Easy Meal Plans to Lose Weight

Use smart weight loss meal plans to slim down

Yogurt with granola and blueberries
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Do you need a meal plan to lose weight? Meal plans for weight loss are hard to organize on your own. It's usually easier to follow a healthy food plan put together by an expert nutritionist or dietitian.

Whether you are following a 1,200 calorie per day diet, a 1,500 calorie per day diet or a program with a higher calorie count, you'll find a plan to follow below. Then use the downloadable schedules and simple tips to reach your goal weight and keep the pounds off for good.


3 Meal Plans to Lose Weight

Before you choose the best low-calorie diet plan, it's important to know how many calories you need to eat each day. The number can vary depending on your size, your gender, and your activity level. Many commercial weight-loss plans assign women to a 1,200 calorie per day diet plan and men to a 1,500 calorie per day diet plan. 

Once you know how many calories you plan to eat each day, choose one of these meal plans for weight loss.

Downloadable Meal Schedule for Weight Loss

Once you've chosen a meal plan, then it's time to schedule and track your meals. If you plan each meal in advance and have foods ready to go, you'll be more likely to stick to your diet. Use this downloadable form to schedule your meals.

    Use the form to plan when and what you will eat each day. The meal plan you've chosen above will provide the what to eat, but you'll still need to decide when to eat. So is there a best time to eat each meal during the day? Not really. For weight loss, the number of calories you eat each day matters more than when you eat them.

    Of course, that doesn't mean meal timing doesn't matter at all. Try to plan meals no more than five hours apart. Then schedule a light snack in between each meal. That way, you won't get so hungry that you cheat on your diet. Use your intuition, your own personal schedule, and your own needs as your guide.

    5 Tips to Stick to Your Meal Plan

    1. Schedule a time to plan. Set aside 30 minutes each week to schedule your meals and create a shopping list. You might find this easiest to do on Sunday mornings. Schedule your meal planning time just like you schedule all other important events in your life.  This is also the best time to schedule your workouts so you're sure that you get enough exercise to lose weight faster.
    2. Shop and cook. After you've planned healthy meals, then it's time to go shopping. Many dieters do this immediately after they fill out their meal plan so that they are fully stocked for a week of healthy eating.  Then you can organize your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods so that weight loss foods are easy to find.
    1. Post your plan. Your healthy weight loss plan won't do any good if it's sitting in a drawer buried beneath bills. So once you've filled out your form, post it in a place where you see it every day. It will serve as a reminder of your food choices and of your commitment to reach a healthy weight.
    2. Prep foods in advance. To make sure you stick to your diet plan, organize your meals in advance. You can do this after dinner in the evening. Lay out the foods you'll eat for breakfast so they are ready to go when you wake up. Then pack your lunch and snacks for the next day. Finally, do any meal prep for the next night's healthy dinner so that it's easy to throw together when you come home from work.

    Keep in mind that the first time that you sit down and plan meals to lose weight the process will take a little while longer.  But once you have a system in place, you'll breeze through the ritual and you might even like it!  Getting organized feels good and reaching your weight loss goals feels even better. 

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