Eating healthy can feel daunting sometimes. Where do you begin and how do you make it manageable? Even when you set healthy goals and have the best intentions, it’s easy to give in and eat what is convenient and comforting. Unfortunately, that often ends up being junk food. How do you stop this cycle and create healthier eating habits?
Meal planning is the perfect way to avoid these situations. Preparation is the best way to stick to your goals! And not only that, proper planning can help you save time, and money and reduce stress.
CMC Weight Loss has these top tips to help you kick-start your meal prep planning and maintain your long-term goals.
Tip #1: Create a go-to list of recipes
Once you’ve committed to your healthy lifestyle, don’t be afraid to try new recipes. Search for nourishing recipes online and try some out at home until you find several you like. Having a set of go-to recipes that you love can make meal planning much easier, especially on the weeks you’re feeling uninspired or have a full schedule.
Golden rule: You won’t stick with the plan if you don’t find the foods and recipes you like. “Healthy” and “delicious” can exist on the same plate. Do the work and keep a go-to list of foods and recipes that you enjoy for reference.
Tip #2: Plan for work
Schedule time in your calendar for meal planning, the same way you would for anything else important. Preparing grab-and-go meals ahead of time will make it easier for you to stick to your goals when you get busy at work and are most willing to opt for a quick meal like fast food. In those instances, your healthy meal is ready and waiting for you.
Golden rule: Cook your meals and section them into lunch containers for each day of the week. Prep your fresh items such as fruits and veggies by washing, slicing, and de-stemming. This will save precious time and energy during your week.
Tip #3: Spice it up
It’s common for people to become bored with meal prep. Your go-to meals, as delicious as they may be, can seem a little old and tired after a while. Keep exploring and find new ways to add variety to your weekly plans or change up some of the ingredients in your favorite meals to make them a little different.
Golden rule: Diversify your recipes. Try adding ingredients from other countries to your weekly meals. Cuisines like Indian, Thai, and Moroccan are rich in flavors that will elevate your food. Adding the recipes of the world into your planning will bring in a variety of spices sure to make your taste buds sing.
Tip #4: Expect to be tempted
Planning your meals and knowing your weaknesses are key. Tempted by doughnuts at work? Bring a healthy alternative that will satisfy your sweet tooth without the sugar crash. Be strong and know that you have prepared for these temptations. If you have an alternative with you, it will be easier to refuse unhealthy options.
Golden rule: Part of meal prep is planning your snacks. Keep a healthy snack in your bag but also prepare for those tempting moments at work by having a few nutritious snacks on hand to satisfy your salty or sweet cravings.
Tip #5: Balance is better than deprivation
Avoid the mindset that you can never eat certain foods. Simply remind yourself that those high-sugar, high-sodium foods should simply be eaten less often, while fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other healthier options should be eaten more often.
Golden rule: Give yourself some room. You don’t have to have a complete seven-day weekly plan. Double-check your calendar and give yourself some leeway to take advantage of social opportunities (say one or two lunches or dinners in a week) just in case something comes up at the last minute.
Cooking skills that will last a lifetime
Changing your eating habits can feel a little intimidating and also like you’re leaving all the things you love behind. But once you get a hang of it, you’ll find that making healthier, if not even tastier, versions of your favorite dishes will bring you more joy than any unhealthy over-processed options out there. So stick with it and before you know it you’ll be reaping all the rewards of your new lifestyle choices.
Achieve your Weight Loss Goals
Eating nutritious meals is only one aspect of living healthier and maintaining your weight. If you live in Myrtle Beach or Florence and are struggling with shedding pounds and navigating health issues associated with obesity, then CMC Weight Loss may be the ticket to helping you achieve your goals.
CMC’s Surgical Weight Loss Program offers two surgical procedures including Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy and offers robotic surgery as a surgical option. We also offer non-invasive medical weight loss measures, informational seminars, support groups, nutritional counseling, and exercise options including our Walking Club and free bariatric exercise program to help our patients throughout their weight-loss journey.