Creating a meal plan seems complicated, but it really isn’t. It does take some time and balancing, but nothing that’s too hard that it can’t be done by your average healthy eater.
I’ve been putting together my own meal plans for years now. I even lost 45 pounds in 4 months planning my own meals. Not as consistently as I would like, but still enough to know meal planning is really just 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Figure out how much you need to eat
This is a step that only has to be done once a month as your caloric intake highly likely won’t change from week to week.
In order to determine how many calories you’ll need and your macro requirements, you’ll typically need your height, weight, activity level, and health goals.
Some people use My Fitness Pal to determine how many calories and macros they’ll need. I like to use a calculator that’s meant for determining macro needs based on keto requirements. Or keto calculators.
I like using keto calculators because they support low-carb eating and setting appropriate macros for low-carb, ketogenic routines.
Here is a post I’ve written on macros and what foods could be hindering weight loss on keto:
Step 2: Figure out what to eat
After you plug in your numbers and get your results from the keto calculator, it is time to balance what foods you’ll be eating.
Sometimes I make the foods fit the macros and other times I make the macros fit the foods.
Which means, sometimes I choose foods based on how much protein I’m going to need to eat and how much fat I’ll need. Other times, I eat what I want and tweak it as much as possible to fit my macros.
This step can take a bit of time to figure out which foods, and how much, can fit where. It gets easier as you begin to remember which foods have more or less protein and fats.
To do all this balancing, I use paleotrack.com (not a paid endorsement, I’ve just been using it for years and like it a lot). It’s so simple to understand the macros, it lets you know if you’re eating a paleo diet, and has a database of paleo-friendly foods. Or you can enter your own food.
When figuring out what to eat, I keep my meals as simple as possible. And I eat the same meals aaaallllll week. Life is so much simpler this way.
I’ve found weight loss to be much simpler when I stick to simple meal combinations instead of trying recipes and tinkering with them to make sure they fit my macros and caloric needs.
Eating healthy is also way easier, and less expensive, when I eat the same thing all week. Might sound boring, but it really isn’t bad at all.
Makes it much simpler to plan and prep too.
If you’re not already doing so, give simple combinations a try.
I share what I ate to lose 45 pounds here:
Step 3: Log it and make your grocery list
I like to write my meals down to keep track of what meal combinations worked for me. I’ve heard that writing down what you eat helps with weight loss. So… I write it down. *shrugs shoulders*
If you’re following my approach to keeping meals simple, and eating the same meal each day, you’ll be writing down the same thing every day. Or you can do like I do and just note what I will be eating that week.
Next, write down your grocery list.
I like typing mine into Google Keep which also has a cool checklist for grocery shopping.
Meal planning’s simple
Welp, there’s my simple, 3-step method to meal planning I’ve been using for the last few years or so.
It can take time to plan meals, but if you keep your food combinations simple, avoid complicated recipes, and eat the same things all week, you’ll really cut out a lot of the fuss of figuring out what to eat that’s healthy.
You’ll also save a ton of time when you’ve already figured out and prepped what you’ll be eating for the week.
More posts on keto, intermittent fasting, and weight loss: