Finding time to prepare meals can be challenging when we feel overwhelmed by our every growing to-do list. However, planning healthier meals instead of dining out or eating fast food is a vital part for long term weight loss success. Not only will it help you lose weight, but it should also save you money.
Considering that our health and finances are typically two things we are often most worried about, this should be a win, win. The hardest part is usually just getting started with a new routine.
14 Tips For Easy Meal Planning
Here are some tips to help you plan easier, healthier meals:
- Keep it simple. Healthy meals don’t have to be fancy.
- Be honest with how much time you have and choose meals that match your schedule.
- Try at least one new recipe each week so you aren’t overwhelmed.
- Start by planning 2-3 meals a week and add more as you gain confidence.
- Make enough food for several meals and freeze the extra portions.
- Purchase containers to store leftovers and pre-made meals.
- Use a crock pot or Instant Pot to save time. These tools use a moist heat, which makes the meats tender and easier to chew.
- Keep washed vegetables on hand as well as other healthy snacks to grab from the fridge or pantry.
- Use weekends or your days off to prepare what you can in advance. Choose a day and time of the week that is set aside for cooking and meal prep. Set the date and time in your phone as if it were a doctor’s appointment.
- Go to WakeMed.org and search for bariatric recipes.
- Boil eggs ahead of time or make muffin tin veggie omelets. Freeze any that you can’t use within a few days.
- If you want leftovers for lunch, pack it before eating dinner the night before.
- Use shortcuts to save time, such as frozen, bagged, or low-sodium canned veggies.
- Use leftover vegetables from the week and make a vegetable omelet.
Take Advantage of Meal Planning Apps
About Trish Vulpis, RD, CSOWM, LDN
Trish Vulpis is an experienced registered dietitian specializing in bariatric patients. She is board certified in Obesity and Weight Management and has over three decades of experience as a dietitian. Trish has experience counseling and consulting Whole Foods, hospitals, sports facilities and individuals as well as teaching weight loss classes.