With the daily rush, it is not always possible to make healthy choices at mealtime, right? That’s why knowing how to put together a balanced weekly menu is important. After all, we often forget how a balanced diet goes beyond weight maintenance.
Nutritious, varied and previously planned meals directly and positively affect our quality of life. As a result, you have more energy and willingness to carry out the most diverse activities. Not to mention that a weekly menu speeds up the preparation of food on a daily basis.
With a little planning and free time, it is possible to organize a healthy weekly menu without a lot of work. Want to know how to do this? So, check out our tips below!
Planning your meals: the advantages
Are you one of those people who, when hunger strikes or time is short, calls for fast food? If that’s your case, learning how to put together a weekly menu is synonymous with many advantages. Doing this planning has several benefits for your health and also for your pocket.
With the habit of planning the meals of the week, you are able to save a lot of money. After all, it manages to avoid buying unnecessary products at the supermarket and controls waste. In addition, it spends less on restaurants and delivery.
More nutritious meals
The healthy weekly menu also helps you have more control over the types of food that will go on the plate. The result? A greater guarantee of the intake of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the organism . We all want to have more disposition and health on a daily basis, don’t we?
Taking care of nutrition: quality
The planning of your meals starts even before going to the supermarket. The first step is to make the shopping list. To work, take into account all the processes, from the choice of recipes to the correct storage of ready-made food in the refrigerator. But the priority is to think about health. So, see the tips we prepared to help you!
Consume natural foods
Always prefer natural foods and avoid eating too many processed products. For this, it is essential that you read the labels of each of them and know how to identify the ingredients. Stay away from those with lots of fat, salt and sugar.
Leave out of your cart cookies, soft drinks and box juices with large amounts of sugar in the composition, for example. If you can’t give up chocolate for dessert, give preference to those that have at least 70% cocoa . Today, there are many options on the market.
Opt for lean proteins
Weekly planning will make you eat better, especially if your choice is for healthy dishes. A tip is to always have one or two proteins at home, such as chicken, fish, lean meat and eggs. If you have no idea of a recipe, you can prepare them and leave them in the refrigerator ready for consumption when hunger strikes.
Discover our fish and seafood options
For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet , the ideal is to seek the intake of proteins necessary for the body from other sources. Some examples are tofu, mushrooms and seitan – the gluten meat. Also make other recipes, like vegetarian hamburgers and falafel – fried chickpea dumpling.
See all our vegetarian options
Choose full versions
An excellent tip for those who want to eat healthier and lose weight is to abandon simple carbohydrates. For example, replace white rice, refined pastas and white breads with the full version of each. This way, you do not need to leave out the foods you like and ensure more nutrients in your meal.
Leave half the plate for the vegetables
This rule follows the recommendations of the food pyramid. Vegetables should be the main ingredients of your meals. Combine dark green vegetables , such as kale and broccoli, with those of other colors. Pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflowers, among others, are very welcome.
Vegetables and vegetables ready to eat
The big balcony is to appreciate the variety. Thus, you are able to ingest all types of nutrients necessary to keep the body in good working order, such as vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Preparing weekly meals: value for practicality
Now you know some ways to have a more balanced and nutritious nutrition. So, let’s go to the practical part? In view of our previous tips, start preparing your menu and meals for the week.
Put the menu on paper
You already have a good idea of what is good to go for the dish or not. Besides, you must have heard that the ideal is to eat in a fractional way, right? In addition, it is interesting not to go for long periods without eating, as this leads to imbalances in the body’s functions.
So, try to plan meals at most every 3 hours. Put it in a spreadsheet or do your planning by hand, as in the example below:
- 8 am – breakfast;
- 10:30 am – morning snack;
- 13h – lunch;
- 16h – afternoon snack;
- 19h – dinner;
- 10 pm – night supper.
Vary the recipes
Eating the same thing over and over can make your diet quite monotonous. Therefore, search for different recipes, exchange experiences with acquaintances and vary the ingredients and the method of preparation. After all, diversified meals better serve the body’s needs in relation to nutrients.
In addition, the variety helps you to explore flavors and, who knows, discover new favorite foods. That way, the menu never gets sick. This is a great secret to not be tempted to eat something outside the home and stay away from fast food.
Don’t forget the intermediate snacks
Do you remember our meal model? You need to adapt it according to your schedule, of course, but try not to skip any of those sections. Intermediate snacks are not usually the priority – we tend to think that only breakfast, lunch and dinner are important.
However, these light snacks in the top three are essential. Eating a little in the middle of the morning helps to keep you full longer. That way, you don’t go too hungry for lunch and manage to respect what you had planned on the menu.
Discover all our snacks
Make a shopping list
The idea is to think about the recipes to be made for the week and buy the necessary ingredients for them. This way, you avoid buying too many products and don’t waste any food. There will also be no lack of that spice or special touch on your plate due to pure forgetfulness.
To make your job easier, write down what should be purchased periodically:
- monthly: non-perishable foods (such as rice, beans and pasta) and spices;
- weekly: fresh foods such as meats, vegetables, fruits, breads and cheeses.
Choose a day to cook
Setting aside a few hours in your week to devote yourself to cooking will save you effort later. Many people prefer to do this during the weekend, as they have more free time. In any case, prepare the recipes, cook the beans and legumes and wash the leaves for the salad.
Leaving everything portioned and pre-prepared is a hand in the wheel so that the busy routine does not become an excuse for food slips. Even some fruits can already be chopped, such as melon and pineapple. Also separate oilseeds and dried fruits into small portions daily.
If you prefer, leave the healthy lunchboxes ready for the week or assemble them the day before. Most food can be frozen without major problems. However, homemade freezing of vegetables and meats can slightly change the taste and texture.
If you are including salad in your meals, choose glass jars to store it. Place the heaviest water-yielding ingredients first, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and finally lettuce. Leave to season the vegetables just before eating.
Control portion sizes
When you set up lunch boxes for the week, be careful not to overdo the portions. To better control this, you can use smaller plates or lunch boxes. A tip is to consult your nutritionist to check the ideal caloric amount for your body type. This way, you can be better guided at this time.
Be prepared for the busy days
If there are ever days when you are going to be home very late or need to leave very early, plan to have a quick meal. For this, have tapioca flour or ingredients for a sandwich at home, such as brown bread, white cheese and salad. Grated carrots and lettuce are also a beautiful combination.
Count on frozen lunchboxes
Finally, how about using technology to your advantage? Nowadays, there are professional deep – freezing techniques that preserve all the properties of food. So, frozen lunch boxes are excellent solutions for those who run out of time on a daily basis, but do not give up flavor and health.
With this information, you already know how to put together a healthy and tasty weekly menu. But, even if you don’t have time, we have great news: today, there are companies that sell healthy meals and already prepared to facilitate your daily life, such as Liv Up . You can choose different preparations and receive the products in the comfort of your home.