Planning Your UnDiet Day

When you plan your day you'll have a much more successful UnDiet. You could use a binder or notebook that you set aside for that purpose; I tend to use Post-It notes. I like Post-Its because I can stick them to recipes, my refrigerator, my day planner, or my mirror. I put them wherever it is that will keep my plan accessible during the day. Depending on my schedule, I'll use the evening to plan for the next day, or the morning to plan for that day. As ideas strike me I'll even plan a day or two ahead.

Planning helps you avoid traps like being stuck at the office and heading for the vending machines. If you're going to be away from home always pack at least one extra snack and one extra beverage than you think you'll need. And if they spoil, rejoice in the fact that you're throwing them away instead of eating them!

Plan for snack attacks. Keep whole wheat pretzels at your desk, celery sticks and Fruit ready to eat in the fridge at home. If you like sweet things, pick up candy with a good-for-you sweetener, or bake up some UnDiet goodies - but eat these with caution during weight loss.

Plan your indulgent food purchases. When I first started the UnDiet I stocked up on high fat or borderline treats like soy ice cream or Amy's Pizza (whole wheat crust with a little cheese) so that they'd be at my fingertips - all the more quickly to grace my lips when I wanted them, but then of course I ate them at the slightest pinprick of a whim. That was fine in the beginning. I was rejoicing in this new way of eating, loving being able to have butter and bacon again. But after your body adjusts to this way of eating, too many high fat and borderline foods will start to slow down your weight loss. Now I occasionally pick up a few on each shopping trip and if I feel like soy ice cream and there's none in the house well, too bad. If even with these restrictions I still find that I've been buying too many indulgent foods then I add one or two to my shopping list so that I've planned exactly what I'm going to buy instead of being slave to the whim when it strikes while I'm at the supermarket.

Plan to eat before you shop or go out to eat. You've heard it before, but it's a must if giving in to temptation is your downfall. Even a few veggie sticks or a piece of Fruit will make you less hungry - and less tempted to fill your cart with Nacho Cheese Doritoes or eat the entire basket of (white) bread at the restaurant. If you don't have a chance to eat before arriving at the restaurant and you're starving, start with a beverage, wait 10 minutes then order. This method serves two purposes. First, if you're hungry and haven't had a chance to eat you probably haven't had anything to drink either and this is a good chance to get some cleansing liquid into your body. Second, taking the time to sip a beverage gives you a chance to relax, dial down, peruse the menu and make good choices. Herbs, Foods, Spices, Coffees & Teas

Plan your restaurant meals. While making up your daily plan decide if your restaurant meal is going to be Fruit, living food such as a big salad, Starch, Protein, or Neutral. If you're not familiar with the menu don't worry about whether or not your food choice will be available, you can always revise, but it will be easier to stay on the UnDiet if you have a goal in mind.

Since during weight loss, it helps to eat lots of living foods I usually order an entree-size salad, such as grilled chicken with dressing on the side. Dressing on the side serves two purpose. When the entire salad is covered in dressing you tend to eat the whole thing whether you're full or not. It's easy to keep picking at it when it's sitting there all dressed up and you with your fork in your hand. But if you have to take your eyes off your dinner companion(s) to add a little dressing and mix it into your salad you can't absentmindedly pick at it. Also if you're salad isn't dressed you can take any leftovers with you for your next meal.

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Plan your desserts. If a sweet tooth is your nemesis then instead of telling yourself you can't have any, or you can only have something sweet when the desire reaches a certain level, write good-for-you desserts into your plan. In the beginning they'll probably need to be close approximations of their unhealthy equivalents but as time goes on you'll find that you'll be satisfied with a handful of nuts, a piece of Fruit, UnDiet Fruit Puddings, some sweetened cream cheese ...

