When starting a healthy lifestyle meal planning and eating healthy is a big part of it. Today I tell you all about meal planning and I have a FREE meal plan download for you as well.
Eating healthier can sometimes be a bit difficult if your used to all those bad foods. Even though I’ve never really eaten completely unhealthy, my diet did include too many processed foods, sugars and takeaways. The hardest part of eating healthier for me was saying goodbye to all the takeaway foods that I loved. When I started with my healthy lifestyle it was really tough in the beginning. Giving up bread was easy as I’ve never really been a big bread eater, but my trouble was with the unhealthy snacks, sweets and takeaways. I’ve developed quite a sweet tooth after having my daughter and just had to have my bag of salt & vinegar chips in a week, so giving that up was not an easy task.
Although this was a big struggle for me, after eating clean for two weeks I felt a huge difference. No bloating, no upset tummy and I already lost weight just by eating better! That was a huge motivator for me and the reason I am sticking with it. Along the way I have found a few things that helped and today I would love to share them with you:
1. Plan your meals a week ahead
The biggest problem we have in the house is being too busy. When it comes to dinner time no one’s in the mood or has the energy to think what’s for dinner, and that’s when bad decisions are made.
By planning your meals in advance you can ensure that you have certain foods in the house to make your meals and you waste no time wondering what you need to make. I have also found that meal planning and keeping track of what I eat through the meal plan is motivating. I feel much better adding meals to the list that I know are healthy rather than just picking up something pre-made from the store.
2. Set up a proper shopping list
Having a proper shopping list keeps food costs down (no grabbing extra things) and it makes shopping a lot faster. Once you’ve planned your meals you’ll know exactly what to buy.
3. Freeze away food
This has really come in handy. The main thing that I freeze away are my smoothies that I have for lunch or breakfast. It’s so much easier if everything’s already cut up and all I need to do is throw it into the blender.
This applies for all foods and meals that are safe to freeze such as breakfast muffins, pre-made dinners and even healthy snacks. It will really help you on those days that you simply don’t feel like cooking or are too tired to cook. (So no cheating)
A few tips that have helped me
- An old one, but really don’t go shopping when your hungry. You will end up buying things that you don’t need and that’s no good for you.
- Fruit is your friend when you start cutting out sugar. Obviously fruit still contains sugar (natural), so don’t go too overboard, but it can be a real lifesaver in those early stages.
- It can be tiring to cook every night, so if you have a partner make turns. If it’s just you keep some frozen meals in the fridge.
- Keep a food journal. There are so many ways that you can do this, write it down in a book or use an app. I use Lifesum, which is a great app to track what you eat. I also feel too guilty to write down something bad and that discourages me from eating bad food.
- Water! Water is an absolute must and even though it’s not easy to drink the required amount of water in the beginning, it gets easier. Not only does it help with your digestion, it also has amazing benefits for your skin and makes you feel tons better.
To help you with your meal planning I created a great printable Meal Plan that you can fill in. This will make planning more fun and easier! I also added a bonus Shopping List printable that you can use. You can download them here:
To give you an idea of meal planning here is an example of my weekly meal plan:
I really hope that you guys found this post helpful and happy meal planning!