7 Steps to Success (Nutrition): Step 4—Plan Ahead

Fact: we don’t think clearly when we are hangry. Thinking that you are going to nail your nutrition without putting in the time and planning is like thinking that you are going to pass an exam without reading the material; it backfires most of the time.

The Seven Steps to Success with Your Nutrition Goals—Step 4

Plan ahead!

Planning ahead is the single most important factor in succeeding with your nutritional goals. How many times have you missed a meal due to a lack of planning? How many times has that led to poor decisions in opposition to what you are trying to achieve?

Fact: we don’t think clearly when we are hangry.

Thinking that you are going to nail your nutrition without putting in the time and planning is like thinking that you are going to pass an exam without reading the material; it backfires most of the time.

Start Small

Starting small means that you don’t go from winging every meal at the last minute to planning a weekly menu. There are dozens of baby steps in between. Planning ahead—while inclusive of meal prepping—is not synonymous with meal prepping. Planning can be any intention or decision with your goal in mind.

First, start by planning for the meals or times per day that you most often run into problems. For some of us, this might be preparing our lunches ahead of time, bringing them to work, and setting a reminder that it’s time to stop and eat. Planning ahead could also be collecting menus from your favorite local restaurants and pre-selecting meal options that fit with your plan. When it’s time to call and order, you choose from your list of approved options.

If you are new to the concept of planning your food, start by pulling out your calendar and making a list of your struggle points for the upcoming week. Maybe you are running the kids to soccer games all afternoon on Thursday and know that you will likely hit the fast-food drive-through. Earlier in the week, when you have more time, perhaps you can plan by making an extra-large dinner portion and save the leftovers for Thursday night.

Take the First Step: It’s Empowering!

Carve out fifteen minutes this weekend to brainstorm ways that you can take control of your nutrition this week and not be a victim of circumstances.

If it all sounds overwhelming, we’ve got some additional tips to get you started:

Read These: Tips for Food Prep

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