Let’s face it: we all would love to eat healthy meals every day of the week. But unfortunately, eating healthy is not always that easy, especially when we are used to convenient and tasty junk food.
Many of us don’t have time to cook healthy recipes. And some of us might not even be too sure what a healthy meal is in the first place.
Whether you love to cook or you would prefer to try a meal plan delivery service, learning how to plan healthy meals is crucial. This plan will ensure that you eat healthy meals in your diet.
Here is a guide on how to plan healthy meals for busy people:
1. Define what a healthy meal is for you
Not everyone has the same nutritional needs. If you live alone, start by defining what a healthy meal is for you, depending on your age, your gender, your height, your weight, and how active you are.
If you have a family to feed, consider the nutritional needs of each member of your family. This will help you determine how many portions of food from each of the five food groups you should eat daily.
2. Consider the tastes of your whole family
You will have a hard time following your healthy meal plan if you don’t even enjoy most of the food you put on your menu. If you want to truly love your healthy meals, you have to consider your tastes and the preferences of your household.
If your kids love pasta, look for healthy pasta dishes. And if someone in your household follows a vegetarian diet, for example, it could be a good idea to plan at least one day each week where everyone will try a vegetarian meal.
3. Start collecting recipes
If you love spending time working in the kitchen, start a collection of healthy recipes if you don’t already have one. If you have plenty of cookbooks or magazines full of recipes, take some time to look through them and choose a few healthy ones you would like to try.
It’s also possible to search for healthy recipes online and print them out or save them on your phone.
Take a moment to organize the recipes you collect. You could decide to separate them depending on their key ingredients, so it will be easier to find the right recipe for each meal.
4. Learn how to portion your meals
While it’s important to have a good idea of how much food you have to put on your plate, you also need to know how to portion your meals. Just because you find a great recipe for a healthy rice dish doesn’t mean you should fill your entire plate with it.
Aim for the 50-25-25 rule. Half your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables, 25% with grains or starchy veggies, and 25% with lean protein.
5. Choose healthy and nutritious foods
Considering that half your plate should ideally be filled with vegetables, you might need to find ways to incorporate more veggies into your meals. It can be easy to add veggies to your omelets, soups, and stews.
You also should eat fruits each day, either as a snack or as part of your desserts. To make healthier choices, try to choose whole grains instead of refined grains and pick different types of protein from time to time.
6. Write down how many meals you need
An important part of planning healthy meals is writing down how many meals you will need to cook or order from a meal delivery service. Think about your household’s schedule for the upcoming week for this task.
Will some members of your family have to eat on the go for a part of the week? Did you plan to dine out one evening?
7. Plan your meals for the week ahead
When you know many meals you need for the week, look at your recipes or the dishes offered by your meal plan delivery service. Then, decide what you will eat for each day’s meal and write it down on a list or a calendar.
It’s much easier to eat healthy meals when you have a schedule.
8. Make a list and go shopping
When you know which recipes you will prepare this week, take a few minutes to make a shopping list to ensure you don’t forget anything when you get to the grocery store.
If you want to order your healthy meals and get them delivered to your home instead of preparing them yourself, you could choose your menu and order your meal plan delivery at the beginning of each week.
9. Make the most of your leftovers
Finally, don’t forget about leftovers. If you don’t like eating the same thing two days in a row, simply make the most of your leftovers by transforming them into a new healthy meal.