An understanding of balanced meals helps you understand how to make healthy meal plans. By choosing a good balance of healthy foods, you can nourish your body naturally and reap the benefits in how you look and feel.

What Is a Balanced Meal?

Healthy meals balance the major food groups. Make half your plate consist of vegetables, and the other half split equally between lean protein, complex carbohydrates and dietary fat. Protein and fat contribute to satiety, the feeling of satisfaction after you eat, while lots of vegetables fill your stomach but have few calories.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Meal Plans for Weight Loss

How much are healthy meal plans? Often less per meal than fast food. Good sources of cheaper protein include pork loin and chicken thighs, both of which can be prepared in several styles of cuisine, from spicy Asian to aromatic Italian or simply baked with salt and pepper. Searing it in a pan, baking it or grilling are the healthiest ways to cook chicken or pork.

Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, as they’ll cost less than those grown far away and imported. Frozen vegetables are simple to store and easy to add to soups and stir fry, while frozen fruits make the perfect base for smoothies.

Complex carbs, such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole grains are often quite inexpensive. These give you sustained energy throughout the day.

How to Make Healthy Meal Plans

Creating healthy meals starts with selecting nutritious foods from your grocer. You can also dedicate one day per week to preparing ingredients for the next several days. This can make it easier when your schedule is hectic to put a healthy meal together.

To plan meals in advance, choose proteins that work well with a variety of your favourite veggies. You can cook vegetables in advance halfway and finish cooking them when you pull your dish together. Brown rice, quinoa, and couscous can all be cooked in advance and reheated, too.

Choose which combination of ingredients you’ll pair together ahead of time, creating a set menu for each day, or play it by ear at every meal. Whichever way you go, you’ll have delicious and nutritious meals awaiting you.

Having healthy meal components on hand from which to build your meals enables you to make good choices and keep up with your weight loss goals.