One of the most common New Year’s resolutions throughout the world is to have a better health. But many people end up quitting in the beginning itself, owing to the many hurdles which come along the way.
Regardless of what your plans are to achieve your goals, your diet is your first and most important accomplice. The type of food we choose affects our physical as well as our mental well-being. Food is the path to enlightenment for our body.
You have heard the famous theory for losing weight – it is 90% diet and 10% exercise. Weight loss comes from being in a calorie deficit. If you are below the number of calories you require to maintain your current weight, then yes, you will drop weight. 90% of losing weight comes from what you eat (the foods you consume and the amount of said foods) while the rest is helped along by your exercises to increase metabolisms and such.
When it comes to eating well, meal planning is one of the easiest and efficient things you can do to achieve that physique you have always dreamed of. You do have to set a little time aside each week to do it, but the entire process is open to interpretations so there is no way to get it wrong!
There are numerous many ways to approach meal planning. After practicing just once or twice, you will be able to find that perfect plan which suits you and your family.
So let us get started.
CONSIDER YOUR WEEKLY EATING SCHEDULE
If you are like me then your weekly schedule varies quite a bit. Splitting time between work schedules, lunches, after school activities, dinner dates with family and weekends, it can be a challenging task to structure eating situations. Luckily, I am here to guide you!
- How many meals do we need to plan for? At the start of your week, take a few minutes to think about the days ahead. Think in terms of activities which require you to have a meal. How many such meals do we need?
- Make efficient choices if you have a busy week coming up. Make a mental note to be on the lookout for quick, slow cooker or make-ahead meals that can be served up in a hurry. Are there some meals we can make a little extra of, which we can carry over to the next meal? Not every meal needs to be gourmet. You can still enjoy deliciously tasty and nutritious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
- Consider your grocery budget. If you want to eat better for less, then consider foods that are in season. You are guaranteed to get them at a lower price compared to the options which are not in season. Plan around some foods you already have. Try home brand options! Always include some meals that you have made before.
- Time to plan. Write the days of the week on the left side of the page and the meals you want to plan across the top.
- Sketch out your weekly eats. Vague descriptions like quick dinner, leftovers, or packable lunch are fine for now. Don’t forget to plan for leftovers and make note of special dietary restrictions here as well.
- Look for simple, fun and healthy recipes! www.google.com is an amazing search engine that literally delivers a bunch of awesome and delicious recipes. Just type in the keywords and viola, you will see results! For me I normally search in health, vegetarian and whatever style of meal I’m looking for, that is, salad, hot meal, Mexican, summer etc.
- In your meal planning combine a handful of new recipes with previously made favorites. That way you will keep it interesting whilst building your go to list! Another handy tip is arranging similar meals close to each other. You’re getting some mince for pasta one night, perhaps make a little more and enjoy them in taco’s the following night. Try to avoid selecting different recipes that don’t fit together or else you’ll be buying a lot of different ingredients.
- Create your shopping list. While arranging your meal schedule, jot down ingredients for each recipe as you go making sure you also place the quantities of each ingredient down so you do not over buy. Then, take stock of what you already have on hand before heading to the store.
- Choose a good time to shop. Peak hour is disorientating and frustrating. You definitely do want to take the list when the stores are busy. Perhaps after dropping the kids off at school, first thing in the morning or after dinner. You want to eliminate all accessory challenge during this time, since patience is the key here.
- Some helpful tips are to ensure you have enough containers to package the meal. Reusable containers are better for the environment and better on the wallet. Use a little masking tape and label some of the meals. Place what you can in the freezer; leave it to defrost the morning of that meal.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to plan your week’s meals. You’ll get better and better at it with each week that passes by. Discipline and the will to go on are of utmost importance here. So, keep at it!
16 December, 2017