How Important is Meal Planning to Weight Loss?

Losing weight is tough because there are tons of ways go about one subject. Some people exercise, others try to eat healthily, and there are those who decide to use fad diets. Sadly, there are no quick fixes because your body often works against you. If you don’t give it the nutrients it needs in the correct amounts, the fat will stick to you like glue.

So, how is meal planning different? It’s a good question because it doesn’t seem overly effective, not like training for a marathon or hitting the gym five times a week. Take a look at the potential side-effects underneath to learn more about meal planning and its impact on weight loss.

Control Over Choices

We’ve all been there – it’s Thursday night and there is nothing in the fridge or freezer. So, you cobble together a dinner which a child would love. As tasty as battered turkey pieces, fries and beans are, they’re incredibly unhealthy. They’re full of trans fats, complex carbs and refined sugars. Still, you don’t have much choice in the matter – you either eat it or go hungry.

By planning your meals, it’s easier to buy and prepare food which is healthy. Because you already know what you want to eat, you only have to go to the store and put it in your basket. Weight loss programs rely heavily on meal planning as they help cut out the renegade dishes which pile on the pounds.


The Right Amount

Cooking while hungry is like shopping for groceries with an empty stomach – a bad move. Everything you do will get the taste buds flowing and the gut begging to be filled. Therefore, it’s tempting to add ingredients which aren’t necessary. You could eat a horse, so what’s wrong with an extra couple of potatoes on the side? The answer is calories.

Weight loss is possible with meal planning as you always make the right amount of food. And, because the portions are in check, weight loss becomes a lot more accessible than ever before. All you need to do is take the Tupperware box out of the freezer and defrost the meal. There’s no reason to both with temptation.



Don’t underestimate the effects of guilt on weight loss. Your conscious will keep your waistline in check as it will constantly remind you of the consequences. And, it doesn’t have to be calorie-related. For example, your brain might recall the effort it took to prepare the week’s meals. To order a takeaway or cook something less healthy will result in wastage.

Planning and prepping meals encourages you to continue to eat well as you don’t want the effort to go down the drain.


How To: Meal Planning

Trying to introduce meal planning into your diet is the next step, yet it isn’t as straightforward as it seems. First of all, it’s essential to understand what meals are healthy and which ones aren’t. Some will come as a shock. Also, it’s vital that you get the measurements right or else weight loss will be tricky.


You can do it alone, but a professional fitness trainer is often the key. Here are the reasons why.


–    Knowledge: Fitness trainers aren’t gym junkies that love to tell people what to eat. They are experts with a certificate IV in weight management who understand how the body works. As a result, they will point you in the right direct meal planning-wise. A prime illustration is going cold turkey. Trainers know that it’s bad for your long-term health, so they’ll encourage you to have a treat during the week. It maintains your ability to burn fat as well as your morale.


–    Enjoyment: Fitness experts understand that nutrition can be tough. Meal planning is difficult because it’s monotonous and boring at times. Therefore, weight loss becomes a problem as it’s tempting to break the routine to mix things up. Trainers are aware of the challenges and often try to make the art of eating right enjoyable. It might be through providing a twist on your favourite, unhealthy meals for example. Turning a takeaway into a fine dining experience will prove that there’s no need to rely on McDonald’s or KFC. The same applies to snacks.


–    Teamwork: We told you not to underestimate the impact of guilt. Working as a team means you never want to let down your trainer. They have done their best to help manage your weight and you should repay them. Plus, weight loss isn’t as tricky when you have someone spurring you on to success.


Meal planning is an essential part of weight loss, as is a personal trainer. Put the two together and you’ll soon see results.


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Tony Attridge is the Owner and CEO of The College of Health and Fitness (est. 2002). He has lectured at various Universities and Private Training Organisations for over 20 years in fitness, health, sport psychology and wellness. He has been involved in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a Level 3 Strength and Conditioning Coach, a Sport Psychologist, Sports Nutritionist and an Exercise Scientist.See Tony's personal website


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