Through developing The Galveston Diet and coaching thousands to success through the program, I have learned a simple but powerful truth:

Relying on motivation for sustainable weight loss is a recipe for failure.

Don’t get me wrong, motivation is great to get started, but it is not enough to get you through the bumps, plateaus, and days filled with negative self-talk. It is inevitable that in any difficult journey, there will be days when our motivation disappears like a puff of smoke. On those days, we talk ourselves out of the workout, and the and into the drive-thru. Life may get in the way of our plans, and we find ourselves grabbing whatever is convenient – and unhealthy to get through the day.

So what is the magic that will keep you on the path to success when motivation is nowhere to be found?

Habit.

Fueling your body with healthy food has to be a habit. But in a world of long workdays, exhausting commutes, and temptingly easy junk food, consistency can seem impossible to anyone without an iron will.

That’s why preparation – specifically, meal preparation is key to ultimate weight loss success.

Science is showing that planning and sticking with it are two of the most important components of making healthy dietary decisions and keeping weight off.

So where do you start?

Make a plan: If you are incorporating fasting into your health plan I recommend planning for two meals and two snacks a day. My rule of thumb: each meal should have a protein, veggie and healthy fat. Snacks should have fruits, veggies and healthy fats. The Galveston Diet includes meal plans and shopping lists for the first five weeks to help you get started.

Grocery Shopping – too daunting for some while too time-consuming for others. However, this is the first and most pivotal step in beginning a healthy diet. Take advantage of online shopping – I love the option to use the online order, and pick up from my local grocery store (some will even deliver to your home)! Only stock your kitchen with healthy foods to avoid temptations. Here are a few staples to get you started:

Proteins:

  • Salmon – excellent source of both protein and omega-3-fatty acids
  • Eggs – extremely protein-rich and can be prepared in numerous ways
  • Quinoa – contains all 9 essential amino acids and great for building and maintaining muscles
  • Greek Yogurt – has twice as many amino acids as other yogurts and additionally contain a great source of calcium and probiotics
  • Lean Turkey and/or chicken
  • Lean Grass-Fed Beef
  • Nitrate free deli meats

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • Blueberries, Raspberries and Strawberries – a great source of antioxidants and fiber and only moderately raise your blood sugar
  • Spinach – contain a large amount of fiber and iron and can be used in numerous ways
  • Zucchini Squash – can be used to make “squash noodles,” incorporated in salads, or even sautéed on their own
  • Tomatoes – simple to incorporate into a variety of meals and contain “lycopene” which protects your skin from UV damage – a bonus!
  • Cucumbers – low in carbs and high in fiber, and Vitamin K
  • Celery – great source of antioxidants and fights inflammation
  • Broccoli – great source of Vit C and fiber
  • Cauliflower – low in carbs and can be used a variety of ways, great substitute for high carb grains

Fats

  • Avocado – a staple to incorporate into your diet and can be easily added to most meals and/or salads
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – an absolute must for healthy cooking
  • Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc) – a win-win since contain a great source of both fat and protein
  • Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pine nuts) – great sources of healthy fats and fiber

Foods to Avoid Buying – try your best to stay out of the middle isles of the grocery store as these are most likely the processed, packaged foods that we are trying to avoid, especially when promoting weight loss. In addition, avoid/minimize added or processed sugars.

Preparation (see more information here)

  • Chop veggies
  • Precook meats for luncheons: grilling, sauteing, oven baking – NOT FRYING.
  • Divide nuts into serving size portions (I use small baggies for this)
  • Pack your lunch and snacks for a while you are at work in containers that you can “grab and go” on a busy morning.

Making meal planning and preparation, a HABIT is proven to be the best way for you to be successful in your weight loss goals. Leaving nutrition to chance and relying on motivation to make a healthy choice when your meals are planned and prepared and having too many choices can sabotage your efforts.