Plan for the unexpected. Know what options are available if you get stuck in a situation where you need to eat and you don't have any good food with you. Read Eating Out On The UnDiet, or better yet, print it out and keep it in your glovebox. Look for the upcoming four-part series of Steps "Fast Food Combining: menus from national & regional restaurants". Stop at a supermarket or deli and pick up one or two good food choices that you can add to the table on the way over to visit a friend for dinner. You may not choose to bring a whole chicken, but items such as whole grain bread or crackers, a cheese or Fruit plate are perfectly appropriate to bring to a dinner.

Pay attention to the times you were in a situation where you were forced to make unhealthy food choices or where you gave into temptation. The next day, sit down and write out the inappropriate choices you made. Think about how you could have made better choices and write these down.

For instance: you were invited to a dinner where there were no good choices available. The salad dressing had sugar in it; the entree was a mix of Protein & Starch, there were some vegetables on the side with a white flour-based cheese sauce, the potatoes were covered in cheese, and then of course, the DESSERT (dessert always comes in capital letters with me). In the end you just gave up and ate everything. You didn't enjoy the dinner because all you could think of was how you were blowing your UnDiet with every bite. But it doesn't have to be that way. Remember that if a not-so-great choice is all you have available then you can make the best choices from what's in front of you and set aside the guilt. If you want to make up for it the next day by having an entire day of living food you can, but you don't have to. Just keep on, keeping on.

Now, next time you're invited to a dinner ask if you can bring an appetizer, or just bring one from a deli. Then when you arrive say that you saw this and couldn't resist picking it up. Then munch on your appetizer before dinner and if possible put a few pieces on your dinner plate. I'm hypoglycemic so I have no qualms about asking the hostess for just a little olive oil and vinegar "because I can't have the sugar in the salad dressing". Quietly scrape the cheese from the potatoes (hide it under the entree)  and cooked veggies (if you can't get it all that's okay) and use butter, some of your salad dressing, or gravy on the potato. If you can get away with saying you're a vegetarian then you can skip the Protein/Starch mixed entree. If you can't do that then cut it up, move it around on the plate, take a few bites with as little of the Protein as possible. If you got away with the hypoglycemic bit then you're home free with the DESSERT. If your host(ess) expects you to have the DESSERT, then do the same thing you did with the Protein Starch entree - cut it up, move it around, mash it a little to look like you actually ate some.

If you decide you would rather have the Protein, then skip the potatoes, eat the veggies with cheese sauce (don't worry about the small amount of flour in the sauce), and avoid as much of the Starch in the entree as possible. Proceed as above for DESSERT.

Tips & Tricks

Many have found that the action of planning and preparing food helps them to stay on their UnDiet. Example: it's 11am and you're eagerly eyeing the clock, willing it to speed towards noon so you can have LUNCH. Instead of breaking down and eating before noon, start preparing your lunch an hour early and if you still have time left get a head start on dinner. Preparing the meal that you're dying to eat is a temporary satisfaction that can help you wait another hour to eat. Late at night when all I can think about is a bowl of ice cream, getting out a recipe book and planning the next day's meals helps take my mind off the ice cream craving. If that doesn't work, sometimes I'll bake up an UnDiet dessert for the next day's dinner. Licking the bowl at the end I consider to be an earned reward.

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Stay away from prepackaged foods. They're expensive and usually not helpful when trying to lose weight. Creating meals from scratch doesn't have to be a big production and will save you a lot of money. Check out recipes and meal plans at The Recipe Index, or for even easier meals look for the UnDiet's Quick Meal Cards, coming in the year 2001. 

Step By Step

  1. Start a food planning notebook, or buy a stack of Post-It notepads.
  2. Plan each day's meals the day before, on that day, or several days ahead.
  3. Write down the places or situations which trip you up.
  4. Write down strategies for getting through those times without falling off the UnDiet.
  5. Once planning out your UnDiet day seems routine you're ready to move onto the next Step, Reading Labels.

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last revised October 24, 2008
Copyright Kathleane C. O'Leary 1997-2008 all rights reserved
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