3 Meal Planning Strategies To Help You Eat Better
Meal planning is one of the best strategies for taking control of your weight. The reason is that once strong cravings and hunger start to show themselves and you have nothing prepared, you rarely make good choices.
You tend to reach for convenience foods that take you further from your goals, or you eat more than you should.
The solution? Moderate food variety, good food quality, and portion controlling your meals.
Aim For Moderate Food Variety
From my experience, most people do well on 1-3 different breakfasts and lunches, and 3-5 different dinners and snacks. As a nutrition coach, my recommendation is to aim for moderate amount of variety which still enables you to reach your nutritional and satisfaction goals. I personally give myself two different options for breakfast every day. For lunch and dinner, I vary the proteins, carbs, veggies and fats so that can have some variety in my nutrient intake.
Food Quality Should Be At 80-90%
We all know eating whole foods is better than eating processed food (Fun Food). But “better” only works on paper. What’s better in real life is what helps you adhere to your plan, be consistent, and moves you closer to your goals. While I have had some clients who consistently eat 100% whole foods, I’d say that 90% of them do not eat that way, and instead I encourage them to include a little fun food once a week. When you eat 80-90% of your food from whole food sources, and you maintain that as a habit, it doesn’t matter what the other 10-20% is made up of. You still get in all your nutrients and being a little more relaxed actually leads to you staying consistent with eating whole foods the vast majority of the time.
Portion Control Every Meal
If you prefer not to count calories then you implement a simple strategy to portion control your food. Image a 10 inch dinner size plate in front of you. 50% of that plate should be colourful vegetables, 20% lean protein, 10% high fiber carbohydrates, and 20% healthy fats. This intuitive eating style will help you reap more satisfaction from your meals while also making sure you eat the right amount of food for a healthy body composition.
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