Sticking to a nutrition plan is no easy feat. Diets become boring, supplements become unaffordable and cravings start to soar. However, it’s easy to follow a plan that is less complicated and doesn’t take a toll on the wallet. Here are few ways to stick to your meal plan:
1. Plan ahead
If you’re going to attend an office party on the weekend, or have to go out with friends, you need to plan ahead and figure out how you’re going to keep the calories low. A good idea would be to check out the restaurant menu in advance and mark the low calorie options. If you do not know where you are going just keep your few options in mind at all times. When handed a menu head straight for the salad or grilled meat sections. A salad or good lean meat dish can be just as tasty as those chicken fingers but twice as nutritious.
2. Make it social
Join a forum or use your social media accounts to let others know that you’re following a meal plan. This can give you motivation to stick to the plan. Finding a partner who is also on a meal plan is also a good way to get motivated, and you and the partner can report weekly results to each other. In this world of social sharing and uploading there are obviously people dealing with the same challenges you are so unite and become a better dieter.
3. Buy affordable whole foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Aim for low-fat Greek yogurt or soy yogurt for breakfast. Half a cup of yogurt provides around 6-8 grams of protein. It’s also a good food for the bones due to the high calcium content. Avoid getting non-fat yogurt as it’s expensive and includes artificial flavors and sugars. To enhance the taste, consider adding some fresh berries (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries).
Eggs may be the cheapest food item on the list. You can make an egg sandwich for lunch. Studies also suggest that eating eggs at breakfast can reduce the overall calorie consumption during the day. Eggs are also the cheapest source of protein. 1 egg contains about 12 gram of the muscle building nutrient.
Beans are cheap and provide a lot of nutrition. They contain slow burning carbohydrates as well as protein. Choices include black beans, red beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans and soy beans. They also contain good amounts of fiber. Beans and rice make a perfect dinner combination.
Buying meat in bulk is also a great way to save and be healthy. Getting a larger package of chicken or steak will feed you for longer, keep your cost per meal down, and help you lose weight. Having a high protein intake is a huge part of becoming strong, lean, and healthy. Try and keep red-meat consumption low so sticking to chicken might be your best day-to-day option.
4. Cheat once a week
If you’ve been following the meal plan regularly and have kept calories in check, you can take a day off from the regular plan and eat whatever you want. This is called the ‘cheat day’, where you can eat reasonable portions of your favorite food. This removes any cravings that you may have during the regular meal schedule. The idle day for cheating would be a Saturday or Sunday.
By following these simple guidelines, you may surprised to see how easy it is to follow the plan. Regularity would also help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long run.