You know you should have a healthy nutrition plan for weight loss if you are ever going to be successful in your weight management efforts. More often than you would desire, you are surviving on packed and pre-cooked meals, take-out and many last minute sandwiches – just because you haven’t figured out what to eat that day. Most of the times you don’t know what the ingredients are used to prepare the food you are eating and many others you don’t really want to know, because you know that’s not really the way to go. You keep trying one nutrition plan after the other hoping that you’ll finally find the right one. But months, even years later, not only you haven’t been able to get control of your weight but you feel you are losing control more and more. And you wonder how can you learn to create a healthy nutrition plan for weight loss that you’ll actually like?
Let me help you…
You Are Not Searching in the Right Direction
The problem is that you are looking for the solution of your problem outside you. You are trying to find somebody to give you a nutrition plan for weight loss that works for you not knowing which are your preferences, what you like or dislike and what’s your lifestyle, your commitments, your needs, your YOU!
Then you try to apply and it doesn’t work for you.
How is it going to work if you don’t like what is included in the nutrition plan? Or if you don’t have the time to get all the ingredients required to prepare the meals? Or if you don’t know how to cook the recipes the nutrition plan recommends or if you can’t even find the time to do so much cooking? Or worst, what if you are still hungry with the suggested nutrition plan or you travel so much that there is no way you can manage to stay with that plan? Many healthy meals for weight loss suggested in many plans are just not right for you!
And then you feel guilty because you are not able to stay on that nutrition plan…
The Answer is in Front of You
The answer is in front of you
You have it wrong! You are not guilty of not being able to apply something that was never meant to work for you! Even simple meal plans may not be adequate for your needs. The solution has always been in you. You just have to learn how to create a nutrition plan for weight loss you’ll actually like, and that you can maintain in the long term.
How to Create a Healthy Nutrition Plan for Weight Loss You’ll Actually Like
And I am not saying it is easy or that there is a fast and effortless solution. Menu planning is not simple, you need to invest the time an effort to develop the whole plan that works for you, but once is there it will stay with you, FOREVER…
Let’s work on it STEP BY STEP.
- Learn healthy portion sizes. You won’t be able to design a healthy nutrition plan for weight loss if you don’t know the healthy portion sizes you should include in each meal. You can learn about portion sizes here.
- Design a basic daily menu plan to use as a template. Nothing complicated. Just remember to include a healthy portion size of each food group (fat, protein, and carb) in each meal, except for dinner (no carbs at night). Remember to include one healthy snack a day of one and a half portion sizes which include a source of protein. You can use my plan as a suggestion.
- Create a list of meals that you like and you can already prepare, and define how many more you need to be able to cover all meals in a week.
- Find a way to accomplish the ones that you are missing by checking healthy recipes ideas online or in recipe books. Find very easy ones, that don’t take too much time, effort and skills. You’ll be able to get more and more sophisticated each week, but it is easier if you start simple. You can also get some recipe ideas on my blog.
- Adapt all the recipes you already have to cover a whole week of meals, by using low Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load carbohydrates (get a free e-book about it here if you don’t know how). Use only healthy fats (no trans fats or vegetable oils). Those are the best foods to lose weight.
- Define your own weekly meal plan for next week. You can get mine as an example here.
- Decide what you need to get from the grocery store and when are you going to get your ingredients. Learn more about how to win the grocery store battle here.
- Define which are going to be your cooking days and times, when you can cook not only for your next meal but a few meals ahead as well, in case of emergencies.
- Brainstorm ways in which you can modify the meals you already know how to cook so you can prepare a different one with other ingredients not having to start from zero learning a new recipe.
- Prepare your weekly meal plan for the next week ahead of time so you’ll know the ingredients you need in advance and you can better organize your grocery store trip and cooking time.
This is a process that can be tedious the first time you go through it, but once you have it ready, you can do it almost automatically without thinking much about it.
Since you are preparing the foods you like, you’ll be able to repeat them over and over again almost each week and not having to learn the ingredients you need or how to cook it from scratch every time. Also, you’ll be able to change small details of your favorite ones, so you can create a different meal. For example, using chicken thighs or beef strips instead of chicken breast in a stir fry. Or changing the vegetables or the carbs you are using in that meal (bulgur, quinoa or couscous instead of brown rice).
You’ll be able to try new recipes and ideas once you get comfortable in the process.
Finally, since you are using the ingredients that you like most, you’ll be able to have your own grocery-store list that you can repeat over and over again, just changing a few things according to what you want to eat that week or even to what’s on sale on the grocery store.
So, what do you think? Are you up for the challenge of creating your own healthy nutrition plan for weight loss that will stay with you forever?
Let me know if you are planning to make it happen!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist, and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent 5 years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is “Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet.”
Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays at www.32mondays.com