If you want to eat healthy, the best way to get a head start is by planning your meals. It may sound like a lot of work, but after the first few weeks, it actually takes less work to plan your meals and cook them over the weekend for the week. That’s because you’ll be making extra and packing it in the freezer. Before too long, you’ll have several weeks worth of meals for those times when you’re super busy. It’s the perfect answer for those who work outside the home and a great reason to avoid takeout, when your meal is in the freezer and just a microwave minute away.
The first weeks are the hardest.
I’m not saying it doesn’t take time, because it does, but it’s time well spent. Planning the meals can be done anytime during the week. Do it in a quiet time and enjoy the experience. Make sure you buy enough for double or triple the recipe. You’ll save money by planning, since you’ll use some of the same ingredients in other dishes throughout the week. Nothing will go to waste when you plan. Make sure you plan snacks, too. Snacks are often the downfall of people who are trying to lose weight.
At first, you’ll have to cook several meals at once.
That first weekend will mean cooking all the food for the week at once. After that, the job won’t be as big. Set aside time to devote just to cooking the first weekend. While some foods are simmering on the stove or being baked in the oven, you can be chopping fresh vegetables or fruit for snacks throughout the week. If you have a baked chicken, beef or other fish or meat, you can use it to top a salad throughout the week. Doubling the recipe will allow you to pack away some of the food for several weeks to come.
Pack the food you made in perfect serving sizes.
It’s easy to misjudge a serving size when you’re famished. When you make meals ahead, you can pack the meals with the perfect measure, so you won’t have a problem. While fresh fruit and vegetables won’t be packed and stored, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about them. You can eat as much lettuce or raw broccoli as you want!
- Planning your meals means you won’t have leftovers that go to waste in the refrigerator. They’ll be packed and frozen for another meal.
- Plan your meals to get the most for your money. Use sales, seasonal food and coupons for each meal plan. You’ll find your grocery budget will go a lot further.
- Make sure you do your shopping for the week’s food after you’ve eaten. You’ll be less likely to buy snacks and treats that aren’t on the list.
- Make one dish each week soup. You can use all the leftover vegetables and even the bones from chicken and beef to make soup. Don’t worry if you’ve roasted the chicken or beef, it makes a great bone broth.