How to Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape

The weight-loss journey is paved with physical and emotional hardships. For many, such difficulties begin with the lack of physical and emotional energy to start the fitness journey.

When it comes to lifestyle changes, your body and mind are in constant resistance to change. Many people have weight-loss aspirations, but not so many are able to work on their ambitions. This can be extremely frustrating, but there are ways to avoid such situations.

There are things you can start doing immediately that will propel you toward your weight-loss goal – this is what we will outline here.

After years of comfort eating and failed workout attempts, you may be thinking that weight loss is not really your thing, but this is not the case. In this post, we will discuss a few things you can do today to get your weight-loss journey going.

It is important to know that there is no perfect time to start your weight-loss journey. The ideal time never comes. Also, there is no perfect way to lose weight. Whatever you have right now is adequate to get you started.

So, instead of the usual procrastination of always starting tomorrow, or next week, or next month, we will discuss things you can start doing immediately. Today!

Ask yourself why you want to lose weight

This is a good place to start. Why do you really want to lose weight? The answer to this question should be well defined because it will be a motivating factor in your entire weight-loss journey.

You will face a lot of challenges and obstacles in your weight-loss journey. You will need a lot of physical and mental energy to get you going and to keep you in this journey.

This journey requires you to be determined, dedicated and disciplined to get a shot at success. It requires you to make sacrifices such as giving up your favorite junk food and dedicating your precious time to workouts.

If you are going to do all these things, you would rather know why you are doing it. To gradually overhaul your lifestyle, you will need a more profound motivating factor than just “to lose weight”.

If you, for example, want to fit into a certain clothing size, ask yourself why you feel the need to do so. This will help you uncover the true reasons for your weight-loss aspirations.

When asking yourself this question, you will realize that your answer will be personal. In fact, most people want to lose weight because of intensely personal reasons.

Maybe you want to achieve a better physical appearance, or you want to have a better self-image. You may also want to lose weight so as to improve your health condition. All these are valid reasons, and they are important to you for that matter.

Having defined your reasons, you will have a deeper source of motivation that will be instrumental in your weight-loss journey.

Sign Up for a Weight-Loss App

Weight-loss apps can help you track your workouts and weight-loss progress. These apps provide a convenient way of calorie counting and weight tracking. The apps can also assist you in planning accordingly.

Weight-loss apps analyze your weight, age, and weight-loss goals to provide you with a customized weight-loss plan. They help determine your calorie needs. 

They take into consideration your meals and help you come up with a suitable diet plan for weight loss.

These apps may also provide access to an online community of people who are working on losing weight. Such communities can help provide vital information, tips, and motivation.

Some of the apps are free while others are paid-for. Either way, look for a suitable app and sign-up today!

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Write down your goal

Once you have your weight-loss goal clearly defined. It is important to write it down and have it displayed in a place or places where you can see it regularly. By doing so, you will constantly be reminded about the goal, and this will help keep weight-loss up there among your other top priorities.

Consider keeping the written down goal in strategic places such as sticking it on your fridge. By doing this, you will be reminded that you are on a weight-loss mission every time you try getting some snack from the refrigerator.

Writing down your goal conditions the mind and prioritizes your aspirations. Once you start winning in mind, you can easily get your journey going. This is a step in the right direction.

Create a diet plan

Your diet should include foods from all the essential food groups – vitamins, proteins, and carbs. Schedule your meals well in advance as this is likely to help you with sticking to the plan.

Make plans for what to eat and when to eat. Ensure that your meals provide you with the essential nutrients.

More importantly, keep track of the number of calories that you consume, as this is vital for weight loss. Your goal involves burning more calories than you consume.

Try to have your meals within five hours of each other. You may schedule a light, healthy snack within your main meals.

Do not skip meals and do not starve yourself. Staying hungry for too long exposes you to the risk of overeating or going for unhealthy foods.

When starting, you don’t have to create a very complex meal plan. All you have to do is ensure that the foods are healthy and that you strike a balance – you don’t eat too much or too little.

Make a flexible meal plan such that you can make adjustments to it as you observe yourself and get more knowledgeable about dieting. Don’t seek perfection; you can create an adequate meal plan today that will jumpstart your weight-loss journey.

Post your healthy weight-loss plan where you can see it regularly. The plan will be a reminder of your commitment to weight-loss.

Prepare and buy some healthy foods

Your diet is crucial to your weight-loss journey. Now that you have removed most of the unhealthy foods from your house, it is time to replace them with healthy foods. You can buy or cook a variety of healthy foods.

Cooking at home is one of the most effective strategies for eating healthy. This is because when you cook at home, you are in control of pretty much everything that goes into your food. You can also prepare a wide variety of your favorite meals, inexpensively.

But cooking at home can pose the challenge of time. This is why you should cook a lot of healthy foods today, to last you for at least a few days. Doing so will save you time while availing a wide range of healthy foods to eat for the next few days.

While cooking, try as much as possible to only cook food that you like. Healthy food doesn’t have to be unpleasant because there are many healthy and delicious meals out there. Go through healthy recipes online and identify the ones you love the most.

This is important because you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet if you like the healthy food you eat. Unpleasant foods can be discouraging and could lead to failure in jumpstarting your weight-loss journey.

Another important factor here is to ensure that the foods that you consider healthy are actually healthy. Double check to confirm that the foods you cook today are healthy.

If you can't manage to cook, all is not lost. You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can simply buy fresh, healthy foods from your local store.

If you go with the option of buying, confirm what ingredients are in the foods and in what quantities. Ensure that the food is well prepared and healthy.

Once you have your meals ready, have your first serving today, according to your meal plan. Follow your meal plan for the rest of the day. You are now on your way to a healthy lifestyle.

Do some lifestyle changes today

We have mentioned that you can start eating healthy today. You can also take some other small but worthwhile steps towards your weight-loss goal.

. Do not try to overhaul your lifestyle entirely as you will most likely fail. Instead, take some doable steps today and then proceed from there.

You could start by taking a 20-minute walk after lunch. You can also cancel the happy hour that you had planned for tonight. It is important to be realistic when planning the steps that you will take.

Ensure that they are doable immediately. Those small wins will motivate you and get your weight-loss journey started.

Make a vision board

Creating a vision board with visual reminders of your weight-loss goal can be beneficial. On the vision board, you can include motivational quotes and pictures that will be constant reminders of what you seek to achieve.

If you were previously in a good weight that you would like to return to, you might stick a picture of yourself from that period on the vision board.

