Making the decision to lose weight is a big one. The reality is that lifestyle changes won’t happen overnight. It takes time for healthy eating and regular exercise to become a habit. Until you reach that point, it’s essential to do some planning. When it comes to your eating, planning out your meals is especially important. Why? Fitness experts and dieticians claim that 80% of weight loss is attributed to what you eat.
So, should you plan your meals ahead of time? Yes! Planning is key when it comes to starting (and maintaining) a healthy lifestyle. There are already so many obstacles. With limited time to prepare meals, work out, and more and more responsibilities on your plate, never underestimate the importance of a little preparation. Why? Preparation helps you stay on track.
Planning and organization go hand in hand…. and being organized is directly related to weight loss. A bit of planning ahead of time ensures that you know exactly what you can and cannot eat for the day. This helps you stay on track with your calories, your nutrition, and so on. Counting everything out before you actually eat anything will help prevent you from eating for emotional reasons. Plus, it helps you avoid the temptation of that last-minute snack at the end of the night. If you haven’t planned for it already, you know that you can’t eat it!
Another perk of planning your meals? You put intention into your day. Every time you think about the food you’re eating, you re-commit yourself to a new healthy lifestyle. You won’t spend your day dreaming about a chocolate mousse cake or a tub of double chocolate ice cream if you haven’t planned for it. It’s hard to believe, but simply knowing what you are going to eat focuses your mind. Remember, the more you plan, the better equipped you are to make healthy choices each and every day.
If you’re ready to start planning out your meals, grab a notebook and a pen. This notebook should be used exclusively for planning and organizing. Don’t want to do it by hand? Have a document saved on your computer, download an app for your iPad or create a memo in your phone. However you choose to plan out your meals, the most important thing is that you actually do it!
Spend twenty minutes every Sunday and plan out your meals for each day of the week. That includes drinks and snacks as well as your actual meals. Remember to be realistic, as this will help you to actually stick to your plan. (It is all well and good to plan to eat broccoli and salad at every meal, but that simply isn’t going to happen.) Think about your schedule and lifestyle before you write down anything. Also, make sure you have all the food you’ll need for the week stocked and ready to go. That way, there will be no excuses to ignore your weight loss food plan.
Planning your meals ahead of time is a must. If you’re serious about losing weight, give it a try. It will help you stay on track and meet your goals in no time flat.