This weeks question(s) were inspired by a few separate events that, some how, my brain collided together into the concept of preparedness.
Bear with me as I try to make sense of this all…
- A few days ago I got an email asking my opinion on prepackaged food diets like Medifast
or Chefs Diet
. My reaction is, well, of YES you will lose weight on those plans because it’s portion controlled and someone is doing all the preparing for you. I’m sure you would lose weight if you just ate Lean Cuisines or Healthy Choice dinners for each meal and nothing else. The problem is it’s not a long term solution for most people because we can’t afford to buy the meals forever and then when we return to our old habits, well, you know (you especially know if you have yo-yo’ed as I have). [Note: I’m not saying anything is WRONG with prepackaged meals, I ate Lean Cuisines/ Healthy Choice meals for lunches all the time while losing – I’ve just learned how to make my own now—see below]
- The second event was yesurday’s episode of Oprah. Leaving work early, I got a chance to catch it and I was ecstatic to find Dr. Oz was on. He is one of my favorite Oprah “soldiers”. Anyway, they were discussing food and how important a roll it plays in our health, physical and mental. They discussed how bad the average American diet is and how we can cure many of ailments by eat healthier. What does “healthier” mean? Well, fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains, of course! All the things that are hard to eat if we aren’t prepared.
- The last event was analyzing my own food journals. It has been comforting for me to track the last two days. I’ve been eating all my own home cooked meals, and fresh fruits and I feel GREAT! But I wouldn’t be able to do it unless I was prepared.
Somehow, these three things got me thinking about being prepared (ok, well now that I wrote them out it doesn’t seem that big of a jump). There is no doubt that preparedness is one of the biggest keys to weight loss. Have you every gotten really hungry and had no healthy options? UGH! It’s the worst! I normally end up ordering in or going out and NOT making the best choices.
So am I prepared? YES!
How do I get prepared? Well, every weekend I hit the grocery store. Sometimes it’s Aldi’s and sometimes the wholesale club but every weekend I’m definitely making a food run. I spend most of my time in the produce department, stocking up on the fresh fruits and veggies. Then I move to the lean meats. I buy anything on sale, bulk if I need to, and freeze it. I restock any whole grain noodles, brown rice etc. and any pantry items like spices or soy sauce. I also pick up my whole grain bread products and dairy, milk and yogurts.
It sounds like a lot but actually the produce is probably about 70% and everything else I don’t buy weekly (besides yogurt and milk).
What do I do with all this food? Well, I cook meals for the family. I then take the leftovers for lunches and freeze them in these plastic containers. This way I can eat my own home cooked meals for lunch at work. It really is a time (and money) saver. Plus, on average, my meals have less sodium, less calories and, well, I know EXACTLY what’s in them.
I need to say, it took me a long time to get into this grove. When I started Weight Watchers I did buy prepackages meals to bring to work. My grocery bills were a bit higher back then and I did waste a bit of produce before I started figuring out the optimal items and amounts to buy for the three of us. Everything is a journey and a learning process, including grocery shopping, pantry stocking and cooking. However, being prepared is an invaluable tool in your weigh loss arsenal.
So how about you? Are you prepared? How do you get prepared?