In a world where millions of us are juggling numerous responsibilities, it's difficult to find even just a few minutes to relax before bedtime. Amid this madness, we tend to struggle to plan what is for dinner or meals for the following day. This lack of planning often leads to us buying meals on the go and consuming far more processed foods than we probably should.
The art of prepping meals ahead of time can make a big difference when there is little time in our days. Here are some simple steps that can help you take more control of your time and your eating habits:
Dedicate one night of the week to prepare.
Pick one day during the week to be your preparation day. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make full meals
ahead of time (although you’ll be thankful if you do!). Your preparation day can include cutting fresh produce for accessible snacks and easy salads, grilling some lean meats, or making some hearty soups that you can create fuss-free meals out of in a pinch. Make this a fun event by getting the whole family involved!
Create a recipe library.
Take “what can I make for dinner?” out of your vocabulary. By compiling recipes of balanced meals and keeping them on hand, you will always have a library to refer to before your weekly grocery run. Creating a Pinterest board is a great way to store the recipes you find online!
Always remember a grocery list.
An organized grocery list allows you to stick to buying only what you need. Not only can this help your budget, but it can also keep you on track when trying to purchase healthier options. A great way to save time is to group the foods that you need into sections that align with the map of your grocery store. For example, put your fruits and veggies at the top of your list if you walk through the produce aisle first.
Buy healthier snacks and “shortcut” foods.
Not all “easy” meals are unhealthy! Buying a rotisserie chicken or pre-boiled eggs can take the difficulty out of last-minute prep (because it’s bound to happen) and keep you on track. Some other “shortcut” foods include frozen vegetables or grains, pre-portioned turkey burgers, and salad kits.
Allow yourself to eat out once in a while!
It’s important to remember that balance is the key to consistency. If you’re having a very busy week, it’s okay to go out and grab a bite to eat! Focus on the healthy foods that you consume more often than not and give yourself grace for indulging on occasion.
Taking small, achievable steps, such as the ones mentioned above, can be the start to effectively managing your weight. At iHEAL, we are dedicated to walking you through everyday challenges and providing the education that will help you become a healthier you. Check out our Beyond The Numbers Weight Management Program to learn more.