Your 5 Step Weight Loss Plan

Diets fail because we often start with good intentions but no concrete plan. This year, make a plan, not a promise. Establish a few goals to get started, be flexible, and watch yourself progress. In this article, we’ll help you formulate a realistic plan and give you tips to stay on track every step of your weight loss journey.

1. Make a Shopping List

You’ve probably heard the advice to avoid grocery shopping when hungry. But it can be just as difficult to make good choices in the store if you don’t have a plan. When you create your shopping list, keep in mind foods that are easy to prepare and combine for various meals. Having a rough outline of your meals and snacks for the week is a good idea so you can stock up on the items you’ll need. Give yourself a helping hand by buying pre-washed, precut veggies that will be easy to grab and go. Look for quick solutions, like precooked chicken breasts or hardboiled eggs that you can chop up and add to a fresh salad.

TIP: The Hollywood Cookie Diet® is a great way to always have a healthy meal at hand. Since each tasty chocolate chip cookie is individually wrapped, you can always grab one for those days that are extra busy.

Weight Loss Plan

2. Prepare Ahead

If your refrigerator is stocked with lean proteins and fresh vegetables, but you don’t have time to make a meal, you may end up eating unhealthy snacks and fast food. Use time on the weekend to wash and prep vegetables and cook proteins so that your preparation of meals during the week will be quick and easy.

TIP: For days when you are really pressed for time, choose fast meal solutions, like a protein shake with added greens, hummus and vegetable sticks, cottage cheese, and fresh fruit, or a delicious chocolate chip Hollywood Diet Cookie®.

3. Read the Menus

When eating out, plan ahead to make healthy choices. Most restaurants have menus available online so you can scope out the offerings ahead of time. Chain restaurants must also list nutritional info so that you can make informed choices. Make your meal selection in advance so that you aren’t swayed by peer pressure or tempted by specials when you get to the restaurant. Many restaurants are happy to customize your meal by leaving off sauces, butter, or fattening extras. Your best bet when eating out is to choose a lean protein, such as tofu, egg whites, seafood, or chicken, and pair it with steamed or raw vegetables, like in a salad. If you choose a salad, always ask for a light dressing on the side and dip your fork into the dressing rather than pour it over your plate.

TIP: Don’t make the mistake of starving yourself before going to a restaurant. You might think you are accounting for the extra calories of dining out, but if you arrive hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge and make unhealthy choices.

4. Work in Workouts

To add in physical activity, look honestly at your schedule and lifestyle. If you have difficulty waking up each morning, you probably won’t be able to get up at 5 am to hit the gym on your way to the office. Or if you arrive home exhausted every day, you probably won’t have the energy to run after work. Start slowly and fit in small portions of exercise where you can. For example, use your lunch break to take a walk, use commercial breaks on TV to fit in a few squats or pushups, and take the stairs whenever possible.

TIP: Check out free workout videos available on YouTube, many of which require no equipment. Pick a few short workouts that you can do at home at your convenience.

5. Plan to Indulge

A complete diet plan takes into account that deprivation usually leads to excess. Including some indulgences in your diet plan can help you stay on track for the long term. Keep in mind that eating whatever you want all weekend will set back your weight loss progress, but having a few well-thought-out treats throughout the week can help maintain your diet. Plan your indulgences around times when you might have a limited choice, for example, at social events or when traveling. And don’t forget that Hollywood Diet® cookies are a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your diet.