4 Ways Planning Ahead Can Help You Lose Weight
At this very moment, there are millions of people who are actively trying to lose weight – changing their diets, following an exercise routine, and trying to listen to their doctor’s advice.
But there are also millions of people right now who are giving up on their new lifestyle changes, and going back to their unhealthy habits. It’s been postulated that 95% of people fail to adhere to their diets, many of them failing within just a week!
And while that statistic is widely debated, it’s no lie that the majority of people have a hard time sticking with a new nutrition or exercise plan. However, one of the real reasons for this has nothing to do with willpower or genetics: it comes down to planning ahead…
Or the failure to do so.
We humans are great at getting into habits and not wanting to break them. We are creatures of routine, so if you try to fly by the seat of your pants when you want to change something as huge as the kind of food you eat or how you spend your time, you’ll probably end up disappointed.
The inertia of your unhealthy habits can be difficult to overcome, but luckily there is one really simple trick to weight loss and wellness success: planning ahead. This is hands down one of the most important habits that you can develop, and will pay you back with huge dividends.
When you can set aside time to plan meals, follow a grocery list, anticipate speed bumps, and always have a plan B, you will be much more likely to stick with your new healthy lifestyle, lose weight, and feel good about yourself.
If you’re still not convinced, check out these four ways planning ahead can help you lose weight!
You’ll reserve brainpower
If you come home after a long day of work and you’ve got a fridge full of ingredients staring you in the face, chances are good that you’ll close the door and order takeout instead.
That’s because your brain has already been taxed, and having to create a meal on the fly requires a lot of mental power. After all, picking up the phone or clicking a few buttons online is much easier!
But if you set aside a short meal planning session once per week, you can come home and already know exactly what you’re going to eat, and where all the fixings are.
You won’t have to do too much thinking or mental organizing in that moment – you can simply follow a recipe or heat up leftovers for a healthy meal.
(We love our easy Hamburger Casserole for delicious leftovers all week!)
You’ll accommodate schedules
For today’s busy modern family, the master schedule is one that is always changing. Between work and school schedules, hobbies, sports, doctor’s appointments and other activities, it’s hard to know who is going to be where, and when.
This can throw a wrench in your cooking and eating plans, but only if you wait until the last minute.
When you sit down to plan out meals and snacks, check everyone’s schedules to make sure you can accommodate for things like travel (to-go-friendly food) and dietary restrictions. Then you won’t be suddenly alone on a Thursday night, scrambling to find something to eat, or suddenly expected to feed a crowd of your kid’s friends!
(Planning ahead works even better when you have the right tools! We’re giving away a FREE set of 7 BPA-free meal prep containers as part of a national promotion. Click here for details.)
You’ll anticipate speed bumps
Many people find it relatively easy to stick to a new diet or exercise routine when things go smoothly, but once something unexpected happens, they give up and head to the nearest drive thru.
If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to anticipate things that may go wrong, and have a backup plan to help you stay on track.
For example, you can keep a stash of healthy snacks in your purse for meetings that run late, or keep your gym clothes in your car so you can simply head there after dropping the kids off. Leaving everything to chance gives you too many excuses, and won’t do your waistline any favors.
(Our tasty Chocolate Orange Bars are a great snack for staving off unhealthy cravings!)
You’ll be able to balance nutrients
We are notoriously bad at estimating things like calories, portion sizes, and nutrient content, so do yourself a favor and calculate all that beforehand!
When you can look ahead at a week of meals and snacks, including any meals that you eat out, or parties/events you attend, you can be sure to get a balanced nutritional intake over time.
However, if you take things day by day, you may find yourself overeating on a certain food, neglecting other foods, and relying too heavily on packaged convenience items.
The Paleo lifestyle encourages a wide variety of fresh, seasonal produce, a good mix of protein sources, and plenty of healthy fats, and it’s really hard to get that balance when you wing it!
Planning ahead is a crucial key to success, no matter the endeavor, but especially when you are trying to shed a few pounds and feel better about yourself.
If you can start sitting down every week and looking ahead, picking out recipes, making shopping lists, and doing some basic food prep, I guarantee you will find it much easier to stay on track with your primal diet and weight loss plan.
(Our meal plans take it a step further and do all of the thinking for you, so you don’t have to worry about ever being caught unawares. Click here to get the details!)
Learn to work with your schedule, and stop setting yourself up for failure by leaving everything to chance. Start planning ahead, and watch the pounds melt off!
About The Author:
Melani Schweder is a writer and wellness advocate based in Denver, CO. Soon after graduating with her B.S. in Health and Human Sciences from Colorado State University, she became very ill and has been navigating the healthcare system ever since. After trying every diet, medication, and therapy under the sun, she discovered the Paleo lifestyle, which she credits for much of her healing. She’s happy to report that after 6 years of living with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, she is on the road to recovery! Sharing her story and her tips on how to heal illness the Paleo way are the things she is most passionate about, followed closely by Bulletproof coffee, yoga pants, and her dog, River. You can read her work at www.abrighterwild.com.