I’ve recently shared a beginners guide to start a successful workout plan and lose weight. Today I would like to share the best guide to start a successful meal plan and lose weight. Because when it comes to losing weight, your food is 80% towards your goal.
5 Steps To A Successful Meal Plan
The beauty about meal planning is that there are no rules, so you really can’t mess it up. The key is to just start, keep experimenting and eventually you will find your own style and what works best for you. To help you get started I’ve broken some of the basics into 5 practical steps.
1. Assess Your Eating Situation
This is very crucial as you need to be honest with yourself, take the time to reflect and ask yourself these questions:
1. In a week, how often do you cook at home or eat home-cooked food by your parents or family?
2. In a week, how often do you eat out? If so, when do you tend to eat?
3. How many meals do you eat in a day? Is it 3 meals, 5 meals or more?
4. What makes up your typical meal? For instance, is it pasta, sandwiches, rice with vegetables and chicken, fast-foods, takeaways? Be specific and list everything down.
5. What do you think make your eating habit less healthy, hence causing the weight to pile on?
It is important for you to be honest with yourself because before we can fix a problem, we have to know what the problem is. So in order to start a successful meal plan and lose weight, you have to figure out your “stumbling block”, basically the main issue that destroys all your good intentions. Be very specific, write it down, because in the second step we want to find your style and take baby steps.
2. Find Your Style And Take Baby Steps
Change is hard. I don’t expect, in fact I do not want you to make huge changes to your current eating patterns because you’re more likely to set yourself up for failure. Your ultimate goal is to establish healthy eating habits that can be sustain for a lifetime. The best way to do this is to make small gradual changes to your current eating habits. Just allow time to adapt and get used to the new habits day by day.
There is no deadline! Remember, this is for life!
3. Clear The Old, Stock The New
Even if your will to lose weight is strong, but your fridge is packed with junks and processed food, it will be really, really hard for you to lose weight. In order to make space for new positive habits, we have to be ready to leave the old bad habits behind.
Take this time to go through your food cabinet and fridge and get rid of all the foods which you know will sabotage your diet plan. Once you’ve got rid of the old, now it’s time to write a healthier grocery list.
It is very important to have a grocery list when you do your food shopping because we want to avoid impulse buying. If you go without knowing what you want and just buy whatever you like, chances are you will end up with more junks than healthy food.
So plan your meals for the week, make a list and shop with a purpose. Stock up on real natural food and avoid or keep the unhealthy snacks to minimum.
4. Track Your Meals
Just like you track your workouts to know if you have progressed, keeping track of your meals will let you know exactly what and how much you have eaten and if you’re sticking to your meal plan. A typical food journal includes:
- What you ate and drank;
- Portion size or calories;
- How did you feel after having your meal.
Be very specific and record everything you ate because sometimes when we think we are eating the right portion, yet not losing the weight, chances are you might be snacking a lot throughout the day without even realising it. So your food journal can be a very powerful tool to help you realize and to keep you in control.
Nowadays our food portions are way bigger than what they should be, which contributes to weight gain. So it is helpful to know what a typical meal size should look like. I would encourage you to read this article: How To Count Calories To Lose Weight Fast. Plus, there are so may food and nutrition apps that such as MyFitnessPal, LoseIt or many more, which makes it for you very easy to snap pictures and keep track of your meals and calories.
5. Just Do It!
Reading this article or watching a recipe video on YouTube will not make you lose weight. Only by taking action now and creating your successful meal plan according to these steps will you lose weight.
There is no perfect timing to start because this is a permanent lifestyle change. It is not a temporary fad diet! There is no right and wrong because you will keep experimenting and fine-tune your style.
There is no such of thing as failure, because when you fall, you will pick yourself back up and try again. So just do it! You’ve got nothing to lose! you can transform your body and life just by choosing an inspiring, wholesome and balanced diet. Stay fit!