During the previous two Health Blog Articles about Diet I reviewed discussions I had with my doctor and the experiences I had following his advice.  I also spent time researching strategies for improving and maintaining my health.   Most of the articles and documents I reviewed covered information I already knew.  I needed to control my calories, which would help maintain the desired weight.  Other articles covered the importance of a balanced diet. 

Creating The Plan

I already knew about the general concepts. I was looking for an approach to change eating habits.  I did learn a few concepts that helped me control my weight and improve my eating choices.

There was one recommendation that did affect me in a positive direction.  The suggestion was to plan each day the prior evening.  Define the approach, such as create a planner on my computer or use a planner book to document the plan for the next day.  One of the main reasons people eat too much is boredom.  Plan the next day in detail including meals, and document all the planned completed activities.  The more detailed the plan, the more likely I would avoid boredom and meet diet goals.

Implement The Plan

I created a checklist using Excel where I documented all planned activities for the next day.  The checklist had a column for completed items do I just had to put an “X” in that column for all the completed items.  I tracked the percentage of completed activities by the week and month.

The more detailed the plan, the more likely I was to avoid eating too much or eating the wrong food.  I not only listed all the activities, but I included the food I planned to eat. 

One of the details I included for the next day’s food was to drink a full glass of water before each meal.  I included the fruit and vegetable suggestions from my doctor.  There were many days when I wanted to eat sweet food as a snack.  When I had solid activities planned, I did not feel the urge to eat food outside the plan.  Praying for help meeting the plan helped me many times.  There were still occasions when I gave into urges to eat items I should not eat, but as my planning improved, those days of ignoring the plan became fewer.

The Result

I realized the key to avoiding boredom was to look forward to completing tasks and documenting the results.  Setting goals to complete higher percentages of the planned activities became more important to me than eat the wrong food.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.