Whatever your health and fitness goals are, whether you want to lose weight or even gain a few pounds of muscle mass, planning is essential for success. Both meal plans and training plans go hand in hand throughout this journey towards your goal, and both are just as important as each other.
A key to your success and achievement of reaching your goals and setting new ones is planning. If you’re a busy parent, work long hours and have hectic weekly schedules then you may already be aware that planning is crucial, in any walk of life. The same goes for health and wellbeing. Planning your meals or your workouts is one of the easiest steps of reaching your fitness goals; however, it’s usually the first thing we neglect.
The benefits to meal planning are endless; however, I will attempt to discuss with you the key benefits for success. First of all, you will find that managing your time becomes so much easier when meals are planned out, the preparation of creating such meals also becomes easier and in turn, this eventually reduces the thought process that is required. Hectic weeks can quite quickly be turned in to stress-free and manageable weeks with meal plans.
Improving the general health and wellbeing of your whole family, not just you are also welcome benefits of meal planning as every member learns positive habits, routines as well as changing their nutritional intake over time. Well-structured and pre-planned meal preparation stops you and your family popping to the shop or having a take away every night and also stops members of your family glaring into the fridge wondering where their next meal is coming from. Meal planning saves time and money in this regard allowing your family time, and of course, money, to be better spent elsewhere.
Racing from home after a busy day at work and you will inevitably find yourself stripping the cupboards or wading through the freezer to feed a hungry family. This in itself can be stressful knowing that you are short on time and have to make short, sharp and usually unhealthy decisions. Meal planning allows you to take care of these decisions in advance; healthier, tailored decisions can be made towards your health and fitness goals. Knowing that goal specific meals are awaiting you in the fridge at home or at work will feel like a god sent package in the middle of a busy week.
Busy weekends encourage naughty habits like taking a detour through the drive-through or phoning ahead for a takeaway. Meal planning eliminates all of this as you know that pre-planned and pre-made meals are available. Having that knowledge that you have put in the time to prep your food encourages you to return to it, eliminating the need to rely on unhealthy last minute options.
Meal planning specifically supports you to reach your health and fitness goals. During the planning process, you will find that you become more organised when you go food shopping. Gone are the days where both you and your family load the trolley with any old thing hoping that when you get home some of it can be used to make a full meal. Meal preparation allows you to make calm, collected and most of all healthy and on point food selections beforehand. This way when you hit the shops and stick to a list knowing what you need to stay on track, you will save time, money and effort in a single trip.
You may have some knowledge of training plans or never seen one before in your life, either way, let me tell you now they are not rocket science. Training plans are so simple yet so very effective and are critical to the success of reaching your health and fitness goal. The benefits of a training plan encourage the shortest and most effective route to your goal. You wouldn’t set off on a car journey without a map not knowing where you’re going but still hoping that you will end up at the desired destination. Training plans put this map in place to help you find the best course to success.
Training plans prevent you from slipping into a negative pattern of behaviour. Being consistent and sticking to a plan will ensure you are accountable for each daily requirement of your plan. Together with your meal plan you know exactly what you do, why you are doing it and encouraged by the fact that it is goal specific and centred around you personally.
This is not any plan pulled out of a dusty old workout book, this plan is individualised to you and takes into account your personal goals, the time you have available and has simple yet achievable steps to help motivate you to succeed.
A training plan is important to keep track of your progress, once you have set a long-term goal a training plan can help to reduce this into smaller short-term goals that are manageable and achievable. As you hit each short-term goal your motivation and self-confidence inflate driving you towards your next target. This is the underlying principle of your plan. Looking back at how far you have come and what you have achieved is just as important as the plan itself, reinforcing why you have started and where you want to be moving forward.
Staying on track is as simple as reading and implementing the instructions you’ve left for yourself, however, it is not without its challenges. A strong fitness training plan will also include keeping track of less-obvious elements of fitness, such as your sleep, hydration and, of course, your meal plan. These elements are set as reminders that the training plan is your backbone to success, but you are more likely to meet your fitness or weight loss goals if you’re well rested, well hydrated and properly nourished.