So , you want a healthy food routine, but you have no idea what that looks like or how to implement it. A ‘healthy food routine’ is a term that encompasses the entirety of your eating habits. This means the foods you buy, where you buy them from, when you prepare food how you eat (at the table, in the kitchen, in a rush) , meal times, and even cooking habits and eating out schedules. It also means how mindful you are when you eat.
Planning your meals takes away the stress of having to figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Planning for meals also allows you to incorporate healthy eating within what you can afford. It is important to take into account your lifestyle/schedule/commitment. If you are not willing or do not have have time to make an elaborate healthy dish, then do not plan for that dish and buy groceries for that dish if it is unlikely or unrealistic for you to have or make that dish.
A good routine should include schedules of as many of the the regular things as possible. This will avoid decision fatigue. All of the following should be scheduled in to your week:
- Food planning
- Food shopping
- Food Preparation
- Cooking time
- Eating time
- Eating out
- Practising MINDFUL eating
- Mouth hygiene after eating, especially at night.
So the amount of time and energy spent of these elements can vary on you. Its your life, but here are some recommendations.
Not planning weekly food is really bad, especially if you want to lose weight. Because we are visual eaters and convenience eaters and we still genetically refer back to eating when we see food as a survival instinct, not planning will almost certainly mean that you eat when you feel like it rather too much
When it come to food shopping and food preparation, there are three major things to consider:
- The more time you make to spend on these planning and prep, the easier it will be to eat a healthy, balanced diet and the easier it will be lose weight.
- You can save time on shopping and prep with the food choices you make, but saving time will cost you more money. (buying oven ready meats and fish and ready made vegetable for your evening meal saves time buying and already grated cheese and diced onions for example save time when preparing your morning omelette, but cost more to buy).
- Saving time and spending more will almost certainly compromise on nutrient quality.
Now, obviously, the more ready prepared food you buy, the less prep time you will have. The issue here is that, in not buying single ingredient foods, you do not have control over what is in it. Always check food labels and look out for carbohydrates and sugar levels and total calorie content. This is where food tracking becomes really useful. Keeping carbohydrates under 100 grams per daily should enable you to burn fat.