Listen to this podcast episode if you want to learn how to stay committed to your meal plan. You'll hear three mini steps you can take starting today to not only stay committed to your meal plan, but also get yourself to actually want to follow it in the first place. Don't wait another minute. Hit play now!
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Read the full episode transcript below:
Welcome to the Weight Loss Before and After Pregnancy Podcast. The place you’ll get simple strategies you can apply to your life today to start losing weight. Strategies that’ll help you reach your goal, move on with your life, and focus on the things that matter most to you. I’m your host, Certified Life and Weight Coach, Andrea Scalici. Let’s get started.
Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 16.
Today, we’re going to talk about staying committed to your meal plan. This is a topic I know is on many people’s minds right now. Especially if you started a weight loss program at the beginning of January, maybe because of a New Year’s resolution. And now that it’s late January, almost February, you might be having trouble sticking to your plan. I’m going to help you out with that in this episode.
But before we get to that, I’ve got to be honest here. Staying committed to your meal plan is a topic I love talking about but also hate talking about.
I love it because it’s something I struggled with for years and overcame. It’s something super common that many people struggle with, you might be struggling with it too, and it’s something I know I can help you with, if it’s a problem you’re facing.
But I also hate talking about this topic because of what I’ve learned. What I mean by that is many people who want to lose weight, focus their time and attention on their meal plan. I did this for a long time too. They focus time and attention on creating the perfect meal plan. Trying to force themselves to follow it. And getting frustrated if they eat off plan or find themselves wanting to eat off plan.
The meal plan becomes this big negative thing that we fixate on and think is our problem. But what I’ve learned is this. The meal plan is rarely the problem. It’s our thinking about the meal plan, our approach to the meal plan, that could use some work.
In this podcast episode, you’ll learn exactly how I recommend you think about and approach your meal plan so you can stick to it without a whole lot of drama and frustration so you’ll finally lose your weight in a way that feels good to you.
This episode is going to be short and sweet because it’s actually much simpler than you might think to do this. What I mean is, teaching you the process of doing this is, of sticking to your meal plan, is simple. But putting it into action is the tough part, I totally get it, but I know it’s completely doable for all of us. I did it and you can too. So, just hear me out.
Ok. Let’s dive in.
Now, in order to stick to your meal plan, and actually get yourself to want to stick to it, we can break this up into three mini steps, if you will.
Mini step number one is to create your meal plan by taking an honest look at where you are now with your eating and starting there.
Mini step number two is to approach your meal plan as a lifelong test. Test, evaluate, and adjust your meal plan from the beginning and probably for the rest of your life because your body will constantly change for the rest of your life, so it makes sense your food needs will too.
And mini step number three is to watch your brain every step of the way.
Ok. Let’s talk a bit more about mini step number one. Creating your meal plan by taking an honest look at where you are now with your eating and starting there.
I’ve talked a lot about creating your meal plan in this podcast already, so I’m not going to go into super detail here with this. If you want to learn how I recommend you create your meal plan, go back and listen to episode number four called Losing Weight: Step 3.
In that episode, I give you details of exactly how I recommend you do it. And I give you a link to download my free meal plan templates, which you can find at mcccoaching.com/foodplan.
So, go back and listen to that one if you want all the details about creating the meal plan. But in this episode, in mini step number one, I want to zoom in and talk about what food you’re putting on your meal plan.
If you’re used to eating hamburgers and tacos everyday right now, like I used to, then don’t take them off your meal plan in the beginning. Maybe ever.
Take an honest look at the foods you’re eating now. You might want to consider doing that by tracking what you eat for a week or two and getting a clear understanding of what you’re eating today.
Then, create your first meal plan with all of those foods on it. Hamburgers, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, whatever you’re eating.
You don’t want to go from eating these types of foods to eating only salads everyday, for example, because you’ll likely have a hard time following a plan like that if it’s dramatically different than you’re used to. Your body and your brain will fight you. Your body and your brain will be screaming at you to put the salad down and go get the taco.
I definitely don’t recommend you make things harder for yourself from day one so start where you are now. Create your first meal plan with the foods you’re eating currently. Get very honest with yourself about that and do not beat yourself up about it, no matter what.
That’s really all I want to say about that. Keep it simple and start where you are.
Ok. Mini step number two. Approach your meal plan as a lifelong test. Start where you are now and test, evaluate, and adjust your meal plan from the beginning and probably for the rest of your life because your body will constantly change for the rest of your life, so it makes sense your food needs will too.
If you start out with foods like hamburgers and tacos on your meal plan, pay attention to how they make you feel physically. Do you feel physically good or bad after you eat them?
Eating these foods is the test. Evaluating them is asking yourself whether or not they make you feel good or bad. And answering that question honestly. And adjusting is you tweaking your plan afterwards according to what you found when you tested and evaluated.
