sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Want to Lose Weight but Struggle with Menu Planning and Food Prep?

By Karen Donaldson January 23, 2024 Health and Fitness

As a registered dietitian, I can tell you that menu planning can be helpful for weight loss. You probably know it’s something you “should” do, but for some reason you just can’t.

You might find yourself saying things like:

  • It’s too hard.
  • It takes up too much time.
  • I hate menu planning.
  • It feels too much like a diet.
  • I’m too tired to think about what to eat.
  • I probably won’t succeed so why bother?

Truth is, you could have the best diet or nutrition plan ever, but if you don’t have the beliefs to back it up you won’t lose the weight.

Here’s why…

Our Beliefs Dictate About 90-95% of Our Behaviors

The thoughts that we think on a regular basis (like those above) become our beliefs. And then they start running the show behind the scenes.

This means that if you believe that menu planning and food preparation is too hard, then it will be. If you believe a menu plan is too much like a diet, and you’re sick of dieting, you’ll be very resistant to creating a plan. And if you don’t believe you’ll succeed, then you probably won’t.

Who on earth wants to do something they believe is too hard, takes up too much time, and won’t work anyway? The answer is, NOBODY!

But There Is Hope

It’s not really about the food. It’s about changing your beliefs.

When you change your beliefs it’s easy to eat healthy and lose weight.

To find out what your beliefs are try this…

  1. Write down the negative thoughts you have about menu planning and food preparation. You can use the list above to get you started, if it relates to you.
  2. Close your eyes and visualize those negative thoughts in your mind. Maybe you see them as words on a computer screen inside your head or flashing across your forehead.
  3. Say these words over and over and notice how you FEEL. Did these words motivate you? Were they inspiring? Or did they make you want to forget about menu planning and food prep and call Door Dash for dinner?

Remember, these thoughts are actually your beliefs, and they are the drivers behind your actions and behaviors. With negative beliefs in the driver’s seat, it’s no wonder you’re not successful.

So what can you do?

The First Step Is to Identify Your Negative Beliefs

You just did this with the technique above. A client I worked with recently shared that her negative beliefs included:

  • Cooking is too hard.
  • Menu planning is overwhelming.
  • I don’t have the desire or will to cook.

We figured out where these beliefs came from, how they were sabotaging her, and how they made her feel like a failure each time she tried to lose weight.

The Second Step Is to Let These Negative Beliefs Go

These negative beliefs are literally the emotional baggage that is weighing you down and hindering your success. You need to find a way to completely eliminate these beliefs.

I use all kinds of tools to help my clients eliminate beliefs that sabotage their weight loss, which are easily available on my YouTube channel if you’d like to learn more.

The Third Step in the Process Is to Create New Beliefs That Support You Instead of Sabotage You

Here’s how that works…

My client who said she hated cooking now has the belief that cooking is easy and that menu planning is freedom for her.

The results? This week she made a big batch of beef stew, veggie soup, and chicken with pecans on top. Amazing! And she shared that it truly was easy and fun.

Another client who dreaded menu planning and found it too hard is now involving the family. They recently had a fun afternoon creating menus for the month, and she is finally starting to lose weight.

And a woman shared that she used to buy veggies she would never eat and then throw them out as they’d go bad in her fridge. She now chops them up when she buys them and actually eats them fresh. She was pleasantly surprised how easy this was, and she didn’t turn to junk food snacks. Wow!

If you really want to lose weight, it’s essential that you change your behaviors.

And if you want to change your behaviors, you’ve got to change your beliefs.

If you want to learn more about how to make this happen for YOU, I warmly invite you to watch my free training: How to Stop Cravings and Emotional Eating So You Can Lose the Weight and Keep It Off.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you find the most difficult in creating meal plans? How far ahead have you created meal plans? Does this reduce meal planning stress for you? Do you think meal plans help you with weight management?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Judith Louise

When I want or need to lose weight I turn to “Braggs” apple cider vinegar. Which I drink before meals three times a day. Place one tablespoon of apple cide vinegar into a full glass of water. Stir to mix. if this is too strong for your metabolism then start with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a full glass of water, Within three or four days begin to increase the apple cider vinegar to a tablespoon. I eat normally. Within in three weeks weight begins to shift. Little by little. Your body becomes more alkaline and you will feel less sluggish. What I like about it ? I lose weight without having to think about it or change my diet. Note……the length of time weight loss is determined by how much you need to loose. Weight gain is slowed because body toxin’s are broken down by the apple cider vinegar. It works wonderfully for me and my husband. I hope it works for you.

Karen Donaldson

Glad you found something that works for you Judith!


This was great. I don’t need to loose weight but I struggle with eating healthy. My negative thought is Too much trouble for one person ” of course I’m worth taking care of. This is a great article for people like me.
Thanks for sharing these really good insights.

Karen Donaldson

Thanks Janice. And good job on identifying your negative thought!

The Author

Karen Donaldson helps women stop their cravings and emotional eating so they can lose the weight and keep it off. She is a Registered Dietitian, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Certified Weight Loss Coach, Emotion Code Certified Practitioner and a Weight Loss Mindset Expert. Learn more at

You Might Also Like