Hey! I’m excited to announce a new monthly feature to you. Every month I’m going to feature one of my favorite habits to use for fat loss (and better health).
Of course there are 21 OTHER habits featured in the “21 Habits for Lasting Fat Loss” ebook that Amber Rogers and I wrote together. If you haven’t seen that yet, you can get access here: 21 Habits for Lasting Fat Loss
April 2015 Fat Loss Habit of the Month – Planning and Shopping for 3 days at a Time.
Like all good fat loss habits, shopping and planning habits help mitigate the importance of willpower. You only have so much willpower – so we need to make sure to minimize how much we drain that resource.
When you’re hungry, you’re low on willpower. So with no plan in place, the path of least resistance becomes to just go out to eat or get takeout (or other meals of convenience). And this repeated too many times can result in a less balanced diet and higher calorie intake than you want.
However, on the other hand, planning for 7 days is often not realistic. Most foods don’t stay fresh that long and if you’re shopping on Sunday, who knows what food you’re going to be in the mood for next Saturday?
I find planning and shopping for 3 days at a time is a good balance. Decisions aren’t made on a nightly basis and planning for 3 days 1) isn’t overwhelming, 2) makes it easier to plan based on foods you’re in the mood for; and 3) Makes it easier to get variety = you can be more strategic about cycling through different foods if planning ahead rather than improvising day-to-day.
There’s also a bit of a feedback loop effect. By thinking of the meals you want for the next 3 days, you get excited about those meals. “I’m really looking forward to salmon tomorrow, but this chicken is going to be great tonight!”. This further makes one more likely to stick to the plan rather than taking detours.
And what about when you REALLY want to go out to eat, not just when you’re taking that path of least resistance? Since you only have 3 days’ worth of food in the fridge, you can sneak in an unplanned meal out and not have to throw out your ingredients (depending on what they are).
So there you have it. That’s why “Plan and Shop for 3 Days at a Time” is the April Fat Loss Habit of the Month.