Nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. It’s one thing to have a good diet, but it’s another thing entirely to have a plan that keeps you on track for the long run. This can be a challenge for anyone who has ever tried to maintain their weight loss goals or simply wants more energy in their lives. Some days are harder than others, but there are some tricks of the trade that can make nutrition easier and less stressful. Here are some hacks I’ve learned along the way:
Cook in bulk. Batch cooking is a great way to save time, money, and the environment. If you’re not already doing this, here’s how it works:
Cook multiple servings of a meal at once so that you can eat leftovers for lunch or dinner later on in the week (or month). This saves time because you don’t have to make an entire meal every day—and it also saves money because buying ingredients in bulk will save you more than buying smaller amounts when they’re more expensive.
It’s also healthier than eating out all the time (and potentially cheaper depending on where you live).
Finally—and this one might be obvious—cooking large meals gives you something fun to do during the week!
If you’re like me, you probably find yourself snacking on junk food whenever the opportunity presents itself, but it’s also probably been a while since you’ve actually gone out for a nice meal. When I’m in the mood to go out and spend some time with friends, though, I’ll always choose something that involves more than just ordering from a menu at home.
When it comes to planning ahead so that your eating habits match up with your plans for the week or weekend—it can be as simple as having a few healthy options ready to go in case someone wants to grab lunch after work and asks where everyone wants to go. This way, instead of relying on convenience foods or spending hours deciding where and what everyone is going to eat (and then being disappointed when no one likes your choice), you’re able to get right into enjoying each other’s company without worrying about having another long debate over where they should eat next time they want good food.
Be mindful when going out.
While going out is fun and can be a great way to hang with friends, getting to a restaurant and not being able to make an informed decision about what you order is stressful. If you’re going out for dinner, make sure you eat before going! You’ll be less likely to get caught up in the flow of “let’s just see what sounds good” when your stomach isn’t empty (and starving).
A glass of water before eating will help fill your stomach so that it doesn’t get hungry too soon after starting on your meal. This way, if there are any portions that are too large or high in calories, then at least those calories won’t go straight into fat storage because they’ll be used as energy first. Drinking water throughout the evening will also help keep hunger pangs at bay between meals and prevent overeating later on.
Another tip is sharing main courses with friends—many restaurants serve huge portions these days! By ordering two smaller versions instead of one giant one (or even taking half home), everyone gets enough food without having leftovers sitting in the fridge for days afterward collecting dust on top of everything else already there!
Limit alcohol and sugary drinks.
You can cut out a lot of unnecessary calories by limiting alcohol and sugary drinks. Alcohol is high in calories, with one glass of wine containing about 120 calories, while heavier drinks like beer and cocktails are even higher. The problem with alcohol isn’t just its high calorie count, but rather that it can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from other foods you may be consuming. Similarly, sugary soft drinks and juices are often loaded with extra sugar (and other ingredients) that add up quickly when consumed on a regular basis. This can lead to weight gain over time which can increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Limit the amount of Junk food or joy meals in your diet.
The average American consumes more than 30 pounds of high-sugar, low-nutrient foods every year. It’s no surprise then that a recent study found that people with higher levels of junk food in their diet were more likely to be overweight or obese. If you’re going to eat junk food, make sure it’s an occasional treat (and not a habit).
Your best bet is to keep these items out of your home altogether:
- Candy bars and other sugary snacks
- Soda and other sweetened drinks
- Potato chips, corn chips and other salty snacks
If you have a plan, you will be less likely to eat poorly.
One of the most important things to do when it comes to eating well and staying healthy is having a meal plan. If you know what you are going to eat each night, you will be less likely to stray from this plan and eat poorly. Having a meal plan will also make your life easier in many other ways:
- You’ll save time because there won’t be any indecision about what to make for dinner.
- You’ll save money because grocery shopping will require less thought and planning, since everything has already been planned out beforehand.
- You’ll have less stress because making decisions about what to eat requires more brainpower than just picking something off of a menu or deciding what looks good at the store—and that’s stressful!
- It makes people feel good about themselves when they stick to their plans!
There are so many ways to make nutrition easier. From batch cooking to planning ahead and limiting the amount of junk food, there’s no excuse not to be healthy! If you need help with a plan, give us a shout and we can certainly smooth things out for you!