Put everything that is motivational on the vision board. You will add to this vision board from now henceforth as you go through your weight-loss journey.

Get enough sleep today

The lack of enough sleep has been linked to overeating. Hunger hormones are more active when you are sleep deprived.

Getting enough sleep can, therefore, be helpful with sticking to a healthy diet. Also, getting enough sleep today will ensure that you rest enough for tomorrow's workout.

Define your weight-loss goal

Having a clearly defined weight loss goal is another essential factor. Make sure that your goal is as specific as possible. For instance, instead of having “lose weight this year” you can have “lose 10 pounds by June” as your goal.

Also, while defining your goals, it would be helpful to have short-term and long-term weight-loss goals. You can have goals for the entire year and for each month. The short-term goals should work towards your ultimate goal.

Having short-term goals breaks down your journey into manageable tasks. This can help manage the overwhelming feeling you may get thinking about losing so much weight within a defined timeline.
Also, ensure that your goals are realistic.

As a beginner, you will definitely struggle while taking your first baby-steps in the weight-loss journey. It is therefore important that you be realistic about your abilities in the current moment.

Make your short-term goals pretty conservative. The crucial thing is to get started. Once you get going, you will have the chance to set more ambitious goals.

Over-ambitious goals may become a demotivating factor. If you set goals that are too high, you are likely to fail in reaching them.

This is how many weight-loss enthusiasts end up quitting. Understand that weight-loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on making the appropriate baby steps, and the rest will follow.

Take measurements and pictures

It is good to know and record your starting. Get on a scale and weigh yourself. Also, have photos of yourself taken. Doing this will give you a reference point when tracking your progress.

Having pictures of yourself before you start working out will allow you to see your transformation as it unfolds, which is motivating. After this, commit to working on an incredible before and after story.

Think through your trouble spots

Think of how you got to your current weight situation. What have you been doing that has led to gaining the undesired weight? This could be due to things such as stress eating, dinners out, and such.

The first step is to be aware of the issues that have led to your current situation. This way, you will be in a better position to understand your mental processes and how to avoid falling into the vicious cycle again.

See what you can do to overcome the factors that have led to your current condition. This is something that you will have to do in every moment of your weight-loss journey – not just when getting started.

Raid your kitchen

Go to your kitchen today. Inspect the refrigerator and every drawer where there could be food. Get out any food that you deem unhealthy.

Such foods include processed foods, high-calorie low-nutrient foods, and foods that contain unhealthy fats and additives. Remove the bulk of these foods from your house.

You can have your friends or relatives who are not dieting eat the food, or you can give it away. Just make sure that the bulk of it is gone.

Eating unhealthy foods hurts your weight-loss endeavor. Doing so also gives you a feeling of loss of control, which demotivates you from pursuing your weight-loss goals.

It leaves you feeling physically and mentally bad. Eating unhealthy foods robs you off the much needed physical and mental energy for a weight-loss routine.

You already knew all that, but you keep having junk food, right? Well, this has a lot to do with human behavior, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it.

. As long as you have those tasty but unhealthy snacks lying around, you will get the urge to eat some. But you have the power to change this situation, by removing the unhealthy foods from your house.

You don’t have to get rid of everything that you deem unhealthy. You just have to remove the excesses. Actually, most of the foods that are considered unhealthy, are so if taken in large quantities.

Small quantities may be healthy. In fact, small amounts of otherwise unhealthy foods may be beneficial in your weight-loss journey.

When you keep large quantities of unhealthy foods in your house, you risk over-eating and developing an unhealthy relationship with food.

This is definitely bad for your weight-loss aspirations.
Raid your kitchen and do what you know you have to do, today.

Create a workout schedule

Develop a workout routine today. Having a workout routine can lead to weight loss and will also help you stick to a healthy diet. The workout routine should be suitable and adequate.

Look into your life schedule and how you operate on a daily basis. Write down everything you usually do and want to do in the future. Check whether you have free time between activities that is adequate for a full-fledged workout.

If you don’t have any free time (well, many of us don’t seem to have) look into how you can create time for your workouts. Be realistic with when you schedule your workouts.

For example, if you are not a morning person, avoid having your workouts planned in the morning. Also, you may not want to schedule your workouts after work if you think that you will be too tired. Remember that exercises do not have to happen at the same time every day.

Also, decide today where you will be doing your workouts. If you choose to join a local gym, sign up today. If you want to work out at home, choose a suitable space to do so.

Schedule the workouts that you will be doing each day. Such workouts will include cardio, upper body, and lower body exercises. Ensure that the workouts you schedule are all about weight-loss.

Check online for the most effective weight-loss exercises. You may also talk to your personal trainer to help with creating an effective workout schedule. Your weight-loss can also provide guidance.

Tell the people close to you about your plans

Informing your close friends and relatives that you are starting your weight-loss journey today can be beneficial. The people close to you can motivate you and encourage you to stick to your plans. Also, doing so creates a sense of accountability which is beneficial for your journey.

It is important that you only tell people that genuinely care about you. Don’t tell people that will guilt-trip you when you take a bite of an unhealthy snack.

Let your friends know that you are serious with your mission – doing this can make them more supportive.

Informing your close friends and relatives will also make it easy for you to change your lifestyle, such as eating at home rather than going out with them. They will also avoid putting you in situations that can trigger a loss of focus on your weight-loss goal.

Buy some workout clothes

Having some nice workout clothes can be a motivation factor for working out. Good workout outfit makes you feel better about exercising, and you are therefore more likely to be extra motivated to work out.

Ensure that the clothes feel comfortable and they look good on you. You may shop online or visit your local sports clothing store.

The workout clothes you acquire should be a good fit for your current body. When you lose weight significantly, you will have the chance to reward yourself with smaller-sized workout clothes.

Get yourself a weight-loss partner

You are probably not the only one among your friends that has been postponing their weight-loss endeavors. Reach out to one or a few of your friends that you think can start their weight-loss journey today.

Discuss with them the preliminary steps you need to take together toward your goals. Talk to them about the things discussed in this post. Let them know that there is no perfect time to start their weight-loss journey – the time is now.

If they agree to join you, you can then work together in facilitating the things that need to be done today.
It is, however, important to stay focused on your weight-loss goal even if your friends fall off the wagon during the journey.

Today is the best day to start your weight-loss journey. You can take the various steps discussed in this post to get your journey going. Adequate exercise and proper diet are the two core factors for weight-loss. You can start working on these two aspects today.

