So you think you don’t need daily meal plans for weight loss? You’re more a fly by the seat of your pants type of a person? Well, I heard a quote the other day. It was related to organizations, but it applies very well with a minor tweak. The quote is, “your organization is perfectly designed to get the exact results that you are getting now.” Change a couple of words and we have, “your diet and fitness routine are perfectly designed to get the exact results that you are getting now.” You are absolutely free to fly by the seat of your pants. To keep eating whatever sounds good. To keep exercising whenever you feel like it. This is America after all.
However, if you are tired of getting the same results, it is time to change your diet design. Instead of waiting for the day to decide what you feel like eating, because really, do you always feel like eating healthy? I know that I don’t. If I wait and plan my meal an hour ahead of time, I am just as likely to end up at a restaurant or worse, eating fast food. And this is not only terrible for the diet, but it is a budget buster as well. But, if I plan ahead and already have the grocery shopping done and the meal planned, I am much more likely to eat a healthy meal and stay within my diet. Like anything else in life, intentionality really is the key. If you plan ahead and stick to that plan, you have a much greater chance for success. Below are three ways that you can be more successful in your daily meal plans for weight loss.
- Don’t Plan Next Week Meals When You Are Hungry
Just like you shouldn’t go grocery shopping hungry, don’t plan the following week’s meals on an empty stomach. When you are hungry and craving junk food (Read my post Why Eat Six Meals A Day if you want to find out why you crave junk when you’re hungry, you are in no shape to make good nutrition decisions for an entire week. Wait until after a satisfying meal and you will be able to do a much better job of sticking to your diet goals.
- Limit Your Choices
It is much easier to plan, and easier to stick to a meal plan if you get into a consistent routine. Choose one to three things and stick with them for the week at breakfast, lunch, and snacks. This really cuts down on the work because you really only have to plan 7 dinners per week instead of 21 meals plus snacks. And, though it may sound like you would get bored of that food, or that it would take the fun out of eating I never get bored with a food that quickly. But really, you have to decide what your goals are. Do you want to have fun eating, or do you want to lose weight. Knowing ahead of time what you are going to have for breakfast makes you more likely to choose wisely, and much more likely to have sustained weight loss.
- Pre-Cook, Pre-Cut, Pre-Chop, etc.
Do anything you can beforehand. Again, intentionality is the key to success. If you take the time over the weekend to prepare all that you can ahead of time, you are that much more likely to stick with your meal plan for the week. After a long day at work, I am in no mood to come home and do all of the prep work for the night’s meal. I would much rather play with my boys or talk to my wife. But over the weekend, I can always find a spare hour or so to cook and freeze some chicken, chop some veggies, grate some cheese and cook some rice.
I hope these tips help you to start daily meal plans for weight loss. I have found that the thought and effort beforehand has kept me eating healthy much more regularly. And I would say that because I was intentional and set up a new system, my diet is now perfectly designed for me to be healthy and to keep the weight off.
If you want some help with your daily meal planning, I recommend the Diet Solution Program. I learned so much from Isabella. She gives great detail in what to eat and when, and she even includes the shopping lists that you will need for your weekly meals. It was a great starting point and it will get you eating well and losing weight.