Fail to plan, plan to fail! I am sure you have been subjected to this phrase at least once in your lifetime in various contexts. Maybe work, school exams, building a house, outdoor activities, and now weight loss. Planning is an important part of being able to lose weight and keep it off.
You may have generated motivation and a compelling reason to lose weight, but these are only part of the weight loss puzzle. Planning is integral to your success. Failing to plan can, and often does, equal failure.
Think of it like booking a holiday, a 4 hour drive away from your house. The holiday is the end goal. You are motivated to go on your trip and have commited by paying the money to secure the holiday home. However, you have not put the directions in the GPS. Uh Oh! You think you know where you are going, and have planned to follow your nose, as they say. You COULD do that, but it may take a lot longer and you may become frustrated. It may get too hard and you might want to quit.
This is a similar story when working towards your weight loss goal. Having only an idea of what you want and how you will get there, compared to a proper plan, will make the road harder for you with a possibility of failure.
If you don’t give your brain direction in the form of a plan, it doesn’t know where to go and will find it difficult to get to your goal weight. Just like driving with no GPS, you have the best intentions, but without the road map it may take longer to reach your weight loss goal. This can create frustration and lack of trust in yourself to reach the goal and can cause you to give up completely.
Let's look at another example. You want to lose weight. You stack your cupboards and the fridge with healthy food and some treats for the kids. You have not decided or planned, specifically what you are going to eat tomorrow, just that you will eat better food. You are thinking, 'I don't know what I will feel like for lunch tomorrow', so you wait to decide in the moment. Tomorrow comes…no plan ahead of time puts your primal brain in charge. I like to compare your primal brain to a child, because left in charge, it will seek pleasure and instant reward, just like a child. So in the moment would your child choose an avocado and beetroot salad or a kit kat and a bag of crisps?
If you have planned exactly what you will eat, your prefrontal cortex (let's call it your adult brain) will be in charge. Your brain has direction. Your brain LIKES direction. Your adult brain is overriding your child brain. You will eat the food on the plan. You will feel great for following your plan. You are reinforcing that it feels good to take care of yourself, and that you CAN do this.
The exception to the rule is if you plan food that you don’t like. Why would you do that? Don’t choose foods you are not fond of and think, I will learn to love them. If you don’t like them then don’t put them on your plan. Now, let me be clear, I am not talking about vegetables as a group. If you don’t like vegetables, you may have to ask yourself a great question, like, how can I prepare vegetables so that I will enjoy them?
So, set yourself up for success, put the GPS on and have a plan on how you will reach your destination or weight loss goal. Plan it, so that you will enjoy the journey.
Plan what you will eat the day before. Put your smart adult brain in charge and avoid the child brain taking over.
Take the time to plan and shop for food. You will thank yourself for it. You will experience appreciation toward yourself for taking care of you, making you feel important....because you ARE important and 100 % worthy of care and love.
Plan food that you enjoy and is good fuel for your body. Plan food that will help you to lose weight. A plan involving foods you don’t enjoy will lead you to feeling deprived. Deprivation is not a feeling that creates sustainable weight loss. Plan for your success.
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