Quick-fix diets and 21-day meal plans don’t work.
No, they don’t.
I don’t care how many friends and friends-of-friends you know who lost 10 pounds or dropped a dress size after doing such-and-such cleanse or this-or-that 30 day program.
Tell me: does this person still wear that dress size or have they regained that 10 pounds?
If this person has in fact retained their weight loss or maybe had even more success, I’d like to know what else she changed. It seems highly unlikely she is still following that cleanse, meal plan or shake program. She’s probably doing something else now.
Perhaps she got a jump start from that 21-day-thing and started planning her meals each week. shopping for healthy food and preparing meals at home. I bet now she’s eating a sane amount of calories, works out and has found a balance between living her life and prioritizing meal planning and preparation.
And for every one woman you might know who fits this description, there are two, three or even four ladies who tried that quick-fix fad and weeks/months later found themselves right back where they started and not much better for it.
Because they didn’t change anything else about their habits and they didn’t have anything to fall back on after that plan-they-couldn’t-stick-to-forever was over.
And so again, I say, quick-fix diets and 21-day meal plans do not work for weight loss. Long-term, sustainable weight loss.
What does work? Meal planning and prepping.
If you want to lose weight, get fit or improve your health you must learn how to plan and prepare meals at home as much as possible. You must stop relying on the frozen food section of the grocery store, the fast-food or other restaurants, and the pizza delivery guy.
Knowing how to plan, purchase, and prepare healthy meals is the number one thing you can do to set yourself up for weight loss success.
Here are three reasons why:
It gives you control. One of the biggest problems Americans have is with portion control and high-calorie meals served at restaurants and fast-food joints. It is all too easy to order a sandwich and a salad and consume hundreds (even a thousand) calories without realizing, and without consuming a large amount of food. Planning and preparing your own meals at home allows you to choose everything from ingredients, to portion size, to preference. This can easily trim hundreds of calories from your diet without leaving you starving or unsatisfied.
It creates consistency. The one factor that makes the most difference in success at just about any endeavor is consistency. You must do the thing, and you must do it again, and you must do it again. Very few things done once create much impact. This is why consistency is so crucial to weight loss success. It takes change over time to move the scale, and if you’re not planning and prepping your meals you are likely eating somewhat differently day to day and week to week. This leaves the body stuck right where it is.
It limits decisions. How many choices do you make in a day? At the end of the night when you get home after work, do you feel like making any more decisions? Probably not. That is because decision fatigue is a very real thing. We run out of energy and willpower as the day goes on. This means you need to remove as many decisions as possible from your day. Meal planning and prepping does exactly that. No need to wonder what to order for lunch or what to cook for dinner, you’ve already done that. All you have to do is take the food you’ve already prepared, heat it up and eat it. And fresh, healthy food made at home tastes a lot better than microwave dinners.
If you’re trying to lose weight, get fit or improve your health meal planning and prepping is an absolute must. Without it, you’ll likely end up spinning your wheels in an endless cycle of weight loss and regain as you jump from this 21 one day plan to that one. And wouldn’t it be a lot easier to skip that wasted three weeks and just learn to meal prep?
In order to change your life, health and body for good you must develop the skills of meal planning and prepping in a way you can keep and repeat for life.