“Tomorrow, I start healthy eating for real.” “Next week, I’m going to get on track and stay there.” “After this weekend, everything changes.”

Sound familiar? Please tell me I’m not the only one who has tried to fool myself with words like these when it comes to diet and exercise.

It’s so easy to make these promises, either mentally to ourselves or out loud to those around us… and not follow through. Without a set way to get from Point A to Point B, our good intentions are meaningless. When we have no plan, we fall flat on our faces. Before we know it, we’re halfway through the week, eating takeout for the third time, and making those same promises to ourselves all over again.

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

The great Tanzanian marathoner, Juma Ikangaa, said these words over 20 years ago at the end of the Boston Marathon, but they still ring oh-so-true, especially when it comes to health and fitness goals. As a fitness coach, blogger, and full time employee, I find that planning is essential. If I don’t have my week of workouts planned out, most of the time, they just don’t happen. I end up getting carried away answering clients’ questions, working on projects for my job, or, let’s be real, relaxing on the couch while watching trashy TV.

A weekly plan is absolutely essential for me to be successful with my health and fitness goals. My workout planning goes hand in hand with my meal planning (especially dinners). When I’m planning my workouts for the week, I also have to plan my dinners for the week. If I’m planning a late evening workout, a light meal is in order. If I’ve planned a morning workout, I know I’m going to be ravenous by the time 6 pm rolls around- I’m going to want something a bit heavier. If I’m doing killer cardio, like a long run, I want lots of carbs, but if I’m trying to slim down, I’m going to keep that count lower.

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If the very thought of planning out your dinners for an entire week is enough to give you heart palpitations, fear not! It’s not as overwhelming as it sounds (I promise), and it helps you stay committed to your fitness goals more than planning out your workouts alone.

Every Sunday, I sit down and plan out my workouts for the week. I do this even if I’m following a workout program that comes with it’s own calendar. Writing my goals down holds me accountable. Sharing them is even better.

I love using Plan to Eat to help me get my life together when it comes to meal planning. I used to pull recipes from all over the place- maybe a home delivery meal service on one day, something from Pinterest on another day, a link from a Facebook friend. Remembering where I put all those recipes, and when I was supposed to make them, all became so overwhelming… not to mention the random trips to the grocery store because I realized I was out of a key ingredient.

This is why Plan to Eat has made my fitness and meal planning so. much. easier. I’m more likely to look for recipes if I know that I’m actually going to make them… and not just wander around the grocery store trying to remember what I needed to make it/ look up the recipe on my phone.

Those of you who read my blog know that sometimes, I use home delivery recipe services. They have their time and place- don’t get me wrong- but overall, they are not as money-saving as meal planning and going grocery shopping on your own, especially when using a service like Plan to Eat. I see home delivery recipe services (Blue Apron, Plated, Fresh Direct, etc.) as more of a date night, special occasion meal. While it does save time to have food delivered directly to your door, it also costs about $9.97 per person, per meal, on average. Unless you’re having filet mignon every night, you just are not going to see that type of cost associated with meal planning and grocery shopping on your own, even when you factor in the cost of a meal planning service like Plan to Eat.

Do you factor in your workout plans when planning your meals? How? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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