If you’re having a hard time staying on top of your healthy eating and fitness goals, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the holidays, school vacation, or just a stressful day at work, it’s easy to get off track when life happens. One of the best ways to manage interruptions is to accept that they will happen, and plan ahead for them.
Once a month
- Review work, social, and school calendars. Make a note of the days you won’t be home or may be too tired to cook. Is there another household member who can help out with cooking, or pick up a healthy meal on the way home? If so, delegate. If not, choose a healthy eating spot ahead of time, or have leftovers available.
Once a week
- Plan out all of your meals for the week. Check the pantry and refrigerator to make sure the ingredients are available and make a grocery list with anything else you’ll need.
- Grocery shop just once per week. Don’t waste time (and money) shopping every day or two.
Every few days
- Prep your food. It only takes a few seconds more to chop two onions than half an onion, or roast an entire pan of vegetables than just a few. Since you already know what’s for dinner all week, prep the ingredients now.
- Cook once, and eat twice. Repurpose leftover proteins into another dish, or make a soup or stew that you can eat for several days.
- Pack a lunch that includes healthy snacks, and set breakfast out the night before. Make sure your dinner ingredients are in the refrigerator if they need to thaw.
Just like life, sometimes healthy eating doesn’t work out perfectly, but if you have a plan, it’s easier to pick yourself up and get back on track.
How to cook once and eat twice. University of Nebraska-Lincoln website. Accessed October 31, 2016. http://food.unl.edu/how-cook-once-and-eat-twice.
Top 10 meal planning and shopping tips. Produce for Better Health Foundation website. Accessed October 31, 2016. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/planning-and-shopping-top-10-tips.