5 Meal Planning Hacks You Need to Start Using Today
One of the best habits for eating healthy, avoiding poor food choices, and weight loss is meal planning. There has been quite a bit of research done demonstrating that habits and preparation are the best way to ensure a proper diet and healthy habits maintain over time.
This is not always easy however, in the course of our busy and hectic day-to-day lives it certainly doesn’t always seem like we have time to cook full meals of farm-to-table food, not to mention the resistance you may encounter is you’re cooking for a spouse or children.
Use these 5 meal planning hacks as soon as possible to make meal planning easy, inexpensive and a functional part of your healthy lifestyle!
1. Stock up on the inexpensive staples in bulk
Meal planning can be an expensive proposition; not all of us are chef’s or run a full kitchen and it is costly to always use the latest recommended diet products or specialty items.
The best strategy is to leverage our resources for the important ingredients that need to be fresh and stock up on those other items in bulk.
Beans, tomatoes, spices, frozen fruit and vegetables and more can add up to huge savings over time and make meal prep much easier knowing that we are well stocked in many of our ingredients ahead of time.
2. Make a plan prior to visiting the store
We’ve all been there and we’ve all also failed the grocery store temptation.
Whether it is the shiny buy one, get one free sign on a snack we know we don’t need, or the alluring scent of freshly prepared food, when we shop hungry and without a plan we make poor decisions, tend to buy the foods we know we shouldn’t and spend money we know we shouldn’t.
The key to resisting these urges is having a plan ahead of time of exactly what we need, how much we need and sticking to that list.
Spending the extra 10 minutes prior to shopping to make a detailed list will help us to get exactly what we need and sidestep the traps and temptations of our local grocer.
3. Invest in portable storage to make meals easy to access.
Meal prep and planning is a time-consuming process that can time and energy that we not readily have, especially during the middle of a busy week. One of the best and easiest strategies to avoid this pitfall is to make an investment in portable food storage both for at home and on the go.
To minimize the time and energy cost, preparing as many meals as possible when we have the time is critical to maintaining our goals throughout the week.
In addition, having the right meals already prepped and made, with all the equipment needed, makes it easier when we are in a rush to grab a healthy meal and get going rather than trusting our willpower to avoid fast food or other options that may be more convenient.
4. Use (or get) a slow cooker
One of the biggest pitfalls in diet and healthy eating is the after-work rushed dinner, pizza order or drive through pick up because it’s been a long day at work and we simply want to go home and relax rather than cook a whole dinner and all the effort and logistics needed to pull that off.
Unfortunately, this almost always leads to regret later on and the kind of negative reinforcement that crashes many diets.
However, in the morning or the night before when we are more mentally fresh, popping the requisite ingredients into a slow cooker that will cook while we’re at work makes for a great option when we get home as the food is already cooked and we just have to serve and eat!
These cookers are a fantastic investment and with a little creativity can make some very tasty meals as well!
5. Make meals in small, portable portions
Our metabolism has to be revving for our bodies to burn fat, and one of the primary ways to do this along with exercise is to eat regularly throughout the day.
In addition, having easy to access portable nutrition options is a key strategy when we feel the urge or temptation to grab the easy, convenient fast food choice.
When meal prepping and planning, it is a key task to prep small portions in portable containers that can be used throughout the week.
Whenever these options are readily available, we are putting ourselves in a position to be successful and achieve our health goals!
Eating healthy is about many things. For one, you can eat anything you want, as long as you eat the proper portions.
The truth of the matter is that most of us eat with wild abandon and count the calories later. Unfortunately, later is too late.
Just about any meal that you eat can be morphed into a healthier version.
It only takes a little know how about ingredients and substitutions.
And, creating your meals at home is a good way to cut out a lot of the fat and calories that you would encounter in the same meal at a restaurant or prepackaged in the grocery store.
Here I'll feature helpful resources to show you more ways for how to learn healthy cooking as I come across them.
What’s your biggest issue?
How do you handle it – or can you think of any additional tips you can share with others if you don’t have an issue with this in your life?
Share them with us in our Comments – or share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you feel it could help someone you know.
Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: Healthy Cooking - https://www.discoveryhub.net
What are the Benefits of Eating More Fiber?
It's advertised on cereal boxes, bread and other foods, and it's something we're always trying to eat more of on a regular basis, but how many of us really understand what's so great about eating more fiber? It helps you to have regular bowel movements
Constipation is a huge problem for many people, and even those who eat a good diet often aren't exempt from this problem. Adding more fiber to your diet will help to stabilize your bowel movements and make it much easier to go to the toilet regularly.
Apart from discomfort, constipation can cause many problems within your body. Not only will your digestive system not work as effectively as it could, but you could end up developing hernias and other painful issues. It helps to achieve a healthy weight
If you're trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, adding extra fiber to an already-balanced diet can really help you to reach your goals.
Apart from losing weight, you'll also feel less bloated and more energetic throughout the day, which will encourage you to continue eating healthier and will also provide you with the energy that you need to work out and exercise. It lowers cholesterol
High cholesterol can be extremely dangerous, and people often don't take it seriously because of how common it is and how many people suffer from it around the world, particularly in the West.
A poor diet is usually the cause of high cholesterol, and if it's left untreated for a long time, your arteries can become blocked and clogged, causing you to suffer from heart disease and other serious problems.
Fiber helps to lower your cholesterol and maintain a healthy cholesterol level, thus preventing future health issues. It helps to maintain blood sugar levels
While retaining blood sugar levels, it also helps with either improving or preventing diseases such as diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often develops in older people, especially if they are overweight or have had a diet of sugars and fat for most of their lives.
Adding fiber to your diet while you're young and eating it as part of a healthy and balanced diet can help to prevent the development of diabetes later in your life.
If you are middle-aged and worried about developing diabetes, you can add fiber as one of the precautionary measures to try and prevent it from developing in the near future.
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