A meal plan template refers to applications that help you in planning your meals well in advance to assist you in controlling the foods you consume. Meal planning is among the best ways to begin and achieve your fitness goals. In a world that mostly focuses on productivity and to-do lists, finding the energy and time to plan healthy meals customized to your nutritional needs and preferences can be a challenging task.
Luckily, the multitude of templates available can make meal planning and probably weight loss more achievable. Gone are the days where you would fish for recipes from cookbooks while you write a grocery shopping list on a rough post-it note. Planning your meals makes a huge difference especially when it comes to sticking to a change in diet. It’s pretty easy to prepare a quick convenience meal or head to a hotel when everybody is hungry, and nothing has been defrosted, but just a little planning can easily prevent this.
Organizing your meals using a meal plan template
You can use a free template to plan your meals and also generate your shopping lists. That allows you to grocery shop in less time which incredibly simplifies your week. You can start by creating rotating lists of meal plans that utilize seasonal produce and other corresponding shopping lists which are organized by the section of the store where the food is.
To simplify the meal planning process, you can write your recipes on the templates along with the needed ingredients. For every ingredient, you should write the amount required by one person for a single recipe. That allows you to easily adjust the recipe down or up if you have some company or if some of your children will not be home for a certain meal.
Weekly/Daily Meal Plan Templates (Excel)
Meal Plan Templates (Word)
What are the basic contents of a good meal plan template?
Planning a meal is the best ways to create healthier meals, lose weight, cut calories, and also feed your family fast. It is also incredibly challenging, but the right template can make your meals a lot easier to make, shop for, and also prepare.
Meal planning templates and sites are pretty numerous nowadays, and they all come with similar features. That means that it’s not an easy task to find the one that suits you best. Regardless of the meal template you select, you should check out for the following:
Free trials – The template you choose should give you a free trial before you purchase if it is not free. That will help you ascertain whether it’s the right fit for your preferences.
Automatically generated grocery list – The meal planning template should be able to generate grocery lists automatically.
Recipe or menu variety – The meal plan template should give you a wide variety of recipes to help you prepare a variety of healthy and balanced meals.
Calendar sync – A calendar sync feature will help you plan meals well in advance by creating rotating lists of different meal plans according to seasonal produce.
How to create a meal plan
Meal planning isn’t hard once you have a system in place, but there are a few things to keep in mind when starting that will make the make the process easier for you and your family:
Always have a daily template
Instead of starting from scratch every week, you can have a template of the common types of foods you cook every day of the week as well as the number of times you use every main food.
Include whole grains
Always aim to make half your grains to be whole grains. When shopping look for the terms “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” on the food labels. Whole grains offer more nutrients, such as fiber than the refined grains.
Make half your plate fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that promote good health. Select fruits and orange, dark-green and red vegetables such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Add lean protein
Select protein foods like lean beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, and eggs, beans, tofu, or nuts. Try to make seafood a compulsory protein on your meal at least twice a week.
Don’t forget to include dairy
You can complete your meals with a cup of low-fat or fat-free milk. You’ll get a similar amount of calcium and some other essential nutrients just like whole milk but lesser calories.
Avoid additional fat Utilizing heavy sauces or gravies will add calories and fat to your healthy meals. Try some steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon or a bit of low-fat parmesan cheese.
Using a meal plan template for diabetes or other patients
For diabetic patients or any other patient, diet is incredibly important. Meals are a pretty big issue for most patients. Meal plan templates offer diabetic patients an incredibly hustle free, and medicine free life by making it easy to create healthy meals. A diet plan template is the best solution for them. You don’t have to look for food options or recipes and here and there. By a single click, you can get everything you want. The meal plan templates can guide you on the type of food you should take and in what amount to balance your system.
How can a meal plan template help in weight loss?
If your primary objective is to lose some weight, planning your meals is essential and utilizing a template makes it incredibly easy. A meal plan template can help you lose weight and achieve your fitness goals by encouraging you to key in your food preferences, the amount of money you are willing to spend, the number of calories your meals will contain, and your schedule. The template will then generate some meal plans for you and also provide grocery lists for all the ingredients involved. If you enjoy cooking but would like to develop healthy eating habits, meal templates can help you do that.
Some tips to keep you stick to your meal plan
Get creative in your kitchen
Regardless of what you are cooking, find ways to make your meals healthier. You can try using less cheese and meat, which can be high in sodium and saturated fat, and add in more vegetables that add new textures and flavors to your meals.
Try new foods
You can keep it interesting by trying out some new foods you have never tried before, such as mango, quinoa, kale, sardines or lentils. You might discover a new favorite or find them online. You can then trade the tasty recipes and the fun with your friends.
Prepare for deviation
Always have a back-up meal in your pantry so that when you want to deviate, it’s the end of the world. Your back-up plan does not have to be complicated, have something ready that aligns with your diet planning goals.
Be flexible with your meal plans
Your meal plans do not have to be fixed every day of the month. As long as you are still meeting your original goal for meal planning, you can always switch your meals.
Mix up your meals
Consuming the same meals in a long time can be boring, so if you realize you are not interested in cooking what you had planned, cook it for that day and avoid planning that meal again for a couple of months.
Take control of your meals
Ensure that you eat at home more regularly so that you can evaluate what you’re eating. However, if you eat out, always check and compare the nutritional information. Select options that are low in calories, sodium, and saturated fat.