Healthy Eating & Healthy Meals

Healthy Eating Plans, Healthy Recipes & Healthy Foods

Begin the weekend with healthy breakfast foods and a workout at your local Gold's Gym, and detour bad weekend habits like mindless snacking and fast food trips with these tips. Healthy eating starts with the first meal of the day, and when you skip this important meal, you are more likely to load up on high sugar and high fat snacks before lunch, according to the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Squeezing in healthy meals during the weekend is easy when you take the time to plan in advance. A variety of healthy recipes that you can make ahead for easy reheating are available on the internet.

Skinny Up Your Weekend


We like to think that our semi-saintly weekday diets balance out Saturday splurges, but Health.com shows you three weekend food traps you need to avoid.

It happens to the best of us: We try to eat healthy Monday through Friday, but then blow it on the weekend.

“The structure of a weekday routine makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan, but on weekends there’s less structure, and temptations are everywhere,” says nutritionist Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., author of Slim and Scrumptious: More Than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love.


FOOD TRAP NO. 1: EATING LIKE A KID

Chili-cheese fries would never cross your lips on, say, a Wednesday. But there you are on Saturday afternoon, treating the kids (and yourself) to a drippy, decadent post-game snack. “Healthy” goes out the window as you finish off that leftover bacon slice on their plate at breakfast, join them for a post-soccer ice cream cone and help yourself to that extra slice of pizza at dinner.

Food Fix: BE A PICKY EATER
Kid-friendly restaurants are used to finicky eaters, so you can order a bunless burger or a big salad with dressing on the side, Bauer says.

Food Fix: CHOOSE SMART SIDES
It’s easy to spot lean main-dish proteins, like tenderloin steaks or grilled or steamed fish, on the menu. It’s the extras that rack up hidden fat and calories, Bauer notes. Order shrimp cocktail instead of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Avoid anything “creamed” (code for “loaded with fat”). And skip the cheese crumbles on the salad.

Food Fix: BYOS (BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS)
If your weekend schedule is so packed that you’re always eating on the fly, carry high-fiber, low-calorie snacks—like soy crisps, bell pepper strips and toasted nuts—so you’ll be less susceptible to fast-food pit stops.


FOOD TRAP NO. 2: GRAZING AT PARTIES

Weekends can easily turn into a buffet of mindless nibbling and drinking. It doesn’t matter if you are dining on buffalo wings or swanky canapés—soon you’ve inhaled countless calories.

Food Fix: RUIN YOUR APPETITE
Going out hungry kills your willpower. You will quickly gravitate to the most tempting, high-fat foods. If you know that “dinner” will be catered hors d’oeuvres or a party buffet, eat a filling, 300-calorie, high-fiber, high-protein mini-meal before you head out, Bauer says.

Try two cups of lentil or black bean soup, an apple with two tablespoons of nut butter, or a chopped salad topped with a can of light tuna and tossed with a low-cal vinaigrette.

Food Fix: TALK MORE, EAT LESS
“Mingle with the most talkative types in the room,” Bauer says. Once you’re engrossed in a scintillating conversation, you’ll forget all about the party spread.

Food Fix: DRINK MORE
One glass of sparkling water, club soda, seltzer-spiked juice or even diet soda (on the rocks) between every beer, glass of wine or cocktail keeps you from eating under the influence. “Not only does the nonalcoholic drink fill you up, but you make better decisions about what you’re eating with less of a buzz on,” Bauer says.

Food Fix: BACK AWAY FROM THE BRIE
Scan the buffet for low-fat dips, like hummus or yogurt; lean proteins, like grilled chicken or shrimp; and plain veggies.

Food Fix: BREAK A SWEAT
Add an hour at the gym or walking trail to your weekend routine. “Getting some form of exercise over the weekend is the best way to reinforce your desire to make smart food choices when you’re out at night,” Bauer says.


FOOD TRAP NO. 3: HIBERNATING AT HOME

After a full-throttle workweek, it can be tempting to make weekends about vegging out. We’re all for kicking back, but the danger is when you slack off on smart eating too.

You have nada but java for breakfast, then fall into nonstop-grazing mode (cookies, tortilla chips, olives) while you watch your TiVo-ed shows, read and catch up on Facebook.

Chilling out may mean indulging in foods you avoid all week long, like a thick malt from your neighborhood ice cream shop, or spending a leisurely day baking and cooking—sampling as you go.

Food Fix: EAT “UNLIMITED” FOODS
Stock up on super-low-calorie, filling foods, like sugar snap peas, air-popped popcorn, baby carrots and prewashed green beans.

Food Fix: HAVE A HEALTHY SNACK FOR BREAKFAST
Even if you feel no yen for a full eggs-and-toast or oatmeal-and-fruit affair, you have to eat something before noon to take that edge off or you’ll overeat at lunch. Bauer recommends a handful of nuts and some yogurt or an apple, a bowl of cereal or a smear of peanut butter on whole wheat toast.

Food Fix: KEEP YOUR MOUTH BUSY
“Sugarless gum, naturally flavored seltzers and herbal teas are the perfect distraction and can quench cravings” while you’re watching TV, cooking or on the computer, Bauer says.

Food Fix: DO MEALS
Rather than eating out of bags, plate your breakfast, lunch and dinner; sit down at the table; then clean up and put the leftover food away. “This gives the meal a beginning and an end, so you’re not constantly grabbing and eating whatever is in front of you,” Bauer says.

And getting those leftovers out of sight is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t blow precious calories on more of the same when it’d be much more fun to end the meal with a bite of chocolate or a big bowl of berries.

Don't skip healthy breakfast foods on the weekend because you have to rush your child to an early morning soccer game or some other event. Instead plan for healthy eating by using the tips in this article, and by keeping ingredients like fresh fruit, yogurt and peanut butter on hand for quick meals. For healthy meals that you can take with you, make smoothies a part of your healthy eating plan. Try healthy recipes like fall-inspired Spiced Pumpkin Smoothies and Raspberry and Nut Smoothies from Real Simple, and enjoy a delicious treat that's loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Starting your weekend with healthy breakfast foods can help you control your weight, be more alert, and eat less fat and cholesterol according to an expert from the Mayo Clinic. And when you pair healthy eating with weekend workouts at Gold's Gyms near you, you get a winning combination that helps you keep from packing on the pounds. Create healthy meals based on your full-calorie favorites by exploring the internet for lower calorie options. Begin with this healthy recipe for Sunday Morning Pancakes from WebMD.Com, and indulge in these fluffy and filling pancakes that are less than 150 calories per serving.