If the 5 key rules were not enough, here’s my next set of 5 golden rules to “rock your meal planning”:

1- Self-weighing is an art: It is a given that the scale will be your best friend every single Monday. What we usually don’t realise is, “she” is also a sensitive ally: please do not demand too much from “her”, she does not like being stepped on too often. My recommendation would be, choose ONE SPECIFIC DAY A WEEK only (I already said one! So no complains) and one specific time – preferably just after waking up but right after using the toilet. Keep your records, but please DO NOT OBSESS.

2- Don’t let the stress get you: many people really think that Mondays are magical and that the meal plans are Godly; this is way off reality of course. Gaining weight over the years is very easy, but don’t expect that losing it can be done without effort. Besides, the weight loss should be done gradually – between 500g to 1 kg per week. This way, you avoid the yo-yo effect (in reference to the cyclical loss and gain of weight) and the bad mood as a consequence after you weigh yourself and see negative results.

3- Exercising makes me fat! So many times I’ve heard that one… Exercising brings an increase in muscle volume, an increase in glycogen stores and of course an extra volume of stored water. This PHYSIOLOGICAL response reaches a balance later. So if those extra kilos stay and do not go down in the first few weeks after starting your exercise plan, do not worry! You are not getting fat just be patient!

4- Keep a good balance: Be aware that food exists for a reason and each food group plays an important role in your body. Not consuming some of the larger groups (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) or eating too much of one alone, will make you susceptible to the undesirable yo-yo effect. It can make you vulnerable to vitamin and mineral deficiency, among other medical conditions. Don’t fall for those “off-the-shelf” desperate measures and let’s learn how to eat properly.

10- “Shoemaker, to his shoes” (This is a latino folk saying, which meaning is the same as “the cobbler should stick to his last”). Nowadays, everyone carries an honorary Degree in Nutrition: everyone knows about supplements, food and what have you. There is always some health guru on Social Media talking about the “counting points diet”, the pineapple diet, some sort of liquid diet, juice cleaning, water, air and everything-that-moves diet. Please try to ignore all this misused information and discuss your requirements with a Certified Nutritionist or Dietitian. They can design a meal plan JUST FOR YOU! Tailored to your needs and tastes.

Do you have any other tip you want to share? Please don’t hesitate to leave yours in the comments section…