As the great bard once said: “Sunday, Monday: Happy Days, Tuesday, Wednesday: Happy Days. Thursday, Friday: Happy Days. The weekend comes, my cycle hums – ready to race to you.” Wise words indeed, but absolutely no help whatsoever if you’re looking for advice about dieting. For that we really need to focus on the weekend – that glorious two day stretch of time when many of us are free from the responsibilities of work. But a weekend is more than a chance to chuckle at Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara’s bromance – it is also be a time to focus on the 10 commandments of weight loss preparation and give your diet the best chance of success.
Thou Shalt Prepare Thy Weekly Menu
It’s quite simple, planning your weekly menu in advance has two benefits. Firstly, it will save you money as your chicken roast becomes a chicken curry on Monday and the chicken stock you make becomes a hearty soup on the Wednesday. It also gives you a clear idea of what’s ahead. Feel free to switch days around and go off piste when you need to, but that menu plan enables you to see into the future Marty!
1) Thou Shalt Do Your Food Shopping
This is a biggy – shopping on a daily basis when you’re hungry is a nightmare for your diet. You’ll start to reach for quicker options and that always leaves you at the mercy of the sodium-rich crapfest that are ready meals. Once you’ve got your menu plan you can break it all down and get the food you actually need, rather than the food that comes in a bright and shiny box.
2) Thou Shalt Prepare Thy Meals
Don’t feel like you need to have an entire week’s worth of meals in the fridge ready to go – if you can do that then perfect but an hour of prep means you wash up once and get a lot of the time-consuming stuff out of the way. Salad items that you wash, chop and add into airtight boxes will keep all week and give you an instant answer to your snacking desires. On which note…
3) Thou Shalt Decide Upon Thy Snacks
Preparing your snacks – two or three different things that you can stick in the fridge and look forward to. Freezing some grapes or spoonfuls of peanut butter, or buying in some great snacking options.
4) Thy Shouldst Get Your Exercise In The Diary
Prepare your exercise in advance and then book it in. It’s so much harder to let down a mate you’ve agreed to play squash with than it is to sort it out on the day when you’re both tired and thinking about a Simpsons binge rather than sweating. Actually put your exercise in the calendar. Don’t opt to fit your workouts in when you can – make them a priority and fit everything else in around it.
5) Thou Shalt Prepare For A Difficult Moment
I have three takeaways that I know I can eat from with a minimal of change on my weekly loss. If you’re ready for those days (which, trust me, will come) then you’re already one step ahead. If you’ve got plans with mates for a bit one at the weekend – get ready for it. Look forward to it, but also know what you’re possibly going to drink. You could even know what the healthiest option is in the kebab shop (grilled chicken or lamb with loads of salad and chilli sauce in a tray rather than bread if you were wondering). Don’t worry about these testing times – prepare for them.
6) Thou Shalt Sort Out Thy Gear
Prepare your clothes, check you’ve got all the right equipment and make sure it’s in working order. Is your workout gear ready and washed? Can you lay it out so that it’s ready? There’s nothing worse than seeing your workout stuff ready and having to walk past it as you sit on the sofa – it’s another form of accountability.
7) Thou Shalt Buff Up Your Mental Approach
Prepare your emotions – you’ll have up days, down days during the week ahead but know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to celebrate and what your approach is for bad times and you’ll be much more in control.
8) Thy Shouldst Recharge Your Motivation
A few quick things that can supercharge your motivation: make a list of why, why not and what you’re doing this for. Keep that list in places that you can access (as a reminder on phone, calendar notifications) – you need that motivation everywhere around you. Then switch your screensaver and phone and PC wallpaper to a picture that really kicks you up the arse.
9) Thy should take a moment
Weight loss is a long process. It’s a process that should engender a change in who you are and the way that you approach things. Part of that means understanding where you were and how much you’ve already changed. Take a moment to look back at the photos and old videos and remember who that person was – enjoy the fact that you’ve already made changes and say well done!
10) Thou should recruit supporters to your project
Your diet needs supporters. You need fans. You need people who are ON YOUR SIDE. Look out for those people who will ask you how it’s going. Focus on them – they’re going to get you over the line. Here’s a winner’s tip – start here, join up for free and then follow and like us too.