How Hard Do You Work at Meal Planning?

Healthy ingredients

At my last follow-up with Heather, we had an eye-opening chat about wrapping your brain around changing your eating habits—eye-opening in a tough love sort of way.

Heather flat-out told me that almost unequivocally, every woman over the age of 25 has to watch what she eats in order to maintain a healthy weight (men have an advantage and don’t typically have to start watching until they’re in their 30s). I don’t know why this was such a lightbulb moment for me—I guess in my mind, I imagined that for all the strong, slim, healthy-eating women I see, it comes easily, with no thought or planning at all. But apparently that’s not the case.

“No sad parties about that,” said Heather. And I guess I have been throwing a sad party for myself, thinking, “oh it’s so hard for me, why is it so unfair that I have to watch so closely…blah, blah, blah.” I suppose when we are resistant to change (because, well, eating ice cream every night after dinner is pretty pleasurable!), all of our naggy, whiny thoughts come out and threaten to derail us.

I’m finding that the way to stay on the defense is to plan, plan, plan. Make the eating automatic so you don’t have to think about it (see Phase Eating). The less you think, the easier it is to stay on track. From now on, no more sad parties!

What kind of thoughts or situations are likely to derail you when you’re trying to change your eating habits?


You might also like: Your Weekday Meal Planner // How to Create a Snack Station // 10 Healthy Foods That Cost Less Than $1