In the summer of 2012, I weighed just over 200 pounds (and I am 5’ 3” on a good day), I am not even sure what my weight actual was because I was horrified to get on a scale.
What I did know was that shopping in the cute trendy regular stores that I liked was becoming a challenge, I felt like crap ALL THE TIME, I had zero energy, and I was all in all, pretty much miserable.
I let this misery continue into 2013, but returning to work after having a baby got me back into a bit of a routine and I managed to lose about 20 pounds on my own – but it was painfully slow, and I really didn’t know what I needed to do to make the changes I wanted.
January 2015 sh!t got real.
I started working with a dietician, learned a few things (Ok- many things), and mastered meal planning and prep. Oh, and I started this blog!
I love talking about my journey to others who are looking to master this habit to help with weight loss. I talk about this topic often and thought … wow 2 years later… what have I really learned about using this habit for weight loss. So…. Here it is- what I know about What I know about using meal planning for weight loss…
The kitchen scale is WAY more important than the bathroom scale
I would say the single most important thing I have learned, (and continue to try to master) is the concept of portion control. Taking 6 months, weighing, and measuring food was eye opening. Learning what a portion of rice is supposed to be – was revolutionary!
This was a reason I was so unsuccessful for so long. I was eating many healthy foods. Just too much of them, and not balanced out with vegetables, so I was filling up on the wrong macro nutrient. Hellooooo starchy carbs, I love you!
When I notice I am not feeling as good as I have been, or my pants are a bit tighter, I go back to managing portion sizes to get back on track.
You can eat the foods you love and still lose weight.
So cliché, but wow so true – Everything in moderation.
Moderation is another skill I practice daily. I say practice because I am sure I will never master this, and to deprive yourself of every vice food you love is not sustainable.
I love food. I love many not so nutrient dense foods. I don’t want eating to be a miserable task. I don’t want to hate what is on my plate.
Prime example. I love pierogies (apparently this is a Canadian love affair?!) and I want to eat them. So, I do. I eat them in a veggie dense soup. This way, I am getting filled up on mostly veggies, and a few pierogies, versus a plate of them, with no veggies. Is it a perfectly healthy meal. Nope, it’s not even balanced with protein, but it is a way to moderate my pierogie consumption.
I now find it a fun challenge to see how I can turn my once unhealthy favourites into more nutrient dense balanced meals.
I found that putting all of my favourite not so healthy foods onto a “never ever” list made me want them even more …. And then… well… we all know what happens… nom nom nom.
Put “weird things” on your weekly meal plan.
It is really quite simple. Just try new things. I say this to my 5 year old, I say this to my veggie resistant husband, I say this all the time. It is probably my motto in life – even beyond food.
Worst case – you hate it. So what, now you know that avocados are actually the devil. But, you might like it, and you might then replace your carb dense noodle dishes with veggie noodles!! OK- maybe that is just me….
If you want to lose weight, you have to change the way you eat. You have to try new things because you got to your unhappy place with all of the things you eat now, do you really think things are going to change if you keep up with the same things? Ps. The answer is no.
If you want to change your body, you have to put new foods on your meal plans. I can’t even tell you how many foods have moved from my “no way!” list to my “must have all the time” list. There are for sure a few things I still don’t like (sigh… avocado we sure did try)… and that is ok. But overall, my grocery list has drastically changed – for the better.
You don’t need to change all of your food preferences overnight. It has taken me 2 years of continuously trying new things to completely shift my grocery list and my weekly meal plans. Each week just add a few new things to your meals.
I do want to fully disclose that I am not a nutritionist, dietician, or trained in any sort of weight loss sorcery. I am a regular person (who LOVES FOOD) on a journey to feel good and drop a few pounds. I like to share the method to my madness on this blog. This blog is my opinion only – take it or leave it kind of thing.
From my own personal experience, I HIGHLY suggest working with a Registered Dietician to help you get started on your healthy journey… oh and continue to read this blog!
For more of my tips and tricks, and how I use meal prepping and planning, check out the tips and tricks section of the blog. You will find all sorts of great info to help you shift to this habit too!
So, tell me… how else has meal planning and prepping helped you drop the weight?