You might have heard many ways from the experts to lose weight like exercising, dieting, medications, etc. But, one of the most effective tools to lose weight could be meal planning.
Meal planning could be highly advantageous in multiple ways for an individual. You could create a calorie deficit essential to burn fat and lose weight with the right meal plan.
Moreover, a good and healthy diet would help increase muscle mass and bone strength. Furthermore, you could save a few hours of the day by planning your diet routine in advance.
Meal planning could be the fastest and most impactful method to lose weight which you could stick to for a lifetime.
Hence, in this article, you learn different aspects and ways to plan a meal for weight loss.
Points To Remember While Planning Weight Loss Meals
A good meal plan should fit an individual’s lifestyle, goals, and habits. Moreover, a perfect balance of nutrients and calories is essential for meal planning. Hence, the below steps might help you shape the right meal plan to lose weight.
Start With A Calorie Count Meal Plan
Almost all beginners prefer to fit in a calorie count meal plan to lose weight.
In these meal plans, you are expected to consume pre-decided calories that contain all the essential nutrients in the minimum amount needed by the body to survive.
Keep in mind that these meal plans may not work out for long for an individual, as they are restrictive and laborious.
Yet, it is crucial to learn more about the number of calories in different foods as it will help you to set up a meal plan covering all the nutritional needs to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Moreover, a self-curated meal plan would allow you to enjoy your favorite meals in a moderate amount alongside losing weight.
Consume Optimum Nutrients
If you want to lose weight, a lesser calorie intake could play a role.
But, never compromise nutrient intake while keeping a check on calories, as the quality is more important than the quantity.
A healthy meal plan for weight loss could include a heavy amount of proteins and fibers.
The proteins and fibers in a diet could help you feel full and satisfied in smaller portions.
You could keep a check on processed food and sugars, as they are rich in calories with lesser nutrient content.
You could bank on fruits and vegetables to fulfill your nutrient needs, as they contain a high amount of water and fiber.
Look For Simple Foods
You could find plenty of meal plans to lose weight, but most of the food mentioned in the plan won’t fit you.
It would be best to start looking for food items or vegetables that you eat or fit your lifestyle.
An effective meal plan would include healthy foods that you enjoy eating regularly.
If you don’t enjoy the diet, you won’t be able to stick to it for long.
Start making a list of food items valuable to lose weight, and select the things you could eat.
Once you are done with the list of food items, you are good to start your diet plan.
At last, keep adding or removing a few extra vegetables or fruits for additional nutrient uptake.
Collect Multiple Recipes
The cooking process could have a significant impact on the macronutrient content of the food.
Hence, collect several recipes, and learn the proper method to cook the food to keep the nutrients intact.
Multiple recipe options would prevent you from getting bored of the meal plan. Moreover, it would keep you motivated to stick to your weight loss target.
Another advantage of having multiple recipes is it could balance the weekly calorie intake.
You could consume extra calories on special outings like dates, client dinner, etc.
So, with multiple recipes, you could selectively cook low-calorie dishes.
Schedule Your Meal
The human body needs ample time to digest the stomach content.
By scheduling your meal, you would be enhancing your ability to metabolize stomach content.
Try to keep space between two meals, as it prevents you from feeling hungry during awkward times.
Moreover, you could easily stick to your meal plan and avoid consuming unhealthy foods with a schedule.
You could schedule your meals for at least 3-5 hours apart.
But, while scheduling, try doing the below-mentioned things for better control.
- You could have a healthy and filling dinner to avoid late-night hunger.
- You could have a protein and fiber-rich breakfast to keep you full for long.
How To Make A Meal Plan Work?
Everyone looking to lose weight wants to stick to their meal plan for a long time. But, several factors like time, desire to eat out, etc., can make achieving the goal more difficult.
You could follow the points mentioned below to tackle such factors and focus on losing weight.
Take Help From An App
Currently, several apps and websites offer weekly meal plans for weight loss based on the preference of their users.
You could take help from the meal plan templates available on the app.
Moreover, you could also change meals based on your interest or other medical conditions like allergies.
Taking help from the meal planner apps would save your time and energy researching and setting a plan.
Hence, you could start your weight loss goal a few days earlier.
Don’t Forget Snacks
Snacks could be an excellent companion food to keep you full throughout the day.
Moreover, snacks would lower hunger, promote a sense of fullness, and tremendously cut down the calorie intake.
