Weight Loss Basics – 8 Ways to Make Your Meal Plan Work for You

Hey Angels and Alphas,

We know it for a fact – there’s no single diet that works for everyone.

Even some of the most popular diets fail for many people, either because people don’t like them enough to stick to them or they don’t follow them properly. The good news, though, is that you can overcome these issues with some planning and, once you do, you’ll find that your diet works far better than you ever imagined it could.

Here are some expert tips for planning your diet – the backed-by-science way.

#1 Plan your menus throughout the week.

If you set aside some time every week to plan your meals, you’ll have no need to resort to impulse buys or fast-food, and you’ll have no need to fight cravings. If you have a list already prepared, there will be no more thinking about how you’ll make it to the store. Eating meals accordingly (following a pre-made menu) will also make the cooking of your food easy, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and have a tight schedule.

2. When it comes to your menus, keep them detailed and specific.

Make a couple of shopping lists, get the supplies you need, and get to the store. That’s how you pay for your meals. It’s a good idea to come prepared to the store so you can just pick up what you need without having to go back and get more and more of the things tempting you at the store. And make sure you try to buy only what’s on your menu, if possible.

3. Make your menus with easy to cook/prepare ingredients.

You should have enough materials to cook everything that’s on your menu for the week. Make menus with the ingredients you need in a matter of a few minutes, if possible. Get a few opinions on the ingredients you’re going to need for each meal – cooking shows and cooking tutorials online will give you all the more info on how ot make your meals more delicious and less costly.

4. Keep your diet varied and always introduce new healthy options.

You need to introduce variety in your diet. Whether you are following the South Beach Diet or the Mediterranean Diet, you should try adding new fruits, veggies, and healthy options to your diet pretty much every week. We all fall off the diet bandwagon, for one reason or another, and that is pretty much common to the people on a diet. The best way to overcome this is to mix up the meals you eat each week. For instance, the South Beach Diet has a great diet plan that essentially allows you to have three meals of around 400 calories a day, with three snacks of around 100 calories each. This means you never really feel as if you are deprived or as if you need to be on a diet at all.

5. Do not bite off more than you can chew. (Literally)

You don’t have to be a dietician to know that if you deprive your body of a particular food group like proteins, for example, it is going to rebel. And the best way to tame the rebellious part of your body is to eat the food you like in small quantities and go easy on yourself once in a while. Sure, you may be very selective with your diet for the rest of the day, once you’ve had that one splurge, but, on the other hand, if you have a smaller piece of cake or a slice of pizza, you can’t have a huge, fatter piece of cake the next day – not unless you’re planning to go overboard.

6. Make the commitment to stick to your diet!

Getting on a diet and sticking to a diet are two different things completely. You should never think of going on a diet just to achieve a result and then forget about it. Once you’ve reached your desired weight, you can definitely sling your hook a little bit, but defeating yourself is not the answer. Think of your diet in terms of lifestyle changes that will not only get you the body of your dreams, but allow you to keep it. So if you stay on your diet once you’ve achieved your goals, you’re making it a more difficult target to get back on it in the future.

7. Drink lots of water!

Did you know not getting enough water could be a driving factor of obesity? When your body is dehydrated, it becomes less and less efficient at removing waste. It can also make you build up heat – a reaction to water restriction – which can also be detrimental to your metabolism. It is better to drink the recommended 64 ounces a day.

8. Get physical!

The amount of exercise you get should match your calorie budget. The more you sweat, the more you burn calories and fat, the quicker you eliminate those accumulated fat stores. Exercises like brisk walking (but not too quickly), cycling, and swimming are great for you and you don’t have to be a member of a gym to get a fair amount of exercise.

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