Losing weight is multifaceted. It’s much more than just calories in vs. calories out. Losing weight
and keeping it off requires creating healthy habits and routines.
Habits are the things that we repeatedly do on purpose. The quality of our lives often depends
on the quality of our habits. Transitioning into a healthier lifestyle that promotes weight loss
begins with changing something you do daily. The secret is found in your daily routines.
One of the most under-recognized pillars of weight loss is the simple act of planning ahead. This
is a dynamic process that sets you up for success – no matter what the day ahead brings you.
Benefits of planning ahead:
● Takes the guesswork out of meal-time
● Takes into consideration all the factors that affect your food choices
● Ensures healthful foods are planned
● Prevents choosing quick, processed convenient foods
● Cost savings by eating out less
● It’s a relatively simple process to make a plan in advance
Downsides of NOT planning ahead:
Lack of planning can easily result in choosing foods you wouldn’t have chosen if you had
originally planned ahead. When there is no plan, opting for the quickest, most
convenient option can easily happen – which is likely less nutritious than a meal that has
been decided on in advance.
● When there is no plan, a common occurrence is waiting until feeling overly hungry
before thinking about what to eat. This typically leads to eating larger portions due to
hitting the point of intense hunger. Alongside this can come a fast pace of eating, which
can also lead to larger portion sizes due to a delayed realization of fullness.
Planning ahead starts here:
1.) Instead of overwhelming yourself with planning the entire month’s worth of meals at one
time, start to think about what you will eat just 24 hours in advance. Take an inventory of
what’s available in your fridge and pantry.
Consider these questions when planning for the day or week:
● What does my schedule look like tomorrow/this week?
● How can I prepare myself in advance to set myself up for success?
● Are there certain days that will be busier? If so, how can I prepare for that?
2.) Write down your food decisions on a simple meal planning template. Our brains make
decisions differently when we are calmly planning ahead vs. making impulse
judgments. When you make an eating plan ahead of time, you’re deciding what to eat
based on your best interest.
Planning ahead for your meals is one of the most advantageous, yet simple habits you can
implement as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Weight loss requires creating healthy habits and routines.
- Planning ahead is an important but often overlooked aspect of weight loss.
- Benefits of planning ahead include removing the guesswork from mealtime, considering factors that affect food choices, ensuring healthy foods are planned, avoiding quick and processed foods, saving money by eating out less, and simplifying the process.
- Downsides of not planning ahead include making less nutritious food choices, waiting until intense hunger to decide on meals, and eating larger portions due to delayed realization of fullness.
- Start planning by thinking about meals just 24 hours in advance and taking inventory of available food.
- Consider your schedule and how to prepare in advance for success.
- Write down your food decisions on a meal planning template to make calm and informed choices.
- Planning ahead for meals is a simple yet advantageous habit for a healthy lifestyle.
- Healthy behaviors are critical if on GLP-1 medications such as Ozempic, WeGovy, Mounjaro, etc
This article has been written by Cassandra Sampson, RD and fully reviewed and liked by Dr. Jim Liu, MD.
Cassandra Sampson is a Registered Dietitian, a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and a certified Mindful & Instinctive Eating Practitioner. Go to her Blog!
#medical #telehealth #umedoc #cassandrasampson #nutritiousnibbles