grocery list with colorful fruits and veggies all around

Meal Planning – “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”

When individuals think about their weight, they generally fall into one of three categories. They’d like to lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same while most likely decreasing their body fat %. Regardless of which of these categories you may fall into, there is one common theme that will lead to achieving your end goal: Meal Planning. In this post I’ll review the key factors for successful planning, and how to avoid hiccups/overcome bad days.

I have found these 10 bullet points to be key in the success of my clients reaching their dietary goals…

1. Grocery Shopping – A great way to start the week. Investing money at the grocery store will make you more likely to cook the food and not let it go to waste.

2. Cook in bulk – Cooking every day can get tedious, and obstacles will always pop up in your schedule. Preparing multiple meals ahead of time, and throwing them in containers, will make your life easier.

3. Portion Control – Rationing out your food into appropriately sized portions will help you avoid binging on certain meals.

4. Food Tracking – Track your food in a journal, or an app like My Fitness Pal. Reviewing what you ate at the end of the day, will help with realization of where you may be falling short in certain nutrient categories.

5. H2O Intake Goals – Carry around a water bottle, and try to reach a goal for the amount of water consumed in a day. A great rule is consuming half or your total body weight in ounces. (ie: 200lbs – 100 oz of H2O). Often times the feeling of hunger is actually dehydration.

6. Balance Protein and Fiber – at each meal. Carbs are not the enemy, but simple processed carbs are. Pairing whole grains and fiber with protein and healthy fats at each meal will help you body fully digest proper nutrients.

7. Eat every 3-4 hours – to help manage your blood sugar and keep your metabolism firing. Extreme blood sugar fluctuation can lead to overeating, a slowed metabolism, and diabetes.

8. Always eat breakfast – within 1 hour of waking up. The earlier you eat, the earlier your ignition starts for the day!

9. Support System – Surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals as you, or are willing to help you reach yours is invaluable. You should feel proud of the changes you have decided to make to better your lifestyle, not be ridiculed or peer pressured into bad habits.

10. Stay Positive – A positive attitude is mandatory for success. Staying positive can be difficult when we don’t move a quickly in a direction as we would like or think we should, but having patience and sticking to the course will pay off in the end.

Not every meal will be perfect, but understanding that a bad moment doesn’t have to derail your entire day, weekend or full work week will help you stay on track.