Healthy Meal Planning example

Love Your Meals, Adore Your Meal Planning!

Structuring your meals is critical to your success in the world of fitness. Stop hating your meal planning, stop feeling guilty when you go outside your plan. Love what you eat as you work toward your fitness goals!

Meal Planning: A Systematic Guide to Healthier Eating

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When weekdays and weekends are equally hectic, coming up with a meal planning routine seven days a week can feel like a chore. For a majority of people watching their weight or trying to bulk up, it becomes a source of stress. Additionally, on busier, stressful days, diets or the idea of meal planning get thrown under the bus as you get takeout or food delivery for convenience instead.

If this is a cycle you want to break free from, you can feed yourself better, save money, and eat according to your goals and needs through Meal Planning. With this type of planning you’ll never stress about eating healthy again.

What is a Meal Plan?

A meal plan is an efficient strategy you can use to create a menu of what to eat based on your nutritional goals and needs. You’re free to make a weekly, monthly, or daily meal plan– it’s up to your needs and your target how you create one. It’s also a systematic way to keep track of your caloric and nutritional intake.

Why Plan Your Meals?

Color-coded food containers in your fridge and a satisfyingly organized pantry are merely bonuses when you have a meal plan. Whether you’re trying to build muscle, take off a few inches of belly fat, or even just want to save time and money, creating a meal plan is never a bad idea. Here are three reasons why you should start meal planning according to nutrition experts.

To Lose Weight

Not only is it easier to monitor your diet and your food intake when you plan your meals, but according to scientific studies, preparing your meals has been linked to weight loss and obesity prevention. Takeout food usually has higher calories and is filled with sodium, fat, and processed carbohydrates than food prepared at home. Paired with physical activity, meal planning is associated with lower odds of being overweight in women and men. It also helps with weight loss, thanks to portion control. When considering portion control for your weekly meal plan, you’re also able to keep your ingredients in check, adding more or less of the ingredients that you need or don’t.

To Build Muscle

Just because you’re bulking up or trying to put in more muscle doesn’t mean you can eat whatever. Studies show that meal planning is associated with improved diet quality and food variety, which provides nutrients better than your average takeout. Creating a meal plan can help you get the most out of your body-building program at the gym. Remember that what you eat helps regulate your energy as you work out, so focus on food that fuels your body properly, such as easy-to-digest starches, lean protein, and essential fats. Additionally, being cognizant of lean protein to carbs ratio in your meal plan helps with muscle-building.

To Improve Your Overall Health

Research has found that consuming takeout food increases the risk of death by health causes, whereas home-prepped meals are linked to longevity. In one study, people who ate at home regularly lived longer than those who ate out frequently (two meals or more per day). With meal planning, you’re more inclined to eat more nutritious foods such as leafy greens, lean meats, and essential fats. Eating healthier home-cooked meals will improve your health.

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Creating A Meal Plan

Design your meal template. You can also find resources online for a basis for your meal plan. If you’ve never created one before, consider two things: 1) what to include in the template, and 2) how things should be arranged.

Meal Template

  • Meal 1 – Breakfast
  • Meal 2 – Snack
  • Meal 3 – Lunch
  • Meal 4 – Snack/Pre-workout
  • Meal 5 – Dinner

Day 1 High-Protein Meal Plan (Sample)

Meal 1 Breakfast
Omelet & Toast
1 Whole Egg
2 Egg Whites
¼ cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
⅓ cup Tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
1 slice of whole grain wheat bread, toasted

Meal 2 Snack
Apple Slices & Peanut Butter w/ Sunflower Seeds
1 Apple
3 tbsp of peanut butter
¼ cup of sunflower seeds (or alternate)
1 scoop protein powder (your preference)

Meal 3 Lunch
Tuna Salad Sandwich
1/2 cup of lettuce
1 can of tuna
1/4 cup of onion
1/4 cup of tomatoes
1oz of cheddar cheese
2 slices of whole-grain wheat bread

Meal 4 Snack/Pre-workout Smoothie
Green Protein Smoothie
1 cup spinach
1 frozen banana
2 cups almond milk (or more as needed)
⅓ cup chia seeds (optional)
½ apple

Meal 5 Dinner
Pan-seared Salmon and Greens
8oz salmon fillet
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of kale
⅓ cup of mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic

Meal planning is a sure way to systematize nutrition. A well organized plan can be as detailed or generalized as you want it to be. If this looks overwhelming, our coaches and trainers at Apex Image Co can help you make your very own personalized meal plan according to your goals. Email us and get your meal plan today!