What is the secret to weight loss?
Isn’t that the million dollar question?
Weight loss is completely dependent on individual circumstances. It’s all about your food preferences, how active your lifestyle is, your age, your genetics, your gender, any medical conditions, and it’s also very psychological.
Attempting a weight loss program can be difficult for many and may leave you feeling defeated just after a few days of trying. After just a few days on your new diet plan you have probably found yourself shouting the following statements.
“No more plain chicken!”
“Give me all the carbs!”
“I can’t eat another boring meal today!”
With so many different methods for weight loss out there, it’s hard to find the right one. There are diet programs to follow, meal plans to follow, exercise programs that promise flatter abs in just 10 days, etc. With all of the weight loss choices surrounding us, you may be asking what’s the best one? Which one will work for you? And how can you lose this weight once and for all without failing AGAIN?
The key to successful weight loss is consistency.
The weight loss program that will work for you is the one that YOU WILL FOLLOW.
If you get another meal plan that is filled with foods you don’t like, can’t afford, or can’t pronounce, you’re probably pretty likely to throw it out after only a few days.
That’s why you need your OWN program. Yep, I said it. You can create your own weight loss program according to YOUR needs, wants, likes, dislikes, and what you can actually do.
So, how do you do this? How do you set up your own weight loss program despite not knowing the first place to start? Glad you asked! Keep reading and by the end, you’ll be ready to get started on the right path this time!
Before we move on though, you’re going to need your ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MEAL PLANNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS. It outlines the exact steps for you to follow to get started and stay consistent with your weight loss. Grab it below!
Before we dive into the meal planning for weight loss, I want to impress the importance of “getting your head in the game” so to speak. So much about weight loss is mental. It’s about understanding why you want to do this. It’s about setting a realistic goal based on your individual circumstances. It’s about sticking with it even when you have a day that doesn’t go so well. It’s about picking yourself back up and moving forward.
Before you attempt any weight loss, you must find your WHY.
Why are you doing this? What will be different in your life because of it? Why is it important to you? Why is important for your family? Are your goals realistic?
I encourage you to sit down and think about these first. Ask yourself the tough questions. Then, write down your goal. Write it somewhere you will see it every day. Look at it often, especially when it’s a particularly difficult day to stick to it. You can do this!
Now that you have your why, let’s talk about the tools you need to be able to successfully meal plan for weight loss.
Meal planning for weight loss:
Have a plan
You’ve been there before, busy, stressed out, and have nothing to eat. So, you hit up the fast food joint agaaiiin. No wonder you’re not reaching your goals.
The first key to successful weight loss is to have a plan.
Take 10-15 minutes at the beginning of every week to look at your schedule for that week. On busy days, plan easy simple meals that are grab and go. On less busy days, you can spend a little more time cooking or enjoying more freshly cooked meals.
Write out meals for each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) - remember to make the majority of them simple and easy to grab quickly as you’re more likely to stick to eating it instead of opting for a fast Wendy’s drive thru line.
Your goal is to do as little prep work as possible in the moment. It’s all about the prep work beforehand (which we will cover in step #3!)
Create a healthy plate
Ok, you looked at your week and have an idea of what you need to plan based on your schedule. But, what do you eat?! We have to eat multiple times per day and well, it’s probably good to know what to eat to help you lose the weight and be healthy.
My favorite nutrition guide comes from Precision Nutrition. It’s a simple guide that you can use whenever you’re planning meals. In fact, I recommend heading over and reading their post about it now.
The general guideline is that you use your hand for all of your portion sizes. Genius, isn’t it? My hand is likely a little different size than yours which means I will need a little different nutrition. Can you imagine how much food Michael Jordan eats daily?!
The guide is this simple, for every meal you eat, you want:
1 palm-sized protein serving
1 fist-sized veggie serving
1 hand-cupped carb serving
1 thumb-sized fat serving
Yep, it’s that simple. Build your plate around that nutrition guide, and you’ll be able to mix and match and eat the things you still love! Just stick with the portion sizes and you’re good to go! In fact, here’s an example for you if you need an idea to get started.
1 palm protein (Salmon)
1 fist veggies (broccoli)
1 cup carbs (rice + strawberries)
1 thumb fat (olive oil)
Prep, prep, prep
Ah, prep. It’s my absolute essential item when it comes to planning your meals and sticking to them.
Take 20-30 minutes after your grocery trip to unload, wash, chop, and store all food into ready to cook, ready to eat, and ready to go containers.
It’s that simple. Grab every bit of tupperware you own and start sorting. I personally enjoy cooking my food the night of, so I always prep my food all the way until cooking. Then, when I’m ready, I throw it in the oven or on the stove.
There you have it. The 3 essential steps to meal planning for weight loss. You first must have a plan, then set up your plate according the the calorie control guide, and then get it all ready to go for the week!
Don’t forget to grab your guide that gives you every step to follow to help you stay consistent with your goal.
Oh, and before I go, I of course must mention that movement is an important component of weight loss. When you’re ready, set a small goal for yourself to move more.
The key to weight loss is to start where you are. With nutrition. With exercise. Then, when you’re ready, build up. You will be able to be more consistent as you make realistic goals for yourself.