Failing to plan, is failing to prioritize health.
In order to succeed with fat loss, you need to plan most of your meals. You need your rational brain to create a plan with foods you want to eat that are also healthy options. I want to eat this beautiful and colorful salad, and I also want to have a glass of wine with dinner. I want to eat this avocado toast and I also want to have a chicken sandwich for lunch. In a rational and motivated state, you can write down what you want to eat and look for gaps in nutrition that you can fill ahead of time.
When you fail to plan your meals ahead of time, you’re allowing hunger to take over decision making. Those decisions are generally not fueled by motivated you, they’re fueled by the I want instant gratification you. This latter version of you will probably choose convenience and taste over health. When you didn't plan your meals ahead of time, and now it's 5PM and you're off work, will the hangry you really stop by the grocery store, pick-up a variety of vegetables and meat and take time to prepare the food in that state? Unlikely. But when you fail to plan your meals ahead of time, you're setting yourself up for foods that will give you dopamine hits and instant gratification.
When people tell me they didn’t have time to meal plan, I ask them to reframe their thoughts.
Did you not have time or did you choose to not prioritize your health?
Meal planning takes minutes. Are you sure you don’t have time to write down a meal plan, shop for it, and then use an hour to do some light prepping to make sure you’re going to succeed this week?
Write down everything you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks, and stick to it for a week. Include planned alcohol, desserts and meals out. If you’re eating off your plan, your emotions are probably dictating your food choices. Office cake or bag of chips not on the plan but you went for it after lunch anyway? That’s your emotions choosing the food- not the version of you that’s committed to fat loss.
So remember, next time you tell yourself you don’t have time to meal plan, you’re actually saying, I don’t care about my health or losing fat. Every meal, you decide whether you're moving closer to or farther from your goals. You can decide to take actionable steps towards that support your goals in minutes. Why aren't you?