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day-planner-828611_640One important key to losing weight and keeping it off is actually very simple – plan ahead!  In other words, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail!  It may sound like work at first, but as it becomes a normal part of your routine – a habit, then the easier it will be.  Rather than thinking of it as a chore, view it as something that simplifies your life.  Think: it saves you the burden of having to make choices, which sometimes are not always in your best interest.  It may even save you some guilt when you do make the wrong choice or succumb to carbs-heavy take-outs.  Overall, planning will help you lose weight and achieve long-term weight-management success.

Planning is all about habit.  Remember the first day of work at a new job?  You might have felt uncomfortable, confused, and even overwhelmed.  But, a few months down the line, and you are zooming away as a seasoned-pro.  It is like this with any kind of lifestyle change.  Here are some tips to help you plan ahead for your weight-loss success.

Make it a priority to plan and shop at least once a week.  Plan your menu.  Post it on the refrigerator to keep your goal within sight and reduce the chances of straying.  If you like the idea of being more flexible, it is okay to deviate from your menu a bit as long as you remain within the parameters of your diet plan.  Perhaps, stock up on more waistline-friendly non-perishable items and less on those that may spoil, so you can reduce waste and have healthy, readily-available options.

Prepare meals for two or more days at a time to reduce the amount of time spent planning and preparing.

Do you have late nights planned at the office?  Or, will you be somewhere without access to a refrigerator?  Have a back-up meal plan for these situations in order to stay on track.  Carrying convenient snacks around with you may help.

Many items that can be incorporated into your meal planning are available to be purchased cooked and ready-to-eat.  A wide variety of salads and vegetables come pre-washed and pre-cut, while chicken and other meals just need to be heated up.  These convenient options may help reduce the time spent in the kitchen preparing.

Is it hard for you to find time to plan and prepare?  You can plan to multi-task.  Steam vegetables while checking your emails or wash fruits while watching your favorite show.  Ask and find recipes that are quick, easy to make, and won’t interrupt your daily life.  Check out our recipe page for ideas to get started!

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