Create a suitable workout plan and start working out today, even if it is by taking a 15 –minute walk. Create a good diet plan and start eating healthy today!

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Gym Workout Plan for Beginners-Men & Woman

If you’re like most people, then you understand the need to keep healthy. The only problem is that for many of us staying in shape, eating right, and remaining vigilant in our day to day workouts is more difficult than we originally anticipate.

New Year’s resolutions fade with the passing of time and the constant hustle and press of life makes us forget a workout here or there or can even allow us to lose our motivation for getting to the gym when we really want to.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to join a gym to work out, but if you’re seeking help to stay motivated and to discover new exercises and routines that could help you lose extra weight or develop a routine that can keep you moving, a well-structured gym workout coupled with a dietary plan that’s not too restrictive can help.

It’s hard to get started, but through firm dedication to yourself and your health you can find a way to make a well-designed workout routine produce the kind of results you desire. With that being said let’s get into just what it will take to plan a workout that can be useful for you.

Gym Selection

This should be common sense for many people but if you’re just starting out then you’re going to want to be a bit selective since there are many different gyms out there and some of them aren’t exactly built to cater to beginners.

What this means is that you’ll want to find a gym that will walk you through the process and will feature several different ways in which you can create a workout program that will suit you and your lifestyle.

For instance, as a beginner you most likely don’t want to join a gym that’s going to be too advanced.
When selecting a gym take note of three core elements that will help you out:

Gym Workout Plan for Beginners-Men & Woman

Location: You want to find a gym that is somewhat close to home, perhaps no more than 20 to 30 minutes away, as this is a decent amount of time to travel. If you don’t drive, make sure you find a bus route that can get you to and from the gym without fail.

Or even better, find one that’s close enough to ride your bike, walk, or jog to as this is a great way to get warmed up so that by the time you reach your gym, you’re ready to go. Location is a big factor in keeping up your motivation.

If the gym is right next door you might find that you’ll take it for granted and adopt a “I can do work out anytime” attitude that isn’t particularly helpful. If it’s too far away however, you might lose motivation since the trip there and the trip home simply takes too long.

Cost: It’s not necessary to break the bank, as the saying goes, to get in shape. You should be able to find a gym, hopefully, that’s nearby and doesn’t cost a bundle to join.

Some gyms will even give you a trial run at a reduced cost so that you can see if it really works for you. In this case it might still be too expensive but at a reduced cost you can at least gain a basic understanding of what you’ll need to get started and benefit from the time spent in the gym.

What are you looking for?: In other words, what kind of workout do you feel that you need? This is an important question that you need to ask yourself since otherwise the moment you step into a gym, any gym, you’ll be doing nothing more than spinning your wheels and wondering just which machine to go to next or what exercise feels like it would be right for what you want to do.

Is your goal to get stronger? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to increase your endurance? These questions and many more are very important when it comes to deciding just which gym you should join and what your goal is for signing up. The main point of joining is that you want an experience that you can’t get from home. 

Your Fitness Goals

So, you’ve selected your gym and have joined up, congratulations! That’s just the first step towards doing what you can to attain your fitness goals, as simply walking into the gym is sometimes the hardest part for anyone.

One word of advice: don’t be intimidated and don’t worry about those around you or what they’ll think once you get started. People come to the gym to work out and improve their health. There’s always a time to be social but do remember that a gym is supposed to be a no-judgment zone where everyone can feel secure about themselves.

You’re a beginner and that’s just fine, so was everyone else at one point or another. In other words, relax and just take it slow. Right away it should be evident that you won’t be taking on the hardest workouts and your results aren’t going to be immediate.

Once you find a gym and manage to join it might be their policy to determine your level of fitness and how hard you should be pushing yourself. No gym wants their members hurting themselves because of any lack of instruction on their part.

It’s bad for business and the safety of their members is a key component to keeping said members happy and satisfied. The trainers and/or staff can introduce you to the various ways that you can accomplish your goals and will, if requested, do a fitness evaluation of a new member in order to help them fashion a workout that will cater to their needs.

Some people just joining a gym might have been athletes or fitness buffs in the past and simply fell out of practice. These individuals often see the need to get back into the swing of things and might have the experience to get started on their own by using methods that worked for them in the past.

But true beginners that have had little to no experience in the gym will want to pay close attention to the staff and/or trainers that are there to help. It may even be wise to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer now and again, if your finances allow.

There are gyms that will provide personal trainers at a discount every so often, but if you feel the need to have a trainer at your side helping and motivating you every step of the way keep in mind that it will likely cost you a bit of money for this extra service.

A good rule of thumb is to utilize the services of a personal trainer when they’re offered at a discount or if your gym offers them for free to new members for a short period of time. Personal trainers are there to ensure that you get the maximum benefit of your workouts and find the experience engaging and altogether helpful.

In terms of your fitness goals your trainer or even the staff can give you several pointers when it comes to what you’re after. For many people it’s about weight loss, but there are some that want to increase their strength, endurance, speed, and even their overall health. There are many ways to attain all of these, but the most basic are those listed below.

First Things First, STRETCH

This can’t be said enough, and it isn’t done enough by many upon many of those that have had years in the gym and still don’t see it as a common practice.

As a beginner you are going to be sore after your workouts no matter what and stretching won’t help relieve every ache and pain you have.

But stretching before and after your workout will allow your body to loosen up and react in a much more positive manner when it comes to lifting and performing actions that you’ve never done before.

Without stretching there is a much greater chance of cramping, increased muscle tension, and even the possibility of injury since going into a workout cold is not a great idea.

Even when finished it’s necessary to stretch to avoid having your muscles bunch up painfully. So, stretch before and after your workout, as your trainer will hopefully instruct you.

Strength Training

Be ready for a lot of trainers to focus on strengthening your core muscles ahead of anything else, as a strong core is the beginning of a strong and healthy body.

What this means is you’re going to be doing a lot of work on your abs, meaning crunches, twists, planks, etc. Your core needs to be the strongest part of your body as it is what helps you stabilize the most and is therefore one of the most important parts to work on first. Expect your trainer to focus on this area constantly and attempt to make it as strong as possible.

You won’t just be doing ab work, so don’t worry, but within every workout there will be time set aside for abs and you will feel your stomach tightening and strengthening as the days and then weeks go by.

From that point on you might find that your balance starts to increase and the workouts you endure from that point forward begin to feel a bit easier as you find yourself able to add more and more weight throughout the coming weeks.