Keep this simple. But approaching your meal plan this way will completely change the way you think about it and how you feel about following it in the long term.
When you’re in this mini step and you’re evaluating, think about your body as unique. Think about how every person’s body is different. One person may feel amazing eating eggs or milk or dairy in general. And another person may get super sick eating those things. One person may feel great eating meat a few times a week and another person may eat vegetarian. We’re all different. Embrace that.
There will not be one meal plan out there that’s perfect for everyone. You need to do a little work to find out what works best for you. Test, evaluate, and adjust. What works best for you will be foods that feel great inside your body and foods that are giving you the result you want with your weight.
Ok. And finally, mini step number three. Watch your brain every step of the way.
If your brain is anything like mine, it might scream at you to stop trying to follow your meal plan. It might be telling you all the reasons why this won’t work, you’ll never lose your weight, you won’t stick to your plan because you’ve never been able to do it before. It might bring up tons of frustration, doubt, and looking to the past for how things have gone before.
This is normal. This is how the brain works. Nothing has gone wrong. But it is more important than ever before that you listen to what your brain is telling you and not believe it.
Don’t believe that you’ll never lose your weight.
Don’t believe that you won’t stick to your plan or that you can’t.
Don’t look to the past for evidence that you’ll give up again because your past does not dictate your future.
Don’t let the frustration and doubt overcome you. Let yourself feel those things, don’t resist them, but don’t make decisions from those emotions.
Watch what your brain is telling you. If possible, do it without judgement for yourself. And don’t believe any of the limiting things your brain is telling you.
You have the power, as a human being, to watch your own brain, think about your own thoughts, and make a decision whether or not you want to believe what it’s telling you.
This probably sounds very hard to do. And it can be. I’m not going to lie to you. But also it might not be.
If you are watching your brain, and listening to what it tells you, there will be certain thoughts you hear that you can easily laugh at and decide not to believe. I’ve found many of those over the years.
For example, maybe you find yourself thinking, “It’s impossible to lose my weight.” But when you really think about it, you know it’s not impossible. You know other people have done it. You’ve probably already done it too at some point in your past. Maybe you just haven’t kept it off. So, taking a close look at this thought, “It’s impossible to lose my weight” let’s you really see how untrue that is for you. And because you know it’s not true, you can laugh at it, and easily decide not to believe it ever again.
On the other hand, if you are watching your brain, and listening to what it tells you, there will also be certain thoughts you hear that you have a harder time disproving or disbelieving. And that’s totally ok. It just means you’ve thought or believed these things for a long time and they’ve become a part of you. A part of the way you think.
But, the good news is, if you are watching your brain, and you catch one of these beliefs that you think are completely true, you can actually still do the work to decide consciously how you want to think about it going forward.
For example, maybe you find yourself thinking, “I will never have a body like a model in a magazine.” And this thought makes you feel terrible. It makes you feel defeated, or like why bother trying to lose weight at all.
Well, it’s important to take a look at it. “I will never have a body like a model in a magazine.”
Then, ask yourself why is it important to you to have a body like a model in a magazine?
What magazine are you talking about? What model are you talking about?
Why do you think you even care about this?
What’s the upside of comparing your body to anyone else?
What are the things you love about your body? Not comparing it to anyone else. But just thinking about your body only. What are the things you love about your body right now?
Even if it is true, that you’ll never have a body like a specific model in a specific magazine, why is that a good thing?
What do you think that model is feeling in that picture in that magazine? And do you think she’s feeling that way because of what size her body is?
How do you want to feel about yourself and your body? Why do you think you can’t feel that way until your body is a certain size?
How can you feel that way now?
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself to decide how you want to really think about your thought about having a models’ body. Don’t just let that thought enter your brain, make you feel terrible about yourself, and give up on your meal plan because of it.
Watch the thoughts in your brain as often as you can, everyday if possible, and do the work to decide what you actually believe today.
And I hope you make the decision about what you believe in a way that serves you and your long term weight loss goals. You really do have the power to do this.
I truly believe you now have everything you need to stay committed to your meal plan. Remember the mini steps.
Create your meal plan by taking an honest look at where you are now with your eating and starting there.
Then, approach your meal plan as a lifelong test. Test, evaluate, and adjust it from the beginning and probably for the rest of your life.
And then, watch your brain every step of the way so you can decide how you want to think about and approach your meal plan.
Alright. That’s it for now. I know you can do this. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
If you loved this podcast, I want to invite you to check out The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. It’s my signature program that’ll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish to lose weight, reach your goal, and maintain it once you’re there. You’ll also learn how to have your own back through the process. Join me over at mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.
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