Weight loss hacks: Only cook once a week while sticking to a healthy diet

Being healthy can be daunting; having to give up favourite snacks, constantly tracking calories and the thought of cooking meals every day of the week is too much for some people to bear. But this can lead to overindulging on takeaways or eating out, which will not only have an affect on people’s health over time, but their wallets too.

James Collier, registered nutritionist, co-founder and Head of Sustainable Nutrition at Huel, explained meal prepping is “key” for those wanting to shed a few pounds.

No only that, but his handy tips will save people a lot of time and money, too.

Utilise the freezer

James explained that often a lot of people turn their noses up at the freezer, seeing frozen food as “lower quality”.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.

“Freezing can be great for prepping meals in bulk. A home cooked ready meal is just a quick defrost away.

“If you’re planning on freezing leftovers, slightly undercook your meals so when you defrost and reheat them, they are cooked to perfection.”

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Make a shopping list and stick to it

Possibly one of the hardest things a person can do is go to the supermarket when they’re hungry and ignore the urge to buy unhealthy food or snacks.

But with meal prepping, James explained it can put this habit to bed once and for all.

“Planning ahead helps to avoid unhealthy impulse purchases,” he said.

“It’s also useful to plan a week’s meals in advance so you know what ingredients to buy.”

But he acknowledged how hard it is to avoid those impulses once they’ve set in.

He recommended: “It’s also wise to avoid doing your grocery shop on an empty stomach.

“When you’re hungry it’s too easy to be tempted!”

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Always have cupboard staples

Some foods just belong in everyone’s cupboards, and while people may be tempted to throw out the tins of tomatoes and kidney beans gathering dust, James said that they’re incredibly important when it comes to meal prepping.

Not to mention, they’re good for people’s wallets, too.

He said: “Whether it’s tinned tomatoes, beans or spices we always have them in our house.

“If we forget an ingredient or something isn’t available, then there’s always enough ingredients to put together a meal on the fly.

“Spices help to make an entirely different meal from the same ingredients.”

He suggested using smoked paprika for a Spanish inspired dish, or sprinkle a dash of five-spice powder over food if people fancy a Chinese meal.

Meal replacements

There will occasionally be times when a person is too rushed to prep their dinners for the next week, or they may have run out of a certain ingredients and don’t have time to pop to the shop.

That’s where meal replacements come into play, and James said they can be very beneficial at times like these.

“Sometimes I don’t have anything available or I’m super-rushed,” he said.

“This is where Huel comes in. Huel Ready-to-drink is nutritionally complete and is ready with a shake and a twist of a cap.

“I know I’m getting a healthy meal that tastes good and if I’m rushing off somewhere I can have it on the go.”

He added: “Huel is an ideal nutritious alternative to an overpriced petrol station sandwich!”

It must be noted that meal replacements should be used now and again and should not substitute every healthy meal.

James Collier is a registered nutritionist, co-founder and Head of Sustainable Nutrition at world leading nutritionally complete food brand Huel. Discover Huel and shop products here.

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