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Meal planning guidelines, not diet planning

Purition meal planner with bowl of yoghurt and blueberries

We are on a mission to demystify diet and weight loss. Creating any kind of diet plan to slavishly follow is setting yourself up for a fall, because there are simply too many imponderables and intangibles to take into consideration.

Diets don’t work in the long run because they’d be impossible to follow consistently and to the letter. It’s actually been statistically proven that NO DIET is THE BEST DIET, either in the short or long-term.

So please appreciate that whilst we really want to help you, by laying out a number of common sense, meal planning guidelines, we’ll stick to broad-strokes not inflexible diets because we refuse to set you up for failure.

Hopefully our meal planning suggestions will help you create your own healthier eating boundaries to work within, because if you’ve design your mealtime ‘rules of engagement’ with your worst day in mind, (when things don’t quite go to plan/good nutrition flies out the door) any momentary blips can be accommodated by your far-reaching plans.

1) Everyone in the house needs to be on board

Losing weight or caring for someone who wants to lose weight should not mean one meal for you and another meal for someone else, which if you have children, could even mean cooking several different meals every meal time. 

Putting to one side the small matter that such a kitchen workload isn’t sustainable long-term, there’s also the simple truth that your chances of success will be greatly enhanced if temptation isn’t needlessly put in your way. Following a healthier eating pathway is all about ‘good food’ education, so in an ideal world everyone in your household should get onboard at the same time.

2) Turning your diet upside down overnight doesn't work

We’re fundamentally creatures of habit, which is why ‘little’ changes over time that help foster new, sustainable habits and preferences for the longer-term is probably the best way forward. The really good news is that Purition can be by your side, every step of the way, making any significant lifestyle changes easier to adopt.

3) We don’t like intransigent, ‘do as we say’ lists

We’ve all seen them so many times before, Top 10 lists are everywhere you look, great for a quick scan and stirring your idle curiosity, but do they really work? The short answer is no! It’s all too easy to give you a list and say get on with it and by the way it’s your fault if you can’t manage to implement absolutely everything on the list.

We could give you a list of ‘sensible’ things to do list: drink 8 glasses of water a day, sleep 7 hours, exercise for 40 mins every day, meditate for 30 mins every morning, only eat from this list of ingredients or only eat during daylight hours, but really what’s the point? ‘Real life’ doesn’t run smoothly or seamlessly for anyone! So please let’s ignore lists!

4) A deep-seated distrust of diet plans

A diet plan might well provide you with some useful tips but if you try following to the letter you’re bound to be disappointed because this is the inescapable truth about diet plans.

Some diets are even written in such a way to fuel guilt by implying that any failure is down to you for not possessing enough willpower. Maybe you could follow a diet plan for a week or so, but what happens when the alarm clock doesn’t go off, the kids are sick, or aunty Mabel is rushed to hospital…. 

Life happens, life is not perfect, so if the perfect diet plan is only possible to follow on a perfect day, when you’ve had time to wander round the organic farmer’s market, sip a chai latte whilst listening to himalayan budhist chanting, before you spend the next 3 hours in the kitchen preparing the perfect recipe you suspect your other half might hate. You get the point! 

If a diet plan cannot cope with your worst day it’s not your fault, it’s the diet plan’s fault which is exactly why we don’t publish diet plans anymore because diet plans suck!

We know why you think you might want a diet plan. If you are anything like us it’s quick and convenient to be told what to do and whilst switching to ’automatic pilot’ might seem like the easy option hand on heart, we know that some 96.8% of diets are statistically doomed to fail.

5) Don't put off today...

Aunty Mabel is fine by the way, so please don’t worry. I had a McDonalds on the way back from the hospital because I hadn’t eaten since lunch. The diet can always start again tomorrow…. We’ve all been there, done that and quite frankly you’re fooling no-one, least of all yourself.

6) Everyone’s an expert!

We all have friends that have enjoyed some success on the XYZ diet and so believe they are helpful, de facto experts, who’re perfectly placed to share their learnings with you. 

