Great Way to Start Meal Planning for Weight Loss

by Yasmin Nolasco

Are you frustrated and unsure what direction to take to start losing weight? As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. The meals you eat contribute to your health. Every bite you take is either fighting disease or contributing to disease. Meal planning is a helpful tool to lose weight. It all starts with the groceries you purchase and meals you cook. This way you are in control of the ingredients you purchase without letting cravings get in the way. This will also help you with portion control and choosing fresh fruits that are rich in vitamins- Phytonutrients. In the end meal prepping will save you time and money, while avoiding the “Junk Food” aisles.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when grocery shopping and creating your meal plan for the week.

  1. Create or find healthy recipes you enjoy. Feel free to switch up the recipe with veggies you do enjoy or add spices or herbs such as parsley or cilantro.
  2. Purchase a portion control plate or to go containers for home. See amazon.
  3. Pick some recipes you love. Focus and include protein and fiber rich foods. Protein- and fiber-rich foods help keep you fuller for longer, reducing cravings and helping you feel satisfied with smaller portions.
  4. Switch it up! Make sure you are choosing a variety of vegetables, protein, and grain every week.
  5. Limit Processed foods and simple sugars like candy bars, soda, fruit juices. Avoid anything that is packaged and nor in its organic fresh state.
  6.  Include fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits (frozen berries for smoothies).
  7. Pick a day that fits your routine to cook everything Or cook every day if you can. Pick days to eat out.
  8. Make a grocery list with the ingredients. Buy in bulk if you can.
  9. Try an app to help you meal plan. This will help with healthy recipe ideas andsSome even offer a grocery list.
  10. Consider snacks. Purchase trail mix (unsalted), plain yogurt, fresh fruit, baby carrots, hummus, guacamoles, seed crackers/chips, popcorn (lightly salted).
  11. Determine your ideal weight and make a goal!

Ready to start planning and cooking? Remember you will need containers to store and refrigerate to reheat later. Perhaps purchasing a rice cooker or crockpot will help make your time more efficient. Do you have enough healthy recipes to get started? Here are some healthy weight loss suggestions for you to try followed by some recipe ideas.

  • Soups. Soups can be batch-cooked and frozen in individual portions. Be sure to include a lot of vegetables, as well as meat, seafood, beans, peas, or lentils. Add brown rice, quinoa, or potatoes if desired.
  • Homemade pizza. Start your pizza with a veggie- or whole-grain based crust, thin layer of sauce, source of protein, such as tempeh or turkey breast, and veggies. Top with a little cheese and fresh leafy greens.
  • Salads. Salads are quick and versatile. Start with leafy greens, a few colorful vegetables, and a source of protein. Top with olive oil and vinegar and add nuts, seeds, whole grains, or starchy vegetables.
  • Pasta. Start with a whole-grain pasta of your choice and source of protein, such as chicken, fish, or tofu. Then mix in a tomato-based pasta sauce or pesto and some vegetables like broccoli or spinach.
  • Slow cooker or electric pressure cooker recipes. These are great for making chili, enchiladas, spaghetti sauce, and stew. Simply place your ingredients in your device, start it, and let it do all the work for you.
  • Grain bowls. Batch cook grains like quinoa or brown rice then top with your choice of protein, such as chicken or hard-boiled eggs, non-starchy veggies, and a healthy dressing of your liking.

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