Behavior change is one of those buzzword phrases in fitness, and one thing that is undeniably tied with it is meal planning. For today’s post, I wanted to start a discussion on a few behavior change habits you can implement into your health and fitness regime like, right now. Today we’ll cover meal planning. Let’s get it movin’!
5 Healthy Behavior Change Habits to get you crushing your goals:
1) Don’t Plan to Succeed, Succeed by Planning… Your Meals, Baby!
This one is by and large the most successful behavior change practice for the clients I’ve worked with. It places full responsibility on you over what you are putting into your body. Successful meal planning means that the individual has invested time and effort to approach each week with a well thought out strategy that keeps them focused on their nutrition goal outcomes.
Not to mention, eating out can get expensive. Did you know the average person eats a commercially prepared meal 4 times per week*? That’s pretty absurd if you think about how often we as a society used to prepare homemade meals back in the day.
I mean, without pulling a Grandpa Simpson and take you down memory lane, I think it’s absolutely important to note that it wasn’t too long ago where eating out was a special occasion, typically reserved for weekend nights to celebrate a hard week of work being over.
Most importantly, having direct control over one’s macro/micronutrient intake through meal planning takes many variables out of the equation that otherwise make the fat loss/muscle gain process more difficult (not only quality/quantity of carbs/proteins/fats, but also the ingredients that you use to cook and prepare with (e.g. salt, hydrogenated oils. processed ingredients… don’t underestimate these!)).
Lifestyle and our modern-day society we live in has much to do with our time being consumed by other important items en lieu of meal planning:
– long hours at work
– children’s extra curriculars
– our own extra curriculars
– Social Media
You get the point: we don’t plan, we don’t prioritize, and we wonder why we keep getting further from our goals.
Let’s face it; proper meal planning takes time and effort, and people hate wasting time and effort.
My general experience in my 14 years in the industry is that the individuals who keep up with their food journals, logging consecutive weeks of clean eating are the same ones who attack their fitness goals in the gym with a vengeance, because they don’t like to waste the time and effort of meal prep and eating right with sub-par workouts.
Make the decision to accompany your exercise and movement training with sound meal planning by planning/cooking early in the week. It will make the decision to not dine out as frequently easier when you have multiple healthy meals to choose from in your refrigerator.
Stay tuned and have a great day!