To lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle, consuming nutrient-rich food is crucial. This is especially vital for gym enthusiasts, as food plays a vital role in fitness progress. In today’s post, I’ll share a few simple yet very effective tactics that will help you tremendously in your healthy eating journey. I’ll begin by providing you with accurate information on creating the right meal plan for you, and after that, I’ll give you all the tips and tricks that’ll help you stick to it throughout the entire time.
How to Create the Perfect Healthy Meal Plan for You?
The first thing you need to think about is your goal – do you want to build muscle, lose fat, or maintain your current physique? Once you’ve determined your objective, the next step is to calculate your daily calorie needs. Luckily, there are numerous online calculators to assist you with this task. I recommend checking MyProtein’s guide on calculating your maintenance calories. The page also provides information on how to adjust your calories for a deficit or bulking.
Moreover, when it comes to working out, protein is a must. The minimum amount you want to consume is at least 1.2 g protein per kilogram. However, if you train four or more times a week, I suggest you increase your protein intake to a range of 1.8 to 2.3 g protein per kilogram. Keep in mind that individual needs may vary, so it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. If you have any health-related issues, consulting with your doctor before starting any fitness or nutrition plan is always a wise decision.
How to Stick to A Healthy Meal Plan All the Time
First, let me begin by saying that it’s absolutely possible to enjoy your favorite meals no matter what your goals are. You can eat pizza and ice cream when you’re cutting as long as you keep track of your overall calorie intake. Gone are the days of restrictive diets that make you feel deprived and unmotivated.
In the subsequent paragraphs, you’ll be presented with several useful tips that will help you develop a healthier relationship with food, and you’ll have zero trouble sticking to your healthy meal plan. At the end of this read, you’ll realize that eating nutritious food is not difficult or boring.
The Better Alternatives
One of the best things you can do when it comes to sticking to a healthy meal plan is to come up with better alternatives to your favorite not-so-healthy meals. For instance, instead of buying a greasy burger with fries, you can try to make one at home. Instead of white flour for the bun, use wholegrain flour. Instead of frying the potatoes, season them, sprinkle some oil, and put them in the oven or the air fryer. Skip processed sauces – make your very own healthier versions. The Internet offers abundant inspiration for nutritious, budget-friendly, and simple recipes.
I’ll be lying if I said that eating healthy involves having everything you can think of. Adopting a healthy lifestyle involves forming new habits that you gradually get accustomed to. At first, you may find it hard not to buy McDonald’s, for example, but after a while, you’ll start to realize that it’s much better to eat something that’s packed with protein, healthy carbs and fat.
While occasional indulgence in favorite junk foods is natural, you’ll eventually prioritize nutritious options as you’ll actually recognize their numerous benefits. Once you realize the positive impact of healthy eating, you’ll naturally start to make better choices for your overall well-being. This will help you stick to any meal plan you’ve created without a hitch.
Learn to Meal Prep
To be honest, I don’t meal prep since I work as a freelancer from home, and most of the time, I have the opportunity to cook my meals right before having them or the night before. However, I understand that many people, including home-office workers, struggle with time constraints. Luckily, there’s one quick and simple solution to this problem, and that’s called meal prepping.
Make Sundays your meal-prep days, and prepare most of the food you’ll consume throughout the upcoming days. I recommend buying several good-quality meal boxes to store your food conveniently. Calculating the macros in each box will help you track your calories without any difficulties.
If you hate having the same meal every single day, let your imagination run wild. For instance, instead of having boiled white rice for five days straight, stuff bell peppers with rice and veggies and add them to your Wednesday and Thursday boxes. If you hate the taste of leftover chicken breast, try making baked chicken nuggets with lots of seasoning. The latter will ensure your chicken will remain flavorful, and you won’t even have to reheat it the next day.
Meal prepping may take a couple of hours, but it saves time and keeps you on track with your healthy meal plan all week.
The Perfect Snacks
Snacks can not only satisfy your cravings, but they can also help you reach your macros. Nowadays, there are numerous healthy options out there, including protein puddings, skyr, raw nuts, protein bars, and even protein chips made from beans! In other words, even if you’re in a hurry, you can just grab one of those things without exceeding your calories or consuming empty calories.
I suggest stocking up on different healthy snacks whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Having them readily available in your cupboard ensures you can easily grab a snack that aligns with your meal plan.
A List of Healthy Foods to Add to Your Shopping List
- Rye bread or protein bread
- Green vegetables (spinach, celery, bell peppers)
- Kidney bean
- Fruits (blueberries, raspberries, apples, and bananas are my top picks)
- Basmatti rice
- Raw nuts
- Sunflower seeds