June 21 2013
As a dietitian, I regularly see clients who may easily be able to maintain healthy body weights, as well as those who struggle to reach a healthy weight. Although everyone is different and there isn’t one guaranteed, no-fail method to weight loss or maintenance, there are certain dietary approaches supported through research which can assist us in achieving a healthy weight.
Topping the list of helpful weight maintenance strategies is appropriate meal planning. Because let’s face it, we all know what it’s like to have a long, hectic day at work or a week with more things going on than hours to do them. Whenever this happens, we often find ourselves too busy and too tired when meal times roll around.
The daily rush can potentially lead to developing poor nutrition habits such as compensating pre-planned, well-balanced meals for quick and simple fixes like fast food restaurants, take-out, and processed convenience foods. Not only does this become costly, it can lead us to consume more than our adequate amount of calories, as well as higher amounts of saturated and trans fats, salt, and added sugars – additives that should be limited if we’re looking to achieve a healthy diet.
The second runner up on the challenges to maintaining a healthy weight is the struggle to include a variety of foods when we opt out of preparing our own complete meals. What this means is that, on top of over-consuming nutrients that should be eaten in moderation, we’re also under-consuming fibre, vitamins and minerals – the health promoting nutrients that we should be getting more of every day.
If we turn to convenience foods and meals once in a while when we’re really stuck, it doesn’t pose a long term health issue. The problem arises when we’re resorting to these meal preparation alternatives on a more regular basis (multiple times per week or even every day). When it comes to our diet-related health and weight maintenance, frequent fast food habits like that are what get us into trouble!
Consuming well-balanced, nutritious meals and snacks at regular times during the day is one of the key components of a healthy diet, as well as being an important behavior for maintaining a healthy body weight. Yet, we all know that this is easier said than done in today’s busy world.
This is why meal planning is so helpful and important to meet our nutritional needs. Plus, weekly planning means that we no longer need to worry about the guesswork and stress that accompanies trying to coordinate meals at the last minute! It also saves us time over the course of the week because you’ll have more opportunities for the other important health promoting behavior of physical activity to reduce stress!
By planning our meals each week, we are able to ‘see’ what we’ll be eating over that period. It allows us to have time to consider and check the nutritional value of foods so we can ensure that we choose healthier options and take in appropriate amounts of the different nutrients. Meal planning also allows us to be sure that we’re eating a wide variety of nutritious foods and that we’re properly balancing out how much we’re consuming from the different food groups.
Taking a few minutes each week to plan our weekly meals helps us know exactly what we need, how much of it, and where to get it. Not only does this shorten and cut back on grocery store trips, it lets us incorporate more fresh and whole foods into our diets. If we have a plan to purchase these ingredients, are prepared for and aware of how to store them, and know exactly how we’ll be using them, it makes it much easier to increase our consumption of these more nutritious options.
Ultimately, MealEasy makes meal planning easy on a weekly basis. We can feel confident that we are preparing healthy foods without hassle.
If you want to improve your diet and maintain a healthy weight, but find it challenging to plan and prepare your own healthy meals, MealEasy is the perfect tool for you! With so many nutritious options and specialty menus, this excellent program makes the process of planning your weekly meals quick and easy. It helps you ditch those unhealthy convenience food fixes by replacing them with easy to prepare, nutritious, AND delicious options personalized to you! Set up your MealEasy account to start saving time and money, but more importantly, begin improving your nutrition!