For years well-meaning family members, teachers, employers, savvy friends and a multitude of advice gurus have been telling us to plan ahead. In fact, Ben Franklin, perhaps the grandfather of aphorisms, famously said,
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
In our 21st high stress century, planning ahead — and especially for contingencies — can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep or even a night’s sleep at all, let alone getting us through the really rough spots life deals us. And it’s no different when it comes to weight loss. While it’s not exactly breaking news, having a diet plan in place can mean the difference between falling down or staying the course; especially when life throws some curves (or pieces of fudge cake) our way. Here’s how.
Choosing a Weight Loss Diet Plan
Because there are a million diets in the proverbial naked city, choosing one or simply choosing a maximum calorie limit for the day will help you plan your meals accordingly. If your limit is 1,200, make sure you know what 3 ounces vs. 5 ounces, for example, of your protein source looks like, and plan around it at each meal.
Rather than winging it in the grocery store, start with your weekly shopping list! Fill it with abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, fresh ingredients for homemade soup (a dieter’s best friend because you can make it your way sans excessive salt—plus it’s nourishing and filling), low and nonfat dairy, and stick to it. Keep carbohydrate intake low, except for complex carbs such as most vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you must have that pasta, put it on your list but apportion it in baggies when you get home to make a meal of one part pasta to four parts veggies.
Make Your Weight Loss Diet Plan Work For You
Going to work every day like most of us, or working solo from home? To preclude temptation, have that steadfast plan in place so you know exactly what you are going to eat. Bring those lunch and snack foods to the office or jobsite, or if at home, weight loss experts recommend placing all the ingredients (breakfast; lunch; dinner—for instance the apportioned slices of chicken; condiments; fish for dinner; your two slices of whole grain bread, if in your plan; nonfat plain yogurt; carrot sticks; apple slices; natural peanut butter; and whatever else is on your diet agenda for the day) on a small tray in your refrigerator—in plain sight. This is what’s available to you, and nothing more, which may make it easier to work within daily 1,200-calorie parameters.
In Warren Buffet’s words,
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
While it doesn’t take a Founding Father or billionaire entrepreneur to understand the advantages of planning, clearly Franklin and Buffet were onto something that made their goals attainable and their lives exemplary in the process. So if you want to achieve weight loss, try planting your own tree.