How many times have you started the week with every intention to eat healthier, only to have your best efforts fizzle out by Wednesday?
Good intentions and motivation aren't the only ingredients for success when it comes to healthy eating habits. Having a solid plan is just as important! So today, we are sharing 7 meal planning tips to help you eat healthy not just on Monday, but all week long.
Going to the grocery store comes with some inevitable impulse purchases. Maybe you grab a protein bar to avoid getting hangry, or a bottle of kombucha. But if you’re shopping multiple times per week, these impulse purchases can seriously add up.
Try to plan one or two grocery trips per week. If you’re on a typical Monday to Friday schedule, Sundays are a great day to shop and prep, with a mid-week top-up on Wednesday if needed. This will require you to be super organized, so use That Clean Life to create a plan and have your grocery list automatically generated and itemized for you.
Read: Grocery Shopping Sucks: How I Keep it Under 30 Minutes.
2. Use Fresh & Frozen Ingredients Strategically
If you’re buying ingredients like fresh berries, you should plan to use those at the beginning of the week because they’ll be mouldy after a few days in the fridge. Keep fresh produce purchases to what you plan to use within 3 to 4 days, then use frozen ingredients later on in the week.
Read: Ingredients I Buy Frozen Instead of Fresh to Save Time, Money and Clean Up
And while we're talking about frozen ingredients, let's talk about frozen meals too. Consider making a big batch of stew or curry on the weekend, and freezing it for use later in the week.
3. Cook Once, Eat Twice (or 3 or 4 times…)
Batch cooking is one of the best life hacks when it comes to eating healthy all week long. Maximize your kitchen time by ensuring that you make at least a few portions so you’re not tied to the kitchen every time you need a meal.
Here at That Clean Life, we love meal prepping and we even have exclusive plans like Meal Prep Sunday. This will show you how to prepare a bunch of delicious, healthy meals on a Sunday, so you can save time and eat well all week long.
4. Try New Things Along With Old Favourites
Add some variety to your diet by trying one or two new recipes every week. Experiment with themes like Meatless Monday or Slow Cooker Sunday to keep it fun.
If you’re a That Clean Life member, you get access to new recipes every week, as well as a database of old favourites so that you'll never run out of inspiration. Even if you’re not a master chef, you can relax knowing that all of our recipes are developed and tested in-house, so you don’t have to worry that things won’t turn out. Also, to save you time from cruising Pinterest and Google, we keep all the meals for you in one place, and make it super easy for you to find the perfect recipes for your needs. You can search by things like breakfast, vegan, paleo, egg-free, nut-free and more.
5. Use Up Leftover Ingredients
At the end of the week, look at what you have leftover and find ways to incorporate those ingredients into your next meal plan. Whether it's an extra can of beans or half a bag of frozen peas, try to work it into next week's plan. This way you’ll save money at the grocery store, by using up what you already have in your kitchen!
If you’re looking for inspiration, you can use That Clean Life to search for meals based on the ingredients you already have.
6. Treat Yourself
Healthy eating is a lot easier when you actually love the food you’re eating! Just because you’re committed to clean eating, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy treats like cookies, cupcakes, or take-out favourites like butter chicken or pizza.
Get adventurous and try making healthier versions of your favourite treats. This will not only keep things interesting, but keep you satisfied so you're not looking for ways to avoid your meal plan.
Read: Cleaned Up Butter Chicken with Cauliflower Rice.
7. Schedule in Flex-Meals
If you know that you aren’t going to eat every single meal at home all week long, leave some gaps in your meal plan to allow for lunch or dinner out. This way you won’t overspend on groceries that end up going to waste.
Being realistic is way more important than being perfect, so find what works for your life! Don't avoid social occasions in the name of healthy eating, just focus on ensuring you have good food available at home.
How do you stay healthy all week long? Leave us a comment below to share the meal planning strategies that help you get through the week!