How to Create a Healthy and Affordable Meal Plan

by John Esposito
packed meal plan healthier choices with Progentra

When it comes to weight loss, one of the easiest and best ways to start is with meal prepping.

Even if you don’t like cooking, much of the time meal preps consist of one night of cooking/prep for four to seven days of meals.

You might think, “but isn’t meal prep kind of expensive?”

It doesn’t have to be! You can create a healthy, and frugal, meal plan for a whole week!

You might also be thinking, “how much time will this take me?”

The truth is, each recipe will take you an average of 30 minutes to make, but if you are multitasking, it will be worth it in the end.

A lot of the time the meals are also for two, or more, servings, which means that you can eat it for two nights. This can be very helpful if you hate cooking but want to start eating healthier.

A lot of the time these meal preps are 2,000 calories or less, for faster weight loss. You can either increase the amount of food, if it isn’t enough for you, or you can decrease for even faster weight loss. Remember that you really shouldn’t go under 1,200 calories a day, as your body needs about this amount to stay healthy and strong. Meal plans also don’t, generally, contain items that you can’t find at your local grocery store. You should be able to find all the ingredients that you need at any grocery store, and if not, they usually suggest some sort of alternative.

Some key points to a healthy diet include…

When it comes to creating a healthy diet for yourself, you don’t have to change your routine too much. If you can incorporate these steps into your daily routine, you can make the transition into a healthier lifestyle much easier for yourself.

Get rid of the sugar

To do this you will have to start looking at the nutritional value of what you are buying. There are hidden sugars in everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Once you start looking at these labels, you will be surprised by the amount of sugar that is put in food. Of course, you will still have some sugar in your diet, but you should be eating natural sugars, not processed sugars. You can get these natural sugars from fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options.

Eat more vegetables

vegetables in meal planningYou should be eating about 2 ½ servings of vegetables every day, according to the food pyramid. Vegetables contain many of the nutrients that you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables are full of vitamins, protein, fiber, and much more. When changing to a diet for weight loss, you need to increase your vegetable intake.

Add more protein

When it comes to protein, you need to eat more than just red meat. Now I’m not saying that red meat is the devil, but you do need to add different kinds of proteins to lose weight and keep it off. Protein is important for your bones, muscles, and skin. By eating more protein, you will also be less likely to crave sugars as a higher protein intake can help to remedy these cravings. Protein can be found in many foods and will be easy to add to every meal.

Drink Water

Make sure that start to drink more water when you start a diet. Many of your food cravings are confused with being dehydrated. When your body is dehydrated, it begs for that moisture, so if you aren’t drinking water, it will try to substitute with food. Water can also help you to lose weight faster. You will feel full from your water intake and will be less likely to snack. It is recommended that you drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. You will also have increased energy levels and better skin.

Some tips to help you create a budget friendly diet…

The hardest part of starting a diet is the fear that it will cost too much money. Diets don’t have to be expensive, they can be extremely cost effective. If you follow these few tips, you will be able to stay within your budget, and still keep to a healthy diet.

Find substitutes for meat

man living healthier with preparing meal at homeMeat will always be the most expensive part of your meal. If you are able to substitute other items for your meat products, every once in a while, you will see that you are saving money. A good substitute for meat is beans. You can get very creative with beans or lentils. You can also substitute noodles for zucchini, squash, and many other vegetables. There are a lot of options out there, and if you start to substitute one or two meat products a week, you can stay within your budget easily.

Stop eating out

Eating out is one the biggest reasons that people have trouble staying in their budget. It is so tempting to have someone else make your food for you. Most of the time, you don’t even have to leave your house because they bring it to you. If you stop eating out you will see that you are saving money. I’m not saying that you can’t eat out every once in a while, but when you do, you will find that you have more money to go on that expensive date instead of having to do a fast food run.

Meal plan

This is what this whole article is about, so start meal planning! If you can sit down once a week and create a meal plan, you will find yourself eating healthier and you will be spending less money every month on food. Meal plans can help you to lose weight because you are watching what you eat. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight. Start meal planning/prepping today to get the results that you want.

Remember to also add exercise with your diet, for the best results possible!

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