I know that starting a meal plan is intimidating and hard and making it through the first week can feel impossible. I know on days a and 2 you will feel like it’s a breeze. Then you’ll want to chew off your own arm on day 3. I know because that’s how I felt! So I wanted to share some tips for staying on your meal plan no matter what. These are things I have been doing since I went back to using Ultimate Portion Fix this month to get my nutrition back in check like it did before and doing Morning Meltdown. I learned these through trial and error and I want to help you have the lest amount of error on your journey as possible. Enjoy!
Pick the right plan for you.
When you are choosing your fitness program, check out the nutrition plans that go with them. The meal plans are actually deigned by real nutritionists to help you get the best results possible during your time on the program. I really recommend following the nutrition plan that the fitness program recommends. BUT, if you seem to like the sounds of 2B Mindset and the plan on your program is Portion Fix, just talk to your coach and they can make some recommendations on using a different nutrition plan with the fitness program you want to do. Remember your goals and go after it on both fronts, exercise AND nutrition. Exercise alone will not get you where you want to be!
Remember your Why.
Plan to be a little uncomfortable at first, Things feel uncomfortable when you start a meal plan because it is of course, not what you’re used to. My husband said to me yesterday, “When you begin to eat healthy you have to accept you may be a little hungry at times, after all, you were eating too much and too much, be ok with being a little hungry now and then till your body gets used to what and how much you should be eating”. You may have never been into veggies, you are, eating lower calories than you are used to, and much less sugar and processed foods (the later two which are addictive). It’s normal to go through some sugar withdrawal, you may even get headaches. Your body may be a little shocked but you will get used to the changes if you stick to the plan and remember what you are doing this for. I recommend making a vision board that has pictures and words that keep you motivated and will put your WHY right in your face when things get tough and you start to waiver. Hang it in your kitchen on the fridge for the extra added motivation. The more that you focus on where you want to go and why you are going there the better off you will be.
Keep it interesting.
I recommend finding some recipes offered on your plan that you especially like and making those in rotation. If you need variety in your life be sure that you honor that, even when you are on your meal plan. If you are doing a Beachbody meal plan that uses the color coded portion control containers then there are recipes you can follow in the meal guide that comes with the program, there is the Fixate Cooking Show on Beachbody on Demand, Fix Cookbooks that have a ton of recipes and variety at your disposal that all fits your meal plan, more recipes I will share with you on your journey and before you know it, you will create your own collection of favorites. Eating on a meal plan does not have to be boring, you can make so many different delicious flavorful foods that will keep you engaged and keep you moving towards your goals.
If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.
This is true for life in general but doubly true if you are eating off of a meal plan. When you are eating clean there are very few options at restaurants that will fit into your plan. There are very few ways to get clean eating meals at drive throughs. This means that you will need to plan ahead for work and also if you are planning to go out. This does not mean that you cannot go out for a treat meal with friends or family but this should also be planned. Map out what your week looks like and look at how much food you will need. Shopping day for us is Saturday and prep days are Sunday afternoon, for 3-4 meals in advance. The food stays fresh and ready and grab and chow down super easy during the work week. This keeps the flavor fatigue out of the equation and keeps the prep time minimal.
Allow yourself a treat now and then.
In my opinion it is important to stick to the meal plan as prescribed for at least a the first week or two but after that if you need to have a little leeway for one meal it is ok. Some call it a cheat meal. The important thing to remember is that you are on this meal plan to get results and that when you go off the rails it will likely hinder those results so don’t get too crazy, or way off your plan. If you want to eat a treat meal pick something healthy that will give you the satisfaction of tasting good and fulfilling your cravings. Split a dessert, do not eat that whole cake. Make it one meal and not a whole day. You get the point, be smart, choose wisely, and do not go crazy. Remember, balance! You will be surprised, as you eat clean your taste buds begin to change and you will begin to crave different, healthier alternatives as treats. So, the more time you give it before you give in to veering off of your plan the better off you will be. Also, don’t go for a treat on your rest day or Active Recovery day. Do it on a day you find challenging and do not make it your last meal of the day. Eat your treat right before or right after your workout.
Do not concentrate on the scale.
The number on the scale is important, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the only thing that matters while you are cleaning up your diet and losing weight. Many people make the mistake of fixating on the scale and it becomes almost an extra weight around their neck, driving them crazy every day. There are a ton of reasons why the scale moves up and down on various days and you may be a couple pounds up one day then a couple pounds down the next. This is normal and if you are checking the scale every day you will be disheartened and stressed out and will be, in my opinion, less likely to stick to your meal plan and exercise regimen. Remember non-scale victories ARE victories. That brownie you passed on at the work party, inches lost on your waistline, learning healthier ways of fueling your body, etc… Also as your workouts intensify your weight will fluctuate as your body attempts to figure out what is going on. So. Know your numbers and weight yourself once or twice a week (unless your program calls for you to weigh daily) and do it at the same time and on the same day each week. Do not focus solely on the scale. Keep in mind how you feel, how your clothes fit, and also how your measurements are going.
Continually educate yourself.
The important thing to remember is to stick to what you are doing and DO NOT get sucked into overthinking or over analyzing. You committed to a meal plan for a reason and it will get you to where you need to be. When you do have a solid foundation of exercising, eating clean, and getting results it is important to continue to expand your knowledge of meal prepping and eating healthy, and it is important to explore different schools of thought on nutrition to see which one works best for you. There is no one size fits all for health and nutrition so keep looking and never stop exploring what is out there. The more you learn the better results you will get and I also believe that with growth becomes excitement. When we are excited we can really do anything and that is how we turn this into a lifestyle and keep the results coming!