Obesity is a much bigger problem than one which merely affects self-confidence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 36.5% of adults are battling obesity – a condition linked to everything from heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and of course, a shortened lifespan. Americans are well aware of this modern day epidemic, yet it seems that our efforts to eliminate excess weight through diets, are futile. Often, the culprit is not a lack of will or interest, but of time. As is the case with all big goals, however, the secret likes in setting and following a diet plan, taking advantage of services such as specialized meal plans, catered to your specific needs – whether Paleo, vegetarian, or a balanced athlete meal plan, is what you are after.
The First Stage: Defining Your Goals
Selecting a nutritional regime isn’t always about weight loss. Some people wish to go vegan for reasons such as sustainability and animal welfare, while athletes wish to consume a diet that will help them build muscle, and provide them with the energy they need to complete challenging cardiovascular and strength training workouts. Alternatively, you may wish to bulk up, or simply put on weight, in which case a more calorific (yet healthy diet) is required.
When selecting a diet (it might be a Paleo, ketogenic or vegan diet), ask yourself if you have the time to prepare meals, whether or not others in the family would take to this way of eating, or whether you will need to cook separate meals, etc. In other words, your diet of choice should fit in with your lifestyle in terms of preparation time, frequency of supermarket visits, budget, etc.
The budget you have for food is another important consideration. Diets focused on losing fat in a healthy manner usually involve a Mediterranean-style diet with plenty of leafy greens, lean quality protein, good choices of carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
These foods evidently cost more than diets that are rich in fast and processed foods, but they are a small investment considering the health benefits they bring.
Consuming food that is rich in vitamins and other nutrients helps keep a plethora of diseases that are expensive to treat at bay, and reduce the likelihood of conditions such as allergies, food sensitivities, and negative food reactions.
Planning your Shopping Trips
Many people make the mistake of shopping on weekends only for the next couple of meals. In fact, unless you have time to shop during the week, your biggest buy should contain most of the ingredients you will need for an entire week. This will involve time sitting at the computer, calculating and listing down the items you need to buy.
Planning is always onerous, but one big trip to the supermarket will stop you from arriving home midweek feeling ravenous, finding there isn’t any food, and bingeing instead of unhealthy carbs and packaged foods you find in the pantry.
Factoring in Time for Food Preparation
Another reason it can be hard to stick to a diet, is the time required to prepare foods. Moderation is key here; not taking on more responsibility than one can actually bear. Thus, if you find that you come home late a couple of nights a week, or that you only have time to cook on weekends, you can rely as often as you need to on meal plans, delivered to your doorstep. They are a great way to ensure you are eating healthier than ever, despite not spending much time in the kitchen at all.
To lose weight in the long-term, selecting the right diet, and taking time to shop and prepare food, are key. However, meal plans can help you achieve your goals and give yourself a break when time is of the essence but you still wish to enjoy healthy, delicious meals that will help you achieve your fitness goals with greater zest.
Freelance Write: Jane Sandwood