My weight loss journey has brought back fond memories from my primary school-days. One of my Mathematics teacher used to emphasize on the 5Ps – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
Honestly, I was so used to failing in achieving long term weight loss in that I did not take the ‘Eat Right, Feel Good 15 days challenge‘ in April 2020 so seriously. I learned the hard way that one needs to Plan for effective Weight Loss.
Tools Required for Effective Weight loss
When began my weight loss journey I had to equip myself with tools that will enable me in lose weight effectively. A weight loss journey is akin to going into battle. Having the right arsenal for battle is key. Every soldier knows they have to be well-prepared mentally, physically and emotionally. Thus having the Right tools for effective weight loss is crucial.
Some basic Physical tools that are needed are (the list is not exhaustive, this is what I used):
1. Body Scale – This will show you where your journey began and also help you along the way( keeps you grounded and alert on how your body reacts to different food groups). A good well calibrated scale will do. Later we will learn not to rely too much on the scale due to various factors which affect the results.
I personally recommend a scale which measures your body weight and body fat percentage( sometimes we only lose water weight instead of fat). Amazon has amazing digital scales which connect to your phone via bluetooth.
2. Tape Measure – This is for the Non-scale victories which are attributed to fat loss rather than water loss.
3. Kitchen Scale and measuring cups/spoons – It’s never a good idea to eye-ball food. A good kitchen scales helps us to avoid over-eating.
4. Food Journal/Note book & Pen – This is not for counting calories but for writing down and documenting important tips and tricks which you could easily forget or lose when your phone crushes. Something to always refer to whenever you need clarification.
It also helps to keep track of what you have eaten – in terms of planning in advance the meals you are going to consume the following day or week and if you stuck by your plan
If you get any food allergies to certain foods or spices the journal will help you track it down. Not to mention when you give in to cravings or indulge in foods which will impact the scale negatively.
5. Meal Prep Containers – Prep your meals and snacks in advance on a Sunday and store in these portable, compartmentalized, portion-control containers so you can always have ready-to-eat healthy foods with you.
6. Water Bottles – During your weight loss journey and afterwards staying hydrated is very important. This helps you fill up, fend off false feelings of hunger, keeps your metabolism humming, reduces bloat, and saves you hundreds of calories when you choose it over other sugary drinks.
The easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough water is by always carrying a water bottle with you and sip often ( to avoid numerous trips to the toilet its advisable to sip your water rather than gulp it at once).
7. Non-Fitting clothes and a Camera – This is a personal touch. I have a habit of keeping my favorite dress or trouser which no longer fits. It acts as a motivation to lose weight. Below is a trouser which in 2018 was so ill-fitting but after the April 2020 challenge, it now fits very well.
Note: In the next article we shall be looking at Non-Physical tools required for effective weight loss.
Meal Prepping for Weight Loss
Lack of time to prepare healthy meals each day is the number 1 reason why most people cannot stick to a healthy-living way of life. We ind ourselves deviating from the healthy habits, more than once or twice due to convenience (easier to order online or take-away).
Does “Failure to plan, is planning to fail.” ring a bell?
Yes. Planning is really what meal prepping for effective weight loss is all about!
The idea is to prepare make-ahead meals for the week in advance, to avoid eating things that are hindering your weight loss goals.
Research shows that weekly meal planning can ensure you gain control of your overall food intake.
What to Meal Prep for Weight Loss
Food from my home town, Mombasa, heavily influenced by Indian and Arab cultures thus I love my meals hot and spicy. I hate bland tasting meals. Personally, no matter the type of meal I am prepping it has to be tasty and delicious.
Healthy-Living has to be fun and one has to be able to enjoy their meals, whether at home or while dining out. This is partly why my weight loss journey has been successful. I enjoy eating the foods I love.
Once I understood what and how I needed to combine the different food groups in each meal, Eureka!! The rest is not history but is the reason why I my sharing my journey with you. Together lets us unlock more tools for effective weight loss.
Tips for successful Meal Prepping
a) Clearly understand the type of weight loss journey you are committing to and the combination of food groups allowed each week.
b) Search for meal prep recipes that fall into the category of your food group combinations, and create a meal plan for the week.
I got some good mason jars on Amazon and while at that i came across a good cook book with amazing recipes.
c) Create a grocery list for all the items that you will need for your meal plan, and purchase them so that you will have everything you need without making multiple trips to the grocery store.
d) Pick a day to batch cook your meals. Most people prefer Sunday but it depends on the individual.
e) Store each meal in a sealed container. Separate foods that need reheating apart from foods that are consumed while cold. This makes it easier to microwave items that need to be reheated. This can be
done by keeping cold items in a sandwich bag, and adding them to the container once it is ready to eat.
f) Clearly label your containers. You can indicate the dates with washable markers or tape, so that you can keep track of when it was originally cooked.
A Goal without A Plan is just A Wish.