By Mitchell Blume, RD, CDE, PA
Meal planning can be a challenge for anyone. “Where do I start?”. “When should I eat?”. “What should I eat?”. These are common questions that many of us have and want answered. I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips that help answer these questions, while getting you started on creating a quality meal plan.
- Eat at least 3 times per day with small, healthy snacks in-between.
- Space your feeding apart to help prevent over-eating and increase early satiety. Avoid going longer than 4 hours without eating something. When creating a feeding, make sure to center it around a lean protein source to help provide a nice balance.
- Eat more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Try to add more vegetables to your lunch and dinner in an attempt to control the portions of your more calorie dense foods (carbs/protein/fat). Shoot for half your plate to be non-starchy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, brussel sprouts, etc.
- Use fruit as quick snacks or desserts (added into Greek yogurt can satisfy a sweet tooth!)
- Eat more whole grains. Try to make at least half or more of your grains be whole grains. Examples include whole wheat flour, corn meal, oats, etc. It is also good to substitute grains with high fiber complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, quinoa, brown rice, black rice, etc.
- Choose more lean proteins. These include poultry without the skin, extra lean beef, pork loin, fish, and egg whites. Additionally, vegetarian options are great choices, such as nuts/seeds, soy beans, tofu, tempeh, etc.
- Get most out of your fats from oils, nuts/seeds, and fish.
Heed caution when it comes to fad diets that promise a quick, simple fix. Leading a healthy lifestyle can’t be short term and it requires hard work. It’s important to view it as a lifestyle change to better your overall health and well-being. If you approach it with this mentality, you will see the greatest results that will be lifelong.
Looking to EduPlate yourself with the help of a dietitian coach? Download our app to get started today!
Have a question you’d like answered by a qualified dietitian? Email us at RDN@EduPlated.com. To receive weekly nutritional content (advice, recipes, and tips) shared by our team of qualified dietitians be sure to subscribe!