I am so proud of you for committing to losing weight. It is not an easy journey but together we will get there. If you do your part, I will commit my time, knowledge and resources to do my part.
Now let's get down to business. How do you plan, shop and cook for 42 meals in one week? Plan, plan and plan. First, you start with making a grocery list before going shopping. Your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) should consist of proteins, carbohydrates and at least 2 servings of fruit and/or vegetables. Your meals are planned ahead of time and they can also be prepared ahead of time. Decide what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Protein shakes are great meal replacements. Purchase yogurt, fresh fruits and raw vegetables for snacks. Avoid prepackaged processed foods, like cookies and chips. Remember: if you don't buy and bring it into the house, you can't eat it.
Staying on schedule is huge. Keep to a schedule. Plan to eat about three hours apart. Your first meal should be before 9 am and your last meal or snack should not be after 7 pm. Eating at regular intervals tells your body not to store calories/fat. When meals are skipped, the wrong message is sent to the body to store calories as fat because the body thinks it is being starved. Therefore, eat often.
Eat the colors of the rainbow. Eat a variety of foods. This will prevent boring meals. Eating a variety of colors can help keep the excitement of your meals and prevent you from feeling like you are eating the same foods over and over again. Plan each meal to contain at least two different colors. Research has shown that the color blue is considered an appetite suppressant while red, brown and green are appetite stimulants. Since our eyes play a major role in helping to select foods, remember foods are packaged to entice us to buy. It is best to buy foods that are not prepackaged. Buy fresh vegetables and fruits as snacks. Purchase frozen fruits and vegetables to add to a protein shake. Avoid purchasing frozen meals.
Pack ahead of time. This is very important if you work outside the home. Pack your meals the night before. Planning is key to helping you successfully stay on track. Packing your meals ahead of time decreases your chances of eating 'unhealthy' snacks while out and about. If you are tempted by that bag of chips or that dreaded candy bar, eat it while away from the house and do not bring it inside the foods (purchase the snack size).
Finally, remember the overall goal is to decrease your calories. Eating six meals ultimately means eating less calories throughout the day because you are eating smaller portions per meal.