Save Time, Money, and Calories – Meal and Menu Planning Pay Off

When it comes to eating well, meal planning is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for success. The beauty of it is there are no rules, and you can’t really mess it up. Planning meals ahead requires a small investment of time, but can reap great rewards:

  • A menu plan saves money by:
    • Reducing trips to the supermarket
    • reducing impulse spending
    • cutting food waste
  • A menu plan saves time.
  • A menu plan improves nutrition.

From shopping savvy to using ingredients wisely, here are some tips for success:

  • Resolve to make the effort.
    • As with any goal―losing weight, exercising, or eating healthier―the first step is making a commitment.
  • Make a shopping list.
    • Keep a generic list on hand that includes things you buy frequently (such as milk, eggs, chicken breasts), then add extras so you don’t have to start from scratch each week.
  • Shop strategically.
    • Shop on a day that works best for you. Consider your market’s schedule by Menu plannerasking when it receives fresh shipments from vendors.
    • Be flexible with your list. If you’re planning to cook asparagus one night but the green beans look better, go with the beans.
  • Plan a week of meals at a time.
    • Include side dishes as well as entrees and some healthy desserts, too.
    • When you have your menu plan filled in, create a shopping list of the ingredients you’ll need.
  • Look for sales.
    • What’s on sale this week at the supermarket?
  • Shop your pantry.
    • That can of beans in the back of the cabinet could be the starting point for any number of healthy meals.
  • Think seasonal.
    • What fresh produce is available this time of year?
    • Is it salad season or soup weather?
  • Mix things up.
    • Keep the menu interesting by planning some meatless meals or substituting a breakfast for a dinner.
    • Alternate new recipes and old favorites.
  • Picture the plate.
    • Keep in mind that vegetables and fruits should cover half your plate, lean protein should cover a quarter, and the rest of your plate should be grains, preferably whole grains.
  • Recycle your menus.
    • Don’t throw away your menu plan at the end of the week. Instead, hold on to it and reuse it later.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for treatment options for obesity and its related diseases, schedule a consultation with Dr. Heidi Ryan. She and her team of experts can help you find the right treatment.

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