Let’s focus on creating a doable daily food plan to nip self-sabotage in the bud.
A doable daily food plan is one that you can commit to because it’s realistic. This means that it includes a wide variety of foods you like to eat. Sounds simple, right?
It doesn’t mean it’s full of foods you think you should eat if you were on a “legit” diet for weight loss.
Because that’s a recipe for disaster.
It puts your head in exactly the same space that has brought you to where you are today, still carrying unwanted weight. Because all the diets you tried in the past have never worked long term. Because excessive restriction and rejection of certain foods only led to disappointment.
And, layers of resentment, self-pity and a sense of deprivation. All of which pave the path of self-sabotage.
This time will be different.
This time, you’re going to do something that may seem a bit counter-intuitive at first, but will actually lay out the easiest path to weight loss success.
A doable food plan meets you where you are.
It takes into account not only what you like to eat but how you shop, prep and cook your food.
What foods belong on your doable food plan? Both the foods you’ll eat every day and those which become planned exceptions.
Think about your favorite whole foods first. These include foods that have not been processed, refined or had ingredients added to them. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, fish and eggs.
Now it’s time to make two lists: your every day whole food choices and your planned exceptions favorites.
Create a Doable Daily Food Plan list of whole foods you like to eat.
Grab some paper and start brainstorming. List them all.
Next, create 5 columns on your paper and title them like this: Proteins | Veggies | Fruits | Starchy Carbs |Fats.
Sort your entries under their appropriate titles and in their appropriate columns.
This will become your go-to source for mixing and matching a variety of foods to create doable daily menu options.
Next, make a list of all your favorite foods that are not whole foods to create your Planned Exceptions list.
These are the foods that titillate your senses. Foods that you would eat recklessly and with abandon if you had no concern for the health or weight consequences.
Include anything and everything you like that’s not a whole food: chips, pretzels, protein bars or sweet treats like candies, cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, or chocolate, fast food, pizza. ANYTHING.
Nothing ever needs to be permanently off limits!
These are the foods that you can include in your daily food plan on occasion and with advanced planning.
Take some time to compose some specific “go-to” meal combinations from your Doable Daily Food Plan list.
Now you have your two lists: Doable Food Plan and Planned Exceptions.
Knowing that you can have what you want, planned in advance, gives your brain a chance to relax into a structure that doesn’t seem too threatening.
The goal is to combine a protein, with vegetables/fruits and fat with each meal. Add starchy carbs in moderation and Planned Exceptions on occasion.
Imagine your plate divided into 4 equal sections.
Two quadrants should consist of the fruit and vegetable portion of your meal.
The third quadrant should consist of the protein and the fourth any starchy carbohydrate and/or planned exception that’s on your plan.
If you want to go lighter on the starchier carbs, add more veggies and fruit.
You are an experiment of ONE.
It’s important to remember that no two people metabolize food exactly at the same rate. The foods that you can eat to lose or maintain your weight are unique to you.
It is important to stay open and curious to notice the effect that the foods you chose to eat have on your body.
It’s important to try different foods on your plan and evaluate your results.
There’s no magic to weight loss and maintenance. It’s always simply a matter of trying and tweaking to see what works and what doesn’t.
If you find yourself stalled or regaining weight you’ve lost, it’s time to take a closer look at what you’re including in your daily plan and how you are factoring in exceptions.
What’s the best Doable Daily Food Plan?
The one you can commit to and follow for 7 days straight.
You can say with confidence that you’re at least an 8 out of 10 committed to the plan. It’s consistency not perfection we’re going for.
This is a plan that you’re willing to critique and tweak week after week. Always ask yourself what do you want to keep, stop and start as you prepare for the next week.
One in which you can level up 1% better week after week. Keep making small, manageable improvements in your choices based on how you evaluate your weight loss results.
You’re building new habits by small, manageable increments.
More tips from my own experience.
- Only eat when hungry. If an apple or carrot doesn’t sound good you might not be physically hungry! If you are EMOTIONALLY hungry, which means tired, bored, stressed, or filling time, check in with your feelings. Allow those feelings to be present without choosing to buffer then away by eating.
- Some days it can be hard! You can choose to make it ALL hard at ONCE or you can choose hard things to change in small ways. Now that’s doable!
- Even when things don’t go perfectly as planned, don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Tell yourself to “just keep going no matter what.”
- Stop eating when you’re satisfied. Learn to differentiate between satisfied and full. It’s okay to leave food behind on your plate.
- Scraps belong in the trash, not your stomach. Eating remains off of other’s plates is not helpful to reaching your goals.
- You will mess up, and you should. One chocolate binge is only a big deal if you use it as an excuse to sabotage the whole day.
- Mistakes, poor choice, miscalculations aren’t a problem. Make them an expected part of the process and good learning opportunities.
- Weighing daily gives valuable feedback. Here’s a previous post which can help you deal with scale anxiety if that’s wreaking havoc with your brain. Your self-esteem is not tied to a number on the scale. The scale is nothing more than a data machine. I imagine myself as a scientist donning a white lab coat when I weigh each morning. It’s just a number providing information for me to use as I analyze trends.
I have a bone to pick with concept of deprivation.
Okay, my friends, in order to lose weight, there’s a mindset shift that’s important to make when you create your doable food plan.
It’s about those thoughts that create feelings of deprivation. Not the fact of having written a doable food plan that includes and excludes certain foods.
Feelings of deprivation arise from thoughts like: “I want it but now I can’t have it.” or “I deserve it it.” or “This is so unfair.”
It’s thoughts like these that lead to feeling deprived. When you think you are deprived, you open the door to self-sabotage and roll out the red carpet.
What are some of your seemingly automatic thoughts when you tell yourself that some food or food group is strictly off limits?
It’s your choice to eat whatever you want.
To shift your thinking and nip self-sabotage in the bud, decide to think instead that you are CHOOSING what to eat and when to it eat.
Your doable daily food plan will consist of a list of foods that you choose to nourish and energize your body.
And, you are choosing to create another list of favorite foods that are not off limits but, instead, are eaten in a limited way.
You choose the limits.
Then, like the scientist you are who always is curious and eager to evaluate your results, you decide whether you like the results of your doable daily food plan and your exceptions food plan.
You decide what to tweak and test again. It’s your choice what to keep, start and stop.
You are always in control.
Your doable daily food plan is your map to success on your weight loss journey.
Visualize yourself following your plan. You better like what you’re visualizing because if you don’t it gives you excuses for not following your plan. Don’t create a plan that you see as a chore or a burden.
Tell yourself the reason I’m going to follow my plan is because:
- I’m ready to lose weight.
- It feels doable.
- I’m all in.
- I can do this.
- I’m willing to test and tweak.
Nobody loses weight by hoping and wishing. They lose weight by committing and doing.
If you’ve been daydreaming about losing weight, let’s turn your dream into reality.
When you begin weight loss coaching with me, I help you create a doable daily food plan and the mindset you’ll need to put it into action.
When you create a doable plan you can more easily visualize what has to happen today and tomorrow and avoid self-sabotage pitfalls.
Let me help you make your weight loss journey easier.
Schedule your free Strategy Call right here so we can figure out what’s right for you.
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