Meal planning—it sounds tedious, right? Like something the mom on a TV sitcom would complain about? But the truth is, jotting down a few dinner ideas and doing one big shop at the start of the week makes every day easier. It saves you time, effort, and money, and helps you crush your healthy-eating goals. Plus, it fights dinner indecision and fatigue—are you familiar with the conversation, “I don’t know, what do you feel like eating?” No good choices ever came from that.
Here’s everything you need to know to create a super fast and healthy meal plan, with specific recipe suggestions to get you scribbling.
Meal Planning Made Easy
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard. Start with three easy steps.
1. Jot down a few favorite dinners. If you’re drawing a blank, don’t overthink it! What are your favorite go-to dinners? Stir-fry it is. What do you always end up ordering for takeout? Replace it with homemade burgers or tacos. What sounds really fresh and awesome? How about a protein-packed salad? Ask your partner or roommates what they like to eat, before they’re tired and hungry. Sometimes a template gets you in the rhythm, like Meatless Mondays or Taco Tuesdays. But no matter where you find inspiration, three or four dinners will probably do it—be realistic about how many nights you’re actually going to cook, and bank on at least one leftovers night.
2. Grab recipes, if you need them. If you can sear a piece of salmon to perfection, you might already know what you need (coho plus quinoa plus kale, check!). But if you’re still building confidence in the kitchen, flip through a few recipes. Cookbooks, magazines, recipe sites, and blogs have lots of inspiration. Keep it quick and easy, scanning for 5 to 8 ingredients, and instructions that sound do-able.
3. Write out your grocery list. Using those recipes or a mental checklist, sketch out the full list of the ingredients you’ll need. Once dinners are covered, this is also your opportunity to grab breakfast items, building blocks for sandwiches or salads, and extra fruit and veggies for snacks.
Easy-peasy so far, right? That’s really all it takes to throw together a plan. But if you also want to make it healthy, there are just a couple more things to keep in mind. Go for balance and variety at every meal, by mixing up your choices of lean protein, whole grains, colorful fruits and veggies, and healthy fats. And hit those superfoods! If you work in salmon, beans, quinoa, oats, kale, sweet potatoes, blueberries, yogurt, avocados, and almonds, you’ll significantly pump up the nutrients on your plate.
Ready, set, sharpen those pencils: Here’s how to break it down with a few favorite recipes from Fitbit. There’s even a grocery list organized by aisle, to make it extra easy for you.
Your Superfood Meal Plan
Monday: Veggie burgers with sweet potato & quinoa
Tuesday: Salmon tacos with mango, avocado & coconut
Wednesday: Red curry bowls with chicken & veggies
Thursday: Zucchini noodles with pesto & grilled shrimp
Your Super Fast Shopping List
Red bell pepper
Carrots (2 large)
Kaffir lime leaves
Salmon (1 lb/500 g)
Chicken breasts (3)
Frozen shrimp (1 lb/500 g)
Whole-wheat burger buns
Small corn tortillas
Black beans (1 can/15 oz/470 g)
Lite coconut milk (2 cans/15 fl oz/465 ml each)
Red curry paste
This list assumes that you have a few staples at home already. Before you shop, check your cupboards and make sure you’re stocked up on extra-virgin olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground chile, yellow onions, and garlic.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.