Losing weight is one of the most common, yet hardest things people try to do. It takes months of dedication and hard work, and even then you might not see all the results you want to. You might be missing an ingredient in your weight loss formula: meal planning. Planning all of your meals ahead of time thoughtfully can make a huge difference and help you see results faster. Let us explain below.
Tips For Meal Planning and Losing Weight
Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. As long as you do this, you will eventually see some progress. However, it’s still important to make sure the calories you are consuming are coming from the right sources. And that leads us to our first tip…
This is a pretty broad, all-encompassing piece of advice, but when you’re planning out your meals, it’s best to be thoughtful about it. Limit the amount of processed food and added, unnecessary sugars you’re eating. Make sure your meals include plenty of protein and fiber. Foods that are high in protein and fiber help you feel fuller for longer and can cut down on over-snacking. It will also help you feel more satisfied with smaller portions. Lastly, you should include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. When you sit down to plan your meals for the week, be sure fresh fruits and veggies are abundant.
Take Time to Plan
As we’ve said, this requires thought and care, so don’t be nonchalant about it. Every Sunday (or whatever day precedes the beginning of your week), sit down and carefully plan out your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day of the week ahead. Determine what groceries you have and what groceries you will need, and make note of any times you plan on going out to eat. There’s nothing wrong with a lunch or dinner away from your own shopping list, just be sure that where you are going has the necessary options for you to stay on track.
Think About Your Snacks
Snacking is totally fine as long as you do it smartly. Plan snacks into your weekly meal prepping, but keep them light and free of extra fats and sugars. Some healthy snack options include nuts, crackers, celery, blueberries, apples, oranges, and hard-boiled eggs.
So, How Does This Help Me Lose Weight?
By tediously planning your meals and snacks, you will have a guide to keep you on track to hitting your goals. Of course, planning isn’t enough; it takes discipline to stick to the plan, so you will need to avoid temptations to deviate. Don’t allow yourself to have more than one or two cheat days a month, because those can have a tremendous snowball effect. Ideally, you won’t have any cheat days, but we know that isn’t entirely realistic for the average gymgoer. The bottom line is this: be thoughtful with your planning and stick to it. If you combine this with a solid workout regimen, you may begin to see your progress speed up. And when that happens, you will only feel more motivated to keep going!
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