Meal Planning and Weight Loss for the Busy Girl

Just like everyone else these days, my life seems to play out in fast forward. I have a full-time desk job, freelance on the side, and try to spend as much time as I can with my husband. I always thought I could have time for the gym, and meal prep if there were about 36 hours in a day, rather than a measly 24. So what now? I don’t have a reliable method of bending time, so how could I stay healthy?

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2006, I had reached a weight of almost 150 pounds in just the sixth grade. 

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I inherited some pretty insane eating habits from my parents (fry everything with a side of bread and butter), and have never been into sports much. This followed me into college, and now into my married life. I had found myself having gained a total of 15 pounds within the first year of our marriage. (Which we will celebrate next month!)

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My husband and I, Christmas 2015. I had gained roughly 15 pounds from the photo on the left.

 

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On my wedding day, May 2, 2015. The photo on the right was taken only 7 months after this.

None of my clothes were fitting me, and I wasn’t happy with how I looked or felt. It was time to make a change, so with the support of my awesome husband, we have been on a meal plan for the past 3.5 weeks. I have lost around 10 pounds, and he has lost about 7. So for all you other “busy girls” (and guys) out there, here are a couple of myths I have seen debunked on this journey, as well as some tricks that helped me keep on course.

Truth: You can be completely full after every meal, and lose weight.

Here is how:

I know when I think of losing weight, images of salads, and shakes pop into my mind. To be honest, I’m just not a salad kind of girl, and I like my food to be solid. The thought of weeks of lettuce on end makes me want to jump off a bridge. The great thing is: we haven’t really been on a “diet”, but more of a meal plan. (And I haven’t eaten one leaf of lettuce yet!) Diets are usually temporary, with the express purpose of achieving a goal weight. A meal plan is geared for the long haul. It’s changing how you look at food, and what you put in your body. For example: instead of Bojangles fried tenders today, I had a grilled chicken breast, asparagus, and grapefruit for lunch. I am totally full, I’m not feeling like I need to take a nap, and it was pretty darn tasty, to be honest. The key is giving your body what it is desperately craving (your body, not your mind), and nothing that it doesn’t. No gimmicks, or lose weight fast garbage.My lunch today was high in protein, and vitamins, without the processed sugars and fat. Keep your food simple (no artificial, heavily preserved, few ingredients) and your body will thank you for it.

If eating better, and losing weight is a goal you want to set for yourself, I would encourage you to revisit healthy eating. Not by means of a diet, but a meal plan. (I will include our meal plan list at the bottom of this post.)

Don’t deprive yourself

When you are eating healthy the majority of the time, having a treat every now and again won’t derail all of your progress. A few weeks after we had started the meal plan, my in-laws were having an Easter dinner. Hamburgers, fries, cake, and everything in between. We were torn about it at first, but we ended up eating what we wanted. To be completely honest: it did satisfy a particular craving, but after we ate it, I was totally set for another couple of weeks. I truly didn’t want those types of food like I had before. Let yourself have your favorite treat every so often, and it may end up helping you resist it in the future!

Get your head in the game

Sure, it’s about what goes on your plate, but the war is really waged in your mind. At first it felt like it was me against the world. “If I have this candy in secret no one will know.” (Candy is my true weakness) But then I discovered, it’s not me against the world, but me fighting myself. I had set a goal for myself, that only I could reach. No one could do it for me. Anytime I derive from my goal, I am only cheating myself. So set your mind on what you want, and make a plan. Sure it might take a little time, but what doesn’t take time that is worth having?

 

It sounds silly, but these past few weeks have taught me a lot about myself. I have learned that I sometimes struggle with impulse control, personal time management, and dedication. But I have also discovered that I am resilient, I can bounce back, and that if I put my mind to something I can knock it out. You can too. If you are struggling with your weight, and have tried every diet in the book, like me, there is hope. If you are crazy busy, and don’t know how you can make a lifestyle change, it is possible. Set a goal, and get your head in the game. I believe in you.

Do what you love & love what you do.

 

 

(I’m in no way a fitness or nutrition expert, this is just what we found to work for us.)

Our Meal Plan List:

Eggs (Scrambled and hard-boiled)

Turkey bacon

(Everything grilled with olive oil)

Grilled chicken, tilapia, salmon

 

Grilled broccoli, brussel sprouts

Baked asparagus, cabbage, green beans

Grapefruit, apples, kiwi, strawberries, bananas

Granola, Greek yogurt, honey, flax-seed

Green tea, water

Oat meal, protein and whole wheat Cheerios

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Meal Planning and Weight Loss for the Busy Girl

  1. I have hit that age in life when I need to be careful just so I don’t balloon out. Two things have changed. I am not longer a member of the clean plate club (and I accept that my meal portions are smaller). Two I exercise desperately to maintain my currently less than ideal weight. The exercise give me the excuse for some of my more fatty indulgences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a foodie, I totally understand. We (my husband and I) are trying to do minimal cheat meals until our cruise, which is in about 2 weeks. But after that we plan on eating clean the majority of the time, so we can have our cheat days, and be able to keep our weight down and enjoy our favorite foods at the same time!

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  2. The concept of the “cheat day” is nice, I think, since it views a “failure” of your new routine in a more positive light. This means that you’re less likely to continue to lapse back into the old habits as you can know that there’s a day coming when you can have all the “good stuff.”

    As with any habit, new or old, broken or mended, there’s going to be times when you go back to “the old ways.” By calling this a cheat day and knowing that tomorrow things go back to the new routine, it can help gear the mind a little towards the inevitable failures that do come with a new lifestyle and thought.

    Best of luck! Changing the way you eat is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but once you get established, it will be second nature and you probably won’t ever think about it again. Which is obvious, but it never seems that way in the beginning.

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  3. It is so much related to your mental situation, when your decision is strong for whatever reason (imagine your doctor tells you “either you cut down or you´ll die in a few months”) which is really shacking you from up to down, it will work because you are going to reduce the calories you intake till they are below the calories you burn. If you have not reached this state of mind.. it will not last.
    Greetings after a year of being “away”! 😊

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