Always be aware of the signals your body is giving you however no matter how easy the weight might seem. Trembling arms and legs are a sign that your body is reaching or has reached its limit, so don’t feel the need to exceed those limits on a regular basis.

Your body will continue to grow stronger as time goes by, but you need to allow it time to relax and recover as well.

Endurance Training

This type of training is more about burning calories and leading to weight loss while increasing the potential of the individual to endure longer and longer periods of exercise.

There’s not much emphasis on weights and there’s a great deal of emphasis on cardio exercises that will push the body to new limits.

If your goals are to burn calories and lose weight then this is the type of training that you’ll want to focus on, but many trainers will still suggest that you spend some time in the weight room just to keep your muscle mass from fading too much.

During endurance training you’ll be focused more on such machines as the treadmill, the stationary bike, the stair climber, and any others that will get your heart rate up and allow you to start burning calorie at an accelerated rate.

Stretching is necessary before and after these exercises however as in the beginning you might find that after a few minutes you’ll feel as though you’ve just run a mile when in all honesty it might have been only a quarter of a mile or less.

Endurance training is designed to strengthen your cardiovascular system and therefore allow a person to push themselves longer and harder than they did before.

One of the biggest downfalls of this however is that prolonged running or other similar activities can be hard on the knees and other joints, so it’s still advisable to visit the weight room from time to time in order to keep a well-rounded training regimen.

Flexibility Training

This type of training doesn’t involve a lot of weights, if any. In fact, weights might be used as an aid to this type of training and not much more since flexibility training involves more stretching than anything.

This type of workout is designed to increase the range of motion that your body possesses in order to keep you limber, agile, and overall more flexible.

The upside of course is that your increased flexibility can lead to increased overall strength within your core and your limbs, and it can also reduce the risk of injury as it makes the body more limber and able to withstand more physical stress.

You’ll also see the benefits of improved posture and overall health as this type of training improves the overall efficiency of your movements and your bodily functions.

One of the only real downsides of this type of training comes when it’s done incorrectly. For instance, holding a stretch for more than 30 seconds is not recommended as it can overtax the muscles and therefore cause injury either before or as soon as a person goes to exercise.

This type of training doesn’t use weights primarily, but as with other types of training it is usually recommended to integrate this with other types such as strength training and even endurance training.

Dietary Habits

Now that you’re off to a decent start there’s one other thing that you’re going to have to think about, and it’s one of the hardest things of all.

I’ll only go into brief detail about it since many of us can likely remember Health class and don’t need to be lectured over and over concerning what we eat and why it affects how we live.

In this case however it is important to note that eating foods that are at least halfway healthy before and after a workout is far more beneficial than if one heads for a fast food restaurant either before or after visiting the gym.

Pre-workout

Whatever you do, don’t do what was just described above. Grease, salt, and any other ingredients you’ll find in a fast food bag aren’t your friends and they won’t help you in the gym.

If you must eat before going to a workout then try something that has some protein and stick to fruits and veggies if you can.

The energy boost you’ll need isn’t going to come from a soda or energy drink so leave those at home or, better yet, leave them on the shelf where they belong.

When going to the gym you’re going to need energy to perform, but that energy will be easier to access if your body isn’t bogged down by chemicals and other ingredients. Try chicken, fruits, veggies, even yogurt if you feel the need, but stay away from the junk food, it won’t help.

During the Workout

It’s usually best if you don’t eat while you’re working out, but if you absolutely feel the need or haven’t eaten in a while, packing a couple of protein bars isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Try to make sure that you read the ingredients carefully, and if you can avoid them then perhaps pack some fruit, or even trail mix in your gym bag.

 Just be sure to not eat anything on the gym floor since most gyms don’t take kindly to this. Eat it outside or in the locker room, or perhaps in the common area if they have one. Just don’t fill up since working out on a full stomach isn’t the greatest idea.

Post-workout

A lot of people will make the mistake of thinking “I did good today, I deserve a treat.”. While that’s kind of true, the treat you want and are used to might not be the best idea since all that hard work you just did can be undone in an instant.

Instead of snacking on cookies, ice cream, cake, or any other sugar-laden treat try instead a healthy dinner and something that might still have a fair number of calories but is also designed to help your body recover after a hard session at the gym.

Stay Consistent

Now you’ve found a gym, decided what kind of training you want, and have at least reviewed what it might take to change your dietary habits, the hardest part is still ahead: managing your time and remaining consistent.

It’s obvious that things are going to happen in life from time to time that don’t allow you to get to the gym, but until such things occur you should plan on making time to hit the gym at least two to three times a week in the beginning.

These sessions should last at least 30 minutes or more depending on how you’re feeling and how things are progressing.

As your fitness level begins to increase, you’ll find that you might need more time to warm up and then more time to get a good workout in, so you’ll have to plan your time accordingly.
Here are just a few ways to do that:

  • Have a set time that you want to go to the gym, preferably in the morning or the evening if you work during the day. It might mean getting up early or staying up a bit later, but it’s an important adjustment if you want to keep things moving forward.
  • Set an alarm to wake you up in the morning or alert you in the evening of when it’s time to go to the gym. This way you can’t ‘accidentally’ forget.
  • Keep yourself motivated. Remind yourself continually of why you’re doing this and what benefits you’re hoping to gain. It’s going to be tough, but motivation is one of the key elements that you’ll need to make it happen.

For men and women alike getting to the gym is important for your health, as is finding the right gym, understanding what your goals will be upon joining, and what you want to get out of it.

This is your life remember, and your health should be an important factor to your lifestyle. Finding a gym and creating a workout that is catered to your style and your level of fitness is crucial to staying motivated.

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How to Start a Diet and Stick to It

Starting and sticking to a healthy diet can be useful for healthy weight loss, increased body energy, and general health improvement.

Eating healthy can improve your mental health and boost your immunity. Adopting and maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenging process, but there are various ways through which you can overcome such challenges. 

In this post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to start a diet and stick to it.

Create a Game Plan and Follow It

Making concrete plans and goals for your diet can help in keeping you motivated. Once you have a game plan in place, do as much as you can to stick to it throughout the planned period or until you achieve your goal.

Consider the types of healthy foods accessible to you, and then develop a healthy and practical eating plan. Make sure to include only foods you enjoy. Unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, and nuts are great for dieting. They have a high ability to satisfy, and they are low on calories.

Your game plan should involve gradually cutting down on the unhealthy foods you have been consuming while adopting healthier meals. Your plan should be flexible enough to allow the introduction of new healthy foods.

