8 Steps to Simple Food Planning for Health and Weight Loss

farmers market.jpeg

Successful weight loss and healthy lifestyle comes to those who keep it simple!

I didn’t always have healthy eating or living habits. I loved me some cherry pie and the faster the food came out of the box or package and into the microwave, the more satisfied I would be.  I didn’t have much interest or skill in cooking elaborate meals. The problem was I was craving more and more junk food and putting on the pounds. I was watching my mom continue to gain weight and develop full blown Type 2 Diabetes.

I aspired to be (but never made the cut) that thin, clear skinned, yoga pant wearing perfect mom on social media and TV.

I was the perfect demographic for fast food manufactures who created products that satisfied my need for fast, cheap and tasty food I could grab, heat and eat. 

The problem is that fast food was ruining my health.  Fast food could be ruining your health. Fast and highly processed foods could be what is keeping the weight on and messing with your hormones and hunger signals. Those foods create inflammation and invite chronic diseases which you will face in your elder years.

You may think that the habits of your lifetime are impossible to change.  I have good news for you – your brain is able to change. Many studies have proven this over and over.

Selecting, organizing, planning and executing all your activities around food in an automatic, and eventually skillful way, will support your changes towards healthy eating, weight loss and feeling better.  You can learn how to turn the process into a skill with repetition.

Let me share some steps that with repetition will turn preparing and eating healthy meals into new habits and skills to ensure you will achieve your health goals.

How to simplify your food choices and preparation.

Once you have made a commitment to get healthy and set a goal for where you want to be in 6 months, you can incorporate the following steps into your weekly routines.

First, it is important to know that people eat food they like.  That may not sound like a great revelation, but it simply declares that in order to create and stick to any weight loss or healthy food plan, you have to put foods on it that you like.

Consider what foods you generally eat and like and what among that group of food is 100% whole food. None can include a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. 

We agree that for weight loss we are going to eliminate as best as possible junk food.  High sugar foods, processed foods are gone. (Other than for planned exceptions.)

8 Steps to Simplify Food Planning for Health and Weight Loss

Step 1. Create your own Food Matrix.

I adopted this from Robb Wolf, in his book, Wired to Eat. Boredom is a worry and a complaint of many clients who are changing from processed to whole foods. Your food matrix will contain all the healthy foods you like to eat. To get a copy of my Food Matrix Worksheet, send me an email at pat@beauprecoaching.com.

...that leaves us 27-proteins, 24-veggies, 5-fats and 25-herbs & spices. If we take one item from each column we get 27x24x5x25= 81,000 DIFFERENT meals. Divide that by 365 (1 different meal per day) and you will not see the same meal for 221 YEARS.
— Robb Wolfe, Wired to Eat

Step 2. Create a weekly food plan from the food you put on your matrix.

Select the proteins, salad making ingredients, vegetables, oils & spices you will cook for the coming week.  For example: Week 1 - Proteins: Chicken, fish, tofu, hamburgers. Vegetables: broccoli, corn on the cob, zucchini, cauliflower. Fruit: blueberries, plums, watermelon.  Spices: taco spice mix, curry, garlic, ginger and Italian spice blend.

Step 3. Review your schedule.

Be sure to review your calendar so you know if you will be eating out or if you have a doctor’s appointment and you will need to bring an extra meal with you.

Step 4. Step 4. Create a shopping list.

Create a shopping list for the weeks cooking and schedule time to go shopping. Don’t go when you are hungry or tired.  Shop from your list and if you love crossing things off – go for it.

Step 5. Keep frozen fruit and veggies on hand.

Always have frozen vegetables and fruit on hand in the freezer in case something comes up or you run out of foods.

Step 6. Make a weekly plan.

On Sunday, decide what you will eat on Monday and Tuesday. And continuously through the week always plan your meals 24-48 hours in advance. This give you a chance to review what’s in the fridge and if you need anything for the following day. 

Step 7. Batch cook.

Batch cook your proteins and vegetables and store them in large bowls or glass containers with covers.  Prepare a large salad you can use for 1 or 2 days meals. Repeat as often as you need to over the course of the week.

Step 8 – Repeat Step 2 through 7 every week.

Even if you are like me and your food menu has been limited to unhealthy, fast foods and you don’t really like to cook anything extravagant, you can learn the skill of creating a simple, repeatable process for choosing, planning and preparing your foods that will make achieving your goals inevitable.

It’s the best investment you can make into your future.

Pat Beaupre Becker is a Master Certified Weight and Life Coach.  She coaches women over 50 who have struggled with overeating for most of their lives.  She teaches them how to lose weight, stop overeating emotionally and learn to love their life today and create excitement about their future. She is absolutely sure It’s Never Too Late To Lose Weight.

Listen in to her weekly podcast, It’s Never Too Late To Lose Weight.  You can find it on iTunes,  Stitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts.