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3 Reasons to Consider Meal Planning & Prepping for Weight Loss Success

Melanie Ash Melanie Ash 3 Reasons to Consider Meal Planning & Prepping for Weight Loss Success
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A friend of mine once lost 20 pounds in a month with this diet that involved eating less than 500 calories a day and drinking a lot of V8.

Was this diet a success? Sure, if that was the end of the story.

“Starved for a month, lost 20 pounds. The end.”

Except of course, that isn’t the end. This friend continued to live, and slowly, over the course of the next few weeks and months, regained that 20 pounds along with a few “bonus” pounds.

So if the goal was to temporarily lose 20 pounds and eventually end up a little heavier than before, it was a clear success.

However, I’m not sure any of us begin diet plans or workout programs intended to produce temporary results. As you begin 2017, and inevitably start to contemplate a method of getting in shape, I implore you: do not be tempted to go for the shortest, most extreme, and most difficult method. Anything you can only do for 30 or 90 days will only provide results that last, at best, twice that amount of time. Once you stop doing the thing, you end up right back where you started.

What does work? Meal planning and prepping.

If you want to lose weight, get fit, or improve your health, you must stop relying on the frozen food section of the grocery store, fast-food or other restaurants, and the pizza delivery guy.

Knowing how to plan, purchase, and prepare healthy meals is the number one thing you can do this year to set yourself up for weight loss success. Here’s why:

It gives you control. One of the biggest problems Americans have is with portion control and high-calorie meals served at restaurants and fast-food joints. It is all too easy to order a sandwich and a salad and consume hundreds (even a thousand) calories without realizing and without consuming a large amount of food. Planning and preparing your own meals at home allows you to choose everything from ingredients to portion size to preference. This can easily trim hundreds of calories from your diet without leaving you starving or unsatisfied.

It creates consistency. The one factor that makes the most difference in success at just about any endeavor is consistency. You must do the thing, and you must do it again, and you must do it again. Very few things done once create much impact. This is why consistency is so crucial to weight loss success. It takes change over time to move the scale, and if you’re not planning and prepping your meals you are likely eating somewhat differently day to day and week to week. This leaves the body stuck right where it is.

It limits decisions. How many choices do you make in a day? At the end of the night, when you get home after work, do you feel like making any more decisions? Probably not. That is because decision fatigue is a very real thing. We run out of energy and willpower as the day goes on. This means you need to remove as many decisions as possible from your day. Meal planning and prepping does exactly that. No need to wonder what to order for lunch or what to cook for dinner — you’ve already done that. All you have to do is take the food you’ve already prepared, heat it up, and eat it. And fresh, healthy food made at home tastes a lot better than microwave dinners.

If you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, or improve your health in 2017, meal planning and prepping is an absolute must. Without it, you’ll likely end up spinning your wheels in an endless cycle of weight loss and regain as you jump from this 21 one day plan to that one. And wouldn’t it be a lot easier to skip that wasted three weeks and just learn to meal prep?

There are plenty of books, websites and programs that show you how to do it. It will take some time and effort to learn the process, but you’ll develop skills you can use forever to eat healthy and keep weight off.

Doesn’t that sound a lot better than starving and drinking V8 every day?

For more information, visit www.melanieashfitness.com.

Columbus Underground is celebrating healthy living habits to help you kick off the new year right! Check out all of our Health & Wellness 2017 articles by CLICKING HERE.

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