Changing diet ought to be done slowly but gradually. Don’t attempt to overhaul your entire diet within a week as this may lead to failure.

How to Start a Diet and Stick to It

Avoid having general plans and goals, but rather make them as specific as you can. For instance, having “lose weight” as a goal is too general. 

Instead, create a specific diet plan and a specific goal such as ‘to lose 30 pounds in 9 months. Working with specifics is likely to make you more motivated.

First, set realistic goals about what you want to achieve, e.g., lose 20 pounds within six months. Having an end-date that is specific and significant to you can be an additional motivation. For instance, your end-date can be your wedding day, your birthday or the start of a new year.

Understanding where you currently stand is an important factor. You may seek the services of a fitness trainer so that you get a fitness assessment.

This will help you understand your starting point which you can use as a reference point to gauge your progress. The fitness assessment may involve taking measurements such as waist and hips.

Have a concrete plan for each week. For instance, you could have a figure for how much weight you want to shed in a week. Set a day when to weigh yourself. Avoid weighing yourself every single day because it could lead to an obsession with your weight.

Keep a log of what you ate and how you have progressed with your body goals – this helps with sticking to the plan. However, ensure that you don’t obsess with the figures and with every single thing you eat.

You may also record your dieting thoughts in a dairy, analyzing what worked for you and what failed. Doing this helps to keep in touch with your inner self.

Have realistic expectations so as to remain motivated and avoid frustrations. This way you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet.

Stay Mentally Strong: Metal strength is perhaps the most crucial factor for success in dieting. As you probably already know, sticking to a diet is challenging, and sometimes it is just mentally overwhelming. You may feel like you are constantly working against what your mind is telling you to do.

In case of a slip-up, which happens quite often, remembering why you are dieting helps a lot. Most people start dieting for fitness and health purposes. Remind yourself what your goals are and why you are determined to stick to the dieting plan. Having a mental image of where you want to be could be helpful.

When you feel like giving up, reading motivational quotes and watching motivational videos can help overcome the feeling. You can also have some of your favorite motivational quotes stuck on your computer or work desk. This can help in keeping you focused on why you are dieting.

If you were once at your desired weight, you could stick a picture of yourself during that period on your fridge or desk.


Have a list of the reasons for your dieting. This list should be readily accessible for reading when you feel overwhelmed. You can list them on an index card and keep it in your wallet or purse. You can also keep a picture or a screenshot of this list on your phone.

Reward Yourself for your Progress: Sticking to a diet is mentally challenging, and that is why it is good to pat yourself in the back when you make progress. Rewarding yourself for what you have accomplished so far keeps you motivated to stick to your diet.

Set up a reward system based on how far you’ve gone towards your goal. You could reward yourself with clothes or treating yourself to a massage or pedicure.

If you succeed in sticking to a healthy diet all through the week, consider rewarding yourself on the weekend. Your rewards don’t necessarily have to be food.

Also, reminding yourself of the progress you have made so far is a great mental reward. It keeps you motivated and helps achieve happiness, which in turn helps with sticking to a diet.

Don’t Diet Alone: Having a dieting partner can make the process much easier. Having people around you that you can share your dieting success and challenges with can also be helpful.

Such people can be a support system, and they can go a long way in encouraging you to stick to your diet. When the going gets tough, supportive people can come in handy in incredible ways.

If you know someone else that’s already dieting, or that could start dieting, approach them and see whether they can be your diet buddy. Sharing diet tips and motivating each other can be beneficial. You may also plan your meals with your diet buddy.

Join offline and online groups of people that are also on a diet. Knowing that you are not alone in the dieting journey can be encouraging. Also, such platforms can be a rich source of tips and new ideas that could make dieting easier and more effective.

Confide in someone that is close to you about your dieting plan, goals and challenges. Seek their emotional support when you are facing difficulties with your dieting. Let them know how important your dieting is to you so that they take it seriously.

Avoid an “All or Nothing” Approach to your Dieting: An ‘all or nothing’ approach is a sure way to failure in your dieting endeavors. If you slip up and eat an unhealthy snack, don’t consider your day ruined - many have done this and gone ahead to overindulge in unhealthy foods. This is a bad mindset that you should avoid.

If you slip up, put the past behind you and focus on your future decision. An unhealthy snack at a party is not reason enough to throw it all away for the day.

Don’t be a perfectionist with your dieting. It is virtually impossible to be a perfectionist as most people do make mistakes from time to time. Your task is to avoid making mistakes, but when they happen, let it go and focus on your goal.

A few slip ups will not ruin your diet goals, as long as you stick to your diet as much as you can.
Avoid labeling days as good or bad depending on how you performed with your diet plans. This may lead to frustration and loss of motivation. Instead, watch what you eat in the present.

 Stick to your Diet While Traveling: Traveling can pose a challenge to a healthy diet because you are in a new environment, but there are ways of dealing with this difficulty. Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling is achievable. 

Before you start traveling, learn about the restaurants and food stores in the area you are traveling to. Consider packing and carrying some non-perishable healthy foods. Commit yourself to stick to your diet for most of the trip.

Practice Mindful Eating: Eating mindfully can increase your chances of success with your diet. Eating mindfully means enjoying your food in the moment and appreciating its tastiness and nourishing effect. Don’t turn food and eating into a means to an end.

Instead, focus on enjoying your food and the process of eating in the moment. This can be very helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and creating sustainable behavioral changes.

Mindful eating can be instrumental in developing an improved relationship with food. It can also help to reduce instances of overindulgence.

Respect the Learning Curve: You should realize that making significant changes to your eating habits usually takes time. Don’t be frustrated if sticking to your diet takes much longer than you initially expected. Instead, endeavor to attain higher levels of focus and motivation. With time, sticking to a healthy diet becomes more natural.

Avoiding Temptations

Eat three meals a day: Skipping meals makes you feel hungry and lethargic , which could lead to a loss of motivation. Prioritize on foods such as oats for breakfast because they keep you satisfied for longer periods, therefore reducing the desire for unhealthy snacks before lunch. Have your dinner as soon as you get home to avoid a pig out before the main meal.

Note that breakfast is a very important meal in your dieting. Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to overeat during lunch and dinner.

If you slip up with your dieting on one day, don’t skip meals the following day, as this is likely to make you lose track even more.

Plan for your three meals well ahead of time, especially if you are a busy person. Proper planning can help you stick to your diet.

