There are plenty of diets available for those that want to get healthy and loose weight, but often they can be hard to stick to for more than a few days. Creating your own healthy eating plan is not as difficult as it may sound and with the right preparation, it is easy to stick to and will really help you to get into shape.
Firstly you should have list of all the snacks and foods that you enjoy eating and be very honest with yourself. Put a mark next to the unhealthy foods and highlight those that you know you struggle to stay away from. Research healthy alternatives to those foods that you have marked and see which ones you think you would be able to use as a substitute. Another option is to include a small amount of those foods into your meal plan a couple of times a week. This will help to ensure that you stick to your meal plan and that your cravings don’t get out of hand. Remember the saying “a little of what you fancy does you good” the operative word here being ‘little’.
Next create a list of 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners to eat during the week. You should also include a list of 2 snacks per day to be eaten between breakfast and lunch and then lunch and dinner. Some people find it easier to have a specific meal plan for each day, while others prefer to change them around to stop getting bored with the food.
Breakfast should include a mix of carbohydrates, calcium and protein. Things such as whole-wheat breads, bagels, etc. are perfect for a healthy carbohydrate intake; protein could be a rasher of lean bacon or eggs that have been poached, boiled, made into an omelet or scrambled; and calcium could be a light yoghurt or glass of skimmed milk.
The first snack of the day should be a small portion that is light but satisfying. A handful of nuts and dried fruit will give you a burst of energy or you can satisfy your sweet tooth or chocolate craving and pick one snack that contains 100 calories or less.
Lunch should also include some sort of protein to help build muscle which in turn burns fat. A grilled chicken breast with salad, tuna salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread or roasted vegetables with couscous all make delicious and filling lunches that are incredibly good for you.
The next snack should be fruit based if possible and you can also add a couple of slices of cheddar cheese. Popcorn, mini pretzels or crisp-breads are a good alternative if you want something salty.
Finally for dinner plan to eat a smaller and lighter meal as you will have less time to burn off what you have eaten before you go to bed. Meat and salad with a piece of fruit should suffice.
Finally, once you have decided on your meals go out and buy all of the food that you will need for the week. This will help you stick to the meal plan and will take temptation away. Popping into the supermarket to pick up items mid-week can really stretch your willpower, especially if you have had a bad day at work and are just craving that large bar of chocolate or cream cake.