Tips for Sticking to a Meal Plan: May-ke it Happen Check-in

Can you believe we're almost half-way through May already? Where does the time go? It's flying!! As many of you know, I'm doing a May-ke it Happen Challenge and my goals are to:

a.) stick to my meal plan;

b.)  incorporate weekend workouts; and

c.) log my food in MyFitnessPal.

So far, I'm doing great! Last weekend I did Barre in Ashburn and this past Saturday I did TurboFire with my sister-in-law (omg, that workout was intense)! I've been logging consistently in MFP, too. (My diary is public, so you can see what I've been eating.) But, guess what's been the hardest part of the challenge? Sticking to my meal plan!

I did really good the first week, probably because I had a solid plan, full stock of groceries, and, I took the time to meal prep, but as my healthy food supply dwindled, so did my ability to stick to my plan! Here are some observations and bits of advice for those of you trying to stick to a meal plan, too.

Meal-Plan

*It's nearly impossible to do well, if you don't have healthy foods on hand.

So, here's the thing: you have to eat. Therefore, if you don't have healthy foods readily available to eat, you're inevitably asking for trouble. An empty refrigerator at home may turn into pizza night, and an unprepared lunch could turn into a midday run to the vending machine. This is where the whole "by failing to prepare, you prepare to fail," thing comes in! You have to make grocery shopping and stocking your home and work with healthy options a priority!

*It's difficult to avoid social gatherings that involve alcohol.

Is it just me? Friends call and want to meet for dinner; coworkers want to go to happy hour; and then there's all those birthdays, graduations, and holidays you can't avoid. The past weekend was my husband's cousin's graduation. We took him out the night before and everybody was drinking. (We intended to go to the movies, but when the movie we wanted to see was sold out, we ended up at Friday's.) I totally regretted it the next day (alcohol is not on my meal plan, hello!), but, I also realize these social gatherings are impossible to avoid.

My advice? Manage your social gatherings, and be aware of how often they're occuring. If you're going out once a week and on the weekends, you can't expect to drink at every occasion and still lose weight. I'm going to dinner with friends this Wednesday but I absolutely will not drink. I had a few drinks this past Saturday, and I have a wedding June 1st. That will be my next indulge.

*Food is expensive and prepping food is time-consuming.

I just about ran out of food last week. My celery supply, protein powder, tilapia, apples-- all my go-to foods were gone! It made sticking to the plan harder. For example, one day, I had written that I would eat salmon salad for dinner, but guess what? We were all out of salmon at home! I ended up with a grilled chicken salad, but those sort of loops will throw you off track easily!! Once again, you've gotta make time to get to the grocery store, and you may have to sacrifice spending your money on some other things so that you can afford to stay stocked up on healthy foods.

*You have to make time; it doesn't just happen.

I'm one of those people who ends up with a full schedule without realizing it-- plans every night during the week and a full weekend. I have been getting better with this, but you have to make sacrifices, whether it' stime with family or friends, or watching your favorite shows to get to the grocery store. I wanted to do a few things after work tonight, but because I couldn't get to the grocery store yesterday, my only plan for tonight is to re-stock my kitchen. To be successful, you have to make sacrifices. You have to make the time. I'm not making any excuses today-- I need my healthy foods at home!

*You have to go against the grain.

Just because everybody else is doing it doesn't mean you should. Last week, my office had a huge party and it was on my telework day. Everybody wanted me to come in and participate, but here's the thing: I wanted to stick to my meal plan. I know people might have thought I was anti-social but I can't just go along with what everyone else is doing because then I'll never meet my goals.

What tips do you have for sticking to a meal plan?

Do you run into these same problems?