How to Plan a Nutritious Meal
Planning your meals ahead of time can help you make healthier food choices and save time during the week.
Stacey Simon, MS, RDN emphasizes the benefits of meal planning for those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some plans focus on weight loss or cholesterol reduction while others provide meals for an entire family.
No matter your dietary preference, planning a nutritious breakfast is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it break your overnight fast, it replenishes glucose and energy levels, but it also increases metabolism so you burn calories throughout the day.
Good news! Eating breakfast doesn’t have to be a chore. With some creative thinking and simple changes, you can make breakfast part of your morning routine even on the busiest mornings.
Plan Your Breakfast the Night Before
Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than normal to give yourself enough time to prepare a nutritious breakfast for the next morning. Doing this helps you avoid picking up unhealthy items on-the-go and leaves more time for enjoying breakfast at home.
Maintain a stock of quick breakfast options in the fridge, such as whole-wheat oats with fruit and nuts or muffins that you can grab on the go. Doing this helps you resist eating out or buying over-the-counter products with lots of sugar and calories that might otherwise tempt you.
Eat foods high in fiber to keep your bowels healthy and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. This could include eating various fruits and vegetables like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Make sure to incorporate a source of protein, such as yogurt, eggs, milk or nut butter, into each meal for the essential amino acids your body requires. Eating these foods will also help you feel satiated until the next meal.
Add some fruit to your breakfast for an added dose of vitamin C and antioxidants that can help combat disease and promote overall wellbeing. Plus, fruits are packed full of water – perfect for keeping the body hydrated throughout the day!
A bowl of rolled oats with apples, hazelnuts and sweetened condensed milk makes for a filling breakfast that you can quickly whip up in the morning. Furthermore, this nutritious meal also helps you reduce your saturated fat intake – linked to higher rates of obesity and heart disease.
No matter where you work or play, lunch is one of the few meals of the day where it’s essential to make smart nutritional choices. Make sure your brain gets all of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals it requires for optimal performance.
In addition to a nutritious breakfast and midday snack, you’ll need an energy-packed lunch that won’t leave you feeling heavy or lethargic when it’s time for you to head home. With some planning and preparation, it is possible to fuel both mind and body with nutritious foods without adding extra pounds or hindering performance at work.
The great news? These recipes in this gallery are all reasonably priced and many can be prepared ahead of time. With just the right ingredients, you’ll have a nutritious and tasty meal in no time! These roundup of recipes will have you prepared for your next big presentation at work, school or your favorite social event; the key to success lies in being mindful about what you consume and how much alcohol is consumed – so stick to your game plan as best as possible!
One of the best ways to manage your calorie intake is planning ahead. Stock your fridge with healthy ingredients like fresh produce from the farmers market and rotisserie chicken for dinner so you don’t reach for convenience items at first. Also, prepare some nutritious dishes on weekends which can double as easy breakfast or lunch prep during the week. These tips will save time in the kitchen, money at the grocery store and stress when it comes to keeping an undertone.
Snacks can be an integral part of a healthy diet. Not only do they provide quick energy, help you feel full, and curb cravings, but they also support weight loss by maintaining a balanced diet and adding additional nutrients into your meals. Snacks also offer many health benefits that cannot be overlooked!
Choose nutritious snacks that are low in fat, salt and sugar – such as fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, cheese, light popcorn or nuts. Limit high-fat snacks like ice cream, cheesecake or potato chips to occasional treats only.
Maintain a stash of nutritious snacks to enjoy when hunger strikes. For instance, keeping some fruit on hand in your kitchen counter provides an easy and nutritious midday pick-me-up between meals.
When selecting a healthy snack, opt for fresh, unprocessed foods that are naturally sweet and low in added sugars, as well as those that are high in fiber.
Colorful vegetables make nutritious and tasty snacks that require little effort. Serve them with a dip, cut into bite-size pieces and top off with healthy protein sources like low-fat cottage cheese, peanut butter or seeds for extra nutrition.
Whole grains such as bread, crackers, rice and pasta make great snacks due to their high fiber content that keeps you feeling full for longer. You could also turn them into a bowl of cereal with milk or fruit for an even healthier breakfast.
Limit junk food and highly processed snack foods, as they tend to be high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. Limit these to a few times a week or as treats rather than making up part of your regular diet.
When shopping for a snack, read the Nutrition Facts label and look for items with less than 100 calories, no more than 5g of added sugars, and an equal mix of protein and fiber. Limit yourself to one serving size of each item.
A nutritious snack should be enjoyable, simple to prepare and filling. Snacks should contain a combination of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates for quick energy sources that will satisfy your appetite.