#377 (10/6/2009) SMALL PLANS, BIG WEIGHT LOSS!

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Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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A Little Planning Can Lead to Big Weight Loss

By Whitney Provost

The problem: You're busy. You have to work, organize family activities, run errands, and make time for exercise. When do you decide what to eat? If you're like many people, you don't think about your next meal until you're starving. And then you might be tempted to hit the fast food drive-through or the office vending machine for a quick fix. But if you're trying to lose weight, you know this isn't a good diet strategy.

Peppers and Planner

The solution: Plan ahead. If weight loss is your goal, you should never be caught off guard and hungry. A little forethought is all it takes to create meals that will keep you satisfied and your hunger at bay. It doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming either.

Here are a few reasons that planning your meals in advance can help you lose weight more easily:

  • Keeps your hunger under control. Fuel your body at regular intervals to tame your appetite and make it easier to stick to your diet. When you're not starving, you'll be able to resist the office candy jar or the coffeehouse muffin.
  • Easier to monitor your calorie intake. Advance planning means you can decide how many calories to eat at each meal, then prepare food that meets your goals. It's easier than trying to add up calories throughout the day.
  • You'll be less likely to binge. When you plan your meals in advance, you can add in your favorite treats or schedule a special cheat meal and still meet your calorie requirements. You'll stay in control of your choices and be able to enjoy your food without guilt or anxiety.

If you're following a Beachbody® program and meal plan, you're probably trying to eat more often throughout the day to keep your metabolism up and your blood sugar stable. This might seem overwhelming at first, but all you really need is enough tasty food to meet your calorie requirements and stay full until the next time you eat. Here are five tips for planning your meals in advance to keep your energy up and your hunger at bay:

  1. Cook in bulk. When you prepare meals, make double and freeze half in individual containers. Use the weekends (or any free time during the week) to plan your meals with your family. Decide what you're going to eat, then shop accordingly so healthy food is always on hand. As you prep for one meal, cook more vegetables and meat than you'll need, and use the leftovers in the next day's food plan. You can also chop extra vegetables and store them raw in the refrigerator for a quick salad later.
  2. Whey Protein PowderPortion food into single servings. Measure out cereal, nuts, Whey Protein Powder, vegetables, and fruit into bags or containers. When you're in a rush to leave the house, just toss what you need into your bag or car. You can also keep protein bars on hand for a convenient on-the-go snack.
  3. Bring one container; eat twice. If you're going to be at work all day, bring one large container of food and eat half at lunch and the other half later in the day. It's one less meal to plan.
  4. Keep it simple. You don't have to prepare a multicourse feast five times a day to eat well. When you're on the go, choose things that are portable and don't require a lot of fuss, like:
    • hard-boiled eggs and whole-grain toast
    • oatmeal with berries and nuts
    • grilled chicken and a salad
    • canned tuna or chicken and brown rice
    • Cherry Tomatoes in Containersandwiches on whole-grain bread or wraps
    • nuts and dried fruit
    • string cheese and whole-grain crackers
    • yogurt and fruit
    • Whey Protein Powder
    • vegetables and hummus
    • Meal Replacement Shake (take one of the new single-serve packets or a scoopful in a plastic bag or your shaker cup)
  5. Anticipate busy days. If you know your kids have soccer practice every Tuesday evening, then make that night's dinner quick and easy. Perhaps that becomes your cheat meal and you order pizza (better yet, have the ingredients on hand to make your own healthy version. The kids will love creating their own pizzas). Or you can simply defrost a meal you've frozen ahead of time, so it's ready to throw in the oven when you get home. Plan ahead so your busy schedule doesn't get in the way of your weight loss.

Related Articles
"Self-Sneaking: How to Trick Yourself into Eating Healthy Food"
"Beat the 2-Day Binge: Your Weekend Diet Survival Guide"
"10 Tricks for Losing Those Last 10 Pounds"

Whitney ProvostGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, October 12th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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You Can Eat Great and Still Lose Weight

By Ben Kallen

When your grandma wanted to lose weight, she probably ate foods that no one in their right mind could enjoy. (Fluffy mackerel pudding, anyone? How about a chilled celery log?)

