Exercise is important, but it’s only one of the lifestyle changes that can make a difference. In the world of fitness, the saying, “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” is frequently said, because it’s true. That’s where a healthy diet comes into play. One of the easiest ways to stick with a program of healthy eating is to ensure you have meals ready to go, so you opt for fast food or junk food options. That’s where meal planning shines. It not only helps you stick with a diet, but also can make life simpler once you’re started and save you money, too.
How do you start a meal planning program?
You plan your meals for the week! You can start by pulling up recipes first and creating a shopping list or check all the coupons for the week and the sales, then plan a healthy menu based on that information. The next step is creating a shopping list and buying everything at once. If you don’t have meal sized freezer containers, you need those, too. Shop on Friday, or right before your day off if you aren’t on a Monday-Friday work schedule, after a meal.
Why would you shop all at once?
Doing your shopping all in one day helps avoid frequent shopping, where there’s more opportunity for unplanned purchases, like bags of donuts, cookies and chips. When you plan your shopping trip after a dinner, you’ll also reduce the potential for those pesky items to jump in your shopping cart as you move through the aisles. It also prevents checking out empty cookie containers or half eaten bags of chips.
On your day or days off, you’ll cook all the meals for the week.
When you cook and freeze all your meals for the week on the weekend, you’ll just have to heat and serve during the week. That’s faster than a drive-through dinner. When you’re cooking all your meals at once, you can use many of the same ingredients for several meals, so you’ll have less waste. It’s just as easy to chop vegetables for several meals as it is for one, so you’ll save time, too. Cook and package the meals for the freezer and when it’s time to eat, just add your salad or fresh fruit.
- When you package food for meals, you measure out the exact serving size. That helps with portion control that can help you stick to your weight loss plan. It also saves money by eliminating waste.
- Plan for snacks. When you’re chopping vegetables for recipes, chop a few extras and make some dip. Prepare fruit ahead the same way. If it’s ready, people will eat it. Create individual serving size bags of nuts.
- You’ll be able to take advantage of coupons and sales. If you have paper coupons, sort them before you leave to make check out easier and faster.
- When you’re cooking ahead, double the recipes, so you have enough for another week. Before you know it, you can skip a week of cooking or make fewer meals on the weekend.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness