Like anything in life, strategy is key to successful goal achievement. Don’t leave things to chance and find yourself caught short mid-week, with no food in the fridge, a hectic schedule and wavering motivation. Here’s how to create a clear weekly plan that in 3 easy steps...
Here’s how to create a clear weekly plan that, once executed, will steer you through even the toughest weeks.
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Now that you know how to create and adapt a daily meal plan, you’re ready to start planning a full week. There are three key steps to effective weekly meal planning. Make sure to schedule a regular time each weekend to complete your weekly meal plan.
Make sure to schedule a regular time each weekend to complete your weekly meal plan. At the end of each week ask yourself “How many work or social events do I have scheduled for next week that may affect my progress?” If you are dining out, do you have any influence over where you are dining? If you do, great, but if not, you still need to get a copy of the menu.
In addition to dining out, the weekly scan should also identify any other events, e.g., travel or late nights at work, which may disrupt your routine and that you may need to consider in your planning.
The next step is to schedule your meals for the week.
Three key points here are:
You do not have to plan your exact macronutrient and calorie intakes for each day a full week in advance. However, you should have a rough idea of the meals you plan on eating.
You do not have to prepare all your meals for the full week in advance. Whether you decide to batch cook, prepare food each day or use a combination of both is up to you – just make sure you have a plan!
In the example weekly meal plan, we have kept meal frequency and timings consistent across the week. However, you may have to adapt this on days where you dine out, depending on the size and scheduled time of the meal out. A top tip to simplify the meal planning process is to create one or two regular meals for each mealtime.
For example, making it part of your routine to have eggs for breakfast and a chicken salad for lunch. This may sound boring, but you can make slight modifications to the meal each day or switch it up entirely every few weeks. The U.P. app also provides a suggested food type and serving size for each meal, to take a lot of the hard work out of the process.
Finally, do not worry if you decide to change your plan during the week, just cross out what you did not have and make a note of what you had instead.
Schedule your resistance training (and cardio if necessary) for the upcoming week. If you train during the daytime, make sure to time your workout to fall between two of your normal meals. Leave at least one hour between the pre-workout meal and the start of your workout to avoid indigestion.
If you train first thing in the morning, or at some other point during the day where you have not eaten for more than four to six hours, have a pre-workout snack or schedule a meal straight after your workout.
And don’t forget – in addition to scheduling your meals and training, you also need to: