I like to plan my weekly menu and do my grocery shopping on Sundays. It has become a bit of a ritual, together with the cooking, and even though it means I'm eating Friday lunch that I cooked on Sunday, I manage to make delicious meals and always be satisfied.
There are three main reasons this has helped me so much to stay on a diet.
1) I don't get lazy and eat whatever is there.
I always try not to keep cookies or other ready-to-eat junk in the house because I will have it for dinner, after a long day. So, by having my meals already cooked and ready to eat, I avoid the temptation.
Also, at work, it helps me eat something healthy - a meal I put thought into - as opposed to "I feel like having a..." Of the moment.
2) it keeps me on a schedule.
9:30am is breakfast, 12:30 is lunch. I start getting fidgety and have a yogurt or protein shake around 3:30, and that snack doubles as a way not to starve until dinner if I'm going to the gym after work. But none of this was prescribed to me, that's what came naturally with my needs - working 9-5, going to the gym after work, etc. Weekends are still a challenge...
3) it's the good kind of portion control.
I know how much I'm supposed to eat. I can put it on my plate and be satiated by it. But if there is more, I might be tempted to go back for seconds... This way, when I buy exactly 2 portions of steak - one for lunch, one for dinner - I know I'm not supposed to go back for seconds. There is a delay between your stomach feeling full and your brain recognizing it, so only having a single portion available forces you to stop eating when you should stop, but still don't want to. Your brain catches up soon enough.
So here is the menu for this week:
For breakfast, scrambled egg whites - I use 4 eggs and 100% egg whites from Organic Valley to make 5 servings - with ham and cheese, and whatever leftover herbs I have (chives, rosemary, parsley.) I drink a cup of green tea with ginger, and maybe a coffee as a midmorning snack - I have breakfast at 9:30 and lunch at 12:30, so no real reason for a mid-morning snack.
Monday: Grilled chipotle pork chops
Tuesday: Rosemary chicken skewers
Wednesday: Grilled hangar steak with onions
Thursday: Lemon chicken
Friday: Marinated hangar steak
Since I'm on the Dukan, the side has been shirataki noodles, but usually it would be grilled veggies.
At around 4pm, I have fat-free greek yogurt with Splenda, and usually get to the gym by 5:30pm. By the time I'm done withe my workout, I'm ravenous! Which is not a good thing usually, but this diet makes me feel so full the entire time, it's good to feel an empty stomach for a little bit.
For dinner, some oat bran porridge - such a comfort food! - and a ham and cheese sandwich on a Dukan galette, and a glass of water with a tablespoon of ginger (I will have a post on thermogenic foods later, but basically it revs up your metabolism.)
If I'm still hungry when I go to bed, a glass of skim milk with real cocoa and Splenda does wonders to quiet my stomach when it screams "I'm not letting you sleep until you feed me!"