Plan your work, then work your plan.
Have you ever gone on vacation? Maybe even just a weekend trip? You figure out where you’re going, the best route to get there, and how long it’ll take. You determine what you’ll need in the way of clothing– might it rain? Will is be hot? Do you need a hat and gloves, or a swimming suit and sun screen? You figure out about how much it’s going to cost, book the hotel, research the sites, pre-purchase tickets. You do NOT just jump in your car on Friday night and head off for destination unknown, right? Right.
You should have the same attitude about fitness. You need to know where you’re going– are you trying to lose weight, increase muscle tone, or a little of both? What’s the best way to get there? How much can you reasonably tweak your diet, incorporate workouts, and what fitness activities do you most enjoy? You want to figure out how long it’ll take– when can you realistically expect to reach your goals in a healthy, sustainable way? You get the picture– you need to PLAN. There are four aspects of your health and fitness lifestyle that you need to focus on when working on your plan: Food, Fitness, Fashion, and Friends/Family.
There are four simple steps to preparing the healthy meals and snacks you’ll need to FUEL your body:
Plan your snacks and meals
On a weekly basis, write out what you’re going to eat, and count the calories ahead of time. I like to use
this meal tracker to plan things through and then create my shopping list. Once I’ve eaten, I track my
meals and snacks on the Daily Burn app, which not only counts calories, but also provides me with a
breakdown of the nutrients I’m getting, and what I need more of. I can also use this to keep track of
calories burned during workouts.
Recognize your weaknesses
If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m STARVING by three in the afternoon. And when I’m starving at three in the
afternoon, I’ll eat just about anything. But I also know that I need a snack in the afternoon, if for no other
reason than to give me some energy to get through the rest of the day. So rather than assume that I’m
being all Miss Healthy Dieting girl, I plan an afternoon snack. I don’t just plan to have an afternoon snack,
I decide ahead of time what to have for a snack, and make sure I have the needed edibles on hand.
Eat sensibly– but EAT
Part of eating sensibly is eating. If you don’t eat, well, I’m no nutritionist, but like I mentioned earlier, my
body goes into survival mode if I’m not eating enough. I think, “Oh, I can skip a meal, I have plenty of
calories in reserve!” But when I skip meals, I end up turning into a goat, gobbling any little thing I can find,
with no regard for its nutritional value. This is called binging, and it’s not good for your body. I’m not a
nutrition expert and have no scientific data with which to prove it, so you’re just gonna have to trust me.
Prepare, emphasis on the PRE.
Don’t just plan your meals and snacks– prepare them! For me, that means measuring out my coffee
creamer the night before, putting 20 almonds in a little container along with a 1/4 cup of raisins,
assembling a salad and pre-measuring the dressing, and cutting up apples, measuring out peanut butter,
and preparing any other snacks I have scheduled for the day. When those afternoon cravings kick in,
there’s a really good chance I’ll grab some of the kids’ animal crackers if they’re handy. But if I already
have apple slices and peanut butter ready to go, I have no excuse to grab something else. The added
bonus is that when my food is prepared and ready to go, so am I. Errands to run? Grab my pre-made
lunch, toss it in a little cooler, and I have no excuse to swing through a fast food joint when lunchtime
(Coming Soon: Prepping–The Fitness