The Power of Pre-Planning Meals

The best way to make a long-term change is to start with small changes we can stick with and celebrate those small changes. Diets were developed because of our need for instant gratification. Our American society seeks instant gratification. We want to be thin, and we want to be thin now, not tomorrow. We are constantly being subjected to commercials of products and diets that claim extraordinary quick weight loss. However, once the diet is complete the large majority of us gain the weight back having not developed the real-life skills of a healthy lifestyle.

In a UCLA study researchers found that the best predictor of weight gain was having been on a diet before. 83% of women gained the weight back after dieting. They also found that people who dieted were worse off than people who didn’t. The dieting industry is a $60 billion a year industry. People are spending a lot of money to make you believe that diets work. Dieting gives us a purpose, and overeating gives us relief. We have become so obsessed with getting rid of our obsession. 

Diets are built to fail because no one can be on a diet forever. Today we are going to talk about the Power of pre-planning. 

The tools for pre planning are shopping lists, monthly meal print outs, healthy recipes, and food journals. Meal planning and calorie counting apps on cell phones can also be helpful. With these tools you can pre-plan what you and your family should be eating for meals and snacks. If you do all the shopping and cooking, then you can easily adjust your purchases. If someone else in your home does the shopping and/ or cooking, consider sitting down with them and going over what you learned in today’s class. Plan an appropriate time to go over new menu ideas and be sensitive and considerate with your approach.

It is good to make a monthly plan and a monthly budget for your groceries. If you have a plan that is written out, you are more likely to succeed if you already have all the ingredients purchased. Having a list to stick to will keep you to your plan and keep you from impulse buying.

Remember that we don’t want to be slaves to marketing. We want to make good decisions ahead of time and stick to them. Remember to eat before you go to the store so that you’re not hungry. This will dull your response to pictures of food. It is physiological for your brain to respond to pictures of food. That is why pictures are everywhere and everything is in clear wrapping to trigger visual impulse buying.

According to The Cardio Free Diet by Jim Karas, The Journal of American Dietetic Association published a report that shows “85 percent of people who were asked to estimate the number of calories they ate in a day under reported their intake by an average of 600 calories.” Do that just half the time and you’ve just under reported your way to more than 30 additional pounds per year. That is an interesting study, because of how true it is. I think we would all be surprised to keep a food diary for a week or two and see what we actually put into our bodies. “Mindless eating leads to memorable weight gain.” How many of us eat with the TV on, or snack while on the phone or in the car? We are not conscious of the amount of food we are putting into our bodies.

It is important to keep a food journal. You will notice patterns in your diet after logging your food.