By Susan Epstein, MS, RD, CDN
We often hear about the “fundamentals of weight loss”, eating less, exercising more, staying motivated, and getting enough sleep. However, we rarely hear how critical a role “organization” plays in weight reduction. Setting a routine and planning ahead are very important. Often this is the first step in achieving successful weight loss.
Here are some tips to help you in your quest to becoming more organized:
- Schedule exercise into your calendar. Treat it like any other appointment. Select a time in your busy week and actually schedule in slots for exercise. Be realistic with the amount of time and include transportation, showering, etc.
- Plan meals and grocery shop once a week. Plan your menus, write a shopping list, and be prepared. There should be no reason that you are starving at work without a lunch or healthy snacks. Just like exercise, schedule grocery shopping into your week. Very often it also helps to precook and freeze meals so that after a long day at work, all you have to do is warm up a healthy dinner. This will prevent spur of the moment stops at fast food restaurants on your drive home.
- Organize your kitchen and stock up on healthy foods. Start fresh. Clear out your cabinets of unhealthy foods and throw out any foods that have spoiled or have expired. Wipe down your cabinets and your refrigerator and stock them with healthy foods.
- Organize your exercise gear. Keep sneakers, water bottles, headphones, workout clothing all together and keep them accessible. Make sure your fit bit is charged. If you shower at the gym, make sure you have your toiletries packed and ready to go.
- Don’t underestimate how important it is to organize your mind. Stay positive and keep out negative thoughts as to why you should not exercise or why you deserve the snacks in the vending machine. Talk to yourself and stay positive. Keep a food/mood journal. Record whether you are eating out of hunger or is it boredom or stress. Eat mindfully. Take it slow. Savor the flavors of your foods while eating. If you can focus on each bite, you will appreciate the flavors and feel more satisfied after eating.
Is disorganization interfering with your weight loss? Try these small steps to help get your day in order so that you can lead a healthier, more focused lifestyle thus enabling you to achieve your weight loss goals.