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.
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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 functional medicine and 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.
But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
If you’re like most people, you might think that dietary supplements are a quick and easy way to lose weight. But the truth is, there’s no magic pill when it comes to weight loss. Supplements can help you lose weight by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, but they won’t work unless you make lifestyle changes as well.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Body Composition/Weight Loss Protocol may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Weight Loss Supplements to use! This Body Composition/Weight Management Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you lose weight, naturally.
For best results make sure you use my weight loss supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
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. Check out 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.
Still Can’t Lose Weight?
Losing weight is hard work. You’ve changed your diet, started working out, but you still can’t seem to lose the last few pounds. Have you ever thought that something else could be going on? It’s time to dig deeper and look at the root cause. It could be that your hormones are out of balance or that you have micronutrient deficiencies. Let’s take a look at why these factors may be playing a role in your weight loss journey and how to fix them.
Micronutrients Activate Genes That Regulate Hormones
Our bodies need micronutrients to look and feel their best. Micronutrients—vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements—activate genes that regulate hormones and help our bodies function properly. If those vitamins and minerals are lacking in your body, it can cause hormone imbalances which can affect a wide range of body functions including mood, metabolism, appetite, and stress levels. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to cravings for unhealthy foods or eating when you’re not actually hungry.
Blood Sugar Imbalance & Food Sensitivities
What we eat impacts our blood sugar levels; if our blood sugar isn’t balanced we may feel tired or weak throughout the day or experience food cravings later in the evening. We might also have food sensitivities—ingredients we eat all the time may suddenly become problematic for us without us even knowing it. Food sensitivities contribute to inflammation which robs our body of energy and vitality necessary to stay healthy and active.
The Vibrant Weight Loss Package
If you suspect there is more going on than just diet and exercise changes impacting your weight loss journey then The Vibrant Weight Loss Package might be right for you! This package provides insight into micronutrient deficiencies as well as hormone imbalances that could be contributing factors to why you aren’t losing weight despite making lifestyle changes. The package includes tests such as a comprehensive metabolic profile plus vitamin D level test, complete thyroid panel with TSH reflex testing, nutritional hormone panel with estrogen metabolites testing, an adrenal stress index test plus a cortisol saliva test monitor kit (for home use). With this package you will get the insight needed to start losing weight for good!
In A Nutshell…
Unbalanced hormones, micronutrient deficiencies, blood sugar imbalance and food sensitivities are all factors that could be impacting your weight loss journey if diet and exercise alone aren’t working for you. If this sounds familiar then it may be time to dig deeper into potential underlying causes by getting tested with The Vibrant Weight Loss Package! This comprehensive package will provide answers so you know exactly what needs to change in order to start seeing results from your diet & lifestyle changes once again!
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.
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