Do This Once a Week If You Want to Get (and Stay) in Shape

Thanks to the internet, we have all the health and wellness information in the world at our disposal. More often than not, it's merely a lack of preparation (and a touch of impulsivity) rather than a lack of knowledge that ultimately derails our healthy diets.

"One of the greatest barriers to taking control of our food and calorie intake is finding ourselves in a cycle of not having enough time and bouncing from week to week eating whatever crosses our path," writes My Body+Soul of this common predicament. "The simple act of planning, on the other hand, ensures that we are never caught off guard and always have healthy options on hand to make it easy to eat well."

Simply taking 20 to 30 minutes to plan your meals once a week, for example, will make it easier for you to stick to your healthy diet. "Plan a few meals, write a shopping list, and consider the way your upcoming week will impact your food choices," writes the health authority. "For example, if you know that you will be home late a couple of nights, you then also know that you will need a couple of quick and easy meal options that can be heated quickly to avoid you resorting to high fat takeaway."

It's also important to have some backups for the moments you can't plan—always keep a few healthy snacks on hand, know your "safe" orders at popular fast-food restaurants, and remember what to look for in the frozen food aisle if worst comes to worst. "Remember, your nutrition does not have to be perfect to get good results," the site concludes. "It just has to be consistent."

Have you ever tried meal planning? Share your review of this common habit in the comments below.