Healthy Meal Planning
I asked my Facebook friends today if there were any topics they wanted me to talk about or write about. One of my friends asked me to do a blog/ video (video coming soon) on healthy meal planning. I know for me healthy meal planning can be struggle, even though I know just how important it is to reaching and maintaining my weight loss goals! So, in this post I will share with you 5 important tips towards creating healthy eating habits!
1. Make sure to PLAN IN ADVANCE! I know this should be common sense, but it is often easier said then done. As a busy, working mom and wife time is a precious commodity in our house. Planning meals in advance is smart for so many reasons including the fact that you can save time because you don’t have to think about what you’re making, money because you won’t be ordering in last minute and obviously you will be eating better! Planning helps with staying on track at the grocery store too! If you make a plan and create a grocery list, then commit to only buying the items on the list, you can avoid processed foods and junk. I know when I have junk in the house I am more than tempted to eat it. If I don’t buy junk it isn’t here in the house and I can’t eat it! Thus helping me not to sabotage my workouts and smart eating the rest of the time. At the end of the day we have to remember weight loss is a math equation. It all comes down to calories and calories out. Meal planning can help us to stay on track with that! By the way, I really like the website http://sparkpeople.com for a mix and match meal planner. It is totally free and helps make healthier choices! Always a bonus. Beachbody also offers a meal planner with their club membership that I really like. I often find myself using weight watchers recipes or just using google to find a healthier version of something I’m craving!
2. Prepare meals & ingredients in advance. If you know you need chicken breasts for three recipes during the week prepare them all on the weekend and use them as needed or cut up veggies in advance to have them ready to stem or add to a dish. Some people even preparing multiple meals on the weekend while they have more time and put the leftovers in individual containers (freezing some if need be) to eat during the week for lunch or dinner. It is always good to prepare 2 or 3x the amount you need to use as leftovers. I’m a fan for sure!
3. EAT BREAKFAST! This is such an important step that so many people forget or skip. I keep my breakfast quick and easy so I can’t make the excuse I don’t have time. I really like having my Shakeology for breakfast because it has 70 different nutrients and vitamins, but also because it is so EASY to prepare! I can have it ready in 5 minutes which is awesome! I can provide variety by preparing it slightly differently each day. I NEVER get bored! If you aren’t in to a shake then another recipe I enjoy is just taking an english muffin, slice of canadian bacon, scrambled egg substitute and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese. Quick, easy and tasty!
4. Keep healthy snacks with you at all times! I ALWAYS have healthy snacks in my purse to help with the munchies. These snacks may include dried fruits, nuts, trail mix (minus the raisins because I’m not a fan) or protein bars. If you will be around a fridge (like at work) I also recommend light yogurt (I LOVE YOPLAIT), cheese cubes, Shakeology or fruit. The key is to always be prepared like a boy scout ( or girl scout) haha!
5. Make smarter choices eating out. We all find ourselves eating out occasionally, but the key is to make smart choices when we do. Always go for the grilled or baked options of proteins, swap fries for veggies or fruit and get your salad dressings on the side. It is also a good idea to stick to broth based soups. I try to always get a box at the start of my meal as well to put half of the food in before I start eating. This helps me to avoid overeating and it gives me another meal! Both great things if you ask me.
There you have it! My 5 tips for healthy meal planning. As always, don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and combat cravings. It is also smart to keep a food log or journal to track the calories you are consuming. What tips do you have? How to you eat healthy on a busy schedule? I’d love to see your comments below!