Creating healthy menu habits means being deliberate about your meal choices. One of the absolutely best ways to do this is by embracing the power of meal planning.
While this can seem super boring – or even intimidating – don’t head for the hills just yet! Once you know the basics, meal planning is easier than you’d expect, and can even be fun.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll notice heaps of incredible benefits. You’ll save time because you’ll know what you’re cooking; you’ll save money because you won’t buy junk that you don’t need; you’ll be kinder to the environment because you’ll have less food waste; AND you’ll have created a supportive diet that keeps you slim or helps you lose weight, depending on your goals.
Ready to get started? The tips below will make it easy to begin your meal planning journey.
The first step to meal planning is, funnily enough, planning!
Set aside some time when you won’t need to concentrate on anything else. Think about the types of foods that support your goals and choose recipes that are rich in these ingredients.
If you have housemates, a partner or children who also cook and eat the same meals as you, get them involved. This is the best way to ensure success and avoid any unintentional diet sabotage.
Prep in advance
Think about how you can prep once and eat for days. Many veggies will stay fresh in the fridge for a few days after being cut into usable-sized pieces.
To save even more time, set yourself up with a good stick blender, food processor and spiraliser. Learn how to use them!
And if food prep is still getting in the way of creating healthy eating habits, take a trip to the freezer aisle and grab some frozen veg. The nutritional content is still high although the texture may be less ideal for certain dishes than a fresh option.
Cook in batches
Batch cooking means that you set aside a few hours to have an epic cook-up which feeds you for days to come.
You can either:
- Cook multiple quantities of the same meal. You can use these for lunches the next day as well as popping some in the freezer for some other time when you know you’ll be busy. That way you have a healthy meal ready to go.
- Cook up large quantities of one ingredient and use it in different dishes over a few days. For example, you could roast a whole pumpkin and use it to make soup, roast vegetable paninis, omelettes and basically anything else you can imagine!
Plan your snacks
While you’re planning your meals, don’t forget to plan your snacks!
It’s all very well having your main meals sorted, but when 3pm comes and you get the munchies, you don’t want all your hard work to be derailed by a not-so-well-meaning office cookie!
Write a list of all your favourite healthy snacks and then alternate them in your meal plans so you always have something yummy to reach for.
A fruit salad in the front of your fridge is a delicious and super healthy option to consider.
Go container crazy!
Make sure you stock up on a range of containers BEFORE you start cooking up a storm!
Make sure you choose containers that are both oven and freezer safe to allow for maximum versatility.
Be prepared for those crazy days
Even if you like to cook each night and prefer fresh to frozen, make sure you have at least one or two healthy meals in the freezer for ‘those’ nights when the unexpected happens.
It’s hard to make healthy choices when things are extra busy so take the pressure off with some forward planning.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be boring. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, try to add a little fun to your routine.
Maybe buy a recipe book or look online for a new healthy recipe to try each week. If you live with others, consider rotating through the group so that everyone gets a chance to try something they’re curious about. Get them involved in cooking their meal choice! Even kids can learn to be handy in the kitchen (with some adult supervision of course!).
If this sounds good but you’d like to ensure that all your new recipe choices are healthy, nourishing and fit your healthy menu goals, choose from one of the Loz Life Recipe Packs.
To make meal planning even easier, Loz Life Menu Stacks take the guesswork out of creating healthy meals.
With a little bit of effort in the beginning, you can master meal planning and enjoy all the amazing benefits of saving time and money while taking better care of your body.
To learn more about healthy habits that can change your life, join Healthy Habit Hierarchy Academy (H3A).
With self-paced online courses, fun monthly challenges, exercises, worksheets, and a huge vault of exclusive member-only resources help to further propel you towards everything you’ve ever dreamed possible, this is the ultimate success vault.