Good organization around food issues is a great way to start. Organizing your kitchen, your menus, your food shopping, and your time are all valid areas. Having a plan, taking action, and seeing the results, help you control your weight. As you start to close the weight, plan celebrations! (We’re talking buying some new clothes or going to a movie – not food)
Kitchen: Having a well organized kitchen – and I am including pantry and refrigerator here – is crucial to weight loss.
When it is cook prep time, you will find it much easier if you have the tools you frequently use at your finger tips. Organize your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer so the foods you are going to need are easy to access and are at eye level. I organize my pantry like a store. I have all my canned vegetables in one area, my canned fruits in one area, my pasta in one area, etc. I try not to have food that is tempting and not good for weight loss readily available. I use the same plan in the fridge and freezer. Each shelf or drawer has its own specialty. I have one drawer for fruits, one for vegetables, and one for protein. Drinks are on the top shelf. In the freezer, there is one shelf for meat, one for vegetables, and one for already prepared foods. If you don’t have to dig around looking for ingredients, you will find food prep so much easier. As an extra bound, you won’t have foods spoiling because they got lost in the fridge.
Menus: A weekly menu makes you more aware of what you are eating. Because you plan ahead, you shop ahead, and have all the healthy items on hand to make the healthy meals you enjoy. You also plan your snacks and drinks. I like to sit down and plan my menu the day before my scheduled shopping day. Then with the recipes in front of me, I put together my shopping list.
Shopping: I keep a running shopping list on my fridge for items that are running low ( cat food, paper products, soap). Then, after I have planned my menus for the week, I add all the ingredients I need to prepare the meals. I also add in extra healthy snacks and any bought beverages. After putting together the list, I look for coupons I might have for those items. I never buy anything just because I have a coupon. I personally like to go to 2 places to shop – a regular grocery store and a farmers market. I try very hard to never go to the store more than once a week. I use the same stores so I can plan my list according to how the store is set up.
Time: It is much easier to eat healthy meals when the food is prepared ahead of time. I try to always cook for at least 2 meals. I often eat the same thing twice with maybe a change in the side dish, but you can also freeze the second meal and save it for a later week. I also prep some vegetable snacks to grab when hungry. I find myself sometimes nibbling on these while I am preparing a meal as I have a tendency to wait until I am hungry to cook.
Time is also saved by having to only go to the store once a week and breezing through the store because you have grouped your list the same was as the store lays out its food.
It is also important to schedule time for exercise. This means exercise time has to be blocked out on your calendar. When blocking in the time, don’t forget the transition times as well. If you are driving somewhere to walk or work out, schedule in the driving time. If you have to shower and change, schedule tat time as well.
If you are in the metro-Atlanta area and want more in depth information on this topic, contact me (404-299-5111) to set up a workshop (Plan to Lose) for your group.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer