Why should we build a meal routine? Well, we know that our behaviours and habits are what brings about results. We know that the goals that we set ourselves aren’t directly within our control. The only things that we can definitely control are our behaviours.
Setting a routine is what’s going to allow us to build new habits and new behaviours. Establishing behaviours and habits that we can actually stick to. It is the same idea as having the same start time and finish time with work. The same time of training every day and the same time of going to bed every day.
If you plan these things out in advance first, then the habits are going to be easier for you to build and stick to. Dictating out what you’re going to do and writing it down is a very powerful thing. So building a regular mealtime routine will help you with your goals around nutrition.
You can start with building a base diet with similar foods at similar times with similar portion sizes. This is going to be a great way for you to manage your hunger levels throughout the day, not get too hungry and then end up bingeing later on. It’s also going to allow you to understand how you can portion out your calories into regular meals.
Routine has definitely been shown to improve health and improve our markers of weight loss as well, by giving us something loosely prescriptive to stick to.
How then do we do this? Tracking can be a good way to start, if you’d like to. You don’t necessarily need to, but definitely having an awareness of calories can help, having an awareness of how many calories in the meals that you are creating either from recipe books or online will definitely help.
This can enable you to portion out certain meals into certain places. You may say, ‘Right, I’m going to have X amount of calories at breakfast by eating this. I’m going to have Y amount of calories at lunch by eating that, then Z amount of calories at dinner. You can give yourself loose time periods in which to eat them as well.
You’ve then got a great way of building meal amounts that suit your goals and body size. You can use this in combination with mindful eating by waiting until you are actually physically hungry before you eat. Then by being really present with the meal and stopping when you’re full.
Then, although you’ve built this idea of a meal routine by following this idea, you’re also going to be better tuned in to what your body actually needs. You will be better tuned into what you should eat and when.
You will know that this will change depending on how active you are, if you’re more active you’re going to be more hungry. If you’re less active, you’re going to be less hungry and you can adjust the routine diet accordingly.
You can then build on this over time. So building structure is going to be your key to success. We know that routine and habits are what breed success. We are the result of our behaviours We are the result of our habits. Creating this routine helps us to build new habits that we can stick to and make this whole thing easier for our transition.
With time on your hands at the moment, I would urge you to build yourself a regular routine of mealtimes. Not that when we eat matters all that much, but building a regular routine that you can stick to will allow you to gradually change your habits, gradually change your behaviours. This in turn will allow you to adopt the healthy habits that you want to, in order to lose weight for good and improve your health for years to come.