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TrainerTiff: 31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 14 Plan Your Meals >

Saturday, January 14, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 14 Plan Your Meals

In order to successfully shed some pounds, you need to plan. Going from meal to meal and trying to figure out what you're going to eat at the moment hunger strikes, is a recipe for disaster.

What happens when you are hungry and have nothing on hand to eat? Most likely, you'll find whatever is closest and fastest. And oftentimes, those choices sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Before the week starts, you need to know exactly what you'll be eating and at what time for the entire week. So, if I were to ask you, "OK, what's for lunch on Thursday?" you need to be able to answer that question immediately.

Here's how to do it: Since for most of us our week starts on Monday, let's use that as our week start point. On the Saturday before, sit down with a piece of paper and pen and write out all of your meals for the week. Make a grid that includes each day of the week  meal times -- everything from breakfast to snacks to dinner. On Sunday, write out your grocery list accordingly and go shopping.

On Sunday, do any necessary prep work or meal preparation for Monday's meals. You can even pack those meals in storage containers and sit them in the fridge so they're are ready to go on Monday. Repeat this process every day. The key is that you want to have the next day's meals ready to go the day/night before.

And of course, if you usually make dinner each night, that's fine to do -- you don't have to make dinner the day before.

Here's a useful tip: Making large quantities of meals that will last a couple of days is a big time saver. A friend of mine who works full-time and is a super busy mom has a great strategy. She makes Sunday her cooking day and cooks all of her meals for the week and stores them so that every day all she has to do is heat up her food. This way she saves herself a ton of time because the cooking is already done.

With a little planning and preparation, you'll set yourself up to succeed with your weight loss efforts. And adopting these habits will make for long-term success.

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