The Power of the 24 Hour Food Plan

The Power of the
24 Hour Food Plan

Oh the power of a plan!

Success in literally ANYTHING requires consistent activity over time.  Consistency is made easy and doable by having systems, routines, and habits.  One of my FAVORITE systems to teach is the 24 Hour Food Plan, because it's SUPER simple but also incredibly powerful.

It's exactly what it sounds like - in the morning you're pre-planning your food for the day.  Except unlike diets you've tried, you're putting on your plan exactly the things you actually want, not the food you think you SHOULD eat.  You're not not weighing or measuring or writing down amounts - you're simply eating what you wrote down when you're hungry and stopping when you're full.

I know what you're thinking - "that's too easy, what is that seriously even doing?"
I don't blame you, I know we're all used to having to stick to food rules and having food always be a complex maze of eat this/don't eat that.  
Creating a 24 Hour Food Plan is actually HIGHLY effective  - here's the highlights:
 - helps you be more conscious, mindful, and intentional with your food
 - increases your confidence and feelings of control around food
 - you're aware of and more honest about what you're actually eating in a day
 - you'll teach your brain that you can make commitments and keep them
 - you begin to learn that reaching your health and weight loss goals are about what you CAN do/have rather than what you CAN'T do/have.  Doesn't that sound refreshing!?

Give a listen to this episode to hear exactly how to execute this plan, how it works, why it's so powerful, and how to troubleshoot and really get the most out of it for yourself.  
And if you like simple, powerful strategies like this, the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Program might be for you! Registration is OPEN and coaching starts in a week, so go to to learn more and get registered!


PS. If anything in this episode resonated with you, then share the LOVE! Post a screenshot of this episode in your stories and tag me @tarafaulmann! And join the conversation in our FREE No Nonsense Wellness Community!

Full transcription available at the bottom of this post

Show Notes: 

Links Mentioned in This Episode
Episode 45    "Your System is Broken - 3 Strategies to Fix It" 

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Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Program & Membership!
Ditch the Diets and Finally Make Peace with Food
If you struggle with yo-yo dieting then you know how hard it is to make any real lasting change.  Unfortunately most women get stuck in the belief that being on a diet is the only way to lose weight and get healthy, and when they inevitably fail they’ve destroyed their self esteem, destroyed their relationship with food, and get stuck in a guilt/shame spiral that starts the whole process over again.  
If you don’t understand how reprogram your mind that is sabotaging you, and reprogram your body for health, you’ll never make lasting progress.  
That’s why I created the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Programto teach you how to make a real, lasting transformation in your Mind AND Body.   


Full Transcript: 

Welcome back to the podcast. I'm so happy you're here. First I need to apologize for this voice. It is allergy season here in the Northwest and I have got some issues, but the show must go on. Right. So today we're talking about the 24 hour food plan. Back in episode 45. I talked about how you really need systems in your life in order to create success and basically anything you want to do. Success requires consistency and consistency requires systems routines and habits. One of those systems that I teach people in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Program is the 24 hour food plan. It's super simple, but really effective. I can't wait to share it with you. Let's go.

Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help

you take back control of your mind health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom. And finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward. So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes, let's walk and talk.

Before I get going, I just want to announce that the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program is officially back open. You can go to, read all about it. And you can actually click the button and instead of just getting an email saying you're on the waiting list, you can actually join the program again. So I'm very excited for this to relaunch totally revamped, totally redone I'm super excited about it. We're gonna start live coaching next week. So get yourself in there, get going on the modules, and then we will start coaching. I can't wait to see you over there. So one of the things I teach in that program I just wanted to bring to you here and that is the 24 hour food plan. It's super simple, but very effective. And you literally can just start doing it today you doesn't require anything extra except that just a little bit of time from you. The 24 hour food plan is exactly what it sounds like. Every morning when you wake up, you're going to write down everything that you want to eat that day ahead of time you are pre planning your day in terms of food, I also put on there movement and exercise that that I want to do that day. 

When you're writing food down on your plan. There is no such thing as shoulds I should eat this there is no such thing as wrong foods, there is no such thing as bad foods, all you're going to do is simply pre plan or write down. Today for breakfast, I'm gonna eat this for lunch, I'm gonna eat this for dinner, I'm gonna eat this. And if I need snacks, I'm gonna eat this. Nothing is off limits. And you are also not writing a mount. This does not require you to weigh or measure anything. You don't have to put stuff on a food scale, you are simply writing down, this is what I intend to eat today. Now the thing is, when you're doing this, I'm going to be really super honest about your day. If you know that you have a really busy day and after work, you're gonna be driving the kids to practice you're gonna be driving them here and driving them there. And you're probably going to go through a fast food pickup line on your way home. Write that down. If you know you're going to order pizza in for the family today because you just don't have time and you don't want to deal with it. Write down order pizza for dinner. Okay, when I say nothing's off limits, nothing is off limits. I want you to be super honest about what you're going to eat that day. 

