The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Wellbeing -

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.

Photo // thinkstock

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