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Meal Planning is such a useful skill for everyday life, but its especially useful for someone who is ready to take their health and fitness to the next level. Meal planning is setting aside a dedicated time to write out each meal and snack you are going to eat for the week.
Well if you work during the week then I would suggest creating your meal plan on the weekends. Use the guidelines from my post How to Lose Weight to figure out your daily caloric intake and then plan out your meals so that your daily caloric intake is as close as possible to your goal. Take your ideal daily caloric intake and divide it at least 3 ways. This gives you a rough estimate of how many calories you should be eating at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fill in your meal plan with a variety of healthy foods and recipes that fit into your ideal calories per meal. For My Current Clients: You have so many options when it comes to Meal Planning – pick the easiest one for you and just GET IT DONE! Some things to remember- you should be eating lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits everyday. If you don’t want to follow the container system you can just calculate your daily caloric target and then divide that up how you want to. The Beachbody Club Membership includes access to customized meal plans, nutrition tips, and delicious, healthy recipes that make it easy to lose weight—it’s a $120 a month value but you can try it free for 30 days by using the sign up link below.
Plan on eating lean meats including low sodium deli meat, ground turkey, chicken, and pork. I hope this post helps you either start meal planning or get better at your meal planning so that you can reach your health and fitness goals faster! For your convenience, we have created a 4 week weight loss meal plan full of healthy, whole foods that will help you feel energized, lose fat, and be the healthiest you can be. I’ve also simplified shopping and prepping by repeating breakfast and lunch every day for each week.
If your goal is fat loss, make sure you are moving for at least 30 minutes per day in addition to following the meals. A note about whole grains – these can be tricky to pick out, because everything from cereal to breads to muffins to chips are deceptively labeled as whole grain, whole wheat, etc.
For breakfast, choose a form of protein via eggs, meat, legumes, dairy, or whole grain like oats. At dinner, aim for centering your meal around a serving of healthy protein and a heaping serving of veggies. I’m not totally familiar with porridge oats but from what I can find out on google, they would be a healthy alternative to oatmeal.
Obviously not Deanna, but she would say that it would work but much of the prepackaged flavored oats have added chemical ingredients.
Hi Kris, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts (also called filberts) are all perfectly healthy. Hi Deirdre, if you’re referring to the oatmeal, I mix it in with the berries and oats. I track my calories, and i’m finding that I generally get about 40% Protein, 40% Fat, and 20% carbs. 2-3 pounds that comes off in a week is only water weight, not fat, which is why we recommend using body fat calipers to track progress rather than the scale, which can be misleading. Ive lost 45lbs in the las 4 months, im starting this plan on july at the same time i start crossfit 3 days a week form there anything i need tu add to the plan to get all the nutrients i need? I am only 5 ft tall and at the moment I have 94lbs, but would love to be 85 and get rid of all fat from my body (like on stomach and around arms areas). I suggest using your hands to measure – a serving of veggies is enough to fill 2 hands cupped together, a serving of fruit is the same size as your fist (a medium piece). My goal is to help busy families eat healthy, well-balanced meals on a budget by teaching meal planning strategies that truly save time, money and stress in the kitchen!
Your Meal Plan is your flight plan for the week ahead – what you will be making for dinner (and lunch, if you get that detailed with it). Shopping Day is obviously the day you’re going to purchase all of the ingredients you need for the week ahead (i.e. Cut your chicken breasts horizontally into thinner breasts – thinner breasts cook faster and are also a better individual portion size. For a healthier, yet just as quick breakfast for your kids – phase out all those frozen waffles, pancakes and French toast brands you’re purchasing and replace them with your own homemade, healthier versions.
Since our kids take their lunch to school everyday, healthy and easy kid’s lunch box sides are a must in the Smith house!
Then why not download my free meal planning template perfect for creating your own weekly meal plans.
It’s handy to run onions, carrots and celery through the food processor and fry them in coconut oil or butter in advance. Speaking of which, I keep a large plastic container in the freezer, and all peelings, ends of things, veggies threatening to go bad, etc (except potatoes) go in it so when I have enough bones to do broth, I have it all handy. I COMPLETELY agree with not shopping hungry as food you didn’t intend to buy seems to jump into your cart. Breakfasts are tricky because I am not a morning person and sometimes hubby’s mornings are WAY too early for me. I spend less than an hour on Fridays putting groceries away, cutting up most of my produce. Again, research shows that protein is especially important to start your day (after all you’re breaking fast) as it helps to regulate blood insulin levels. Just planning 3-4 meals a week, especially focusing on planning those meal for busy nights, will go a long way in helping you and your family eat healthier and save time and money! Yes, I do have a set day for meal planning and for prepping (usually an hour or two) and I highly recommend scheduling time on your calendar to make out you meal plan each week.
As far as meats and fish, I tend to get these at Whole Foods, Azure Standard (a co-op I belong to) and I love U.S. I’ve been sharing a lot recently about what I think about how to lose weight naturally and healthy weight loss meal plans, but I always love hearing from others and hearing different points of view. One of my favorite examples of a healthy weight loss and progressive recipe is Sweet Potatoes and Onions. Rapidly going from a diet robust with red meat to one based on fresh fruits and vegetables can lead you to give up due to the drastic nature of the change. Andrew Schrage is the co-owner of Money Crashers, a personal finance website designed to help people make smarter choices in areas like grocery shopping, college costs, and choosing the best credit cards. As I transitioned away from red meat in order to shed a few pounds, one recipe I prepared quite often (and still do to this day) is a chicken and broccoli rice casserole. Combine all ingredients (minus the cheese) in a casserole dish, and place in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees).
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The rumors are true – abs are made in the kitchen and between 70-80% of your health and fitness results will be from what you eat – not how much your workout!
Using your meal plan, you can create a grocery list to buy only the things you will need for the week to hit your specific nutritional goals. In The Fit Tribe we realize the value of taking a few hours on Sunday to plan out your meals and get your groceries.
I find recipes in my cookbooks and on Pinterest, but you can look up the calories of most foods and even plug in family recipes on the website Calorie Count.

You do not have to follow the sample menu plan exactly, in fact, just use it for an inspired jump start and then fill in the blank meal plan with something that will work for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Everyone has a formula in their nutrition guide that calculates exactly what they need to lose weight. It has links to all kinds of free printables to help you plan out your meals however you want to! You do not have to follow the plan exactly: simply mix and match the below suggestions as needed.
If after several weeks of this plan nothing is changing, consider eliminating 1 snack per day. Look for very few ingredients on the label, all recognizable as something you might have in your own kitchen. Choose from the above options, move for at least 30 minutes every day, and be prepared to feel amazing.
I get burned out easily too which is why I had so many meals under my belt Let me know how it goes for you!
Some people need calorie counting at least for awhile just to get used to what it is they’re supposed to be eating and how much of it. Peanuts actually are very similar to almonds in calories and fat, just make sure if you’re buying peanut butter that the only ingredient is peanuts (no sugar, oils, etc).
Tastes like pb&j and the peanut butter I use is simply ground peanuts, no salt or sugar added. Most of the suggestions you have in the example meal plan are self-explanatory, but some would be easier if there was a recipe. I started 6 weeks ago fitness program 6 days a week for an hour, and changed my diet to eating clean but around 900 to 1000 calories, drinking around 7 cups of water per day, however I lost only 2 lbs so far!
You can now view my Mastering Meal Planning presentation as well as download the course handout I provide to local friends who attend my Mastering Meal Planning presentations throughout the Southern California area. I’ve also included a sample (picture) of one of my meal plans for your reference, as well as free pdf downloads of my meal planning templates for use in creating your own meal plans. For example, if you have a super tight schedule on Tuesdays, plan for it to be a quick and easy-to-prepare meal night. By prepping ahead, you’ll save time and you’ll be less stressed out in getting a healthy, homemade meal on the table during busy weeknights. Use ground meat to mix and form into meatballs and burgers that can be frozen for later use.
For example, I find it super helpful to pre-chop, rinse and store lettuce for salads for the week ahead. After cutting the breasts, place them in a ziplock freezer bag with your favorite marinade. Even the healthy brands are not as healthy as homemade and they are much more expensive per serving!
For example, a lot of people start with eliminating refined sugar and start making their own healthier sweet treats using natural sweeteners. I went through a nutrition class a few years ago at our local county extension service & that was so helpful in learning how to menu plan.
