Planning Meals is Planning for Success

Planning Meals is Planning for Success

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Every weight loss journey has its ups and downs, but as we build better habits, we eventually hit our stride, and suddenly we find that we are finding it much easier to stay disciplined. That’s because once something has become habit, it almost feels wrong to do things any other way. And one of the most important habits we can develop is meal planning. We’ve all heard some version of the phrase “Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.” Keeping that in mind, why should it be any different with food?  Let’s go over the many ways that planning your diet benefits you, not only as a means of losing weight, but of developing a better relationship with food.

Portion Control

As with most things in life, when it comes to food, seeing is believing. By planning and preparing meals ahead of time, it gives us a chance to really see the amount of food we are serving ourselves. Obviously, we see every meal we eat, but by planning it well ahead of time, and gathering ingredients mindfully, provides us with a visual aid for portion control. Remembering a few rules of thumb such as 3 ounces of lean protein will be roughly the size of your palm will help us be more mindful. Additionally, this can also prevent us from overindulging when we go out, as portions served away from home tend to be significantly larger.

Save Time, Save Calories

We’ve talked about how sometimes, we walk to the fridge and stand in front of it, and then repeat this until we settle on something. The danger in this comes in one of two ways; either we continually grab small snacks to tide us over, or we get frustrated and pick something at random. Even worse, we become so impatient we order out. But by planning out our meals for the week, and having a healthy meal ready to go, not only do we stop doing the refrigerator shuffle, but we also cut back on the empty calories we would have eaten while trying to decide.

Be Accountable to Yourself

Ultimately, whenever we take steps to live a healthier lifestyle, we need to come to terms with the fact that it is all on us. Nobody else can do the work. By planning our meals in advance, and having them prepared and ready to go, we are holding ourselves accountable for our choices. In doing so, we honor the commitment to eat a more balanced diet and improve our overall health. After all the effort that went into planning and preparing your meals, it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

Meal Plans are Flexible

Even though we’ve gone over the benefits of preparing meals in advance, it should be noted that we don’t have to. The goal is to take a mindful approach to new and improved dietary habits. You could even plan your meals with some simple math! For example, let’s assume we eat 3 meals a day, plus a healthy snack. That makes 21 meals and 7 snacks a week. If out of all of those, you eat 19 healthy meals and 6 healthy snacks, you leave yourself a bit of wiggle room while building a better overall attitude towards food, but without denying yourself guilty pleasures. Improving and adjusting our relationships with certain foods is a more sustainable long-term solution.

Write It Down

As we’ve established before, the approach towards food should be “eat to live, not live to eat.” That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the occasional treat, but it does mean we need to be mindful. By writing down your meal plan, we are in a way, treating meals like any other appointment we make. We keep a schedule and have a reminder. By writing it down, you can also use it as a shopping list! It’s important to stick to it though. Who hasn’t gone to a grocery store with a whole list, and then ended up buying everything on it, plus a few impulse purchases? By planning meals ahead of time, we both have our grocery list and a reminder that there is no point in buying that box of cookies, even if they are on sale, because there is no place for them on the schedule. Sorry sugary snacks, we’re fully booked!

Reward Yourself

Adjusting to a new lifestyle is a tall task for anyone to handle. Everyone slips up, and the key is to forgive ourselves and move on. But by adding a reward later in the week, we can plan those slip-ups. Knowing that we can treat ourselves a bit after a few days of hard work and commitment can make sticking to a plan much easier. However, it’s important to stick to it. Anyone who has ever tried a diet has come across a particularly tempting day, when we say “Oh, I’ve been good. I can treat myself now, and just make up for it tomorrow.” This happens to the best of us, and should it happen again, we need to acknowledge the lapse, let it go, and move on. There is no time like the present to put in the effort, and in time, it becomes much easier to stay the course. The program only works if we work at it.

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

In effect, weight loss, nutrition, and wellness, 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. It can also help control those impulses to snack! Keeping in mind that environment can affect your weight loss journey as much as the shift into a more mindful approach to eating, having access to Meal Plans can 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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