If you're one for a good motivational quote, I'll bet you've come across countless ones on the benefits of forward planning. Here's a few of my favourites:
The masses of quotes are available for good reason. There's no denying that planning offers the best chance of success. When it comes to following a healthy diet and weight management, planning will save you money, calories and stress and could well be the difference between failing and succeeding.
Research shows meal planning leads to healthier diets and reduced obesity rates. It makes sense that planning and prepping your meals in advance will lead to healthier choices and make it easier to stick to your calorie allowance. Imagine this, you're getting peckish at your desk at 11am, but you've not brought any healthy snacks with you. You notice the festive biscuit leftovers so take one to keep hunger at bay – but then, who can ever really stop at one? Alternatively, let's say you packed up some nuts, an apple and a yogurt – so you opt for the apple and yogurt to keep you going until lunch. Fewer calories, yet far more nutrients.
People who succeed with various goals have almost always done so with a plan. In fact, I'd argue they have always succeeded because of a plan. Without a plan, where do you even begin? If you approach any professional for advice on how to reach a goal – whether it be to eat more healthily, to lose weight or to improve your health – they will tell you to make a plan of how you want to get there. What does your end goal look like and what interim goals will you need to get you there?
Life is unpredictable, so without a plan unexpected events can really throw a spanner in the works. But if you have planned for such events, you'll be ready. Always have healthy meals ready in the freezer for days when you get home later than expected or perhaps just feel totally shattered. Plan to hold back some calories each day in case an unexepcted event calls for extra calories – and if it doesnt, then you can enjoy a treat of your choice at the weekend instead!
Now we know how important planning is, here's the type of things you should plan to help you achieve your health, diet, fitness and weight goals:
Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.