Top 4 Foods When Meal Planning for Weight Loss

Everyone starts out any new routine with energy and enthusiasm.  However when it comes to meal planning, simplicity is key to allow those with busy schedules the ability to get their healthy foods prepared without consuming an entire day.  The internet has no shortage of intricate recipe ideas full of ingredients that would require you to shop at 3 or more specialty grocery stores before you can even begin.  Meal planning for weight loss can be simplified by purchasing groceries that will minimize your prep time.  Check out these simple, time saving grocery items during your next trip to the grocery store:

Microwavable Sweet Potatoes

Overeating starchy carbs such as bread and pasta is challenging for most people to overcome when one starts meal planning for weight loss. The best way to select carbohydrates is based on their glycemic index rating, which measures how much a specific food boosts blood sugar.  Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious carbohydrate sources since they are high in fiber and have a lower glycemic index scale rating compared to white rice, white bread, and white potatoes.  One can save a considerable amount of time by purchasing sweet potatoes that are triple washed and ready to steam directly in the bag.  The size of the potatoes in Simply Spuds, “Steamables,” are small enough where one petite sweet potato is equivalent to 130g or approximately 4oz.  They take only 8 minutes in the microwave and zero thought.  This item is typically $2.99 or less for 1.5lbs.

Steam-able Veggies

Vegetables are high in fiber, antioxidants and nutrients but very low in calories. Integrating vegetables into your meal plan supports weight loss as they curb your hunger by making you feel feeler longerWashing, prepping, and cooking veggies can be done in one simple step by purchasing  plain, steam in bag veggies. These are a great option for those who need to increase their daily vegetable consumption to boost fiber and minerals without sacrificing convenience.  Steaming vegetables in bags requires a minimal amount of time and water, the two things that are responsible for loss of nutrients while cooking.  As cooking time and added water increases, water-soluble vitamin content decreases.  The best picks for steam-able fresh vegetables, typically available near the pre-bagged salads in your grocery store, include spinach, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, string beans, broccoli, and snow peas.

Single Serve Almond Packets

When first starting a meal plan the biggest adjustment is learning how much food you should actually be eating. Real serving sizes are substantially lower than the accumulation of foods one consumes by “grazing” throughout the day.  Snacking habits add too many calories and make it nearly impossible to attain real results when it comes to reaching your physique goals.  However, when timed correctly, snacking can keep your energy levels up and provide your body with more opportunities to ensure your nutritional needs are met.  One item recommended for a convenient healthy snack are single serving almond packets.  They are typically sold in 1oz. packets (approximately 28 almonds), and enable you to know exactly how much to consume without overeating.

Whey Protein Isolate

One of the biggest issues people experience when following a meal plan is reaching their daily protein intake. It is quite challenging to find high protein sources that are low in fat and carbs.  Whey is a “complete” protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids the human body requires for proper repair and function.  This high quality protein source is virtually free of fat and carbs, and some higher quality versions are free of lactose.  Keeping whey protein isolate on hand allows you to reach your daily protein goals when you can’t readily access items like chicken or tilapia.

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