Home Interrupt Your Overeating Sticking to a Meal Plan: Tips and Solutions

Sticking to a Meal Plan: Tips and Solutions

by Tina

Sticking to a meal plan … why is it so hard to do?

When you have finally found a meal or diet plan that sounds pretty good is an achievement, but then often the real struggle starts — actually sticking to it. Even when you’re motivated and really want to do it.

I very much can agree with you that it can be quite a lot when we are crazy busy. Juggling work, family, and personal commitments can make it feel impossible. A healthy eating routine often takes a back seat.

And to top it off. our bodies crave high-calorie foods, especially when we’re trying to change our diets. It’s a natural survival mechanism that makes resisting temptation really hard.

But guess what? It’s totally doable to overcome these challenges with the right strategies.

 

Our challenges may be different yet they all make sticking to a meal or diet plan difficult.

Busy Lives, our busy lives make finding time to prepare healthy meals challenging. We end up grabbing whatever’s quick, not necessarily what’s healthy. Skipping a nutritious meal and replacing it with some snacks.

Stress, boredom or emotions, good or bad, food can feel comforting. Making us reach for high-calorie, unhealthy foods to feel better, even if it’s just temporary.

No Plan, also a big one! Without a plan, we end up eating whatever’s convenient and available.

When not at home, going out to eat, social events or even trips, vacation and holidays make it hard to stick to a diet.

Lack of Self-Control, our cravings and temptations around us always want us do something other than following the plan. It is difficult to resist unhealthy snacks and sweets. Grabbing whatever’s convenient, and feeling guilty about it later is a cycle many of us know too well.

 

Following these tips below will help you make better food choices,

  • Food Prep & Easy Meal Planning is something we can’t do without when trying to follow a new way of eating.

Set aside time each week to plan and prep foods / meals in advance. I am not a big  fan of cooking for a week and eating the same for days. I like to have foods prepped in the fridge that easily can be turned into quick, healthy meals, like in 10 to 15 minutes ir less.

 

  • Stress, Boredom, Emotions can easily throw us off plan.

Stress-relief techniques like meditation, prayer, deep breathing or even a short daily walk can lower our cortisol levels which makes it easier to resist those temptations and cravings. Cortisol, is a hormone that triggers cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods.

Feeling sadness, depression, loneliness and anxiety can trigger can lead to craving “comfort foods” that are mostly calorie-rich and nutritionally poor. Food becomes a distraction and companion instead of what it is created for.

Try healthy versions of your favorite comfort foods to satisfy cravings without derailing your plan. Make a creamy avocado pudding instead of reaching for ice cream. Recipe below.

 

Healthy & Smart Grocery Shopping means creating and sticking to a shopping list.

A shopping list based on your meal or diet plan and sticking to it. Avoiding aisles with tempting, unhealthy foods.

Sticking to a diet with a family is harder when others in the house do eat these foods.

Try to create a personal food zone in the fridge and pantry for your healthy foods. A visual separation.

Let your family or housemates know about your dietary goals so they  can support you by keeping tempting snacks out of sight.

Having food prepped in the fridge can reduce the temptation to reach for less healthy choices.

 

A plan to follow. There are benefits to following a weight loss or healthy eating plan that help towards your goals. 

A clear plan helps you set specific, achievable goals. Knowing your why and your target keeps you focused. A plan also helps you to follow a consistent eating and exercise routine, which is crucial for sustainable results.

Tracking your meals, exercise and progress helps you to be accountable, and to stick to your plan while developing new habits over time.

 

  • Tips to help you with making a meal plan ,

Use a meal planner to outline your meals for the next days or week. This way you stay organized and avoid last-minute unhealthy choices.

Keep your meal plan visible on the fridge to remind you.

Always shop with a list based on your meal plan to avoid impulse buys.

Keep a few easy-to-make meals on hand for busy nights when you don’t have time to cook.

Download <<HERE>> my FREE “List of 30 Foods & Ideas for quick and healthy meals” for inspiration

 

  • Healthy, Diet Friendly Eating Out can be challenging, depending on where you live.

