weight Loss Regime Survival Tip #44: The pantry

The pantry, staples, emergency and comfort

As I’ve mentioned before, my diet plan involves controlling my portion size and exercising. No foods are technically forbidden, although I do try to eliminate some that I know aren’t the best for me and there are no crazy things I have to eat. It is a simple calories in, calories out plan, with attention paid to exercising all of my body. Its a simple plan.

Well under normal circumstances it is a simple plan. But as we all know, normal is a sliding scale right now.

Instead of the gym I have been using workout videos gleaned from the internet, YouTube and the Facebook page of Planet Fitness have been crucial in helping me keep moving, especially as we’ve had frequent rainstorms blasting us while the weather makes its way, with some degree of difficultly from Winter into Spring.

This is not a year of easy transitions for anyone it seems.

The biggest change I have been dealing with has been with my food. Under normal circumstances, I have a system.On Friday afternoon, once rested from my Friday Face mask and before I start back to my afternoon’s work, I break out my meal plan for the following week. I double check the calories and portion sizing on the recipes I plan to make and then I write my grocery list. At this point many of my recipes are repeat players so the calories are already broken out. saturday, my baby doll looks over the list and adds things he wants that I didn’t put on the list.

Somehow candy always gets added. Go figure.

Then Sundays we go shopping.

As you are all no doubt aware, all that pretty much went out the window.

while we stocked up for a few weeks and have been self-isolating, we started to run out of things and so on Monday we made a list and went to the grocery store.(As a note, I live in Tennessee, while we have been asked to stay home for the good of all and we actually have been, the closing of non-essential businesses went into effect midnight last night. At least state wide, prior to that Mayors were just closing cities)

So Monday we went to the store with a list, but it wasn’t a meal plan list exactly. It was a list of essentials we would need for a month. We did not plan meals because we weren’t entirely certain what would be available. The last time we shopped, several shelves were very bare. They were again this time, but we got most of out essentials.

It was once we got home that meal planning began.

At this point I am still working towards remaining healthy and active and I would really like to continue to lose weight. I also recognize that the world is bonkers right now and the best I might be able to manage is to not gain weight. I will still post my weekly weight and work towards my weight loss goal, but I am going to try to be less obsessive about the scale.

However at the moment menu planning has taken on a more important role than just my calorie count. we are healthy and able to work from home. All of our relatives are in lock down somewhere else and currently outside of our ability to visit. So with enough food to last, there is no reason to leave the house for the next month.

I just have to portion the food out to last the month.

Luckily, I am a meal planning rock star.

Or so I tell myself.

And yes for the psychologically inclined out there, meal planning is also a way to exert control on an uncontrollable situation. So to keep things more normal in the house, I have sort of broken down our pantry, fridge and freezer full of groceries into weekly segments. While I settled this week’s meals, on Friday I will sit down with my baby and plan out the meals for next week. I will suggest chicken for Wednesday and ask what sort of sides or flavor profile he would like to see and we will discuss.

I’ve found that in general as long as he can have some input on the side dish or flavor, then he is pretty much okay with whatever I cook and will accept the portion I make. At this point I’ve figured out about how many calories we each need on a daily basis so it’s not as difficult as it seems.

I know this is more of a what’s going on than a tip, but here’s the tip. Treat your pantry, fridge and freezer as though they were the grocery store. Split what you have into weeks, but be general about it and allow for some wiggle room. There might be one day where one of the members of the household spends a little too much time in front of the news and you need to switch out your light veggie centric dish for a comforting grilled cheese. Its okay, just adjust and take it from another day as you shift things around.

Not watching the news just before dinner helps though. Especially if you are inclined towards stress eating.

The best way I’ve found to reduce stress eating in the past few weeks is to eat dinner, then brush my teeth and then with my mouth all minty fresh, watch the news to check for updates. Then if I feel the need to chew something after, I go for my stock pile of peppermint gum.

And yes, we stocked up on that when we loaded the pantry as well.

I know it’s not a typical dieter’s tip, but I hope it helps anyone out there reading.

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