Making a healthy eating plan

Making a healthy eating plan

When you want to start paying attention to the food you put into your body, it’s important to be smart and realistic about it. A healthy eating plan is a weekly calendar of exactly what you’ll be eating at every mealtime, and snacking situation. It’s a way to plan out your food-based needs so you’re building better habits. Here are some examples, so you know what we’re on about.

Where to start

The first thing to think about is what your goals are. Areyou looking to lose weight in a healthy way? Stop eating so much junk food?Switch to better versions of the foods you love? Supplement an exercise regimewith proper nutrients? Reduce the role of meat in your diet? Get in trainingfor a hot-dog-eating competition? These are all worthy goals, and knowing whatyou want to achieve will help shape your healthy eating plan.

Keep things simple

You want a plan that you’ll stick to, so it’s important to have meals that are easy to prepare – whether that’s making them yourself or pulling them straight from the fridge/cupboard. It’s also useful if you can prepare a big batch in advance and freeze some portions, so you don’t have to make a big production every time you’re hungry. Eating the same thing for breakfast each day is a good example of keeping things simple – the less you have to think about, the better.

Pay attention to the Nutritional Information Panel

We’vetalked about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Not everythingon a supermarket shelf that calls itself “healthy” is… healthy. Get to know thedifference between total fat and saturated fat, pay attention to serving sizes andmake sure you’re not necking too much salt or sugar.

Learn some recipes

Making your own food is the best way to go, because you can control what goes into the mix (and into your body). It’s also a great life skill to have. Start off small and simple, building up the meals you know as well as the herbs/spices/other ingredients you have on hand. If you’re a complete newcomer to the kitchen, this might mean learning how to boil an egg, cook pasta or roast veggies. Here’s a list of skills to learn, from the BBC.

Make room for snacks

It’s all very well to figure out which health-pumping dish you’re having for breakfast, lunch and tea, but what about when you’re craving something and its hourrrrsss before your next scheduled meal? When building your healthy eating plan, you have to be realistic, and know what you’re body is going to want. Snacks are part of every day’s diet, but we’re talking about a handful of almonds, an apple or a few squares of dark chocolate, not a block of Caramello.

Be nice to yourself

Healthy eating is more like a marathon than a sprint. It’svery likely that you’ll have to ease into these things – it isn’t a matter ofsmashing two family-size pizzas and a 2L Coke one night, then having a boiledegg white and green tea for breakfast the next day.

This also means you have to go a bit easy on yourself if youslip up. Don’t throw the whole plan in the bin if you accidentally eat a partybag of Chicken Twisties instead of the red lentil soup you prepared in advance.Instead, think about why it happened – probably because you had a party bag of ChickenTwisties within reach – and get back on track.


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