Remove the bulk of unhealthy foods from the house: Reducing the unhealthy foods in the house makes it less likely to consume them. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of everything in your fridge; the point is to eliminate the excesses. You can give away the food or have family members that aren’t on a diet eat them.

Most foods are only unhealthy if consumed in excessive quantities. For instance, a bowl of peanut butter could be unhealthy, but a spoonful of peanut butter is healthy.

You may also decide to face out the unhealthy foods in your house by only buying healthy foods going forward. When going shopping, it would help if you made a shopping list of the healthy foods you want to buy, and make sure you adhere to the shopping list. By not adding any unhealthy foods, the reserves of what is already in your house will get depleted with time.

If possible, substitute the unhealthy foods you have been consuming with healthy alternatives. For instance, you can face out ice cream and have it replaced with yogurt or fruit popsicles. Keep healthy snacks in your home and get rid of the unhealthy ones.

Stick to the diet when you're out: When heading out for a night, don’t adopt the mentality that you can drop your diet and then resume the next day. Such a mindset will likely be detrimental to your dieting endeavors.

It is good to acknowledge that going out exposes you to temptations of breaking your diet rules, but you don't have to fall into these mind traps.

When going out to a party, ensure that you have a solid, healthy meal before heading out. Doing so will help overcome the temptation of consuming too much of the unhealthy snacks going around in the party.

The point here is that you are less likely to eat much when you are already full. Take a meal that will keep you full for a longer period.

Carry healthy snacks with you if that is practical. For instance, if you are heading out for a movie night, you could carry healthy snacks such as grapes or a bag of almonds. This will help you to avoid unhealthy snacks in the movie theater successfully.

If you are out for dinner where a variety of foods are on offer, always go with the healthiest of the options. Check the menu carefully to identify the healthier items. You may be surprised how much healthy choices you can get while eating out. Also, if there is a wide range of snacks on offer, prioritize the healthy ones over the unhealthy ones.

Eat at home as much as possible: Eating at home is a very effective way of avoiding temptations. While at home, you are pretty much in control of everything – you have control over what food you cook and how you cook it. This may not be the case when you are eating out – you have less control over the healthy foods availed to you. There are various ways of making the most out of eating at home.

Becoming a better cook can be very helpful in your dieting. When you develop a love for cooking, you are likely to cook more at home because you will feel motivated to do so. You are also likely to cook better and tastier food - this will make you enjoy your healthy foods more.

With better cooking skills you will be able to find and try new healthy recipes, which can lead to a wider variety of healthy meals at home – you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet if you have a variety of healthy options to choose from.

Instead of going out, consider inviting your friends to eat in at your home. Once you become a great cook, your friends will be more willing to accept your offer of staying in the house and cook instead of heading out. With time, you all will realize that it is a more intimate way of eating healthier food. It is also cost-effective.

If you can't have your lunch at home, consider packing and carrying lunch to work. Doing this will help you to avoid junk food or skipping a meal.

Not Punishing Yourself

Eat what you love: A healthy diet does not have to be a diet that you dislike. There is a wide variety of healthy foods you can choose from. It is important that you choose what you enjoy eating. By doing so, you are more likely to stick to your diet. Eating foods that you don’t like is demotivating and difficult.

Be keen on trying out different recipes as you may come across more recipes that you love. Being on a healthy diet should involve discovering new and healthier foods, rather than struggling with foods that you dislike.

To discover tasty and healthy foods, consider checking out your grocery store for new fruits and vegetables. Try introducing new fruits and vegetables in your recipes on a regular basis. Find ways of including these new ingredients in different delicious recipes.

Discover the foods you dislike and avoid them. There is no point in forcing yourself to eat a particular type of food while there are so many suitable options. Eating should be a pleasant process; keep it that way. If you can’t stand the taste of a particular type of food or ingredient, steer clear of it.

Find new ways of creating different recipes from your favorite ingredients. Doing this will avail even more suitable food options for you.

Develop a workout routine: Adopting a workout routine can help you stick to a healthy diet. Find a workout that is most suitable for you and that you enjoy, so that you won't have to struggle doing it. Your workout routine doesn’t have to be intense, it just needs to be adequate.

Don’t go hungry: Allowing yourself to go hungry exposes you to the risk of indulging in unhealthy foods. When you are hungry, you are likely to find any food appealing even when it's unhealthy.

Hunger is a recipe for bad decisions in regard to dieting. Being hungry also makes you feel demotivated to sticking to your diet.

In between meals, ensure that you have a healthy snack every few hours. Avoid staying for many hours without eating anything.

If possible, carry healthy snacks with you when heading out. This helps with avoiding unhealthy snacks.
If you realize that your meal will be late, get yourself a snack so that you don’t go hungry while waiting.

Do not starve yourself. Make sure that your calorie intake is sufficient. It is important to note that your body consumes a lot of energy while performing basic functions. You ought to provide it with enough calories for enough energy.

Check the level of calorie intake that is suitable for your body size, and make sure that you do not go below this level. Lack of sufficient energy will make you sluggish, and it can expose you to other serious health risks.

Indulge once in a while: To avoid feeling trapped in your new healthy diet, consider having your favorite non-healthy snack once in a while. Be careful with the indulgence to avoid making it a routine. Avoid getting into a vicious spiral with these non-healthy snacks. Also, indulge lightly – don’t overdo it.

Indulging kills the cravings and helps you to stay focused on your diet. If your friends are heading out for a meal, this would be a suitable time to indulge a little bit while you enjoy their company. Once you have the craving out of the way, resume your diet until the next indulgence time.

Adopting and sustaining a healthy diet may be a challenging issue, but it can be done successfully. Success in dieting requires mental strength, and strategic planning and execution. This guide has outlined various strategies that can help you start a healthy diet and stick to it.

Apps and Website to Help you Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape

  • Best Meal Planning Apps and Websites to Save You Time

  • best running apps to help you run better

Best Meal Planning Apps and Websites to Save You Time

One of the best ways for you and your family to eat healthier, lose weight, cut calories and get the whole family fed fast is to plan out your meals.

It can be pretty difficult to do, but the right app or website can help make your meals a lot easier to shop for, prepare, and create. With that in mind, here are the best websites and apps to make your life a whole lot easier and save you a lot of time.

Cozi Recipe Box & Dinner Planner

Cozi Recipe Box & Dinner Planner

Free

The Cozi Recipe Box & Dinner Planner (an offshoot of the Cozi Family Organizer) is available both as an app and online. Either way, there is an import feature that lets you search the internet for recipes, and then directly connect them to your profile.

