we start this journey believe that everything has to change. I used to believe that becoming healthy meant that I had to eat shredded wheat in water for breakfast; cottage cheese and lettuce for lunch; salad, soggy fish, and celery for dinner; and run 5 miles a day. Obviously, this is simply not the case.

Here are some easy changes you can start with:

  • Switch from butter to olive oil when cooking on the stove.
  • Switch from two eggs for breakfast to one egg and two egg whites.
  • Shop as if you lived in the Garden of Eden and limit your meat intake to 4-6 ounces a couple of times a day.
  • Realize the more food is “processed” or “touched” by human beings the less healthy it is for you to eat. For instance, brown rice and white rice are actually produced from the same plants. The difference between white rice and brown rice is processing. The milling and polishing that produces white rice removes 67% of vitamin B3, 80% of vitamin B1, 90% of vitamin B6, half the manganese, half the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Once milled the white rice is “enriched” with B1, B3 and iron, meaning that they add some of these back in.

2. Moderation and Balance are keys to unlocking success.

Some of us try to change too much at once. We exercise to the point of injury. We adjust everything in our diet to the point that our entire digestive system is thrown into shock and we feel completely unsatisfied after eating.

This meal plan is NOT about never eating another piece of pie, or enjoying a bowl of ice cream. It is NOT about never having another piece of chocolate. This IS about moderation and balance. It is about smaller portions. It is about adjusting to healthier options that still leave us satiated.

For instance, I still love chocolate. I used to eat chocolate almost every other day. I now reserve chocolate to an occasional enjoyment.  Now, instead of purchasing a family pack of Hershey bars and eating them all within 12 hours, I purchase a small, organic chocolate bar and I enjoy it. By handling chocolate in this way, I’ve consumed many less calories and, in reality, did not spend as much on the small bar of chocolate than I would have spent on the family pack.

Moderation and balance are the keys to unlocking your successful health journey.

3. How we eat is central.

How we eat is central to our health journey. We encourage people to see their bodies as an organic machine that operates most efficiently on three meals and two or three snacks each day. This also translates into eating breakfast and we encourage people to not eat within three hours of going to bed. This allows us to burn off as much of our food intake as possible before we rest.

Many obese and overweight people eat alone. One of the best methods we can utilize to help us move forward on our health journey is to eat with others.

Don’t rush through your meal, but rather slow down and enjoy it. This actually will allow you to feel satisfied without overeating.

Finally, realize that becoming healthy is not about punishing yourself for your past, nor is it about becoming thin. It most certainly is not about depriving yourself of every food you enjoy. This is about formulating a plan that works for you and your family. Each of us is on a health journey, but that journey is not the same for each of us.