There are restaurants with healthy options for sure and don’t hesitate to call upfront and ask for modifications to suit your diet. Most places will accommodate and serve you. Spontaneous, last minute outings could be more of a challenge, again, depending where you are.

You can ask if a specific meal can be made plant-based, if it is possible to replace animal products in a dish with extra veggies or if they can make a dish without oil or with olive oil. Often you can also side dishes and starters into a nutritious meal.

When eating out or at a party, BBQ etc. focus on socializing rather than just eating. Eat slowly and enjoy the conversation.

 

  • A lack of self-control and self-discipline can make handling cravings and following a meal plan almost impossible.

Self-control is easier when you have clear guidelines about what to eat and what to avoid. Self-control is something we all have, only it has to be used like a muscle. Trained to become stronger.

As a christian woman I know I can ask for help from God who gave me self-control, as it is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

This doesn’t make cravings disappear, but  I know making food become more important than God is not how it supposed to be.

This realization helps me to reset my mind.

 

And still we often fail because …

1. We set unrealistic expectations, goals that are too ambitions can lead to burnout and frustration. It’s easy to get discouraged when progress is slow. When we don’t see results fast enough we tend to give up.

Small, achievable goals are more sustainable and lead to lasting change. Goals have to be challenging, not overwhelming.

2. We have a lack of support, without support from friends or family can make it harder to stay motivated.

Try joining an online group or find a diet-buddy so you are not working towards your goal alone.

3. Our All-or-Nothing mentality can lead to giving up. A slip-up doesn’t mean failure, it means regroup and get back on track. Yet try to not let slip-ups become a part of your new healthy eating plan. After a while you can allow yourself much more room to navigate in, once the new way of eating is the “normal”.

4. We are not enjoying the food on our plan. Keep looking for tastier options within your guidelines BUT don’t forget that your taste buds will adept if you give them a chance. Making changes in your diet will require eating more whole, unprocessed foods for lasting results.

5. We are ignoring emotional triggers, good or bad. As long as emotions drive us to food it can be very hard to break the cycle. We have to find other ways to coop with stress, anxiety, sadness.

Start recognizing emotional hunger. Start keeping a journal of your eating habits. Note what you eat, when you eat, and what emotions you are feeling at the time. This helps you become aware of patterns and triggers.

Develop healthy moping mechanisms means we have to find other ways than food to deal with feelings and emotions. Try activities that help you relax and manage stress, such as reading, taking a walk, prayer, meditating, or talking to a friend.

6. Fear of Failure is real. Past failures can make us doubt our ability to succeed, creating a cycle of giving up. “Why would this time be different?” Sounds familiar?

Fear of failure is a common and understandable feeling, especially if past attempts to stick to a healthy eating plan or diet have not been successful. It can create a cycle of self-doubt, making it hard to believe in the possibility of success and can be paralyzing and prevent you from even starting again.

 

Breaking the Cycle: Why This Time Can Be Different

Recognizing past experiences in failing and in making the same mistakes can be very helpful. Reflect on past attempts and identify what didn’t work. Use these insights to adjust your approach.

 

That is what I help my clients with and can help you with too.

To find the right personal plan so that you can finally break the stronghold food has on you. 

To learn how to Interrupt Your Overeating.

To stop eating more than you need,

to stop feeling like a failure, powerless. 

Click <<HERE>> for more info.

 

Final Thoughts

Changing long-standing habits takes time and effort. It’s so easy to fall back into old patterns, especially when you’re tired or stressed. And willpower fades throughout the day, making it harder to follow your plan and be consistent.

Sticking to a meal plan is doable when you in the meantime also create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Setting clear goals, building a routine, and practicing self-discipline are all a part of reaching your goals.

Tina x

Creamy Avocado Pudding Dairy Free

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: avocado, pudding, raw
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 266kcal
Author: Tina

Equipment

  • 1 blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe avocados pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder unsweetened, raw
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener of choice maple syrup, agave, honey,, rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk any kind, I use soy milk for creaminess

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients, until smooth, in a blender, food processor or using a hand held mixer. Serve immediately, or chill first
  • Cover tightly and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

 

 

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