Saturday, April 17, 2010

Meal Planning for Weight Loss

I will open this by making a very obvious statement about weight loss. The most important part of weight loss is not exercise, but diet. I know, shocking revalation right? But seriously, how many people do you know who say "I work out all the time, but I just can't lose any weight"? I see people every day in the gym, week after week running thier butts off on treadmills only to look exactly the same year after year. It's simple really. They have not changed thier eating habits. Not to mention, exercise in general, makes you hungrier so you want to eat more than usual. It's a cruel trick but that's how the body works. It doesn't want to change, and it believes it needs that fat in case you run out of Sabertooth to eat.

"I'm so busy with work and the kids, and the housework, and life in gereral. How on Earth will I ever find the time to eat healthy?"
One solution is meal planning.  It takes a little bit of time and effort but makes dieting so much easier and convienient for those with hectic lives.  Not only that but it will benefit your budget and your time management as well.

Here is what I like to do...I sit down on the weekend and plan out all my evening meals for the week. This website is very helpful for meal planning....
www.mealsmatter.org/ Paul and I eat the same food for breakfast pretty much every day. Lunch is usually leftovers. So then I will make a grocery list based on my meal plan and I'm off to the store. I also, like to buy my meats and frozen veggies in bulk to cut down on cost and trips to the grocery store. I never have to run to the store in between (ok, every now and then I do forget something) and I ONLY buy what is on my list. So I save time and money.



I make Paul bring in everything. Isn't that what a big guy is for?

Also, something I love to do in the spring and summer is to light up my grill and make enough chicken breasts for the whole week of lunches. Yes, a whole week of lunches cooked and packed in one day. It really makes it easy to be on time in the mornings and at lunch time, and you never have to eat out, so you save money there. Going out to eat can be done in a healthy manner, but some people are too tempted (myself included) to eat something they love once they are in that setting. If this is you, then this way will help you to avoid temptation as often.




You should also plan your snacks to keep you from eating stuff like an afternoon snickers bar or an office donut in the morning. Protien bars, mixed nuts, fruit, and shakes are great for snacks and are totally portable. Be careful about nuts while dieting...they are very calorie dense and you can easily find yourself overeating with them. So make sure it's just a small handful.

Another key element most people ignore is water consumption. You should also plan how you will drink enough water for the day. If you are at home all day, like me, you can take a gallon jug and put it in your fridge and make sure you drink ALL of it throughout the day. If you are at work get yourself a really BIG cup with a straw (I dont really know why you will drink more through a straw, but you will) and keep up with how many ounces you have drank. You will be surprised at how little water you drink when you dont make an effort to keep up with the amount.
Another one of my favorite websites is
caloriecount.about.com/ it is great for keeping track of what you have eaten for the day and how many calories you have consumed. You can even text to find out nutrition facts on a food while you are out. Weight loss is really just all about calories in vs. calories out. You have to use more calories each day than you eat (take in). So just make sure you are eating under your maintenance level of calories by around 500, and presto weight loss happens. That's it. This seems like a very simple concept but most people have no idea how much they are really eating until they start logging thier foods for the whole day.


100 calorie swiss miss bars are perfect for any diet

Dont be a "fly-by-the seat of my pants dieter". Plan out your meals and figure out your calories every day for great weight loss results. It is worth the extra effort and time it will take.

4 comments:

  1. I can't say how right you are about planning!

    I make all of my weekday meals on Sunday and my wife and I plan out the week's dinners.

    I know for some it takes the fun out of eating, but that is what a frickin cheat day is for.

    By having all my meals pre-packaged, I grab and go and never have the need to improvise or worse, fall off the wagon.

    Diet is 90% of your weight loss.

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  2. 100% rick. You can get lean without ever doing cardio really if your diet is right on. Takes a little longer but if you hate cardio and can be that strict it's an option.

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