It also helps you create shopping lists for the recipes on your profile, and put them on your weekly calendar. This makes it the perfect app for meal planning.

The app itself has a feature called "Cooking Mode," which keeps your screen lit so that you can prepare dinner without touching the screen. You can download Cozi on multiple devices, including Android, IOS and Windows desktop or phone.

eMeals

eMeals

Free to try for 14 days, then a monthly fee

eMeals is a meal planning service that works through subscription. Unlike other services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron or Plated, there is no food being delivered.

Only the recipes. However, groceries can be delivered through eMeals' partnerships with local grocers and Amazon Fresh, but it may not be available where you live.

On the bright side, sometimes there will be curbside pickup available where you live. There is a choice of at least fifteen different food types, which include budget friendly, clean eating, kid friendly, quick and healthy, slow cooker, paleo, vegan, diabetic, vegetarian, and gluten-free just to name a few.

There are different options for families of all sizes. The weekly plan gives you seven new ideas for meals, and lets you switch between food styles as much as you want. Then a "smart shopping" list is created and fills out as you pick your meals every week.

If you decide you like eMeals, here is how much it will cost after the trial period:

  • 3-month Dinner Plan recurring subscription: $29.99.
  • 3-month All-Day Bundle recurring subscription: $39.99.
  • 12-month Dinner Plan recurring subscription: $59.99.

You can find the app on iTunes and Google Play, but only after you have subscribed.

$5 Meal Plans

5 Meal Plans

Free recipes, additional meal planning service after a free trial

To begin, you can choose to solely view the recipes, print them out and then shop. However, another thing you can do is to sign up for their $5 meal plan.

For a mere five dollars a month, the company sends you a meal plan where each meal costs around two dollars a person--but often much less. This plan includes recipes and organized grocery lists. It even has free coupons. They offer gluten-free and classic meal plan options.

Along with their standard meal plans, they also offer you six-week specialty plans that are at a notable discount to their regular price. Each specialty plan follows a theme, and they send the recipes to you altogether rather than over six weeks.

As of now they are offering four specialty plans: 30-minute meals, vegetarian meals, slow cooker meals and paleo meals. You can only find this service online.

Mealime

Mealime

Free

Mealime was created for planning family meals or meals with guests in the simplest way possible. It is truly personalized, meaning you can create profiles for each person you cook for.

You can list everyone's likes and dislikes, allergies and general eating habits. You can also personalize a profile for whole families and couples to make things a little easier.

Then you can search for recipes that meet all of your requirements. After you select one, not only does it give you the full instructions for the recipe, it automatically adds all the ingredients to your grocery list.

This app focuses on fast meal prep time, so you can expect to only have to spend thirty minutes or less preparing dinner.

You can also tell the app which kinds of recipes you are interested in, which include classic, soy free, flexitarian, keto, pescetarian, paleo, vegetarian, low carb, vegan and gluten-free. You can find Mealime on iTunes and Google Play.

Yummly

Yummly

Free

Yummly is a recipe finding and food sharing app that has many photos and a rating system that helps you find the most talked about and popular recipes online.

When you are ready to make the recipe, Yummly supplies video guides as well as recommending foods for your mealtimes. It has one of the most extensive recipe collections available and will match your food preferences and dietary restrictions.

What you will find most unique though, is Yummly's partnership with Instacart. Instacart is grocery delivery service that works with local stores and delivers in one day.

All you have to do is put your zip code into their database, and the ingredients you need are automatically put into a grocery list that is placed in the your selected store.

You can also choose to have your items delivered. There is also a link for coupons that are applied directly to the stores you have chosen so you can apply them to your order.

Yummly also has an algorithm that will generate recipes depending on your likes just by tapping their "yum" button. All nutritional information is included in your recipe. You can find Yummly on iTunes and Google Play.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Free

This awesome app connects social media to the kitchen by showcasing its collection of recipes (over 50,000) created by home cooks. Being social media, you can follow your favorites!

You have a personalized feed that gets smarter with every dish you make and recipe you save, as well as the cooks you follow. You can even rate dishes.

You can search by cuisine, dietary restrictions and keywords. Another great feature is that you can enter your zip code and find on sale items at your local grocery stores that are relevant to the recipe you are looking at. You can download this app on Google Play, Kindle, iTunes and Windows.

Pepper Plate

Pepper Plate

Free

Pepper Plate allows you to login using social media and email, and even share recipes that way. You can sort and import all sorts of recipes by pasting in a URL.

What is truly unique is that you are able to cook using multiple timers--nothing will be overdone ever again! Also, Pepper Plate's cook mode prevents your device's screen from dimming.

It also allows you to scale your recipe, so you make the right amount. You can also add your menus and recipes to your shopping lists, and even arrange it the way you usually shop in the grocery store.

Pepper Plate can be downloaded on Google Play, the Amazon App Store, iTunes, Windows Store, and Nook.

Meal Planner Pro

Meal Planner Pro

Free

Save Time. Save Money. Eat Healthy. This is the tagline of Meal Planner Pro. This app encourages healthy eating and helps you incorporate it into meal planning routine by having you set up a profile for each member of your family.

Their database isn't limited to just dinner. It also includes healthy breakfast and lunch options. You don't get that with most meal delivery services.

It has a ProScore System is like having your own personal nutritionist. It highlights both the bad and good nutritional aspects of each item, and then assigns the recipe a score between 1-100.

There are also support and personalized meal planning for important things such as diabetes, weight management or loss, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, anemia, digestive health, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Save your most favorite recipes and put them on your calendar for not just a week, but even months! It even gives you nutritional information, images and warning labels for all ingredients.

Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat

Free for 30 days, and then $4.95 a month or $39 a year

Great for the health conscious, this webpage has some great assets. For instance, once you bookmark the Plan to Eat webpage you can then search sites like Pinterest or Delish.

Once you find a recipe you like, click on it, and it will be added to your meal plan automatically. The user interface is easy to use in order to drag and drop items into the meal planner for the week.

It is also helpful if their are differing diets in the family. It also lets you add leftover days on the planner. Also helpful is the staples list, which is a place to add common items that are often forgotten to your grocery list without having to re-enter it repeatedly. Plan to Eat also has awesome customer service. Plan to Eat is available on Google Play, iTunes and online.

