One easy way to help with the battle of the bulge, or simply just eating healthy, is to plan your meals ahead of time. How often have you been caught short, hungry, and only greasy take out as an edible option? The apple or salad roll that you could have so easily thrown in your bag or the car would have been a far more nutritious option. Meal planning is the best way to lose belly fat, try some of these hints.
* Make a list before you hit the grocery store. This will help prevent you from forgetting vital ingredients so necessary to your diet.
* Read the labels on all those snacks to ensure you are buying the most appropriate for your individual diet. There can be an astounding nutritional difference between very similar foods.
* Think about the week ahead when you hit the grocery store. Out and about, at home, in the office? Those who move around a lot may be better off with easy to transport fruit or healthy snack bars or sandwiches.
* How many nights will you be home to cook dinner?
* Do you need to take snacks to eat before and after working out? Protein drinks or fresh fruit can be handy for this.
* Those people hanging out at home have huge options and can even prepare themselves a salad each day if they want.
* Those who work in offices may want to take fruit, sandwiches, or salads in Tupperware containers.
* Late nights can wreak havoc with the best intentions. You come home exhausted and before you know it you are ordering out for pizza, or some other unhealthy and fattening meal. Use weekends or spare time to prepare nutritious meals that you can freeze and reheat when you need them.
Healthy on the run options:
* Tinned fish can make a great and filling lean protein snack. Be sure to take a plastic spoon or fork so you can eat it.
* Boxes of nuts or dried fruits make great energy boosts. Beware of eating too many as the calories can add up pretty fast.
* Healthy snack bars. Be sure to check the GI index, calories, and fat grams so that you know what you are eating. (It will still be healthier than greasy take out.)
* Fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges are all easily portable.
* Low GI snacks such as corn crackers and rice crackers can be great between meal snacks.
* Prepackaged cheese and crackers can be filling. Check the labelling before buying.
* If you are running late for breakfast, take your diet muesli in 1 container and the milk or yogurt in another. When you can eat, add them together for a healthy breakfast on the run. (Much healthier than a donut, croissant, or super sized muffin.)
The small things:
* A lunch box that is groovy and has an area for an ice pack can help to keep the fresh fruit salad or vegetable salad crisp and non wilted while you are travelling. These can also be handy for preventing squashed bananas, sandwiches and rolls. They are also invaluable for preventing you from wearing any spilled items, dressings, or sauces on your clothes.
* Keeping a plastic fork, spoon or knife in your bag or lunch box can make eating some of those healthy items that you have packed for yourself much easier.
* Freeze waters, juices, sports drinks, and protein drinks the night before so they are still cold when you drink them later. This is especially handy if you don’t have access to fridges.
* A variety of plastic containers, even clean take out containers, can come in very handy for transporting food items. Check the lids still seal.
* Always carry a bottle of water. If you run out or it goes warm, just empty and refill from a fountain or tap. Not only will you save money, you also won’t be forced to constantly drink sodas or other fattening drinks.
* If you are a fan of soup for lunch in the office, freeze it so you won’t have to deal with any spills on the way in. By the time lunch arrives you will only need to reheat.
* Thermos drink containers are invaluable in colder weather for keeping your favorite drinks and soups warm.
A little planning and preparation can make the difference between a healthy meal and total diet sabotage. Not only will your waistline thank you, but you will notice extra cash in your wallet as well.