Rock the Kitchen: How to Plan for Diet Success

Rock the Kitchen: How to Plan for Diet Success

If you’ve ever tried a bit of body transformation (losing weight, gaining weight, redistributing it), you know what it’s like. It can be a frustrating, disheartening process. Still, it doesn’t have to be that way. As with anything, a bit of preparation makes all the difference. No matter what your body transformation goals are, here are the components of kitchen success.

Clean out the cupboard

You know what it’s like. You’ve been sticking to the plan for a while now, eating healthy meals and steering clear of the bad stuff. One day you notice a lonely packet of potato chips in the back of the cupboard, and it’s game on. Before you know it you’re scouring the room for the simplest, tastiest ready-made snack you can find. Solution : clean out the cupboards before you start, and remove anything which doesn’t fit in with your intended eating plan. No need to go overboard here, just get rid of the obvious ‘shouldn’t have‘ items. NB : if you’re sharing the kitchen with others, just put your food – as much as possible – in a separate place.

Benefit : you’ll be starting with a clean slate (shelf, actually). Much, much easier.

Do your shopping in bulk

Once the cupboards have been pared down a little, it’s time to go shopping. And no, this won’t cost a fortune. The general idea is to work out which foods your new diet is based on, and buy them in bulk. Whilst this certainly doesn’t apply to everything, the larger items can usually be stored or frozen (here’s how).

Benefit : as well as being slightly cheaper than a regular trip to the supermarket, there’s much more reason to eat the right things if you’ve already paid for them.

Plan your meals

This may sound a little unnecessary, but it really does help : plan your meals in advance. This can be as general or as specific as you like; as long as you include the main items. How far in advance? In my case, it’s about a week. This gives me plenty of time to stock up on the major items.

Benefit : a meal plan makes shopping a breeze, and helps to establish an overall idea of your diet.

Keep track of what you eat

As important as meal plans are, it’s also critical to keep track of what you actually eat. It’s one thing to say ‘I’m going to have fish for dinner on Friday‘, but if you end up watching the game with your friends and eating nothing but nuts from the local bar; you’ll want to note that somewhere. That ‘somewhere‘ could be one of the many online food trackers. These not only keep a record of what you eat, they calculate the number of calories you consume; giving you a regular idea of how you’re doing overall. It makes a big difference.

Benefit : online trackers give you a quick ‘calories in vs calories out‘ figure each day. It’s the simplest way to see how you’re doing overall.

Cut back, rather than cutting out

As a former alcoholic, I’ve got an idea of how tough it can be to give up something you love. It’s much easier – and much more effective in the long term – to simply cut back a bit. There’s another component to this : the idea that if you’re only going to have something occasionally, that it might as well be high quality. Rather than living on frozen pizzas, make a reservation with a local Italian restaurant once a month.

Benefit : there’s a big difference between telling yourself ‘never again‘ and saying ‘not for another 30 days‘. Additionally, your social life remains intact. Especially if you like pizza.

Final Thought on Planning for Kitchen Success

There’s a lot of work involved in transforming your body, no matter whether you’re aiming to lose weight, bulk up or just do a little fine-tuning. A bit of planning can make an enormous difference.

Photo by iMorpheus.

Scott Bird

Scott Bird is a writer and fitness enthusiast based in sunny Sydney, Australia. When not wandering around second-hand book stores, he can usually be found over at his strength-training site, Straight to the Bar.

17 Comments

  1. Hey! great post I think this will help a load of people…some great tips, but I wouldn’t get too caught up monitoring exactly what you ate its a path to mental destruction!

    Chris – Zen to Fitnesss last blog post..Why Fat Burners are Bad News

    Reply
  2. I like the idea of planning meals for the entire week. It makes things more of a breeze. The weeks that I do not plan – I end up feeling more stressed when it is time to decide what to eat for the coming meal.

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Planet Of Dreams

    Reply
  3. I love these ideas although completely cleaning the cupboards to start was exhausting just read about.

    I have had success with planning my meals. When my 4 children were young I’d cook on Sundays for the whole week. It saved time and we ate healthier meals. I recently resumed doing this on occasion for myself. Even cutting up my fruit ahead of time ensures that I’ll eat more of it.

    When I don’t plan meals, I end up eating crazy combinations just to quiet my hunger.

    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
  4. It’s really hard to get eating right. I have this idea that years and years ago, anything you ate was OK because there were no additives, no msg or refined products. Now you have t go out of your way to find healthy food. What a hassle.

    Reply
  5. All excellent advice, thanks Scott!

    And although I agree with Tabs that food tracking can be a pain, I’ve found it well worth the time/effort — I lost 50 lbs by keeping a food diary.

    Alis last blog post..Listening to your body – exercise

    Reply
  6. Very solid advice Scott.

    Planning our meals in advance has been very helpful to Kathryn and I. We used to go to the supermarket with no idea of what we wanted. Now we usually make a meal plan on Sunday for the week ahead and use this plan to help create a shopping list.

    Reply
  7. I agree with you completely. Make dieting virtually “idiot” proof because the more you have to think about it, the harder it is and the greater the chance you will fail.

    Of particular use to me in the past was planning (and preparing) meals in advance. Often when we are starving hungry it is when we reach for cookies or chips or some other quick snack. By having a delicious salad or other meal ready and to hand at any time, you greatly reduce that impluse and do better on your diet.

    Nice article.

    Get Rid Of Man Boobss last blog post..Diet To Get Rid Of Man Boobs

    Reply
  8. Hi Scott – These are great tips. When I don’t buy in bulk and plan ahead, that’s when things go drastically wrong and we find ourselves not eating so healthy.

    Often, when we were working late, we used to buy a lot of ready made meals. But they really don’t save you so much time at all and they’re far less tasty and healthy than the things you make yourself.

    Reply
  9. Thanks for this post. As a college student it is easy to lose track of the importance of proper nutrition and eating hacks. Time becomes a scarce resource and sometimes expensive restaurant food beats cooking. It is important to stay grounded and care for our diet.

    Ibrahim | ZenCollegeLife.coms last blog post..30-Day Self Mastery Challenge

    Reply
  10. Hey that’s some great advice but some of it is a little idealistic. It’s all very well recommending clearing out the cupboards but you have to have the self-discipline not to refill them with junk when you go out shopping again. Actually on the shopping front I would recommend never shopping when you’re hungry! I have found I always make bad decisions when I’m strolling around a supermarket with a rumbling tummy!

    Still, a great article which I enjoyed reading. Thank you Scott.

    Reply
  11. You know the greatest men have always planned and it is a way to success.
    We sleep dream and worship food so much is why we do not plan, people love to eat and having a plan can be a great way to keep it in moderation.

    Nick Savages last blog post..

    Reply
  12. This is great post,I’m surely bookmark this page and keep reading every post you made, thx!

    Reply
  13. Was looking for some diet info as I’m tipping the scales more than I should and of course found this valuable resource.Simple rules here that I would have never thought of on my own. No doubt this make sense, we will be cleaning out the cabinets tonight for sure. Thanks

    Reply
  14. Great Post, Scott! Your suggestions were right on point with humor that I love! When I am working with clients and we clean out their pantries and review their new meal plans, my goal is to REDUCE not ELIMINATE! We all are creatures of habit so going slow to adjust our connection with food and diet will have a greater impact. Will be sharing this post!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  15. The thought of planning itself puts of lot of people. But planning and measuring is the basis of any improvement, and that does not have to be only about fitness, it applies to other spheres of life as well. Great post here.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Share This

Share this post with your friends!