If you can find ten minutes each week to do one task I can help you to eat better, have loads more energy, feel calmer and find it easier to hit your weight loss goals.*
Spend ten minutes working out what you are going to eat each day for the week ahead and see what a big difference it makes you how you eat and therefore on how you feel too.
Planning really could make the difference between you being successful or unsuccessful in losing weight. Here’s why:
- Your week will be busy! When things get busy it’s really hard to stay on top of everything you have to do and have the time and energy to eat great meals. When you have to dash from work to an appointment or to pick up the children then go back out again and do all the things you need to do it’s going to be almost impossible to fit in shopping for and cooking a great meal. You only have so much time and energy.
- You will get tired. See above.
- Unexpected things happen. You might have to stay late at work or you might have a sick child or parent who needs looking after. You might not be able to get to the shops or have even less time to think about and prepare food.
- Your willpower will run out. However strong you are, however motivated you are your willpower will become depleted. It’s a limited resource and can be used up by all sorts of things not just by trying to eat well. It gets run down even faster by tiredness and stress. Relying solely on your willpower to lose weight is going to be really, really hard and unenjoyable.
All these things make eating well and losing weight really difficult. Life just gets in the way and for so many reasons you might not have breakfast, have to grab whatever is available for lunch or get a takeaway when there’s nothing in the house for dinner.
Happy Eating is all about making it as easy and enjoyable to lose weight and to feel as good as you possibly can. Planning does this by making your life a little easier. Find 5 or 10 minutes, perhaps if you get somewhere a little early or you’re waiting for someone, and write down each day of the week. Think about what you have on those days. What are you going to have time to cook? What time will you need to eat? Can you put something in the slow cooker or have leftovers? How about lunches, will you need to take something with you or will you be at home? Now you write down meals you’ll actually realistically have time to make so you’re increasing the odds of you being successful. Imagine how much more in control you’ll feel knowing what you’re having for dinner that evening… and tomorrow evening!
I do exactly the same thing each week, sit down and think about my week ahead and what meals we’ll have. I’m busy working during the day and late afternoon/early evening is spent taking my 3 children to after school clubs so meal planning is my only hope of making sure we all eat good food and I can keep on top of everything! Here’s my meal plan for this week..
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you know you won’t have much time or it’s going to be a particularly busy or tiring day plan an easy meal. This is why Friday night is often pizza night for us! Planning means you have some salad in the house to go with it to make it more nourishing and more likely to fill you up for longer.
- Plan meals you can all eat. If you are cooking for your partner, family or friends make sure you don’t have to cook different meals.
- Start with veg/salad, add protein and high fibre carbohydrates. When planning your meals make sure every one contains plenty of vegetables or salad then add some protein (red meat, poultry, white or oily fish, cheese, nuts, eggs or beans or pulses) then add some high fibre carbohydrate (ideally whole grains such as oats, brown rice, bulgar wheat, quinoa, wholemeal tortilla).
- Do think about lunch and breakfast too. These are the meals which are going to power you through the day, which are going help to concentrate, be productive and have the energy to enjoy the day or give you slumps in energy and feel sluggish.
- Get ahead by making one dish you can use throughout the week. This will mean you have the basis of your meal ready to go saving you time and helping you feel in control! Each week I make a few dishes which will last through the week and make it easier to eat well when we’re busy. This week it was roasted vegetables, carrot and lentil soup and a breakfast dish. This might seem like a lot but it took less than 10 minutes to chop the vegetables then they all went in baking trays and roasted for 50 minutes.
The soup involved putting all the ingredients in a slow cooker and then eating it 6 hours later! And the granola and compote took another 10 minutes then we had granola to last for weeks and fruit compote to have with breakfast or as a pudding with some greek yoghurt. I then used the roasted vegetables for lunches; in a wrap with sour cream and grated cheese; with bulgar wheat and chickpeas, and for evening meals by adding tinned tomatoes, more herbs and tomato puree to make a super speedy and tasty ratatouille.
Give yourself 10 minutes to sit down to plan your meals this week and give yourself a fighting chance to outsmart the everyday obstacles trying to make it hard for you to eat great food and lose weight.
*Transformation results may vary from person to person