Photo Source: Kate Freeman Nutrition
People talk about needing to lose weight or living healthier, for a variety of reasons all the time. They are able to set goals for themselves, and even understand the reasons behind why they need to make this choice – which is really the first step in getting started in living a healthier life. After you’ve made that choice though, it can be difficult in being successful on the follow through. Here are a few tips, that hopefully, will help get you started!
- Know how many calories you need. If you’re unsure, I have a post with a formula to help you determine how many calories you need.
- Know what a portion size is for each type of food you are eating.
- Use the food pyramid to help you plan out your meals for each day.
- Make a menu plan for each day, week, or month – whatever works for you. I use a spreadsheet and my google calendar to help me with my schedule. I like that the calendar schedules things that can repeat, which helps save me time down the road. Making a menu plan also helps you make a shopping list for the grocery store, so you can take advantage of sales and coupons. When you are able to take the time to plan ahead, you’ll know when you need to use your slow cooker, or prep fruits and veggies ahead – which will help keep you on track.
- When you get home from the store – prep your food in serving size portions. I use re-usable Rubbermaid containers so I can grab a snack on the run, and know it’s healthy and the right amount. Taking a few minutes to prep will help you avoid buying more expensive individual packages – you can buy in bulk and save, and you can avoid stopping for fast food because you don’t have time to cook at home.
- Write down what you eat. It’s easy when you’re just grabbing containers, and there are dozens of apps (free and paid) that you can use to keep track, or use a spreadsheet. Keeping track of what you eat will help hold you accountable. It will make it easier for you to keep track of calories (or other nutritional info) if you are short on time and can’t track as you consume each item. If you hit a wall, and things aren’t going as you’d hoped, having a record to review will help you see where you can make changes. It’ll help you see that if you make a mistake at one meal, the whole day isn’t ruined. Just take it one meal at a time, and do your best to stick to your plan!