But, don’t push on consuming carbohydrate-rich, or fried snacks, as they could promote weight gain.
To kill your between-meal hunger, you could include protein and fiber-rich snacks like nuts, roasted chickpeas, fruits, etc.
Plan Your Meal Preparation
Try to cut down your meal preparation time by planning the processes.
- First, make a weekly meal plan in advance to save on shopping and cooking time.
- Second, always shop with a grocery shopping list, as it could save your time at the supermarkets.
- Third, try to pick easy and compatible recipes to finish meal preparation quickly.
Never Kill Your Desires
Every meal plan offers you a cheat day to eat your desired dishes. But, one day could affect the whole week’s effort.
So, try to make outside junk foods at home to reduce the fat and carbohydrate content.
Moreover, you could add some veggies and meat like turkey breast to make them delicious and nutritious.
Some of the basic dishes you could prepare at home are soups, homemade pizza, pasta, grain bowls, etc. Also, make sure it is a cheat meal, not a whole cheat day.
7-Day Sample Meal
The sample meal plan has meals with combinations of proteins, fibers, and other nutrients in optimum amounts.
You could adjust or decide the quantity based on your weight loss goals.
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg topped with tomato and spinach
- Lunch: Tuna salad alongside veggies like lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
- Snacks: Apple and peanut butter
- Dinner: Cauliflower rice alongside bean chili.
- Breakfast: A mixed smoothie of kale, banana, protein powder, cherries, and milk.
- Lunch: Salad made with cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, olives, sweet potato, corn, and grilled salmon.
- Snacks: Unroasted, unsweetened, and unsalted nuts and dried fruits.
- Dinner: Brown rice served with a red lentil dahl and baby spinach.
- Breakfast: Mashed avocado and a fried egg on a rye toast slice.
- Lunch: Broccoli and quinoa salad with toasted almonds.
- Snacks: Some blueberries with coconut yogurt.
- Dinner: Soba noodles served with chicken stir fry.
- Breakfast: Yogurt with fruit and chopped walnut topping.
- Lunch: Homemade vegetable spring roll, raw vegetables, and peanut butter dip.
- Snacks: Carrot, radish, and cherry tomato with hummus dip.
- Dinner: Black-bean burger with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and roasted pepper topping.
- Breakfast: Oats, blueberries, along with milk.
- Lunch: Two oatcakes with vegetable soup.
- Snacks: Boiled egg and pita slices.
- Dinner: Baked sweet potato served with chicken breast.
- Breakfast: Strawberries, and nuts, with plant-based yogurt.
- Lunch: Egg and vegetable muffins served with fresh basil and tomato salad.
- Snacks: A mix of nuts and dried fruits.
- Dinner: Grilled salmon alongside potatoes and sauteed kale.
- Breakfast: Spanish omelet prepared with eggs, potatoes, and onions with sprinkled peppers on the top.
- Lunch: A delicious tofu bowl.
- Snacks: Protein-rich cocoa protein bowl.
- Dinner: Zucchini noodles served alongside lentil Bolognese.
While thinking of a meal plan, you should focus on keeping the calorie intake below your energy expenditure without compromising nutrition.
With a self-curated meal plan, you may reach the goal comfortably. Moreover, it would be fun to lose weight with a customized meal plan.
So, start preparing a good and healthy meal plan to get fit and slim quickly.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- Anne-Claire Vergnaud, * Teresa Norat, Traci Mouw, et al. Macronutrient Composition of the Diet and Prospective Weight Change in Participants of the EPIC-PANACEA Study. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e57300. Published online 2013 Mar 5. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.005730.
- Aisha Farhana; Anis Rehman. Metabolic Consequences Of Weight Reduction. Last Update: November 17, 2021. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK572145/.
- Arne Astrup, Mads F. Hjorth. Low-Fat or Low Carb for Weight Loss? It Depends on Your Glucose Metabolism. EBioMedicine. 2017 Aug; 22: 20–21.
Published online 2017 Jul 4. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.07.001.
- This article is written for informational purposes only.
- Under no circumstances do we intend to provide medical advice, cure, or treatment using this article.
- This article is not an alternative cure or treatment for a medical condition.
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Louise Rodriguez is a full-time health and fitness writer. She considers herself a gym rat and takes pride in showing her biceps. She dedicates most of her time to her health. With the time left, she spreads information regarding health and fitness among the masses. Harry Potter is her first love.