What is Meal Planning?

definition of terms


Meal planning involves strategically planning out your meals and snacks for a set period of time, usually a week, to control nutrition and streamline grocery shopping.


  • Meal plans create balanced nourishing meals that meet your preferences and goals. Planning ahead saves time and money.
  • Decide on a calorie target and macronutrient breakdown, then populate meals and snacks to hit those averages.
  • Meal prepping components like batch cooking proteins, grains and veggies makes assembling meals simple.
  • Daily flexibility can be built into plans. But try to follow the structured meal plan at least 80-90% of the time, adjusting if needed.


  • 7 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks planned out
  • Prepping a bulk batch of chicken breast for easy macros tracking

Related Terms

  • Macro tracking, meal prepping, batch cooking, nutrition goals

Common Questions

  • Aren’t meal plans too restrictive? They provide structure but can be adjusted as needed for flexibility.
  • How do I start meal planning? Calculate your caloric/macro needs, inventory staple foods, brainstorm meals and grocery shop.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Intermittent fasting – Eating pattern involving periods without food. Can integrate with planning.
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