Having a beach-beautiful body requires planning. So if you want to look trim this summer, it’s time to start packing your meals ahead of time. Here’s how:
Plan Your Meals to Lose Weight in a Healthy Way
Fifty percent of Americans are trying to lose weight, according to a recent report by NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics). However, it isn’t an easy process, and there certainly isn’t a “one size fits all” way of reducing your body mass. For some people, exercise is key. Others should focus more on diet. What is certain though, is that crash diets don’t work in the long-term. You are better off aiming to lose one or two pounds a week and embracing a gradual lifestyle change. Meal planning is a great and easy way to do this.
How Many Calories Should My Meals Be?
You should aim to eat three balanced meals a day, plus a couple of healthy snacks. If you want to lose weight gradually, then you should aim to consume 200 calories less than your body needs to maintain weight. An average of 2,000 calories a day is the recommended amount for a woman and 2,500 for a man. So, if you are aiming to consume 1,800 calories a day, plan three meals at 500 calories each, plus two 150 calorie snacks. By keeping the rules simple, you are less likely to stray from your plan.
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Prepare Meals in Advance
Reserve a couple of hours over each weekend and prepare your meals in advance. This will help combat the temptation to deviate from your plan. When you are cooking, consider how you can use foods in different ways. For instance, a pound of lean ground beef can become spaghetti bolognaise, a delicious Mexican chili, or a shepherd’s pie topped with mashed potato. Got extra potatoes? Consider roasting some as a healthy side dish and saving a few more for sausage and mash. Keep a couple of days worth of meals ready for immediate reheating. Use your freezer to store the rest. The night before you plan to use them, you can take your meals out of the freezer to thaw for easy reheating the following day.
Write Everything Down
Each week write down your starting weight and your finishing weight. Also make a note of what you eat along the way. This will help you to keep track of your weight loss journey and holding yourself accountable. You can also turn back to your meal plan diary when considering what you’d like to prepare for the following week.
Planning your meals in advance like this can help you lose weight in a sustainable and healthy way. And if you’ve stocked your freezer properly, you’ll always have something healthy you’ve already prepared to turn to when cravings strike.
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Last modified: April 1, 2019