Meal planning for the beginner

19 May 2020
Ready to make a meal plan? Experts know how much time and money it can save you. No more last-minute trips to the store. Substituting chips and cookies for a real meal because you’re hungry and tired. You make your meal choices in advance so you can bypass the Golden Arches on the way home at rush hour. You have an answer when a someone asks, 'What’s for dinner?'
Meal planning for the beginner - photo 1.1

Meal planning can be pretty hard to start because you don’t know where to begin. You tell yourself you want to be able to make a spontaneous meal choice. But… the spontaneous choice can leave you hungry, waiting in a line in the grocery store at 20.00 or staring at the bottom of an empty bag of chips. No thanks sister, I think I’ll make that meal plan after all.

The good news is you can start in baby steps. Here’s how you can make your first step towards structure and more consistent healthy food choices.

Make a date with your Meal Planner:

  • Start with planning 30 minutes to put your meal plan together
  • Figure out when you can do your grocery shopping. (Think about keeping this time the same every week.)
  • Do you want to batch cook? Then plan 1.5 to 2 hours per week to cook your recipes ahead of time. It sounds like a lot but 45 - 60 minutes of cooking every night adds up and don’t forget the dishes. F*cking dishes.
  • Not a fan of heating up pre-cooked food? Make sure your recipes are easy and quick and you have enough time each evening to cook.

Now plan your meals (Warning- don’t do this part hungry…) Speaking from experience that resulted in a pantry raid more than once… burp.

Start with planning dinners during the week. Select 4 or 5 easy, healthy recipes and make sure you will have enough servings to eat the left-overs for lunch- then your lunches are already sorted out. Easy peesy lemon squeezy.

Wait, you need inspiration for easy healthy recipes? We’ve got you covered. You can find hundreds of healthy recipes in the Basic-Fit app to fill your meal plan, tummy AND support your goals here. SHAZAM!

Make your first Meal Plan

  1. Grab a sheet of paper and write the days of the week on it. 
  2. Look at your weekly schedule- what’s going on this week?
  3. Mark the days that meals will be difficult with a small “X” in the corner. (You can skip this step if you are going to batch cook.)
  4. Check what you have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer
  5. Keep breakfast options simple. Most people eat the same 2/3 Breakfast options 
  6. Choose easy healthy dinners from
  7. Enough servings in your dinners to have left overs for lunch the next day
  8. On a separate sheet of paper, list the items that you would need to create those meals.

Feel like you’re committing your life to this meal plan? Don’t. The plan is there to help you. You don’t have to follow the plan, but it’s there to guide you when you can’t think straight and need direction. Write it out in pencil and give your permission to erase or alter the plan as circumstances change. If there’s more than one chef in your home, consider dividing the cooking load so everyone in the kitchen will have a little more flexibility and time.