How to Plan Food for Weight LossPosted: February 17, 2011
When I hear people (usually doctors or nutritionists in the media) advising overweight people about how to lose weight, I cringe when I hear the phrase, “Eat a healthy diet!” Well, duh! But the discussion usually doesn’t go beyond that. When I was obese, I often found myself feeling hopeless when the “professionals” would say this to me. I would often be so depressed at hearing this for the millionth time, I wouldn’t ask, “How?”
Over the past two years, I have relearned how to eat with the help of a nutritionist (from Nutritional Weight and Wellness). I have had to learn how to plan within an inch of my life. At first it was really hard to plan for three meals and three snacks every single day. Now, it is almost automatic. My next couple of posts will focus on tips and tricks I use to plan my food days. Oh, and I won’t once tell you to shop on the periphery of the grocery store (even though it is important, it has been done to death and it is not specific enough!).
Remember, I eat to balance my blood sugar using a balance of protein, carb, and fat 5-6 times per day. I have eliminated artificial sweeteners, much added sugar, and bad oils (refined vegetable oils like soybean). This way of eating over time has led me to an 87 pound weight loss.
- Choose your grocery store(s). Choosing grocery stores that have “pre-screened” products for you is key. You will spend a lot of time shopping if you have to sort through items with sucralose, high fructose corn syrup, and bad meat (packed with hormones and antibiotics and corn fed). Place like Whole Foods and Trader Joes have done that for you. However, you still need to label read in these stores searching out soybean oil/other oils and high sugar content.To save my budget while maintaining the quality of my food, I find I have to shop in two stores: Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I find that to get good quality meat (grass fed, no antibiotics, no hormones) I need to go to Whole Foods. Organic produce and other organic products are much cheaper at Trader Joe’s. It really doesn’t take me much longer to shop at two stores because I can find everything to plan my meals in two stops.
- Plan for snacks by buying a whole something and mentally cutting it into snack portions. So, I will buy a dozen eggs and that gives me the protein for 12 snacks, either hard boiled or over easy. Six apples gives me the carb for these snacks (half an apple per snack). A small container of good organic peanut butter gives me the fat (2 tablespoons on that apple half). To mix up the protein source, I will buy a rotisserie chicken (see the NWW Deli Detective for what to look for in a chicken), which gives me about 2 lunch portions (4 ounces) of chicken for my salad and 4-5 snack size portions (1-2 ounces). There, snacks for a week.
- Get breakfast right simply. Choose to have a smoothie (1 cup of whole fat yogurt, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of frozen fruit, and a scoop of whey protein powder), eggs, or leftovers. The smoothie is very easy to shop for, eggs cooked in butter and some veg a cinch, and leftovers (like some of that rotisserie chicken) are a no brainer.
- Crock pot, or your best friend. I know I am officially old, because I am one of those women who loves the crock pot with abandon. On Sundays, I try to make a meal that will yield 3 meals during the week. For example, 2 pounds of chicken with a great barbecue sauce. I can serve this with a salad (meal #1), on gluten-free tortillas topped with beans and veggies (meal #2), and served with a hot vegetable (meal #3). I will also be able to get a couple of snack-sized portions of meat out of this dish.
OK, I will continue this list next week. Happy shopping!
What is your favorite tip? Leave a comment.