So by adding eggs in some form, the meal becomes more satisfying and yes, also increases the protein content, which is great for many reasons. That’s why, I also serve either a boiled egg or side of turkey bacon or sausage when having oatmeal or rice porridge for breakfast. If you start out slow and remain consistent, it’s a lot easier to build on that success. My challenge is that I am single and usually make small trips to different food stores during the week. So you are in control to determine what meals work for you based on your healthy eating goals (again see post above about setting goals) and can determine what portion sizes are best for you as well. Making meal planning a priority will really save you so much time the rest of the week, as well as keep you on track with your healthy eating goals. I actually have containers into which I directly portion off leftovers, so that they’re ready to go in the mornings. I recently read the book Nourishing Traditions that I got from my mother in law and I must just say I was in love with it.. Wellness Meats – wish I could afford more of their products as they’re excellent!
That’s why I decided to ask some of the top nutrition and weight loss experts out there for their top tips for all natural weight loss and healthy recipes. People who are working on losing weight have so much to think about when they start a program.
This recipe is great pared with any type of fish or meat and leftovers become Sweet Potato Soup and filling for a breakfast burrito is you so desire. However, in order to stay motivated, it is recommended that you slowly transition into this change. Eat moderate amounts of a variety of fruits and veggies in the beginning, and stick with the ones you like best. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them 8 minutes – do not add anything or cover – just pop the bowl in the microwave. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Meal planning is also the best way to reduce food waste and spend less money at the grocery store while also losing weight and becoming healthier. Because I work from home I order my groceries on Mondays – its just easier for me to do it by myself while my kids are in preschool and I get to spend all day Sunday with my family.
This formula takes into account that you are also doing the fitness program exactly as it states on the calendar. Because I am following the 21 Day Fix nutrition guide I know how many containers I can use each day and I just jot this down at the top of the notepad.
For simplicity’s sake, I have suggested one night of leftovers, one night of eating out (or more leftovers), and that Sunday night you prepare enough of your dinner to also eat for lunch the entire week (at least M-F).
You can also choose to eat your whole grains only within 2 hours of exercise or before 3pm.
For extra efficiency, make large portions and use for lunches or freeze for upcoming dinners.
As long as yore getting a variety of healthy fats, you’re good which it sounds like you are. Other than Pinterest, is there a cookbook or website I should reference when following your 4-week plan? Simple visit Free Video Course: Mastering Meal Planning to watch my free eCourse on meal planning. Taking time to really think-through this first step will save you a ton of time in the long run – no more racking your brain to try to think of what you should make for the week.
Or plan for it to be a “left-overs night” where you can simply warm-up a meal from a previous evening. Reorganizing your frig and pantry ensures you know what’s on hand, where it’s located and enables you to quickly and more efficiently unload your groceries when you return home from the market.
I also like to precook and freeze ground meat for use in meals like tacos, chili, soups, etc. Simply plan ahead to make a big breakfast (or have breakfast for dinner) and make a double batch of homemade waffles, pancakes or French toast and individually wrap and place in freezer bags the leftovers. You can use either mini-snack-sized baggies, or if you want to be more sustainable, use mini-plastic containers that can be washed and reused.

By going slowly, you’ll also find it much easier to get those picky eaters on board too. There are a couple of reasons why I would add eggs to a breakfast of muffins and smoothies. With that said, when my boys were little, I found that yogurt, a high protein muffin (such as a muffin made with almond flour or coconut flour) and some fruit was plenty to satisfy them. So if you were doing a dinner meal plan only, then perhaps only plan 3-4 dinners per week for about 3-4 weeks and then add from there. I also like variety, don’t fancy elaborate cooking weeknights, and want to get more grains and beans into my food regime, while having small portions to help reduce my chunky stomach and hips. I have a post that discuss how to develop a food budget, however, the tips provided are really focused on encouraging individuals and families to create a healthy eating game plan. A great way to plan out portion sizes is to look at the number of servings listed in a recipe and then adjust accordingly. I am so glad you’re finding this site helpful to you as you begin adopting a healthy real food lifestyle. As far as snacks, have you checked out my snacks section on the site, there are many different options from sweet to savory. I would love to just use your premade meal plans but my son wont eat alot of things on there.
Shopping for and cooking foods at home, where added fats and sugars found in restaurant foods are eliminated, is key.
