One of the biggest obstacles between you and your goal is in your head. The mental aspect of fat loss and lifestyle change is something that is so important and can’t be understated. You have to break the old habits and ways of viewing food. Without really tackling the mental part of the process during the plan it will make it much harder than it needs to be and will make you more likely to backslide into old habits and weight gain after reaching your goal. You conditioned yourself to crave certain foods and want to eat a certain way. It is totally possible, and crucial, to recondition yourself and embrace the new lifestyle.
Most importantly, you need to view food differently. Instead of seeing your meal plan as just a way to get you to your goal weight or body, you have to see those foods as how and what you should be eating, long term. This happens by seeing your food as something you eat for a purpose. Health, energy, performance, and body composition optimization. The foods you used to crave don’t support those purposes. The real goal isn’t just to reach your goal, but to maintain it without backsliding into old habits and losing everything you worked for. By viewing food this way it will make the entire process much easier because you won’t be constantly craving and addicted to foods that make you fat. Don’t just mentally grind through the meal plan but really learn to embrace it.
Learning how to eat during the phase is very important also. I mean learning as in being able to make good food choices beyond just what’s specifically laid out for you in the meal plan. A great way for you to practice this is with a weekly cheat meal. I call it cheating with a purpose. You look to find the middle ground between the structured meals in the plan and the way you would have normally approached a cheat meal in the past. Enjoy yourself without sabotaging yourself. This means really looking over a menu before you order something. Look for something that will be good and isn’t a complete circus of garbage food. You will start to realize you can enjoy foods without feeling like a pig after eating. You can go out to eat without ruining your progress and while really enjoying yourself at the same time. This learning and reconditioning will pay off huge during and especially after reaching your goal.
Now for the light at the end of the tunnel. Something I tell my clients while following the meal plan is that getting lean is much harder than staying lean. What this means is once you reach your goal you have more flexibility in food options and don’t have to eat as structured/strict as you did while on the meal plan. You can eat out 2-3 times per week as long as you adhere to some simple guidelines while choosing your foods. Your daily food options can come from a long list of sources as long as they are real (whole) food sources. If you stay away from processed food most of the time and follow simple guidelines for putting meals together, staying lean is easy.
After really changing the way you view food and make food choices the whole thing comes together in such a way that it’s easy. It just becomes the way you eat. It becomes a lifestyle that doesn’t even bother you. You can feel great, look great, and enjoy yourself year round. Embrace the process and set yourself up for long term success.
If you have questions on meal planning or just how to start moving in the right direction on your own, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org