DR LAVINIA RODRIGUEZ
PREPARATION and planning are two skills that can make all the difference with weight management. Just about every diet regimen offers shopping lists and menus. Following them requires you to think ahead.
But not all the advice you’ll get about planning is helpful. Some of these suggestions might actually set you up for failure. So the rst step is to consider what kind of preparation and planning you need.
As any Boy Scout can tell you, being prepared is the most necessary skill to reach a goal. If a healthy weight is your to shop at least weekly so you’ll have fresh foods on hand. It’s also a good idea to keep less- perishable alternatives like frozen fruits and vegetables on hand in case Plan A goes awry.
Preparing your kitchen in this way makes it easier to plan healthy meals. You don’t need to formally plan your menus every day to succeed with your weight goals, although for some that is a good strategy.
It’s important that what you’re eating is not only healthy, but also appealing to you. Some people happily eat the same thing all the time. Others can’t operate that way. Planning meals ahead can be as simple as: 1. Considering what appetising and healthy foods are available in the kitchen. 2. Imagining several options you might prepare for that meal. 3. Sensing which option appeals most to your body and mind. 4. Deciding on the most appetising option.
Allow yourself to make changes in a pre- planned meal if something doesn’t appeal to you when mealtime arrives. Skip the frozen broccoli if fresh asparagus is available and you love it. Ditch the boring grilled- chicken cutlets if a friend makes a smoked turkey on the grill. It’s good to plan on a healthy meal, but every aspect of it doesn’t have to be set in stone.
If you’ve done a good job of being prepared and exible, you’ll nd nutritious alternatives to enjoy instead of getting frustrated and giving up on a healthy meal altogether. If the plan doesn’t go as, well, planned, just go to Plan B.
Perfectionism is the enemy of effective planning, but exibility and creativity can make planning not only successful, but even enjoyable.
Dr Lavinia Rodriguez is a psychologist and expert in weight management.