Don't put food on your plan that you think you should eat. Just put honestly what you're going to have if you are going to have a doughnut in the break room for a snack today. Put doughnut down for a snack. And remember always you're eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full. Okay, so I know you're thinking right now like that seems super simple. I don't get it. Okay. 

There's a lot of reasons why this is really powerful and why it works. One of the most powerful reasons is that you are consciously and mindfully deciding what you're going to eat that day. This is teaching you to develop confidence and control around food. And that is ultimately what this is about giving you confidence and control around food. So this is going to cut down on your stress eating and emotional eating and just eating in the moment when you're not actually hungry. There's something that your brain does, that's called decision fatigue. And you have felt this in your life, probably a lot, you just didn't actually know what it was. decision fatigue is when your brain literally gets tired of making decisions and doesn't want to do it anymore. For me, this looks like standing in front of the fridge thinking, Okay, I'm hungry, and I should eat something. But literally, nothing sounds good. I don't even want to order food because none of it sounds good. I don't want to make anything because that feels like too much work, right? I'm just kind of stuck there. When your brain is tired, you're not going to make good decisions for yourself, you're going to instead of making that healthy dinner, you're gonna decide I just want to sit on the couch and eat chips, I'm just gonna have ice cream for dinner, right? Like, you're not going to make the best decisions that are in line with your health goals. Because your brain literally is tired of making decisions. So what this is doing is helping you make decisions when your brain is fresh. It's early in the day, your brains, like let's tackle the day we got this instead of in the moment at night, when it's like, I'm tired. And your brain is just going to be a turd, and lazy and doesn't want to make a choice. And then you make a bad one. So diets often right are working against your brain, we're trying to work with your brain, we're trying to make it easy on your brain. And so if I pre plan what I'm going to eat that day, then it's easier to make those choices in the moment. 

This is also making you get really honest about what you're eating. Most of us aren't fully aware of what and how much we're eating throughout the day, we might think like I'm being really good. But if you actually wrote down what you're eating all day, you are having snacks here and macaroni from the kids there and extra nuggets here and extra this here and extra that there, you're not probably paying a lot of attention to all the extra little things that you're eating. And or you're not paying attention to how much you're eating in a meal, you're maybe over eating at different times. So this is kind of helping you get really honest about what you're actually putting in your mouth. You are learning through this process, how to not give in to every urge. Instead, you are eating with a purpose and you are eating on purpose. 

Remember, this is all about being more conscious and more mindful about how we're walking through the day. And what I'm putting in my mouth through the day. What am I eating? This is training your brain that you can make commitments to yourself and you can keep them if you commit, this is what I'm planning to eat today. And then you actually stick to that commitment. You're going to be like holy cow, look at me. I'm amazing. Yes, there was doughnuts in McDonald's on your plan. But you stuck to it. Well done, sister, right? When I'm saying it doesn't matter what you put on the plan put up put the things on there that you're actually going to eat. I'm being deadly serious. Do not fake it. Do not put stuff on there that you're not going to eat or that you're gonna have to force yourself to eat. If you want McDonald's for lunch, put McDonald's for lunch on there. Okay, but then you made that plan. And then you stuck to that plan. And then the next day, you're gonna be like, sweet, I am good at sticking to plans. Oh, look at me go. 

Now, isn't that completely different than any diet you've been on? Where all day long? You're trying to figure out like, oh my gosh, okay. Is this all my plan is that I'm not on my plan. Am I allowed to eat this? Am I not allowed to eat that? Remember decision fatigue? Yeah, your brains exhausted. And by the end of the night, you're like, Screw this diet. I'm over it. Right? In two days, you're like, and we're done here. Right your brain has done. So this is helping you keep commitments. It's helping you not have to make so many decisions when your brain is tired. It's helping you to be more conscious and more mindful about what you're eating throughout the day and more honest about what's actually coming in throughout the day. 

