Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." (He was a wise man — plus, he's on the $100 bill, so that should count for something.)
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This nugget of wisdom is especially true when it comes to your transformation. If you want to ensure your success, you need to prepare for it.
8 Tips to Help You Prepare to Succeed
This preparation applies to both your food and your time management. A great way to save time is by prepping meals in advance.
If you take time to make healthy food in advance and have it ready to go, you'll be less likely to reach for something that'll derail your progress. By making a big batch of food and freezing portions or getting your slow cooker cranking in the morning before you head to work.
- Start breakfast prep the night before. Make something like overnight oats in the evening, so you can wake up to a delicious, healthy breakfast you can take with you. Or try one of these nine vegetarian options.
- Portion your lunches into containers and store them in your fridge. Try something like this baked salmon and baked veggies dish for something nutritious and quick at work.
- Invest in a slow cooker to make a variety of delicious and healthy meals in advance. (Like this Slow Cooker Jambalaya we used in our Meal Prep Challenge.)
- Don't forget to prep your snacks. Most people fall victim to the 2 pm slump and reach for whatever is convenient. With this quick formula from MyHealthyDish, even snack time will help you reach your goals.
- Jump on the mason jar trend and try one of these 13 make-ahead meals — from Almond Milk and Honey Porridge to the Steak Burrito Minus the Tortilla Jar. You'll be the envy of the office!
- Don't be afraid of the freezer! There are plenty of options you can make on Sunday, and then enjoy throughout the next few weeks. Just preheat the oven and pop in your healthy dinner.
- Put your workouts on your schedule and keep the appointment. If you carve out time in your schedule and plan your workouts, you'll be more likely to stick with it.
- Set out your workout clothes the night before so you'll be ready to go. It's an appointment you're making with yourself, and building it into your schedule helps it become a healthy habit.
Once you've mastered the basics, take it to the next level with these 13 genius meal prep hacks to make you the queen (or king) of the kitchen. And you can always find new, tasty, easy and healthy recipes on LIVESTRONG.COM to help set yourself up for success. But don't be intimidated! It may seem like a lot to take on at once, but eventually, it will become part of your healthy lifestyle.
How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate App
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.
We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.
3. Stay Connected on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Brush Up on Your Meal Prepping Skills
- The 20 Best Foods in Your Grocery Store
- 10 Simple and Delicious Slow Cooker Meals
- 15 Tips to Store Your Food So It Will Last Longer
- When to Spend and When to Save at the Grocery Store
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.