One Plan Saves Time, Money, and Calories

One Plan Saves Time, Money, and Calories

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Whenever we try to reach a healthier weight, we always have some sort of plan or at the very least, an approach. Some of us take a very intense approach and count calories consumed versus calories burned, and others have a less defined (but no less valid) attitude, such as trying to insert healthier habits, or refraining from that extra slice. In short, as long as a weight loss plan is based on a healthy lifestyle change, and not one centered on depriving ourselves (sometimes dangerously so) or running ourselves ragged, it’s a step in the right direction. A meal plan gives us the best of both worlds. We’ve all heard the phrase “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” But as with everything else in life, there is a flipside to that. In this case, a plan that is too rigid leaves no room for flexibility, which in turn makes it harder to adapt to new circumstances. So, we are going to go over the how and why of meal plans, including some of the added benefits, including how you can save time and money.

Get the Tedious Stuff Out of the Way

The first step of a meal plan always feels a little bit like the first day of a trip. Think about it. We commit to it, we think about how great it will be, but when it comes time to start packing, it’s like we hit a brick wall. Starting a meal plan is really no different. We can say we’re going to commit, but when it comes time to start planning and organizing, we tend to put it off. With that in mind, this leaves us one inevitable conclusion: if we really want to go on this journey, we need to take the first step. But what is the first step? First, be honest with yourself and write down how many meals (including snacks) you have in a seven-day period. This should leave you with 21 meals, and 7 snacks. Second, identify which days you are most likely to struggle. For most people, it would be Wednesday and Saturday, because they are the middle of the work week and the weekend, respectively. Now that you’ve covered those, plan for the middle of your work week and the middle of your “weekend” to have one cheat meal, within reason. Be sure to include lean protein, whole grains, and lots of fruits and veggies. Now that you’ve planned meals that are healthy and to your taste, it’s time for step two.

Time to Shop?

Wait! Before you go shopping, when was the last time you ate? If it was less than 2 hours ago, then go ahead and head over to your favorite grocery store. But if it’s been a while since your last meal, eat before you leave the house. At the very least have a snack before you go. Why? Because studies have shown that when people shop hungry, they are more likely to make impulse purchases, both in food AND non-food items. This is an easy way to both wreck the meal plan and burn a hole in your wallet, so before shopping, dig in, but try to be healthy. Shopping while feeling guilty is not likely to be better.

NOW it’s Time to Shop.

Ok, now it’s time to tackle the aisles and the produce section. We already mentioned what to look for (lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.) But how to pick which ones? Well, barring any food allergies, most produce is an automatic green light, so go for the ones you like most. Keep in mind, buying produce by weight is the better choice for 2 reasons: First, it makes it easier to ration for the week when you know exactly how much you’re buying. Secondly, buying produce by weight is usually cheaper than buying the prepackaged options. As for protein, depending on what you’re looking for, keep an eye out for a few things. If buying ground meat, be sure to check the label telling what percentage of it is lean vs. fat. Keep in mind, different food components have different calorie counts. For reference, 1 gram of either protein or carbohydrates has 4 calories, but 1 gram of fat has 9 calories. Also remember not all fat is created equal. Avoid saturated fts, in favor of heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats! Keep in mind that while buying in bulk may seem impractical, it is generally cheaper by weight, and also keeps your honest buy ensuring that you have enough to eat for the week and avoiding impulse buys. Finally, stick to your shopping list. Many grocery stores use several clever tricks to keep shoppers inside to buy more. Some examples include placing dairy far away from the entrance so you have to walk by many products like cereal, or keeping the most expensive items at eye level while keeping generic foods lower. With your list, and these tips, you can shop healthy and smart!

Cook Veggies in Advance

This one may seem misinformed, but we assure you, it makes sense when you really think about it. When sealed in an airtight container, cooked vegetables last about a week. By cooking in advance and storing it in a container in the fridge, it makes it convenient, accessible, and most importantly, visible. How often do we buy vegetables, put them in their drawer, and then forget about them until they go bad, and we need to throw them out? For those of us who are still working on building better eating habits, the vegetable drawer is where good intentions go to die. Best to avoid that trap altogether and have them ready to go! Effort is a huge part of losing weight, and generally, we just don’t like seeing that effort go to waste. Have your veggies ready, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make eating them a habit.

Medical Professionals Can Set You Down the Path to Success

When it’s all said and done, weight loss, nutrition, wellness, and meal planning, falls under the category of medical science. By seeking the help of trained professionals, you not only have better resources to succeed, but the support structure you need to build better habits. The professionals at Olivera Weight Loss have over 40 years of experience in helping people reduce their weight to a healthy BMI, in a clinically proven and medically safe way, and with the means to help their patients keep it off. Patients who qualify for medical weight loss treatment with Olivera receive Phentermine, an FDA approved, clinically proven appetite suppressant, which is an excellent way to jumpstart better habits with proper portions. This is also helpful in tracking because it will help put your food intake into perspective. In addition, patients have access to our Meal Plans to help keep a balanced and nutritious, and delicious diet, in a sustainable way. With our established patients having the option to continue their care with our Telehealth service, receiving the support, encouragement, and continuing education they need, we make it easier than ever to follow your plan!

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