Thank goodness for meal plans these days. With them, you do not need to spend hours preparing dishes and cooking. You can even select meals according to your diet and health needs.
With so many options, though, how do you plan your meals, say, for a week? Here are a few tips:
Know the Dietary Guidelines
Based on this info graphic, the Aussie government recommends the following for health and well-being:
- You need to meet your macronutrients. These are healthy proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
- A well-balanced meal will include a quarter of complex carbs and a quarter of vegetables and legumes or beans. The rest will be for lean meats and poultry, as well as fish, dairy products, and fruit.
- The preferred drink is water.
- While you should eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits, eat more of the former. Stick with rainbow colours (do not just eat greens).
- Minimize your consumption of oils. Eat potato chips and other high-sodium snacks sparingly.
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Determine Your State of Health
What you can and cannot eat also depends on your health. Some medical conditions will need a special type of diet. These include:
- Heart disorders
- Chronic kidney disease
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
Work with your doctor, nutritionist, and dietitian to help you come up with meal plans. You can also show the list of menus from your chosen delivery service.
It is always best to see your medical core group regularly. Your health markers can change. You may also need to adjust your meals.
Identify Your Goals
Most of these meal plans are both delicious and healthy, but your choices will still need to align with your goals. Usually, they fall in the following categories:
- Weight loss and management
- Change in dietary lifestyle
First, you may want to lose some weight. For that, you need to select plans that match your ideal calorie intake.Losing weight is often the same as creating a calorie deficit. You should burn more calories than you consume. However, you also cannot restrict your diet severely.
The body can go into starvation mode. In this situation, it holds on to calories and fat you have because it fears you are hungry.
As you lose fat, you also need to adjust your calorie needs until you find that magic number for weight management.
Second, your objective may be to change your diet or lifestyle. Perhaps you want to eat less meat and more veggies and fruits. Your 2020 goal can be to transition to a plant-based diet.
Decide When You Want Your Meals
Plans nowadays are flexible. You can choose to eat delivered meals from breakfast to dinner. You may also opt for lunchtime.
If you have the energy this week, then you can skip deliveries. You have the option to subscribe weekly or whenever you have the budget.
Some people think that meal deliveries are expensive, but they can be more affordable than eating out. Both can give you the same delicious dishes, though planned meals may be healthier.
You just need to ensure that the meals are worth the money. There should be dishes that will inspire you, make you happy, and improve your health and well-being. These tips will help guarantee you can pick meals that will be valuable to you and your family.