Ever looked in the fridge before preparing dinner and felt totally uninspired by the array of ingredients in front of you? It might sound obvious but planning meals ahead is the easiest way to gain, not only a sense of control over your eating behaviour (and body weight), but also to stop unnecessary impulse supermarket spending. Decide on your meals and snacks, make a list of ingredients needed – and stick to it. By creating structure, you’ll reduce stress in the kitchen and feel an immediate sense of relief.
Fulfil your nutrient needs
Feeding your body with the right combination of nutrients will help restore physiological balance, leaving you feeling more energised and productive. Protein is essential (for everything from healthy skin to helping the body repair itself) and should make up a quarter of a typical meal. It can be found in meat, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, pulses, quinoa, nuts and seeds; for an economical protein fix, stick to the vegetarian options. Omega-3 fats are positively good for you – literally mood boosting, in fact – and found in foods such as oily fish, avocados, coconut oil and flaxseeds while fibre from vegetables keeps energy levels stable and hormones balanced. Don’t rule out choosing frozen over fresh either: eating your five-a-day this way is more affordable and minimises the likelihood of having to throw away wilting cabbage or yellowing broccoli that’s been left forgotten at the back of the vegetable rack.
Cut down on carbs and sugar
Pasta, bread, potatoes, rice…. all of these are quick and easy, go-to comfort foods for many of us but if we eat too much of them, they can spike blood sugar levels and cause the body to store fat. The answer? Swap white varieties for wholemeal or brown and fill-up on vegetables instead. The other big no is sugar (who hasn’t had a 4pm craving for a bar of chocolate?) which creates an energy imbalance and a craving for more. Healthy nibbles – a piece of fruit with a small handful of nuts, carrots and houmous, a couple boiled eggs – make brilliant substitutes.
Planning meals ahead is the easiest way to gain, not only a sense of control over your eating behaviour (and body weight), but also to stop unnecessary impulse supermarket spending.
Cook from scratch
Of course, convenience foods such as ready-made meals (and take-aways) will cost more than if you make supper from scratch. A few simple balanced recipes – and keeping an eye on portion control – is all you need to spend smarter and eat healthier. And, if you’re time poor, make a large batch of your favourite spaghetti with oven roasted tomatoes or vegetable casserole so it can be used again for lunch or supper later in the week.
Do you have a family member who you are worried about who is eating inappropriately and do you want to help them find the right support for their needs? Book your COMPLIMENTARY 30-MINUTE CALL with me and we can discuss the best nutritional approach.