Do you have a hard time sticking to your diet? Or do you simply want to improve your health, lose weight and feel better?
A healthy meal plan can help you with all of these things, by giving you food options that are both healthy and delicious, so you’ll stick to the plan and feel satisfied while doing it.
Here are some great ideas for healthy meal plans that will work no matter your goal or lifestyle.
Benefits of Weekly Meal Prep
meal plans allow you to focus on what matters—the things that directly impact your health.
For example, they can help you make better decisions by keeping track of your caloric intake, which is an important factor in weight loss.
Healthy meal plans also ensure that every meal meets a nutritional standard. If you have trouble with portion control, consider working with an online nutritionist who can help prepare nutritious meals for you (either weekly or monthly).
This means more time to focus on making lasting changes to your diet; think about it as a boost of motivation (and accountability) from someone who’s trained to improve health.
Steps to Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Planning ahead is always crucial to make sure you’re sticking to your goals. If you want to start eating healthy but don’t know where to begin, it can seem daunting—especially if you hate cooking or are used to eating takeout or leftovers.
To make healthy eating easier, take these five steps:
- Pick up some healthy cookbooks with easy recipes;
- Look at your schedule (or make one) and pick nights that work best for meal prep;
- Determine how many people you need to feed and do one day at a time;
- Try new recipes!
Ways to Make Sticking to Your Weekly Plan Easier
If you need some help staying on track with your healthy meal plan, these tips are great to keep in mind. First, it’s important to understand that making changes can be very difficult.
There’s no such thing as perfection when it comes to maintaining your weight—but if you follow these tips, you will have a greater chance of success:
- Create reminders – Set alerts on your phone or computer calendar so you don’t forget about your weekly meals.
- Find shortcuts – It’s okay to take time out of your busy schedule for healthy meals, but there is no reason why fast food has to be part of that equation. Make sure you find a way to make quick, healthy options available to yourself at all times. This could mean keeping frozen chicken breasts in your freezer so you can quickly cook them up for dinner or packing snacks like nuts and dried fruit to eat between meals.
- Get support – Surround yourself with people who share similar goals. You might even consider joining an online community where other people also trying to lose weight are sharing their experiences and supporting each other through challenges.
- Reward yourself – When you do well at sticking to your meal plan, reward yourself! This could be anything from buying new workout clothes (because nothing motivates like a new gear) or taking an extra day off from work because it was easier than expected!
The Health Benefits
Eating a balanced diet is an essential part of staying fit, but figuring out what to eat can be tough.
While it’s important to avoid super-restrictive diets that deprive you of nutrients, most health experts agree that it’s hard to stay healthy when your diet includes processed food or lots of unhealthy fats.
A sensible meal plan will help you make sure you get enough nutrients without adding too many extra calories (or starchy carbs).
A well-rounded diet will also give you more energy—not just so you can work out better, but because eating healthy food helps prevent sugar crashes and other unpleasant side effects.
If your goal is a better body and mind, try some of these meal plans below!
Cookbooks with Inspiring Ideas
There are many options when it comes to cookbooks. Some highlight favourite restaurant dishes, while others provide nutritional facts or focus on specific foods.
If you’re trying to lose weight, create a meal plan based on your caloric needs; healthy eating habits can help you not only feel your best but also look good.
If you’re interested in healthy recipes that fill you up without leaving you feeling sluggish or deprived, check out some of these titles: The Skinnytaste Cookbook, by Gina Homolka; Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, by Gina Homolka; Slim Chicks Eat Real Food, by Abby Langer; and Skinny Taste: 140 No-Fuss Recipes for Sexy, Healthy Meals, by Gina Homolka.
In addition to recipe apps, smartphone meal planning apps help you plan healthy meals. Some of these programs even use your phone’s camera to create shopping lists based on what’s in your pantry.
You can then send those shopping lists straight to your phone, so you have everything you need for home cooking or picking up takeout without forgetting anything at all.
This is especially helpful if you’re new to cooking—or just hate grocery shopping! Instead of using unhealthy convenience foods from pre-made packages or takeout, start making (and buying) healthier whole foods instead with these easy diet tips that will finally work. You won’t regret it.
Create Your Own Health Plan
When it comes to weight loss, dieting isn’t really about restriction. It’s about balance. We should be eating healthy meals that fuel our bodies and provide lasting energy so we can reach our peak fitness level.
And if you work out, eating balanced meals will help you maintain muscle mass while your body is busy losing fat.
For example, one of my favourite on-the-go snacks is walnuts dipped in honey—it provides me with protein, fibre, omega-3s and B vitamins.
A lot of people shy away from nuts because they think they’re high in calories, but there are many varieties with fewer than 200 calories per serving.
There are so many ways to eat healthily. So many health fads have been cropping up over recent years, and it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s false.
A good meal plan doesn’t rely on restrictive diets or fads but rather focuses on what we should be doing in our daily lives – both at home and work.