And what you'll notice is that as you do this over several days and weeks, you will start to think things like I wonder if instead of McDonald's for lunch, I made my lunch today what would happen? Or I wonder if I added an extra serving app but vegetables at lunchtime. I don't usually eat vegetables at lunchtime what would happen if I added some vegetables? I wonder what would happen if instead of a pint of ice cream after dinner, I ate just two scoops of ice cream after dinner. You're going to start when you're making your plan for the day, you're going to start asking yourself questions like What's one tiny little thing I could do today? That would move me forward in my health process. And when I say tiny, I mean tiny. I mean like just some extra carrots with your sandwich or an extra serving of broccoli at dinner like teeny tiny changes that you can make, but you're going to start making those conscious choices, conscious changes, you will begin to understand that reaching your weight loss goals and reaching your health goals. We are about the things you can do, instead of about the things that you can't do or that you can't have, right, every single time we try to lose weight, we go directly to what can I not do? I cannot eat this, I cannot do this, I have to stick to this, I have to do that. Instead, this flips that on its head and you start thinking about what can I do? What's one little thing that I have control of that I can do that will be super simple for me to do today. And you get to make that decision in the morning. And then you just get to stick to that decision in the afternoon in the evening. 

You can reach your goals and not be so restrictive, you will just naturally start to make healthier choices because you want to not because some diet says that you have to do you see the difference? When we're talking about how your brain works? Your brain very much wants to do the thing it wants to not the thing it has to I know we're all a little bit like that, right? Don't tell me what to do. We're all going to push back on that. It's human nature. So if we're not doing that to our brains, if we're saying, here's what you can have today, this is gonna be awesome. Your brains like okay, cool, let's do that work with your brain instead of work against it. 

So when you're going through and you're trying this plan, you're going to come up probably against some roadblocks. So I want to give you some tips for doing this. The first tip is to plan for more food than you think you're going to need in the day. Remember, you are not writing down the things you think you should be doing. You are writing down the things you legitimately intend to do. So if you write down a little more food than you think you'll need, it'll be easier to just stay on plan. And if you don't need everything that you wrote down, cool. When you go through and you're like, Okay, well I wrote down that I needed oatmeal and eggs, and a bagel and, and cantaloupe for breakfast. That's what I wrote down for breakfast, that seems like a great choice. Well, I decided I didn't actually need that bagel, I wasn't actually hungry for it, then you're gonna write down on your plan. I didn't need that bagel. I wasn't hungry for it. Those are the things that you just want to start paying attention to. And as you go, you will start getting a better feel for like, this is kind of about how much food I need in the morning, afternoon night. If I work out, I'm going to put this for a snack and non workout days, I don't need a snack right, you're going to start learning yourself, how you operate and what fits into your life. Instead of trying to force a diet into your life. You're just going to live your life and Let food be part of it. Oh, doesn't that sound refreshing? As you go, you'll just get more and more accurate in your planning about what you actually need. Because remember, this is not about restriction. It is simply about awareness. Those are two very different ideas. 

I want you to start just being aware, conscious, intentional about the food that you're eating. This is not about restricting anything Have I made that super clear. This is not about restriction, put the foods on there that you're going to have not the food you think you should have. If you write down because you think you should, that for breakfast, you're going to have oatmeal, just that. And then for lunch, you're going to have a salad. And then for dinner, you're going to have salmon and broccoli. And that's all you're going to eat today. You know what's going to happen, you are not going to stick to that plan. Why? Because it's terrible. It doesn't fit in your life. And you don't even want those foods, and it's probably not enough food for you. So make it realistic to your life. When you go to make your plan for the first day. Just think, Okay, here's what I ate yesterday. I'm just gonna write that down and see how that goes. Just start there. 

The other thing you need to be aware of is that your brain is programmed for diet mentality. That's like where we're all coming from here. So it's going to fight you, your brain is going to tell you that you need something right now. Because we're all really programmed to go on a diet and diet says I can never have that I can never eat donuts again. I cannot have cake again. I can never have a cookie that is not allowed. Right. That's what our brains are used to. So as soon as you start planning and then a situation comes up where you're confronted with a doughnut, you're gonna be like, Oh my God, I need it now. Oh, I'll never be able to have a doughnut again. Oh, I'm on this diet. No, no, no, no. That's what your brain is used to. What you're going to tell your brain instead, you're just gonna politely decline it. You're just gonna be like brain. I don't need that right now. It's not on my plan today. But if I want it tomorrow, I'll put it on my plan tomorrow and I'll have it tomorrow. Right? Delayed gratification is a skill that requires consistent practice. Most of us, myself included, are really not good at delayed gratification. So the difference is you want a diet, you can no you're not allowed to have that thing, right? We're talking we're in the shoulds and the half twos. When you're just planning your food, have the doughnut, just wait till tomorrow and put it on your plan. Do you see the difference? Your brain just naturally wants what's put in front of it. Right? It's there. I want it. Let's have it done. 

Okay, here's another scenario, you go to a birthday party, and there's cake and you really want the cake. There's one of three ways that this goes down with your 24 hour food plan. Either one, you knew that birthday party was happening today, you knew you're going, there's likely going to be cake, you really liked cake. And you're probably going to really want the cake when you see it. So when you plan your food this morning, you put cake at the birthday party, on your food plan, you go to the birthday party, you eat the cake, you thoroughly enjoy it. Amazing, you stuck to your plan. That's scenario number one. Scenario number two, you decided this morning, I know I'm going to that birthday party, but I am going to not eat the cake, I can do it, I'm not going to do it. And then you get to the birthday party. And you really wish you would have put that stupid cake on your plan because you really want it and your brains telling you how much you need to have it right now. And then you eat the cake. Or you don't eat the cake, but you hate yourself for it.

You're miserable because of it. Or scenario three, you didn't know there was a birthday party you show up there's cake, there's no cake on your plan. Now you have a decision to make, do I eat the cake and write down what was going on in my brain and why it convinced me that I should eat the cake that was not on my plan, or do I not eat the cake, wrap it up, take it home, put it on my plan for tomorrow and eat it tomorrow. Those are your options. Those are all the scenarios that you might find yourself in every single one of those scenarios is going to be beneficial to you because you are learning something in each one of those scenarios. So whether or not you ate it or didn't eat it, or it was on your plan or not on your plan makes no difference. Because in every single scenario you are learning, and you are learning how your brain works, and you're learning how to be more planful and more honest and more conscious and more aware and more intentional. Next time you go to do this. 

Again, what happens if you go off your plan? Okay, let me just be clear, you're gonna go off your plan, I guarantee it, it's going to happen, we're all going to do it, you're going to go off your plan. Don't beat yourself up. There is no shaming going off your plan. Take some time evaluate why it happened? What was your brain telling you? What were the circumstances? What were your thoughts? What were your emotions, just be aware. So that next time you find yourself in that scenario, you will be more aware. And you will be able to more effectively just politely decline your brain and be like no brain, we're good. I don't really need that cake. I really need that doughnut right now. Like I'm fine. But if I want it tomorrow, when I wake up, I'll put it on my plan. And again, when you're writing out your plan, I just want to be super clear, no one is judging you. No one is looking at your plan. No one is looking at that and thinking oh my gosh, that's what you're eating today. Nope, that's not happening. And you shouldn't be doing that to yourself, either. You should be honestly evaluating things because you want to learn and grow. Do not put on your plan what you think you should eat, put on your plan what you actually intend to eat because you like it and you want to. Okay, super important. 

And then again, as you go and you're writing down your plan, asking yourself, ask yourself, what is one small thing I could do today, that would move me forward in losing weight or getting healthier, whatever it is goal that you're trying to achieve? Big changes do not equal big results. Okay, super small, manageable changes over time that you want to make. That is what creates lasting change. Okay, that's where the big change comes from teeny tiny things, adding an extra serving of vegetables, swapping out this for that eating a little less ice cream today. Those are the things that added up over time, create the lasting results, when we try to do this big huge diet overhaul and do all these things at once. We never stick to it, it's too much. And so the food plan, the 24 hour plan is teaching you how to be more conscious to be more aware to be more intentional and to make small changes that you want to make. Have I been super clear about that. Make sure that these are things that you want, not things that you feel like you should do and not things you feel like you have to do. 

I would love to hear if you try this strategy I was thinking about maybe our next challenge is this maybe our next challenge is doing a 24 hour food plan challenge. That might be fun, and it might be a fun little challenge for us to all work on together and kind of cheer each other on So at any rate if you try this I would love to get some feedback. I'd love to know if you do it pop into the Facebook group. It's just called no nonsense hop in there. Tell us your experience with this. I would love to know you do not have to share your food plan in there. You don't have to show us what you ate. There's no one judging you or grading you on the food choices that you made. This is just for you to learn and grow. I hope you'll give it a try. Reach out to me DM me pop it in your Instagram Stories. Let me know if you try this and If you like strategies like this simple strategies that make a big impact, I do encourage you to check out the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program. I would love to be able to connect with you and kind of coach you and help you along on a deeper, more personal level

on your health journey.

Okay, my friends until we talk again, be well hey, friends, thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram. I'm at @tarafaulmann. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.

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