Are you tired of deciding what to cook? Does the nagging question “What’s for dinner?” from your spouse or kid make you feel anxious? If your fridge or freezer is stocked with frozen fried foods, expired condiments and nothing much else, it might be a sign that you need a meal plan. Before you reach for the takeout menu and sabotage your wallet and waistline, check out our meal planning tips to keep you ahead of the curve at meal time. Read on for more!
Prepare for the Week Ahead
It might seem obvious, but having a meal plan alleviates the stress of agonizing about what to eat and makes you more likely to adopt healthier eating habits. The trick is to create a routine that works with your schedule and needs. Set aside a couple of hours over the weekend and decide what you are going to make for the week and how much time you can spend each day cooking.
Then, jot it down in your calendar. If planning doesn’t come easy or you’ve never meal planned before, start with planning two days’ worth of balanced healthy meals and work yourself up to four or five. There are many meal and grocery planning apps such as meal board and meal plan that can help take your meal planning to the next level.
Once you have your plan and shopping list in place, it’s time to hit the grocery store! We recommend shopping when you’re not too busy or hungry, so you can take the time to read the nutritional labels and make smart choices. If you want to avoid the sugary cereals and high-calorie treats, it might be best to leave the kids or your significant other at home.
Cook in Bulk
We’re huge fans of the “cook once, eat twice” approach, and hopefully, you will be too. This is where you make enough food for leftovers that you can eat the next day or freeze for a busy week. For example, when you make sauce for a pasta dish, a batch of meatballs or chili, why not double the recipe and freeze half? That way, it can be defrosted and re-purposed for another meal! This will save you both time and energy, making you more resourceful come meal time.
Control Your Portions
Portioning your food is a great way to prevent yourself from overeating which can alter your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. It’s also an efficient way to meal prep so that before you start cooking, all your freshly chopped vegetables and proteins are weighed and scaled to measure. Once you learn how much fish or chicken makes up a three-ounce serving, for example, you’ll be well on your way to eyeballing your portions. We recommend packaging your food in glass Tupperware instead of plastic to help prevent BPA from the plastic leaking into your food.
There’s no need to get stuck in a cooking rut. Especially when you can search for plenty of recipes online. Why not browse our blog of archived recipes for something new to eat that can help you achieve your weight loss goals?
Weight Loss Solutions in Canada
Did you find this meal planning article useful? For more insightful tips about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle, take a look at the other articles in our blog! If you want to learn more about the weight loss solutions offered here at the SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre, contact us today or schedule a free consultation!