Woman Eating Strawberry

All these years later, a lot of people still think that the only way to shed excess fat is to eat a bland diet or choke down foods they dislike. Luckily, that just isn't true. Not only can you eat well while you're shedding excess fat, it's highly recommended that you do so. The more you enjoy your meals, the less likely you are to cheat on your food plan or give it up entirely.

So how do you lose weight without feeling deprived? Stick to these tips:

  1. Have a regular workout program. There are people who manage to lose weight without much exercise. But it requires them to follow a very strict, restrictive diet, and the weight loss is likely to stop or reverse itself with the tiniest caloric backsliding. And even if they're successful, they're likely to end up "thin but flabby" rather than lean and fit. On the other hand, when you have an effective workout plan, you burn more calories, build lean muscle, and prevent your metabolism from slowing down as the weight comes off. What's more, working out changes the way you think about food—you'll be more aware of what your body really needs, and start eating to fuel your muscles and keep up your energy instead of stuffing your face for the heck of it. You'll stick to your food plan because you want to, not because you have to. And that means you're more likely to keep it up over the long haul.
  2. Picking FruitsGo for quality. Junk foods aren't called "junk" just because they tend to be unhealthy. They're often made of cheap ingredients that aren't even that tasty, with a lot of added sugar, salt, fat, and chemical flavorings to make up for it. As former FDA commissioner David Kessler points out (refer to "The End of Overeating" in the Related Articles section below), they're intended to make you crave more food, not to satisfy your hunger. Less processed foods, on the other hand, tend to taste better naturally and be better for you. Of course, it would be nearly impossible to give up processed foods entirely, and you don't have to. Just devote a larger portion of your meals to "clean" items: fresh vegetables and fruits; lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein; and nuts, beans, and whole grains. And eat fewer foods that have more than five ingredients on the label, especially if you can't pronounce some of them. (If you really need Doritos® now and then, buy a single-serving bag, not the large economy size.)
  3. Don't go hungry. A good food plan should keep you satisfied, even if you're eating less than you're used to. To avoid hunger pangs, make sure you always have access to healthy snacks when your plan calls for them, and never skip meals in an attempt to save on calories. Eat more foods that are naturally filling, like soups, salads, and steamed or roasted veggies, along with moderate amounts of healthful fats. And avoid high-glycemic foods made of sugar or starch, which can lead to blood sugar fluctuations that leave you hungry and low on energy.
  4. Savor your food. No matter how good your meals are, you're not likely to enjoy them if you're distracted by other things or you gobble your food like there's no tomorrow. That's why, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, people who eat "mindfully" are less likely to be overweight. That includes eating slowly so you actually taste each bite, being aware of whether you feel hungry or full, and sitting down for meals without watching TV, working, or driving at the same time. (An added bonus: According to a study in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, when families regularly have meals together, the kids naturally develop healthier eating and lifestyle habits.)
  5. SpicesSpice things up. There's no excuse for eating dull, monotonous meals day after day—not when there are dozens of herbs, spices, and condiments that can perk up weight loss-friendly food in hundreds of different ways. Does a chicken breast with a side of vegetables sound boring? Then try sizzling chicken fajitas, or a paprika-scented chicken stew with root vegetables, or chicken and vegetable slices (oven roasted or grilled) brushed with garlic and olive oil. The point is, if you keep lots of herbs and spices around, you can prepare great-tasting, healthful meals without much more time or effort than it would take to make dull ones. (You can also save more time by mixing your own sauces, marinades, and dressings—they'll have less added sugar and salt than store-bought ones, and they'll taste better, too.) When your foods are more flavorful, and your meals are full of variety, you won't just be eating as well as before—you'll be eating better.

Related Articles
"The End of Overeating"
"Supercharge Your Cardio: 4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Intervals"
"5 Ways to Speed Up Your Six-Pack"

Ben KallenGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, October 12th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your "When Food Attacks" IQ!

By DeLane McDuffie

Tomato with a Band-Aid®The next time you bite into a piece of fruit, consider its feelings. Now apologize. What did it ever do to you but make you healthier? For centuries, we've cooked, shredded, chopped up, grilled, and sautéed food. And you know that ain't right. They don't deserve to be set ablaze or mutilated. Well, this time, they're out for revenge. Over time, food and beverages have been slowly but surely strengthening their resistance against human imperialism. So watch yourself out there, buddy, and match the food or beverage with the place it attacked. You've been warned.

  1. Molasses - Boston. The Great Molasses Flood of 1919. No joke. The Purity Distilling Company of Boston's North End stored 2.5 million gallons of molasses in their 58-foot-high tank (about as tall as a six-story building). The molasses was to be used as a sweetener and to make ethyl alcohol for liquor and weapons. On January 15, a mysterious explosion within the tank caused a molasses tsunami. Clocking a syrup land speed record of 35 mph, waves up to 15 feet ripped through the streets; flipped over cars, horses, and buggies; pushed a train off its tracks; and knocked down a few buildings, thus marking the only time that the phrase "slower than molasses" didn't apply to molasses. There were 21 deaths and a reported 150 people injured. Through a completely unrelated event, Congress passed the 18th Amendment the very next day, ushering in the immensely popular Prohibition Era.
  2. Mushroom/Fungi - Pont-Saint-Esprit. Back in August 1951, the residents of the small village of Pont-Saint-Esprit (Bridge of the Holy Spirit), France were chomping on the bread from Mr. Roch Briand's bakery, as usual. Little did they know that a rare ergot fungus had contaminated that year's local rye crops. Uh-oh. Several of the 4,400 residents suddenly underwent hallucinogenic symptoms. Some had convulsions, ran aimlessly through the streets, yelled that red flowers were growing out of their bodies and their heads were melting, and attempted suicide. In the Middle Ages, ergot poisoning was called "St. Anthony's Fire." Ergot restricts blood flow to the appendages and can cause gangrene. If not treated, victims can feel like they're Joan of Arc being burned alive, before their extremities rot off. In the end, seven people died, while the sick and injured numbered in the hundreds.
  3. Porter - London. Meux's Brewery Company owned a 22-foot-high vat that held 511,920 liters of porter (a dark malt beer), which was surrounded by several other vats of beer. On October 17, 1814, one of the metal hoops that held it together snapped. The vat exploded, the exiting beer crashed into and shattered the other vats, and the neighborhood below never knew what hit it. The beer tidal wave, totaling 1,224,000 liters, splashed down on the slum area of St. Giles, obliterating two homes and a pub. The first casualty was the pub's 14-year-old barmaid Eleanor Cooper. As flood victims began arriving at the local hospital, the current patients smelled the overwhelming scent of beer and nearly incited a riot, declaring that they were missing out on an impromptu Oktoberfest and demanding to be served. Eight people drowned, while one died from alcohol poisoning. It was months before the beer stench dissipated. The affected families of the drowned were so poor that they displayed the corpses of their relatives for public viewing, charging admission.
  4. Whisky - Dublin. The June 26, 1875, edition of The Illustrated London News tells the account of nearly 560,000 liters of whisky covering several streets in the Liberties section of town. That may sound like heaven to hard-core liquor lovers. Too bad it was a real-life River Styx—a river of fiery, frisky whisky. It was a free-for-all. Local Scots were scooping up what they could in their boots and hats. Four folks died from swallowing the hot lava-like whisky, probably forgetting that it was hot lava-like whisky. The families of destroyed houses and property were later compensated.
  5. Tomatoes - The World. October 1978 was a dark, frightening time. American troops were deployed to the San Diego area to thwart the efforts of a growing insurgency. The president even had to organize a special task force of military experts and scientists to neutralize the resistance. Ordinary citizens and soldiers perished and struggled in vain while law enforcement was rendered helpless, as even its artillery could not stop the enemy. However, this red army was eventually stopped and defeated—by the horrible, horrible song "Puberty Love." The next thing that happened . . . was . . . um . . . I'll stop now. Nothing else happened. This is just the plot of the B-movie spoof Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Just seeing if you were paying attention. You were.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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