You’ve bitten the bullet and decided enough is enough and you are all set to embark on an adventure to a healthier and happier you so you’ve jumped online to search for a 7-Day Meal Planner for some much-needed inspiration.
You can almost feel the added energy it will bring you. Added strength, less stress, no more aches and pains and power radiating through your body.
Whatever your goal, providing a stable grounding is essential before taking the leap and beginning your trek.
When it comes to health and nutrition, the grounding base is meal planning. Envisioning and visioning will help you see into your future. So, having a 7-day meal planner template that you can print out and see on a daily basis, will manifest your ideal plan.
Meal planning is a vital part of eating a healthy diet and there are many benefits of meal planning. Even if you’re a healthy eating veteran, I’d highly encourage you to take half an hour a week to meal plan healthy meals for your family that week.
I know that thinking about making a meal plan sounds like a lot of effort, but consider the headache of rocking up at the supermarket and trawling the aisles seeking the inspiration of what to have for dinner that night.
Not to mention that trying to find food that is healthy (i.e., no Macca’s) can be close to impossible in a hurry. If you meal prep, you may actually end up saving yourself time.
It has been proven that using a 7-Day Meal Planner twinned with writing down what you eat, aids in weight loss and healthy eating efforts. This is partially due to the fact that it increases your awareness and accountability. It helps you identify your food-related habits and what habits are sabotaging your potential success.
Consistent meals help teach your body that fuel is available and therefore prevent derailing cravings.
Here are 7 Benefits to Meal Planning:
- It Saves You Money
- You Have Less Stress In Your Life
- You Get To Eat Real Food
- You Will Waste Less Food
- It Saves You Time
- It Adds Variety
- It Gives you control
1. It Saves You Money
Once you have your meal plan, simply write a shopping list based on your plan. Only buying what you need will save you lots of money at the checkout, compared to impulse buying once you’re already at the supermarket.
Also, research tells us that we spend more overall at the supermarket when we make multiple visits in a week compared to just heading in once a week.
2. You Have Less Stress In Your Life
With a 7-Day Meal planner written up for the week ahead and stuck on your fridge you know exactly what is organised for every meal so you don’t have to stress about what you will cook and have to find something last minute.
3. You Get To Eat Real Food
Consuming a nutrient-dense real food diet is vital for so many aspects of health, but it also takes some advance planning.
Meal planning lets you decide before you ever go to the supermarket what healthy meals your family is going to eat during a given week so that you can only purchase healthy foods and know that you will use them.
If you’re switching to a healthier diet, meal planning is especially important to help you stick to it while you learn the ropes.
4. You Will Waste Less Food
One of my biggest pet hates is finding a container of food in the back of the fridge and realizing that the contents resemble a science experiment more than they do food.
At HEALTHY GLOW we focus on a healthy real-food lifestyle and part of that is being a good steward of the resources you have.
With meal planning, you will know how you are going to use all of the food for that week before you even go to the supermarket to buy it. You will have a weekly game plan that even takes leftovers in to account so that food is rarely wasted.
5. It Saves You Time
Another great benefit of meal planning is the time it saves.
Planning ahead allows you to cook things in bulk and freeze for a future meal or make extra of a protein to use in a quick meal later in the week.
During the winter months, you can cook a batch of slow cooker meals to keep in the freezer so that you can just stick one in the crockpot and go in the morning on busy days.
6. It Adds Variety
It may seem that meal planning is rigid and boring, but statistically, families are more likely to eat the same meals over and over if they don’t meal plan.
Meal planning allows you to ensure variety and avoid falling into the trap of eating the same five meals over and over. A varied diet is good for our digestive health and exposes us to a wider range of nutrients.
7. It Gives You Control
One of the first steps to improving your eating habits and your health is to gain control over your eating habits.
A 7-Day Meal Plan allows you to know what you are eating when you are eating it and all the ingredients are there waiting for you when you need them.
Life is busy and we have lots of pressures to manage each and every day.
So, having a plan and already having the ingredients available allows you to get on with the more important things in your day safe in the knowledge that your meals are sorted!
Free printable 7-Day Meal Planner
This free printable meal planner from HEALTHY GLOW PT STUDIO will support you in helping build structure and planning to your meal times. The purpose of this meal plan is not for you to follow it to the letter but of course, you can if you like all of the foods on the planner.
Our goal here is to help you build a plan and structure that fits your busy lifestyle and fits with your family’s needs and requirements as well.
Ultimately, we recommend you plan your weekly meals according to what you have in your kitchen, what you are excited to try, or simply what sounds good this week.
Print your free printable meal planner. I recommend doing it in colour ink, so it really STANDS OUT! Place your meal plan somewhere that you see every day. I like using the fridge because it is placed strategically so I will see it daily and that keeps me accountable when I want to mindlessly snack.
7-day meal plan overview
Let’s walk through it together.
We have set this meal plan up so that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We have not included snacks because each of these meals contain a balance of key proteins, healthy fats and energy-boosting carbohydrates that will fuel your body with essential nutrients whilst keeping you fuller for longer.
When it comes to customising this plan to fit your own needs and tastes, we know you need a good balance of proteins, carbs, fats.
And we appreciate the challenge is how do we turn that knowledge into a workable plan of attack that you can use to create healthy meals that taste delicious?
At HEALTHY GLOW PT, it’s been our mission for the past 11 years to help local residents achieve their health and fitness goals through the delivery of fun and highly effective exercise sessions. We understand the critical part sound nutrition plays in our clients success so we continue to research simple but highly effective eating strategies to help our clients develop healthy eating habits for life.
What this means to us is this:
- Eating fresh, minimally-processed food as often as possible.
- Including a balance of protein, veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fats.
- Adjusting portions to meet health and body composition goals.
That all sounds great. But the trick is to do it all in a way that’s super-easy and tastes amazing.
We feel our free 7-Day Meal Plan covers the elements required to help you achieve success but rather than just give you a tool, we like to show you how to use that tool so that you learn the key elements employed so that you can develop your own healthy meal plans.
We hereby outline what we think is a simple 5-Step Process to creating healthy, delicious and well-balanced meals for you and your family…
STEP 1: Choose one ingredient from each of the four columns below
|PROTEIN||VEGGIES||SMART CARBS||HEALTHY FATS|
|Beans||Broccoli||Squash||EV Olive Oil|
|Eggs||Cabbage||Red Potatoes||Walnut Oil|
|Chicken||Green Beans||Sweet Potato||Sesame Oil|
|Turkey||Bok Choy||Brown Rice||Avocado Oil|
|White Fish||Carrots||Plantain||Raw Avocado|
|Skyr Yoghurt||Bell Peppers||Barley||Walnuts|
|Red Lentils||Cauliflower||Buckwheat||Nut Butters|
STEP 2: Portion Your Ingredients
Use the following guide created by the team at Precision Nutrition to portion your meal, remembering you can make more than one portion and then use the leftovers for a meal the next day…
To determine your protein intake
For protein-dense foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or beans, use a palm-sized serving.
For women we recommend one palm-sized portion with each meal. And for men we recommend two palm-sized portions with each meal.
Women: 1 palm
Men: 2 palms
To determine your vegetable intake
For veggies like broccoli, spinach, salad, carrots, etc. we recommend you use a fist-sized serving.
For women we recommend 1 fist-sized portion of vegetables with each meal. And for men we recommend 2 fist-sized portions of vegetables with each meal.
Women: 1 fist
Men: 2 fists
To determine your carbohydrate intake
For carbohydrate-dense foods – like grains, starches, or fruits – use a cupped hand to determine your serving size.
For women we recommend 1 cupped-hand sized portion of carbohydrates with most meals. And for men we recommend 2 cupped-hand sized portions of carbohydrates with most meals.
Women: 1 cupped hand
Men: 2 cupped hands
To determine your fat intake
For fat-dense foods – like oils, butters, nut butters, nuts/seeds – use your entire thumb to determine your serving size.
For women we recommend 1 thumb-sized portion of fats with most meals. And for men we recommend 2 thumb-sized portions of fats with most meals.
Women: 1 thumb
Men: 2 thumbs
STEP 3: Add Your Herbs and Spices
Use the following infographics to determine what herbs and spices you need to help enhance the flavour of your meal…
Your Guide To Selecting the perfect HERBS for your meal:
Your Guide To Selecting the perfect SPICES for your meal:
Your Guide To Selecting the perfect AROMATICS for your meal:
OR USE THE FOLLOWING HERB GUIDE…
STEP 4: Cook Your Meal
STEP 5: Put It All On Your Plate
Garnish with an additional sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, seasoning where required and ENJOY!
A 7-Day Meal Planner template that can be printed will have a big impact on your health, budget, and schedule.
Consider it the base of your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Although our one is a set plan, our objective here was to give you a starting point to help give you confidence and structure from which you can then customise and create your own healthy 7-Day Meal Planner for you and your family to enjoy.
This can then be adjusted according to your preferences, schedule, and personal goals. Planning, preparing, and packaging your own meals and snacks are easy steps, building lifelong healthy habits.