Why Meal Routines are so important
In nutrition, as in life, we are not directly in control of the outcome, or the goal we set ourselves.
What we definitely are in control of is our behaviours.
Setting up your behaviours so that they are consistent, they are positive, and you can stick to them, is the only way that you stand any chance of reaching that distant long term goal.
Setting a routine is what is going to allow us to build new habits.
It’s the same idea as having a set start and finish time at work.
Or training at the same time every day.
Or setting time aside to do things that you never seem to get round to.
Dictating what you are going to do in advance is powerful. It means that you are more likely to stick to whatever it is that you have planned.
So in nutrition, having a set meal routine is massively helpful in establishing new habits.
You could start by having similar foods, with similar portion sizes, at similar times.
Our bodies like this sort of routine.
What you will find is that, when you establish this sort of meal pattern, your body gets hungry at the same times every day.
So if we are able to establish a helpful, healthy meal routine, this will be an enormous help in managing hunger and satiety levels on a daily basis.
So – where do you start?
Depending on what your goal is, you will have particular nutritional priorities.
For example, if your main goal is fat loss, you will need to have a means by which you create a calorie deficit.
In terms of your routine, that might mean that you start by tracking calories, and establishing the foods you need to eat in order to be in a deficit each day.
Tracking is not the only starting point, but having what I like to call calorie awareness is important.
Then, you could build in a routine that says
‘I’m going to eat this meal at this time, which I know is, say 500 calories’
Through practice, you will learn the meals, and portion sizes, that enable you to hit calorie goals, and you can give yourself loose time periods in which you eat each meal.
This is just one example, but in any nutrition and health goal, establishing habits and routines that help you on your way towards that goal is the difference between success and failure. Establish Healthy Habits for you and the planet with the Healthy Planet Project. Try the 14 Day Free Challenge here