Progressive Meal Planning as a Tool for Healthy Eating

Wheat bread sandwich

On any given day, we’re faced with various food choices. Deciding what to eat can be overwhelming. What foods are good foods? What foods are “bad” foods?

But here’s the thing – healthy eating isn’t about choosing between good and bad choices. It’s about finding foods that you enjoy and then sneaking healthier foods into the mix. Dr. Robert Kushner, a nationally-acclaimed obesity medicine specialist and esteemed author of Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You” calls this progressive meal planning.

How to Use Progressive Meal Planning

The concept of progressive meal planning, according to Dr. Kushner, is about slowly incorporating more nutritious choices into the foods you already enjoy that taste good to you. It’s an easy and more realistic way to eat better without getting stressed out or obsessed over making food-related decisions.

Examples of progressive meal planning:

  • Using spiralized vegetables as noodles in a pasta dish
  • Using whole-grain options for sandwiches and tortillas
  • Replacing sour cream with plain Greek yogurt (they taste identical!)
  • Doing cauliflower pizza crust for pizza night
  • Mixing a high-fiber cereal into your go-to cereal
  • Doing “Meatless Monday” nights in your household

To start incorporating progressive meal planning into your routine, think about your favorite foods and then research creative ways to give them a nutritional boost. Many blogs, online recipes, and food shows offer good tips. Keep an open mind and focus on making small changes here and there that will eventually add up. Progressive meal planning is an easier way to eat better without creating an entirely new plan that you’re not used to.

For more on this topic, visit Dr. Kushner’s blog post here. You can also check out his website for more weight management tips at DrRobertKushner.com.

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