We all make them, the dreaded New Year’s resolutions.
Is one of yours to lose weight and get in shape?
Then, join the club because that’s the number one resolution out there. The holidays are at fault. Blame it on all those visits to Grandma’s house. Turkeys weren’t the only things getting stuffed during the festive season.
Now that it’s all over you’ve decided to join that crowded gym and work off those extra pounds. Because, the numbers you see on that trusted scale sitting on your bathroom floor are just too damn depressing.
But, what do you eat? What don’t you eat? Hmmm, struggling to answer these questions? While deciding, remember to remain budget savvy to have a nice fat wallet just not a fat waist line.
The following 5 meal plans may help you with both…saving money and eating well.
Keep reading and hopefully you can see some success with your number one resolution for the New Year.
- Batch Meal Prep
Batch meal prep is when you prepare every meal for the entire week in one day, usually on a Sunday.
Plan ahead with a list of what will be for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. Dinner is usually the big kahuna in this case scenario, meaning it’s usually the main meal that gets planned and prepared. Because, the goal is not to have to cook dinner once you get home from a long day at work.
Just take it out the fridge and heat it up. For example, meat loaf, baked chicken, seitan, beans, broccoli, kale greens, chili and homemade soups are easy dishes to store and reheat. These keep good in the fridge for days. Take left overs for lunch.
Pros: Know what’s for dinner. Portion control. Plan healthy meals in advance. Easy to prepare after work. Save money on not eating out so much. Lose weight with planned healthy low calorie meals.
Cons: Have to spend your weekends cooking. But, you can always recycle meals. Like, meatloaf on Monday, soup on Tuesday then soup and meat loaf sandwich with sautéed onions and peppers on Wednesday.
- Go Vegan or Meatless Every Other Day
You heard of meatless Mondays? Why not try going meatless every other day?
To help drop the weight fast load up on veggies, fiber and plant-based proteins (tofu, seitan, beans, quinoa, etc.). If you are feeling adventurous try dishes you never eaten before. And if you are really, really feeling adventurous go an entire week or month without eating meat—or at least skip red meat.
Already a vegetarian? Go vegan every other week.
For this meal plan to work to its fullest optimization remember to choose fresh veggies. Also, stay away from processed foods as much as possible and don’t overcook your vegetables because that kills most of the nutrients and flavor!
- Fasting, Detoxing and Smoothies
Some of the latest diet trends are interval fasting, shakes, smoothies and herbal detoxes. These are working wonders for some people.
I tried the interval fast for a week and it was hell.
But, surprisingly I lost weight in that one week. I only ate between the hours of 1pm to 7pm. Mornings were the worst for me since my body is so used to breakfast. Only water, coffee and tea without any sweeteners are allowed.
I plan on doing the veggie and fruit smoothie 10 day detox soon. You drink smoothies in place of your daily meals.
Caution: Before trying any fast you may want to check with your health care physician. Especially if you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes, heart disease, injuries or pregnancy (this one should be obvious…just sayin).
- Calorie Counting or Portion Control
An old school way of losing weight that still works is calorie counting and portion control is another. According to the USDA the required calorie intake for women is 1,600-2,000 and for men about 2,500. Stick to this number without going over your daily calorie count and you should start to see weight loss.
To master calorie counting you have to know the amount of calories of everything you eat.
Boy does that sound fun! –not.
However, once you get the hang of it counting calories may come easier and easier. Accomplish controlling your portions with a small kitchen scale or get one of those portion plates.
- Watch the Sweets and Salty Snacks
What do we eat in excess over the holiday? Deserts! Omitting sugary treats and simple carbohydrates could have you shredding those extra pounds in no time.
Junk foods, sweets and process foods aren’t a part of the food pyramid. Most of these addictive treats are loaded with sugar and sodium.
So by just omitting these from your diet can make a world of a difference with the numbers you see on your scale.
If you get a craving for something sweet eat some fruit or organic yogurt. Add a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, stevia or agave.
Regardless of which one you choose it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. It is possible to do this on a budget. Ward off disease, illnesses, optimize your energy levels, and improve sleep. You will start to look and feel better about yourself.
Include a brisk walk routine or a more vigorous fitness program and you’ll be ready for summer with your beach body in no time.