08 Sep Benefits Of Meal Planning and How To Do It
You know that saying, “Results are 70% nutrition.”
Well, the experts aren’t wrong but where does taking care of your nutrition start?
Obviously in the kitchen while you’re cooking…but really it’s before that.
How do you know exactly what to cook and when to cook it?
That’s where meal planning comes into play.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of meal planning and the elements that every meal plan should have.
Benefits of Meal Planning
So, why should you take the time to meal plan?
Does it make that big of a difference in the results you see?
Absolutely. Here’s why:
You Create Your Day: A great meal plan showcases your perfect day. Most people seem to think that a meal plan is restrictive, and that they can only eat bland food that makes them miserable. In reality, YOU choose the healthy and delicious foods you want to eat. Once you know what your version of a perfect day entails, you can create (or follow a pre-designed) meal prepping strategy. But most importantly, you know exactly what you should or shouldn’t eat for each meal based on calories and macronutrients.
Saves You Money: Meal planning saves you money – Plain and simple. When you meal plan, you buy only what you need and it’s easier to resist urges to splurge on snacks. What’s more, when you always know what you’re eating, you’re less likely to eat out.
Guaranteed Portion Control: Most of us are terrible at portioning our food, which is why we eat too many calories throughout the day. Meal planning helps you portion your meals appropriately to achiever your caloric limit.
More Time on Your Hands: If you try to cook two to three times per day, you’ll quickly lose your patience. When you meal plan, you’ll save a ton of time because most of your cooking will be done in batches. You’ll also need to clean less since you’re cooking once or twice per week on average.
Less Stress: No need to worry about what you’re eating last minute (before you realize that you didn’t pull anything out from the freezer).
What Makes a Good Meal Plan?
Ready to try meal planning? Here are the features that all great meal plans have in common.
The Details: A great meal plan has clearly defined calories and macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat), so you have a clear target to help you reach your fitness and body fat goals.
It’s Practical: The meal plan must be practical so that it’s simple to get started and convenient to maintain over the long haul. You shouldn’t try to cook six unique meals every day, spending 30 hours a week. Stick to a couple of basic but delicious and healthy recipes each week, and change it up when you can.
It’s Well-Rounded: The meal plan doesn’t focus on the same three foods, but it’s also not over-complicated. It should have a mix of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats based on your recommended macronutrient guide.
It’s Scalable: Continuing with the ideas above, your meal plan should be able to scale into week-long meal prep. If your recipes all require fancy ingredients that spoil quickly, this isn’t going to work if you cook once per week. It would be great to treat yourself once in a while, but not for effective long term meal planning.
You Enjoy It: Most importantly, you need to enjoy the meal plan, otherwise, you won’t stick to it.
So… You Wanna Meal Prep for Yourself?
When you join Faster Fitness, we will provide you with new meal plans each week, but let’s say that you want to do the meal planning yourself.
Can you take a Faster Fitness meal plan and follow the same guidelines for your own cooking?
Absolutely, you can take the same principles and make your meal plans yourself.
If you’re making a meal plan on your own, here are the steps I’d recommend following to create your own meal planning habit:
Select 2 to 4 Meals That You Love: While I want you to keep it basic and easy to prepare, I also want you to try new meals each week. I find it easiest to select two recipes that aren’t intimidating to prepare. Then choose your meal prep days. For me, those days are Sunday and Thursday. Cook the food in batches, enough to last until the next meal prep day.
Plan Out Your Snacks: We find that most of our clients will usually eat whole meals for lunch and dinner but they opt for shakes and protein bars for breakfast and snacks. These should also be pre-selected. Not all shakes and protein bars are created equal. Some can be packed with unhealthy ingredients and excess calories.
Make Your Grocery List: Once you know which meals you’ll cook, it’s best to write out a grocery list and stick to it.
Cook and Store: Following the directions to cook all of your meals, make enough to last you until your next meal prep day and portion everything out into meal containers.
Get a Meal Plan That Works for You (Not Against You)
The best meal plans aren’t static, and they aren’t supposed to make you crazy.
Great meal plans act as a framework to save you time and help you hit your goals.
Your meal plan should be flexible enough so that you can easily follow the principles and eat healthy whether you’re in a stable routine or on the go with work or travel.
But if you really want to take the guesswork out of meal planning, we can help.
At Faster Fitness, we provide you with a new, custom meal plan every week that has everything you need from meal suggestions, calories, macronutrients, grocery lists and recipes.
This is complimentary for all of our members because we’ve found that if you don’t nutritionally support your goals, you’ll always be chasing your tail.
We’d love to help you hit your fitness and body fat goals. If you want to learn more about our training and nutrition program, check out or Group Personal Training program by clicking the link below: