Meal Planning

Meal planningMeal planning doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or expensive. It only takes a little thought and intention – and it can transform your life in a good way.5 Benefits:Saves timeSaves moneyReduces wasteImproved diet quality (less “obesity”)Reduces stress – increased stress = increased …

Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming, or expensive.  

It only takes a little thought and intention – and it can transform your life in a good way.

5 Benefits:

  1. Saves time

  2. Saves money

  3. Reduces waste

  4. Improved diet quality (less “obesity”)

  5. Reduces stress – increased stress = increased fat storage

When other areas of your life cause stress that you can’t control, try implementing meal planning.  This small change can have a dramatic impact on your waistline.

5 Drawbacks to meal planning:

  1. Lack of discipline

  2. Don’t know how to cook

  3. Don’t want to cook

  4. Recipe doesn’t turn out

  5. Wasted food – don’t use what you bought

You need to be realistic about how often you eat out.

When planning your meals, think about SCUBA diving…

What does SCUBA diving have to do with meal planning?

Like my BIL and SIL have said – ‘Plan the dive.  Dive the plan’

Map out your week and take into account activities, people to cook for, portion sizes, and plan for extras.

Plan your grocery shopping efficiently

1.  Start with protein (animal protein will provide a more nutrient-dense and bioavailable option)

The following matrix is my most commonly followed pattern.

I recommend 2 nights of chicken, 2 nights of beef, and 2 nights of fish, with the last night being a wild card. The wild card night can be going out or a repeat of any of the 3 options listed.

2.  Add veggies – you don’t need copious amounts of vegetables.

You do need to consider if cooked or raw is a better option when buying veggies.  Do you get bloated or gassy?  You may need to alter how you are eating and how many veggies you eat if your answer was “yes”.

3.  Sprinkle fruit – sugar cravings can be tied to the amount of fruit eaten.  Pay attention to when you eat fruit. Often consuming fruit prior to protein will trigger habits toward that pattern. 

Need more help figuring this out?  I offer personalized nutrition at varying levels of support.

Think about how many people you are feeding and what their nutrition/portion needs are.

Preparing and Cooking

  • Several options to optimize time and cost are available.

  • Pre-cook/cook meats in bulk (good for chicken and beef)

  • Pre-cook rice and potatoes

  • Prepare and freeze for later.  Add meat, hearty veggies, and seasoning to a large Ziploc-type freezer bag.  

  • Leftovers – eat the leftovers

A few things to tie it all up.  You don’t actually need snacks.  And it’s ok to be hungry.


Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults

Menu planning: Eat healthier and spend less

The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning (for Families)