A few years ago, I started following a variant of the Paleo diet. I wanted to lose weight and become healthier, and at the time, the Paleo diet seemed like the real deal. I got off to a great start, losing weight at a significant pace over the following weeks and easily getting through the ups-and-downs of cravings and ketosis. For once, a diet seemed like it actually could be sustainable.
But looking back on it, I can see that failure was inevitable. The problem had nothing to do with willpower or urges. The problem was that I was spending most of my life preparing meals. Considering I do not work in catering, this wore me down eventually.
That’s the thing with diets (especially fad diets). Proponents of these diets claim that it is a matter of willpower, but that is rarely the determining factor. Most people can handle cravings, but cannot afford the significant lifestyle changes or the investment in time they entail.
Because our work schedule is not changing, and our personal responsibilities remain the same, we tend to go back to the old status quo which, technically, works.
Sustainably changing your eating habits likely requires a dietary plan that fits into your lifestyle rather than attempting to overthrow it. With the right guidance, you can try a meal kit delivery, streamlining your meal preparation.
Here is what you need to know.
Speak to an expert
By speaking to an expert, I don’t mean finding an expert’s opinion online. I mean actually meeting a nutritionist or dietitian and working with them to create an eating plan. The reason is that only by speaking to a real person will you get a plan personalized to your exact circumstances.
A good nutritionist will look at your current lifestyle, including what you currently eat and what you enjoy, and will work with you to find things you can sustainably change. In certain cases, they will be prescriptive – in that, they will explain why continuing to eat certain foods will cause serious health problems. For the most part, however, they will guide you towards balance.
Technically, an algorithm can do a similar job if you provide it with enough information. However, what is important is that a nutritionist will be able to take more abstract details into account. They can get an idea of how much change you are suited to at once. They can take your life stage into account. If you are in college, for example attending parties every few nights, they can help you with ideas that won’t fall apart the moment you wake up hungover.
Your nutritionist will give you advice as to sustainable ways to plan meals without spending hours doing so. One of the easiest meal hacks is to use a meal kit delivery service. These services send you the exact ingredients necessary for each meal, chopped and ready, with simple instructions. You can order meals that directly work within the guidelines provided by your nutritionist.
It is important that you also set aside time for meal prep, even if it’s just a half-hour at the beginning of each week. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed about preparing dinner during a stressful workday.
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