How to diet on the run

One of the most onerous aspects of losing weight is all the planning. Most people who have ever considered, much less attempted weight loss know that planning is key. It’s so important that dieters live by motivational quotes such as, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

This slogan may be a clever use of words, but it only applies to people who sabotage themselves with all-or-nothing thinking.

Where does that leave people like me who are not good planners and want to lose weight and keep it off? I’ll tell you where it leaves us; it leaves us learning how to lose weight on the run and winning.

If you’re genetically predisposed to planning, then planning your weight loss strategies and sticking to your plans works well. If, however, planning is not a natural thing for you, it’s hard to plan your strategies and harder still to stick to your plans.

I would like to offer my time tested and effective way to diet on the run. Forget planning and instead have confidence that you’re completely capable of making choices that will bring you to where you want to go with your weight-related goals.

  1. Be confident. There’s no need to second-guess yourself. You don’t need a plan to be successful. You just need to keep your eye on the goal.
  2. Keep your eye on the goalYou can get where you want to go without a plan as long as you remember where you want to go. It’s like the navigation system in your car. You enter a destination. No matter how often or how many wrong turns you make your navigation system continues to reroute to ensure you get to where you want to go.
  3. Keep a log of where you’ve been. If you want to move towards your goal it helps to know where you’ve been. Tracking food and physical activity as accurately as possible and as often as possible, helps when you need to make a choice on the run and feel confident it’s another step in the right direction.


Here is how to make better food choices when eating on the run
  • Fast food is your friend in several important ways.
    • You have built-in portion control. Unlike a lot of restaurants where they place platters full of food in front of you, fast food portions are smaller, just don’t agree to the offer to “super size” your meal.
    • Fast food salads give you a choice of grilled or crispy chicken. Stick to the grilled chicken. Dressings and toppings are served on the side. Use them sparingly or not at all.
    • The food at fast food chains is predictable. You know what’s on the menu so you can order without having to read the whole menu and get tempted to order something that has more calories and perhaps less nutritious.
  • Grocery stores are your friend.
    • Don’t worry about planning your meals and snacks to take with you. There are supermarkets practically everywhere. You can run in to get a low-calorie nutritious snack of fruit or vegetables whenever you get hungry.
    • If it’s meal time and you’re in a hurry try a hot, roasted chicken. Some supermarkets also have hot, roasted turkey breast too. In a pinch there are always a lot of reduced-calorie frozen entrees too. No need to plan menus in advance.
    • Choose whole foods (foods that have not been processed or are as close to how to appear in nature as possible) Eating whole foods is an easy way to eat more nutritiously while reducing calories.
How to get more physical activity without planning in one easy step
  1. Wear, or keep handy, comfortable shoes.
    • Going to the gym takes planning. Putting on some comfy shoes and getting some extra steps in when the opportunity presents itself takes no planning at all.

That’s it. Losing weight doesn’t have to be a matter of planning, Do these things and you can successfully diet on the run.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.