Tired of trying to think of meals to plan that are helpful for weight loss? Bored with your current rotation of recipes and meals? Here are some helpful tips on how to help you get out of a cooking rut when meal planning to help with weight loss.
Planning a weekly menu
Planning for the week as to what meals you want to make is a very helpful way to save time, money and the last minute rush to prepare a meal. It also helps to make sure you are including nutritious and healthy meals regularly.
- Work out what your activities are for the week – do you have to take the kids to dance class on a Wednesday night? Work late on Thursdays? Planning ahead to make sure you take into account the nights you have time to prepare meals and the nights you need to have a meal all ready to just heat up and eat will help support you in your goals.
- Create a shopping list – this will help you keep on track when going food shopping and sticking both to your plan for healthy meals but also your budget, not to mention save you time at the shops.
- Cook in bulk – An extra time saving tip is that when you do cook, cook double the meal size so you can put it aside in the freezer as a meal that you can simply heat up on those busy nights. Another way you can do this is to set aside a couple of hours once a week where you can prepare the majority of your meals so you reduce the amount of times you have to cook.
Creating a base for your meals
This could be as simple as prepare a large batch of rice, vegetables or a cooked meat and freezing it – when you are ready to eat your meal simply add in what is missing from the meal. For example, cooking up a batch of rice and freezing it means that all you need to add for a quick meal is some salad and even a tin of tuna with some dressing to make a healthy meal.
Another way to plan out your meals for the week is base it around a protein source – for example Monday could be meat free protein source such as eggs, Tuesday could be pork, Wednesday could be chicken and so on. Once you have decided on the protein source you can then bulk up your meal using a variety of vegetables and wholegrains.
You could also use themes to create meal plan for the week. Monday could be Mexican themed, Tuesday Italian based meals and so on. Get creative and involve the family so everybody is on board with the meal plans for the week. Some find it handy to have a chalkboard in the kitchen which lists out what the weekly meal plans are so that everybody in the family is informed and knows what they are having that day.
Try new recipes
One way to get some inspiration is by trying new recipes. A great way to find recipe inspiration is through the LifeShape clinic newsletters, cooking classes and new recipe releases to provide you with inspiration for healthy nutritious meals. For further ideas on how to get out of a cooking rut or other recipes you can use to help with your weight loss goals please talk to your LifeShape dietitian at your next consultation.