The foods you consume affect your body more than you realize. In fact, your diet is considered the most vital factor in achieving optimal health. Having a well-balanced diet of nutritionally dense food will also bring desirable weight-loss results. For this article, we have created a cheap and easy one-week meal plan to help you jumpstart your journey to healthy eating.
According to the Women’s Health Magazine, a lot of people confuse meal planning with meal preparation. Although both are highly important in designing a diet plan, the two processes are different. Meal planning involves writing up a guide composed of the meals you’ll be having for a specific number of days. This entails selecting dishes and recipes that suit your dietary needs and preferences. Meal preparation is the crucial step of actualizing your guide or turning your plan into action by making your meals in batches. It requires setting aside a few hours each week for the cooking, portioning, and proper storing of your food.
Web writer Kelli Foster provides the three fundamental steps of meal planning: selecting meals, shopping for food products, and preparing ingredients. Following this three-step approach enables you to break down the process of meal planning into smaller, more realistic, and less overwhelming actions.
Before we dive into the actual meal plan, let’s first discuss several benefits of meal planning.
Instead of always wondering what to have every day, it’s more productive and less time consuming to have a reference guide you can follow for the rest of the week.
By planning your meals ahead, you can set a budget and stick to it. You can even make adjustments and choose ingredients that are in season, as they tend to be much cheaper. It also helps you avoid expenses from eating out too much.
Boosts weight loss
It’s not advisable to count your calorie intake all the time. However, it’s good to have a rough estimate or idea of how much calories you’re taking in each day so you can adjust based on your observed results.
It’s important to note that this meal plan is only meant to provide inspiration. If you’re following a specific type of diet that restricts food items or have a medical condition that requires you to avoid certain ingredients, feel free to alter the recipes and make necessary food swaps.
Mash the flesh of one avocado and half a banana. Blend these with a cup of sliced cucumber, a glass of green tea, and half a teaspoon of stevia powder. There are two ways to store this. First, transfer the smoothie to a mason jar and freeze it solid. Second, combine the avocado, banana, and cucumber in a zip-lock bag and keep in the fridge.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Slice off the top of two bell peppers and remove the inner core. Crack an egg in each and season with salt and dried oregano. Top with grated cheese and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes at 350 °F.
In a zip-lock, throw in some frozen berries and a handful of nuts. Keep refrigerated. Serve this in a bowl with one cup of low-carb yogurt.
Lunch or Dinner
Mix six tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of lime juice, two tablespoons of light soy sauce, a teaspoon of dried basil, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Use this mixture to marinate two fillets of fish of your choice for no longer than 30 minutes. Drain fillets and grill in a pan for five to seven minutes on each side. Choose a less expensive type of fish like mackerel, tilapia, or marlin to make this dish.
Cook one medium potato cut into half-inch cubes and two diced carrots for three minutes on medium heat. Stir in a can of drained white beans, a can of tomato sauce, and two and a half cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Flavor the soup with a half teaspoon of dried thyme and a pinch of ground black pepper. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes. You can toast.
Treat yourself to savory chicken or beef liver steak. Mix two tablespoons each of light soy sauce and lemon juice, a crushed clove of garlic, a tablespoon of chopped coriander, and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Marinate a pound of thinly sliced liver in this mixture for 30 minutes and grill in a pan.
Flavor a pound of ground beef with half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of paprika, ¼ teaspoon of dried coriander, and ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano. Crack an egg and mix well. Scoop out some of the mixture and form into patties. Use two lettuce leaves as bun substitutes.
Serve some slices of cucumber, carrots, and bell peppers with a hummus dip.
One Week Meal Plan
|Day 1||For breakfast, have some avocado smoothie. Opt for the liver steak for lunch, two boiled eggs for a snack, and the bean soup for dinner.|
|Day 2||Have some stuffed peppers for breakfast. Go for the grilled fish for lunch, the veggie platter for snack, and the burger patties for dinner.|
|Day 3||Enjoy a breakfast of avocado smoothie, a lunch of burger patties, a snack of dark chocolate and nuts, and a dinner of bean soup.|
|Day 4||Opt for the yogurt bowl for breakfast, grilled fish for lunch, two scoops of banana ice cream for a snack, and liver steak for dinner.|
|Day 5||Go for the stuffed peppers for breakfast. Have some bunless burgers for lunch, a boiled sweet potato for snacks, and grilled fish for dinner.|
|Day 6||The yogurt bowl is a good choice for breakfast. For lunch, go for the bean soup with a slice of whole-wheat toast. Have the veggie platter for snack and the liver steak dish for dinner.|
|Day 7||Have the avocado smoothie for breakfast, burger patties for lunch, two scoops of banana ice cream for snack, and bean soup for dinner.|
You can mix and match the meals in this plan and spice things up by adding side dishes like green salad or coleslaw. You can also alter the smoothie recipe by using different types of fruits and herbs.
- Banana Ice Cream
Blend a cup of bananas, ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream, a half teaspoon of stevia powder, a pinch of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Keep in the freezer.
- Boiled Goods
One boiled sweet potato or two boiled eggs are a good option for snack.
- Dark Chocolate
Have one or two squares of 75% dark chocolate with a handful of nuts.