You are overweight and your dietician has asked you to cut down by 5 or 10 kilos. Or perhaps, you are a diabetic and your doctor has asked you to avoid eating sugars and carbs. Situations like these demand creating a healthy meal plan. Creating a healthy meal plan means you eat what is recommended for your body, and avoid eating foods that might harm your body. That’s the reason why creating a healthy meal plan is the first step to maintaining a healthy body weight, saving your body from the consequences of various diseases, and remaining fit. Creating a healthy meal plan also means you are including all the necessary nutrients on your plate.
Reasons Why You Need to Create a Healthy Meal Plan
Food is a life savior, you need food to survive, however, if you don’t eat the right food, food can also kill you. Thus, eating right starts with creating a healthy meal plan. A healthy meal plan means the foods on your plate are good for your body and mind. The healthy meal plan also means you are adding a variety of food items to your plate and it has a perfect balance of carbs, proteins, fats, fiber, etc. When you prepare a healthy meal plan, you will never have weak moments when you rush down to the kitchen and open the fridge. A healthy food plan also means you feel fuller for a long time and do not have a necessity for snacking and putting extra calories in your body.
Well, consulting a dietician and nutritionist might help. However, this is absolutely not necessary. All you have to do is become extra cautious while choosing food. First of all, you will have to analyze your health condition and check your medical history and include foods accordingly. For instance, if you have high blood pressure you have to avoid too much salt, fat, and red meat. If you have diabetes, you will have to cut carbs. In case you are suffering from high uric acid levels, you will have to avoid proteins. While creating a meal plan, you will have to consider things like these.
Getting Started With a Healthy Meal Plan
You don’t have to become an expert on diet and nutrition when you want to create a healthy meal plan. The following tips will help you easily create your own healthy meal plan.
Examine Your Calendar Thoroughly
Aren’t you going on a lunch date with your school friends this Friday? And isn’t your grandmother’s birthday party in a few days? It is true that unexpected or even planned events like these might interfere with your healthy meal plan. However, you can take measures to overcome such situations. Check your calendar and mark these days when healthy eating is sure to take a backseat. In between these days, make sure dinner is a slow-cooked meal, you are eating a lot of vegetables, and avoiding junk foods and saturated fats. If you are following your plan for most of your days, indulging in food and straying away from the plan is okay every once in a while.
Search for Your Recipes
While creating your own healthy meal plan, you will have to choose recipes that cater to your health requirements well (for example, you might be diabetic and you will have to avoid carbs) and come with ingredients that you can find in the season (for example, you can find fiddleheads only in spring) or foods that are easily found in the grocery stores or farmers’ markets. Food blogs, cookbooks, and food magazines can be a great help when it comes to choosing the recipes you find interesting, tasty, and healthy. Once you have discovered the recipe, you will have to shop for your food accordingly.
Fill in the Days with the Foods You Should Consume
Distribute your recipes according to the days of the week. Make sure the recipe you choose for the day blends in with your everyday routine. Rather than inserting a meal that takes immense preparation time after work on a Tuesday, you can make things easier for yourself by putting it for the weekend. Depending on the meal and the days of the week, schedule your meal plan.
Find A Healthy Meal Plan Template
If you have never created your own meal plan, you may not know the importance of using a meal plan template. The Meal Plan Template allows you to plan your meal for different times of the day and different days of the week. Therefore, dieticians highly recommend that you download a healthy meal plan template (available free on numerous sites) and fill in the blank spaces with the foods you are going to eat on different days and at different times of the day. For example write what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch, etc., and what you are going to eat on Sunday, Monday, etc. When you have created a meal plan, you also need to buy food items that you can use in the recipe to eat at different times of the day and on different days. Thus, it is better you make a list of items you are supposed to buy.
Don’t Starve Yourself From Appetizing Food
Healthy food does not mean bitter foods. Foods can be great to taste and healthy at the same time. However, if you have certain conditions you will have to avoid certain foods though. For example, don’t eat saturated fats if you have high lipids. If that is the case, you can use unsaturated fats like salmon, tuna, etc. When you are creating a healthy meal plan, you do not have to feel miserable about the foods that you will have to eat. You can find a lot of recipes that are not only interesting but also nutritious. You can always experiment with ingredients and spices for a satisfying meal. Creating a healthy meal plan means providing your body with the required energy and nutrition. However, in doing so you don’t have to deprive yourself of tasty food. Nutritionists and dieticians also recommend eating healthy while trying delicious recipes. Having said that you must also avoid processed food and high-calorie foods.
Conclusion: Creating Your Healthy Meal Plan
Coming up with a meal plan is easy but sticking to it takes time and practice. So above all, be patient with yourself. If you did not stick to your meal plan once a twice, don’t beat yourself up about it. Going off track a few times is perfectly acceptable, provided you stick to your meal plan for most days of the month. You can have a cheat day in a week, perhaps on Sunday, when you can indulge in your guilty pleasures and eat all sorts of food that you avoided the entire week.
Last but not least creating a healthy meal plan means you are cooking your own food or eating your home food. Foods in restaurants are tasty, there is no doubt about that, however, the nutritional value of these foods is very low. Restaurant foods contain a lot of saturated fats and calories. They add a lot of sugar or salt to make food taste better. Eating too much salt or sugar is not good for your body. However, when you create your own healthy meal plan and start eating home-cooked food, your health will improve and you will also save a lot of money. Yes, that’s true!
All in all, healthy meal plans can make eating simpler so you should definitely try them out.