While thinking about nutrition is fun for many people, there are others who do not want to spend so much time thinking about their food. If you want to stop thinking so much about nutrition, consider formulating a menu that accommodates nutritional recommendations and lets you do it and forget about nutrition throughout your day.
Plan 21 meals a week. That’s three meals a day for seven days. The reason for this is because there is evidence that eating three meals a day is healthier than simply eating one or two. Risks to your health from eating fewer meals include higher cholesterol and larger fluctuations in blood sugar.
Before you plan your menu, plan the number of calories you want to include in your menu. Obesity is a much greater risk than malnutrition for most people so you’ll want to be sure your menu isn’t including healthy food but too much of it. Take some time to go beyond general calorie counters that advise between 2,000 and 2,500 for grown men and women, with fewer calories for children and more for adolescents. Use some of the more detailed calorie calculators to determine your calorie needs.
If you are unsure of the number of calories you want to include in your weekly menu, determine the number of calories you now eat and whether you’d like to maintain your weight, lose weight or gain weight and adjust your calories for the day accordingly.
Find a breakfast menu that fits your needs and tastes such as oatmeal and fruit with a glass of milk or eggs and toast. These menus and their calories are plentiful on the Internet. Write down calories, and in a separate column the items you’ll need to buy to meet your breakfast needs for one week.
Plan a lunch menu that works with your lifestyle including days when you go out for lunch. If you typically eat differently on weekends for lunch include a separate menu for weekly dining. After you generate your weekly lunch menu, write down items you need to buy and the calories you’ll be consuming during lunch.
Plan out seven dinners paying careful attention to variety since many people who eat the same breakfast and lunch during the week seek variety when it comes to dinner. Again, write down items to buy for your meals and calorie content.
Two final adjustments are necessary one for snacks if you eat snacks and one for substitutions if you typically omit a food group such as fruit because you don’t like it. Try to include substitutions that provide you with needed nutrition and include them in your weekly menu or think of ways you can disguise your less favored food by adding it into yogurt or a smoothie. Don’t forget to include calories and items you need to buy for snacks.
Your commitment to nutrition does not have to be a complicated process of chasing after different nutrients and reading food labels all the time. Use the tips above for creating a nutritious menu that you can keep reusing to meet your nutrition needs.