Big Oven

Big Oven

Free, with pro membership available for $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year

This app has over 350,000 recipes to offer you. Even better, it has a "snapshot" feature where you take pictures of your family's recipes and the app will upload them into your personal recipe collection.

You can comment on any recipe and get notified that your feedback has been received. The grocery list you create can be shared among members of your family. However, the best feature has to be cooking with leftovers. Choose three leftover ingredients and it will tell you what you can make.

Deals to Meals

2 weeks free, and then $4.95 a month

Deals to Meals seems to be one of a kind. It claims to be the only meal planning service online that creates its weekly meal plans based on the best grocery deals in the stores in your area.

Every meal will be planned around what is on sale, which will save you hundreds each month. Each weekly meal planner will give you a week's worth of main dishes, desserts, side dishes, and food storage recipes. You can make your own grocery list, or have one created for you.

A separate service gives you options to save up to seventy percent on your groceries, all without having to use coupons. Every week you are given comparison breakdowns of each major grocery stores' deals.

This includes Walmart, Sam's Club and Costco. Deals to Meals then tells you where the best deals are locally which will save you the most money. They promise you will save at least a hundred dollars a month for a one-dollar fee. If you don't save more than your membership fee, the company will refund you.

FoodPlanner

FoodPlanner

Free

FoodPlanner is focused on recipes, and gives you the opportunity to browse the web for many healthy recipes and then download them on the app.

It also gives you the nutritional data for each meal and allows you to instantly generate your shopping list. There is also an inventory management system that helps you keep track of the ingredients you have.

You can also make any recipe from scratch. FoodPlanner provides sharing features, but they are limited to Android.

Mealboard

Mealboard

$4

If you are the type of person who loves to customize everything, then this may be the right app for you. It performs like many of the other apps on the list, including having a search function for meals you have found on the internet, the ability to use a calendar to plan out meals, and of course the ability to create a grocery list. However, there are some very unique features.

The interface is easy to use and pleasant to look at and customize, and there is a built in pantry that you can move ingredients in and out of when you buy them and when you run out. Mealboard is available on iOS.

Eat This Much

Eat This Much

Free

This app has an entirely different approach. If your current goal is to lose some weight, then Eat This Much has you enter your food preferences, your schedule, your budget, and the amount of calories the meal will contain.

It then creates meal plans and gives you a grocery list for all of the ingredients. If you want to have healthier eating habits and like cooking, this app will prove to be very helpful. Eat This Much is available on iOS and Android.

Lose It!

Lose It!

Free

Lose It! is also an app that helps you with weight loss, but with it's own spin. Instead on having to input the number of calories you desire for every meal, you just give it a body weight target and general goals that you want to attain.

Then as long as you are accurately tracking what you are eating and what sort of exercise you are doing it will help with your progress.

Lose It! includes a food database that has millions of options, the ability to scan purchased foods, and photo recognition of basic foods. It's great for combining planning with tracking. Lose It! is available on iOS and Android.

Paprika Recipe Manager

Paprika Recipe Manager

$5

Paprika is an interactive type of meal planner. You will find the essential features such as finding recipes online, planning your family's meals for the week and building your grocery list, but they have great tools for doing even more.

You can scale ingredients, cross items off as they are added, add photos to the recipes, and customize the grocery categories according to how you shop. There are many ways to ensure everything is just how you want it. Paprika Recipe Manager 3 is available on iOS and Android.

Plate Joy

PlateJoy

$69 for 6 months, $99 for 12 months, $20 for the weight loss plan

PlateJoy provides an unlimited amount of meal plans for any course you like--not just dinner. You can also personalize your meals based on food allergies and dietary restrictions, as well as being able to change your preferences at any given time for free.

All recipes are tailored to what you prefer. They have also paired with Instacart, allowing you to automatically upload your grocery lists and giving you a $20 credit if you are using Instacart for the first time.

At the beginning of your subscription, PlateJoy will ask you to fill out a questionnaire. In it, you will give them information such as your dietary preferences, information about family members, and your time constraints.

You will also tell them how many meals you want to make each week, including snacks. All the input helps to customize your menus. For each meal you will also receive nutritional information as well as contact with a personal nutrition coach. You can also easily sync the nutritional information to your Fitbit if you choose.

The Fresh 20

The Fresh 20

$14 per month, $74 per year

The Fresh 20 promotes twenty minutes and twenty ingredients to complete your shopping. That's twenty fresh, unfrozen, unprocessed ingredients to keep your family away from preservatives, and keeping your family's meals that much healthier.

Not only that, the website provides a one-hour prep session in the beginning of your week to save you time during the busy weeknights, making it much easier on you when you have to cook.

The meal plans are given on Fridays, giving you plenty of time to prepare for the following week. The Fresh 20 offers many different meal plans including meals for one, gluten free, paleo, classic, and many more.

The site says that all recipes are great for families of four, and there may be enough for lunch the following day if you have small children. You will probably find the five meals offered in their weekly plan enough if you don't like to cook every single day.

The Dinner Daily

The Dinner Daily

2-week free trial, $18 for 3 months, $30 for 6 months, $48 a year

This planner is unique because it says that it creates meals by following your store's sales. The Dinner Daily follows 11,000 stores in forty-eight states and checks their sales flyers, but they also have an "any store" selection if your store of choice is not listed.

This just means your menu selection will not be based on sales. You can also look at and pick menus from two stores. There are two meal plans you can select from. There is family, which will server four to six, or meals, which serves two to three.

The menu is posted online and emailed based on a schedule on the flyers of your chosen grocery store. You can set your dietary and meal preferences on the account settings page.

The Dinner Daily also gives you links to coupons to help you save more. There are even more benefits to this service, including make ahead menus and party planning.

They also won't repeat the same recipe any earlier than two months after you first saw it. You will have many choices and won't get exhausted of the same meals that repeat themselves. You can also use the "favorites" feature in conjunction with the "switch it" feature just in case you don't want to make one of the meals that were selected or want something to appear sooner. The Dinner Daily is available on iOS and Android.

There are many great meal planning apps out there, and it will take some trial and error to find one that best suits your needs. Regardless of the one you select, look out for these features:

  • Free trial or free
  • Available as an app
  • Recipe/menu variety
  • Calendar sync
  • A grocery list that generates automatically

Meal planning is great for both your health and wallet, and many of the apps and websites listed are free, so check them out until you find one that works best for you. They are made to make your life easier and healthier, and in some cases even teach you or coach you. Your family will thank you for it!

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Last update on 2020-08-13 / This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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