I know people who have been members of Weight Watchers for over 20 years and are heavier now than they have ever been as they kept blaming themselves and paying the subs, cycling in and out of self-doubt and emotional eating, the inevitable consequence of yo-yo dieting.

7) To some extent, all diets work... for a while

You can of course pick any diet you like. They all work to a greater or lesser extent for a while . Any significant change to your diet, even if that was only eating doughnuts for two weeks, could result in weight loss. 

But no matter how good anyone’s intentions, following a rigid diet plan will eventually take its toll. This is because they’re often based on external factors like calories, grams, points and times, rather than the actual individual. The result is, you feel hungry, tired and irritable most of the time – elated when you hit your goal weight and despondent when it piles on again.

 Living like this is simply not sensible or sustainable. Starving yourself and eating ‘diet foods’ full of processed ingredients is not healthy. Sooner or later you will ‘slip’ and blame yourself – not the diet. Weight watchers (sorry weight watchers) sell microwave lasagne, garlic bread and ice-cream for goodness sakes….. Slim-Fast is milk powder and sugar; these are not healthy diets, they are legal scams.

There’s really no need to over-complicate weight loss (or fat loss as we really prefer to say!) What matters are lifelong meal guidelines that support your longer-term health and wellbeing goals. Say ‘no’ to any, one-size-fits-all diet plan and establish your own healthier eating parameters with the REAL FOOD you love and can prepare easily.

8) How Purition can help to reduce the amount of meal planning needed.

While diet plans are pretty impossible to sustain, meal planning can be a real ‘game changer’ for some. Once again, it’s not for everyone, I mean who has the time, right?

If you do think this can work for you please give it a go….

An overarching structure to the week that gives gentle direction – without the feeling of being tied down – helping you to develop positive food behaviours longer-term. It can be as straightforward or as involved as you like. 

Start with these three simple steps and revolutionise your healthy eating:

Friday – Choose meals for the days/weeks ahead
Saturday – Go shopping for the ingredients
Sunday – Prep the food – the more batch cooking you can do, the better! 

And there you are, no more ‘willpower sapping’ feelings of guilt when you go off plan! Choose the food you actually want to eat (and know what’s going into it too)! Meal planning will help you to feel more in control of your eating while saving you time and money in the process.

Start by making small transformative changes to your existing diet – one meal at a time. Try not to feel too overwhelmed by the thought of planning all your meals for the week ahead, keep it simple and take your time gradually, building up a varied repertoire of your favourite recipes!

Don’t worry about counting calories. It helps to be aware of them and how they tie in with your personal goals, but what really matters is that you concentrate on getting a good variety of quality calories and nutrients that will help your body function at its best. 

Remember a small glass of red wine, a handful of nuts or two squares of 70%+ chocolate will not derail your healthy eating or your ‘change’ plans BUT excessive snacking will! There should be no need to snack at all if you’re on the right track because you won’t be hungry!

Where Purition comes in...

Would you like 33% less healthy eating (food) stress?

Have Purition for breakfast. Our wholefood smoothies are quick, convenient and made with natural ingredients to deliver all the high quality, nutritious calories you need. Feel confident knowing that you’re starting your morning with correctly balanced nutrition that will not only keep you full and satisfied but give you the invaluable thinking space that will help you to make better food choices the rest of the day.

Would you like 66% less food stress?

Skip breakfast first thing, have Purition for your first meal of the day at around 11am.

Then eat a substantial evening meal as early as you can. This will extend the period you are not eating or fasting. It will naturally reduce the amount you eat over the week. It involves no meal prep and you can eat as much as you want in the evening. It’s important to plan your week so you know what you are eating in the evenings, because if you are only eating one meal a day, it should be balanced and contain all the food groups in equal measures.

Eat like this for 90% of the time and you will lose body fat at any age. Don’t be tempted to cut calories or eat diet foods – your body needs high quality, nutrient-dense calories. In fact, never count calories again (link to calories.

Read more...

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What you should do next...

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3. Try Purition & get a free gift

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