I used to believe that keeping a food diary was the only thing required to stay on track, but something that has become of equal importance is meal planning. This is interesting because I don’t often do it and perhaps here lies my problem. I tend to find that my ability to stay on plan and the subsequent impact on my weight loss, is always better when I get organised and am feeling prepared. Unfortunately, this is not a zone that I often appear to be in.
Life is busy. Even if our day-to-day seems quiet and routine, we can feel that we are always working, whether that be in a job, domestic chores or outside events. Having a hectic 9-5 job can be a big contributory factor for me in this sense. On the surface, it is no big deal because all you need to do is plan ahead right? Absolutely, but enduring the stresses of the day and the tiredness that ensues can lead to fatigue of both the body and mind. This, I believe, is one of my biggest obstacles.
Many of us like being busy, but when life absorbs the time we need for ourselves, things can begin to weigh us down. In this situation, my brain has a tendency to shut off when it comes to being proactive and productive. Instead, a lethargic perspective on life makes an appearance, impacting on my ability to think ahead and stay enthused.
Although I believe our brains have the tendency to do so, I don’t think this is me making excuses for not staying on plan at the moment… Well, it might be, but this is part of my consideration of what it is that can hinder our progress. Identification of an issue is the first step to recovery, and our slimming success is no different. If we can establish the identity of the obstacles, we are in a better position to work to overcome them.
Meal planning has such benefits, especially by taking the effort out of the day-to-day. If combined with your food shopping it can also save money along the way. So why do I find it such a chore? Ultimately, in addition to the mental fatigue, I think this is based on my understanding of my previous experiences. Just because I organise myself in this way, it does not automatically mean that my brain will conform by agreeing to what my plan thinks I should ‘fancy’ that day and this has so often derailed my plans.
Get Organised with notebooks
However, a friend of mine joined Slimming World last year, ahead of her wedding, and she religiously meal planned as part of her weekly shopping routine. This is something that I have never been able to get into the habit of and I often question why. Is it me being idle or is it just something that is not suited to who I am.
Understanding ourselves is important. In addition, reflecting on who we are and what we need can help to create positive and sustainable changes. In an ever-changing world, it can help to take stock of where we are and what works for us. For me, having been in a rut and having failed to achieve much progress, I need to make a change. At this point in time, meal planning is the first step. Therefore, this week, with pen and paper in hand I will plan my meals and see how much difference it can make.
Is meal planning something that you swear by in life? Do you feel that it can make a difference to you and your progress?
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