Planning for Success

The #1 tip I have for achieving your health goals is simple:

 

Plan Ahead

 

After a long day of work in a sedentary job, even those of us with bountiful motivation have a hard time going to the gym, then buying healthy groceries, then cooking a wholesome dinner.  So don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble with this, too!  But don’t fret, I have a solution!  A bit of planning can make a world of difference.

 

Start by planning your meals.  Figure out everything you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week.  Next, think about what healthy snacks you can have on hand.  Make sure you’ve planned to eat enough calories to keep yourself from being hungry.  Eating too few calories can decrease your metabolism and lead to overeating.  Have your calendar handy when planning your meals (you won’t need to cook dinner on Friday if your friend invite you to their birthday celebration!).  Once you’ve planned your meals, write all the ingredients on your grocery list.  Try to do the bulk of your shopping (if not all of it) on the weekend.  If you need fresh produce in the middle of the week, you can plan for a short grocery run.  Use the weekend to prep your food and to cook any labor-intensive recipes.  Remember, leftovers are your friend!  So try to cook double batches in order to minimize your time in the kitchen.  If you plan ahead, you’ll know exactly how much time you have to cook, so you can figure out what days are best for cooking your wholesome meals!

 

Next, plan your workouts.  Figure out what time of the day is best for you to workout.  Do you have time in the evening before dinner?  Or maybe you like to use your lunch break to workout.  I find that the best time to workout is in the morning, before work.  This way, there is no way to skip your workout, no matter what happens throughout the day! It does require an earlier wake-up time, but the body is quick to adapt.  Once you’ve figured out when, start planning the what.  What do you want to do during your workout?  You’ll want to plan several cardio and several strength training workouts during the week to ensure a complete fitness regime.  Get your workout equipment (shoes, clothes, water bottle, yoga mat) ready the night before you need it.  Working out is hard enough without making it a chore – so plan ahead by settling all of the logistics of your workout ahead of time.  You will be much more likely to complete that 6 a.m. run if your shoes are waiting for you at the side of the bed.  You won’t even have time to think before you find yourself in the middle of your workout!  

 

So when it comes to nutrition and fitness, the best results come to those who plan ahead.  Use the tips above, or modify for whatever fits your lifestyle.  The more thought you put into your health, the more success you will find.