Do you want to start getting in shape but have a hard time eating right? Click here to for strong advice on how to create the ultimate weight loss meal plan.
We’ve all heard this before: “Weight loss is 90 percent diet and 10 percent exercise”. Or, you’ve also probably heard that “Abs are made in the kitchen”.
So, if you’ve been killing it in the gym but still haven’t seen that scale budge much, chances are that your diet is to blame.
With our busy lifestyles, it can be hard to find time to sit down each day and cook delicious, healthy meals. So if you’ve been busy, you’ve probably succumbed to fast foods, snacks with empty calories, or meals that simply aren’t nutrient-dense.
This is why it’s so important to create a weight loss meal plan.
With a weight loss meal plan, it’s a lot easier to stay on track and choose healthy options throughout the day.
But, how do you create one?
Check out this guide to learn how to create a weight loss meal plan.
1. Pick a Meal Plan Day
First things first, you want to pick a day in which you’re going to do your meal planning for the following week.
Usually, the best day is one where you don’t have a lot going on, and you can carve out a couple of hours to knock out your meal plan. For many people, this is on Sunday evening.
For some people, the meal plan day is just the day where they create a calendar for everything they are going to eat the following week. For others, meal plan day means you’re also going to go to the grocery store and prep any meals you need for the week ahead.
So, for example, you could do your meal planning and grocery shopping Saturday morning, and then take care of the prepping Sunday evening.
2. Create a Nutrient-Dense, Calorie Deficit
Now, meal planning isn’t going to do you any favors if all the meals you plan include burgers and fries.
So, you need to make sure your grocery list and the recipes you create are filled with nutrient-dense foods that can help you create a calorie deficit.
While the weight loss plan that works for you is going to look different than the weight loss plan that works for someone else, in general, you want to make sure your meal plan includes the following:
- Plenty of protein and fiber: These nutrients help keep you full for longer periods of time and reduce cravings
- Very small amounts of processed foods and added sugars (if any)
- A wide variety of fruits and vegetables: This will help ensure you’re reaching your daily nutrient requirements
Then, when you’re building your meals with these foods, you’ll want about half of your plate to be filled with non-starchy vegetables.
Then, a quarter of your plate should have a protein-rich food, such as tofu, tempeh, meat, fish, beans, or legumes. The remainder can be whole grains or fruits. You can also add in some good fats like avocado, olive oil, or nuts and seeds.
To find more info about choosing the right foods for losing fat, check out this site.
3. Go Big or Go Home
…a big batch that is.
When you double or even triple a recipe, it becomes a huge time saver and money saver.
On your meal prep day, you only have to pull out one set of ingredients and equipment once. And, it only takes a second to figure out how much extra you’ll need to double or triple the recipe.
This means a lunch recipe meant for two can be turned into your lunch for the entire week.
However, keep in mind that it’s only a good idea to double the recipe when you know you really like the food. Otherwise, things end up going to waste.
4. Pick Enough Recipes
Picking the right amount of recipes can be tough when creating a weight loss meal plan.
You want to pick enough recipes so that there’s variety, but you don’t want to pick so many that you’re spending all of your spare time in the kitchen.
So, when figuring out how many meals you need to make, check out your calendar and figure out how many times you’ll likely eat out that week.
Then, divide the remaining number of breakfast, lunches, and dinners by how many meals you can realistically prep for the week. This also helps you determine how many portions of each meal you need to prepare.
Now all you have to do is sift through your cookbooks or Pinterest board to figure out what meals you’re going to create.
5. Speed Up Your Meal Prep Time
As we mentioned earlier, meal prepping shouldn’t eat up hours and hours of your week.
Here are some tips for speeding up your meal prep time:
Create a Grocery Shopping List
Having a list can cut down on your shopping time. Separate your list into perishable and non-perishable items. Make sure that you buy the non-perishables in bulk.
Pick Compatible Recipes
Pick one recipe that can be created on the stove, another that can be made using the oven, and one that doesn’t need heating. This way, you can cook multiple things at once.
Make the Freezer Your Friend
Your meals will only last about 3-5 days if you save them in the fridge. Whereas they can be stored for 3-6 months if you save them in the freezer.
So, to cut down on waste and having to make new meals because one goes bad, make use of the freezer as much as possible.
Just make sure you put your meals in the fridge the night before to thaw them out. Then eat them within 24 hours of defrosting.
Pick Things That Are Easy to Create in Bulk
Some recipes are simply easier to create in bulk than others. These include:
- Grain bowls
- Soups and chilis
- Egg bakes
- Breakfast bars
By picking meals you can easily double or triple, you’ll save a lot of time and money.
Are You Ready to Create Your Weight Loss Meal Plan?
As you can see, creating a weight loss meal plan isn’t that difficult. And, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
To learn more tips about losing weight, be sure to keep browsing our blog.