Sweet potatoes and red onion are both have huge anti-inflammatory properties and are high on the anti-oxidant ladder too. Passionate about helping others reach their goals also, she aims to inspire others to live a healthy, vibrant life. Let it cool a few minutes before proceeding. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface). Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. I will go over EXACTLY what YOU need to eat daily to be successful at this – just message me! If your progress has stalled then follow your nutrition guide exactly to achieve maximum results!!
Ensuring you actually have left-overs for “left-overs night” is simple when you plan ahead for it – just make extra of a meal that reheats well, and “voila,” leftovers night!
If you don’t have a good propane grill, I recommend that you seriously consider investing in one! Then simply take them right out of your freezer and place into your toaster oven for a quick, yet healthy breakfast. It helps to come up with a plan that you and your hubby agree about and then share the plan with the kids explaining why you and Dad have decided that healthy eating is important. For example, if you’re making two meals a week and eating out the rest of the time, start by planning those two meals and maybe adding one more day for a total of three planned meals. One is for the benefit of the extra protein since research studies show that high protein breakfasts better satisfy appetite, and also help to regulate blood insulin levels. You can either reduce the recipe so you don’t have any leftovers, but I recommend having at least one extra serving that can be refrigerated or frozen for a later date. Sounds like you’re very committed to nourishing your family, which is so wonderful to hear. He is almost 3 and all he will eat willingly is sandwiches and fruit, but anything else, even just placing something on a plate in front of him, he will run crying to his room. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site! And, as you start trying new recipes, remember to add the ones your family like to your Master List of Meals. Here’s a secret for making your own fresh-sliced apple sides for the week ahead: Cut apples and place into individual containers with a dash of pineapple juice, shake well to distribute the juice – they will stay fresh all week.
As you get comfortable with meal planning and see it’s benefits, you can increase from there. Of course, you can make a full portion if you want a lot of extra servings to store for future meals that are quick to reheat on busy nights. For example I need to remember to plan for 3 meals on Saturdays and Sundays, but only two on weekdays, or even just dinner, because I eat out with colleagues at least twice a week. He used to eat everything and was just so in love with food and he has slowly dwindled down to just a few things.
Learning what not to eat makes it easier to swallow, pardon the pun, the foods that naturally helps us experience weight loss, reduce allover bloat and give us a better outlook on life. Instead we pull up to the local fast food drive through or order a pizza out of sheer exhaustion. This preteen phase is starting to make me think I may need to get a part-time job to feed them.
So if I plan on Sunday for the week, I’m already having to figure out shopping for the next Sunday, without giving myself a monster list to fill on any given day on the weekdays. Its just been within the last several years that I have been changing my habits as far as eating and being more organic..
The Lord is so good in helping us to maintain balance when we remember to present all of our concerns and desires to Him and seek His direction (Matthew 6:25-33).
Often people expect too much in too little time and give up before giving their new lifestyle a chance. Eating organically, reducing wheat and dropping all processed foods from one’s diet will take weight off and keep it off. It actually did work as far as getting more fit in less time, and now I do that twice a week, but also added HIIT and walking the days I’m not working out very hard so I can recover.
These are recipes where the key part of Monday’s dinner, for example, will become the main ingredient in Wednesday’s dinner and Thursday’s lunch. So the best way to feed him is to model healthy eating and only stock your home with choices that are nutritionally sound. Think about it, how often have we thought, I have two weeks before that [fill in the blank here] and I need to drop 10 pounds. I tend to pick up bags of legumes as I need them, and at the end of the week I’m getting lots of produce and some meat.
You want a balance of healthy proteins and fats, organic, pastured animal sources are terrific such as pastured poultry, eggs, beef and wild-caught fish rich in omega 3s. Other healthy fats come from nutritional powerhouses like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and whole milk dairy products, which if cultured are excellent sources of calcium and probiotics.
If u can give me any tips on feeding a 4 and a half year old and kinda what he should be eating that would be greatly appreciated..
If he has no issues with dairy sensitivity, cultured dairy once a day is a great source of good nutrition.
And of course the mainstay is to get those organic veggies in there, raw or slightly steamed is best. But we Moms know this can be a challenge with some kiddos ?? I also highly recommend cultured veggies (also referred to as lacto-fermented foods). They are excellent because they provide the added benefit of gut-healthy probiotics and enzymes.

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