In this day and age of cheap, addictive high fat, high salt, high sugar convenience and fast food, it can be easy to fall back into this unhealthy habit.
One of the best and very popular ways to stay on track with healthy eating is to have a plan and many back up plans since life has a way of throwing in curve balls. The first step is meal planning. First, think about what healthy meals and snacks will work for your lifestyle. Work on developing at least 3 breakfast and snack options, 4-5 lunch, and 6-7 supper plans to start with. Add new options as you go to prevent boredom and burn out. Make sure to include:
- Adequate protein for staying power – lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts
- Fiber – also helps keep you full – veggies, whole grains, fruit with edible skins and seeds
Choose foods you like to make this list. You can put these ideas on a spreadsheet or on different colored index cards.
- Oatmeal or high fiber cereal with nuts and fruit
- Peanut butter toast with banana
- Eggs omelet or muffins with veggies
- Salad with protein
- Veggie or bean soup and sandwich or wrap
- Tuna, chicken, egg or bean salad with veggies and whole grain crackers
- Grain bowl – brown rice or quinoa topped with lean protein and veggies
- Stir fry over brown rice
- Grilled chicken with green beans and new potatoes
- Spaghetti sauce with whole wheat noodles, spiral zucchini or spaghetti squash and salad
- Crockpot roast with veggies
- Broiled fish with quinoa and broccoli
- Turkey or veggie burger with baked fries and salad
- Greek yogurt/cottage cheese and fruit
- Fruit and nut butter
- Whole grain crackers and nut butter
- Hummus and veggies
The next step is to make a grocery list, shop for foods and then meal prep. There are tons of youtube videos and ideas online for meal prep if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It may take 3-4 hours to prep the first few times but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier and quicker. Once you get the hang of it you can look forward to having delicious meals ready to go!
A few more helpful hints:
- Invest in meal prep containers that keep portions in line.
- Develop your tried and true meals you enjoy and keep adding new meals to your schedule to avoid burn out
- If you’re going out of town and coming in on Sunday night, purchase meals to have on hand – locally check out CleanEatz, SC Real Foods and 212 Meal Prep. You can also have a meal delivery service such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or Purple Carrot delivered on Monday so you’ll have food ready to prep!
- Make sure to research any healthy options you like for restaurants you frequent. If you’re picking up kids and eating fast food, what are the healthy go to options you can choose?
- Keep coming back to meal prep when you get off track. Its normal to get off track. The people who lose weight and keep it off get back to meal planning quicker when they get off track.