How to Meal Plan for Weight Loss + 3 KEY Weight Loss Tips + 5 Foods to Avoid on you Weight Loss Journey
How to Meal Plan Basics
- Choose a day for meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping
- Determine what meals you will eat
- Aim for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Avoid processed foods if possible
- Shop for ingredients
- Be sure to use your list and stick to it. Don’t buy anything that is not on your list.
- Prepare your meals and Store them.
- Prepared meals correctly stored can be frozen and will keep for months.
How to Meal Plan for Weight Loss
Before doing anything, consult with your healthcare provider and determine what route will be most effective for you. You know yourself better than anyone else, so based on your past experiences, your goals, and circumstances, choose a path that you can commit to.
- Determine how you will be losing weight and plan your meals around that method. Will you be counting calories and/or carbs, weighing your food, participating in a certain diet or lifestyle (Atkins diet, paleo, vegan lifestyle, etc.)?
- Plan to eat things you enjoy and incorporate them into your weekly meal plan.
- Eat a balanced diet – Get enough nutrients (plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables) to keep you healthy and full of energy.
- If you’re a snacker – plan to snack! Incorporate healthy snacks like raw fruits and vegetables into your meal plan.
- Plan for treats or cheats: Giving something up cold turkey doesn’t always work and makes your transition to health that much more difficult. Give yourself a break and (in moderation) plan for cheat meals or special treats.
Not making a weekly meal plan yet? Watch this video, then click this link to learn how YOU can make a weekly meal plan and stick with it.
- Meal prep so you can have food readily available in the portions needed – pre-weighed and measured with calories counted and nutrition facts secured. This will help you stick to your goals. Just grab and go!
- Plan to drink a lot of water. Have bottles of water with you everywhere you go to act as a reminder for you to drink throughout the day.
- Water aids in weight loss – it contributes to that full feeling, helps to banish cravings, and keeps your body hydrated so you can maintain optimal health.
- Once you’ve created your meal plan and have started eating, be sure to track your intake in a convenient way.
- Write everything down (condiments, drinks, even gum and candy)
- Try using a fitness app. I’ve used MyFitnessPal in the past and it works well for tracking a variety of health-related things conveniently.
Weight Loss Tips
- Mentally Prepare to endure hard times. Prepare yourself to do things you never thought you could physically do. Prepare to continuously motivate yourself because there will come a time when you want to give up or give in.
- Eat Healthy Meals and Exercise. Eating healthy and exercising helps to keep your skin elastic and aids in how your body looks and feels as you drop the pounds.
- Weight loss is mainly about a deficit in one form or another. To lose weight, you must stick to your meal plan and remember your goals. The secret to weight loss is decreasing your caloric intake. Eating healthy foods and exercising are beneficial to the body; but, to lose weight, consuming less calories is key – hence why tracking calories is very important.
5 Foods to Avoid on Your Weight Loss Journey
- Processed Sugary Cereals – Processed cereals are very high in sugar and low in nutritional value. As an alternative try having muesli or fruit and nut granola with your favorite non-dairy milk.
- Processed Juice – Processed juice is very high in calories and for the most part, does not contribute much to a balanced diet. Freshly made juice, in moderation, is a good alternative.
- Milk Chocolate – Milk chocolate can be very addicting. As an alternative, try dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is higher in nutritional value than milk chocolate and is not as addictive because of its bitterness.
- Soda – Exclude Soda from your diet completely until you reach your goal weight because it is high in calories and does not contribute positively to your overall health.
- Candy – Candies are empty calories that most can live without.