If you want to eat healthy, start planning ahead. A little foresight will help you to learn new habits when it comes to choosing nutritious foods and assembling balanced meals.
Take a look at these 5 benefits of deciding what to eat ahead of time, along with strategies you can use when you’re dining at home or visiting your favorite restaurant.
Benefits of Planning Ahead
1. Discover healthier choices.
You have a wide variety of ingredients to choose from when you’re mulling over your eating plan in advance. Try out exotic vegetables or fruits. Experiment with a recipe for slimming down a cream sauce.
2. Resist the temptation.
It’s easier to turn down corn chips when you have wasabi hummus and baby carrots on hand. Find lower-calorie substitutes for junk food.
3. Enjoy food more.
Anticipation heightens any pleasure. Look forward to the special brunch you’ve arranged for Sunday morning instead of settling for the same old dry cereal you eat every day.
4. Track your progress.
It’s easier to evaluate your diet when you can remember what you ate for lunch yesterday. Planning ahead gives you more accurate data to enter into your weight loss diary or your mobile fitness app.
5. Manage your busy schedule.
Maybe your days are jam-packed with soccer games and sales reports. Advance preparations may be the only way to stay on top of caring for your health.
Strategies to Use at Home
1. Shop smart.
Bring home groceries that are good for your heart and waistline. Fill your cart with fresh produce, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut down on processed foods.
2. Rearrange your kitchen.
If you still want to keep some brownies around, put them out of reach. On the other hand, park a bowl of apples in the middle of your kitchen counter so they’ll be the first thing that you reach for.
3. Design menus.
Exercise your creativity. Turn weekday dinners into 3-course feasts. Round off your main course with a simple soup and a fruit parfait for dessert.
4. Cook in batches.
Focus on make-ahead meals. That way you can cook once while feeding your family two or three times. Prepare chili or lasagna. Freeze the leftovers and reheat them when you arrive home after working late at the office.
5. Measure portions.
Spending more time on food preparation gives you time to become familiar with eyeballing portion sizes. Practice identifying one ounce of cheese. It’s about as big as a pair of dice.
Strategies to Use for Eating Out
1. Carry snacks.
Dine out without sabotaging your good intentions. Bring along whole wheat crackers or a handful of nuts to munch on before you walk into the restaurant. You’re more likely to order a light dish like grilled fish if you feel slightly full.
2. Call ahead.
Place a call or go online to check out your options before you reserve a table. Many restaurants post their full menus. Look for calorie counts for each dish or any special sections for dieters. Phone ahead to see if the kitchen will take custom orders.
3. Enlist support.
Studies show that our table companions have a big influence on how many calories we consume. If your friends are hearty eaters, you may want to invite them out for a ball game instead of a steak dinner. When dining in a group, try ordering first.
You may find that your friends will join you in asking for broccoli instead of French fries.
Maintain a healthy weight by creating an eating plan and sticking to it. Planning ahead provides the structure you need to make wholesome foods part of your busy lifestyle.
I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your healthy weight loss journey. Click the button below to receive your gift.
I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices):
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone:
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling:
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.
Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.