Staying on track with a meal plan can be a difficult and challenging task; in fact, it could seem like it is nearly impossible when you’re constantly busy or if you’ve just simply never had any structure in your eating habits whatsoever. Adopting these simple habits suggested by Dr. Goglia can go a long way and before you know it, the challenging task of staying on track can seem to get a bit easier every day.
Dr. Goglia emphasizes the importance of being consistent with your meals and snacks and aiming to eat relatively at the same time every day. Doing so will help increase the efficiency of your metabolism. Another important factor of consistency is never skipping meals. Food is your body’s fuel. Skipping meals and snacks will decrease your metabolism, which will make it more difficult to lose weight.
Prepare in advance.
Preparing food in advance by making larger portions and storing in containers will help make healthy meals more easily accessible. The more you prepare, the less likely you are to resort to quick (and usually unhealthy) options when in a pinch for time. Check out these tips to help you with meal prepping.
Keep a food diary.
Whether you use a food tracking app or jot down your meals in a blank notepad, keeping a food diary can help you visualize your eating patterns. This can help you stay on track as well as help you make any necessary changes. Sometimes we get caught up in a routine and lose track of how our eating habits can be negatively impacted.
Put the phone down.
Focusing on your meal can be key to prevent overeating. Dr. Goglia discourages engaging in any other activities when eating. Whether it is turning off the television or putting the phone down, this will allow you to focus on your meal and how much you are eating.
Limit “kitchen time”.
Let’s face it, when you’re in the kitchen, you’re likely standing there with the refrigerator or pantry door wide open looking for a snack. Some can say that this is a universal mindless reaction when you enter a kitchen, but just because you walk into a kitchen, doesn’t mean you’re hungry. Dr. Goglia says to “stop temptation!” and limit going into your kitchen during mealtime only. By limiting this, this will prevent any late night snacking which can lower your metabolic efficiency.
Keep those fruits and vegetables handy.
When we look for a snack, we often look for the quickest option – something ready to grab and eat. When we’re hungry, we usually grab whatever we see first. Times like these can be a trigger to reaching for a bag of chips or a candy bar. By keeping washed, chopped fruit or vegetables ready to grab in a bowl in a visible location in the fridge can help you make better decisions. By visible, this means not in the plastic pull out drawer where we don’t have direct visibility to. Make sure that the first thing you see when you open the fridge are those delicious colorful fruits and vegetables.
This is key. Remind yourself of your goals. Keep your goals listed on the refrigerator door so when you think about sneaking in a late night snack, you will see your goal posted directly in front of you. Aside from your goal, keep small notes of motivation in visible locations such as the dashboard of your car, your bathroom mirror, or on your night stand. Our motivation comes within ourselves and leaving small notes to remind us to stay on track can go a long way.