You probably know from your own experience that many things in life tend to go more smoothly when you take time to plan ahead. This certainly seems to be the case for weight loss. With busy lives and the food filled environment we live in, planning ahead to have the right food choices to hand at the right times, can help us to stay on track and achieve our goals. But a successful LCHF meal plan also relies on skills such as nutrition knowledge, understanding food labels, portion control and calorie and carb awareness. No wonder losing weight can seem tough – and that’s before we factor in all the other relationships we have with food and weight!
Do Meal Plans Help Weight Loss?
In the search for ways to help make it easier for people to make healthier, reduced calorie and carb food choices, studies have looked at whether providing structured daily diet plans and shopping lists, and/or providing the actual food is more effective than less structured guidance.
One US study found that although calorie targets (and other educational weight loss information) were similar for everyone in the study, people asked to follow structured weight loss meal plans or who had food provided, lost more weight over 6 months (an average of 11.8kg) than people using less structured guidance (8kg loss).
Eighteen months after the study started the benefit remained – weight loss was on average around 7kg versus 3kg – so double the weight loss for the structured groups. Of particular note is that people who had just the structured diet plans and shopping lists to follow lost as much weight as those who also had their food provided for free!
How do Meal Plans Help?
So why might structured meal plans be so helpful for weight loss? Evidence suggests it’s because they:
- aid effective meal planning
- improve the healthiness of foods you keep in the house therefore avoiding temptations
- help people cope better with barriers/difficult situations e.g. what to eat at work, suitable family meals, suitable snacks, time constraints
- make diary and food log keeping easier (studies show that people who keep diaries lose twice as much weight as those who don’t!)
- aid portion control and prevent you from eating too much!
- help keep meals in balance with the correct fat:protein:carb macro-nutrient ratios while reducing calories to promote weight loss
- enable flexibility within the structure – you can build in some favorite foods so you stay satisfied and in control.
- are a wonderful educational tool. After using one for a couple of weeks you will understand exactly the types of foods and amounts that you personally need to eat to keep losing weight.
If you are looking for more weight loss guidance meal plans are definitely worth a try, if only to get you started or to use as a framework to develop your own meal plans.
With guidance from LCHF Nation, we make losing weight easy. Our Universal Meal Plans will help you lose weight for good.
For this weekend only we have a special offer for you: Get our cookbook, Universal Meal Plan for Individuals or Families and our Personal Calorie and Carb Calculation service as a special bundle package for a low price of $29.99. That’s a $42.99 value! If you’re looking for an easy way to lose weight this is IT.