Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 11 minutes read

If you are looking to lose some weight, you may be considering meal planning. Meal planning is a way to save time and money while limiting your daily food intake.

It is relatively easy for men to start planning meals for weight loss. Read on to learn more about meal planning and how it can assist you in healthier eating.

Weekly meal preparation concept with raw food ingredients in chalk-drawn lunch boxes on green background

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning is when you decide on meals in advance. You look at your schedule and map out meals for a certain period. This could be for a week, two weeks, or a month. The best part about meal planning is that you can cater the meal plans to your tastes. You can also utilize foods you already have handy at the house as a basis for these plans.

You can also consider seasonal produce and sale items to get the best value for your meal plan. This is a great way to create budget-friendly meals for you or your family. If you have dietary restrictions, these can be accounted for while planning. It is also an excellent way to plan healthy meals for weight loss. 

You can calculate the number of calories you need to eat in a day and divide those calories out for each meal, ensuring you are getting all the nutrients you need while also eating healthier. Another benefit of meal planning is avoiding the "What do you want to eat tonight?" debate.

Once you've got a plan together, you can get straight to dinner in the evenings instead of wasting time trying to figure out what everyone will eat. You can build your meal plan from scratch or use one online as a guide. Once you create your menu, you write down all the items you still need to make these meals and make a trip to the grocery store.

Meal planning for weight loss for men is a great way to make healthier decisions. When you already have your food planned out, it is easier to say no to fast food or a bag of chips for dinner and say yes to the delicious dinner you have planned. 

Does Meal Planning Help With Weight Loss for Men?

According to a study conducted in 2017, meal planning was associated with a healthier diet and less obesity. Meal planning helped to give people more time and improve their ability to follow nutritional guidelines. It also added more variety to their diets. 

Another way men can use meal planning for weight loss is by controlling their portions. If you are usually back for seconds at the dinner table, creating a meal plan may assist you in planning out appropriate portions and putting back leftovers for the next day or simply making less food at one time. 

People who have chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc, also can benefit from meal planning. Since their chronic conditions are food-related, a meal plan helps people with these diseases manage their conditions better and eat meals that support their nutrition goals. 

Another way that planning meals for weight loss may be beneficial is by reducing stress. People who are stressed or short on time make quick and sometimes irrational decisions. If your meals are already planned, that takes away those split-second decisions that may lead to unhealthy food choices. 

How Do You Start Meal Planning?

Meal planning is a straightforward way to start your weight loss journey. You can do it 'old school' with a paper calendar and pencil or download an app to plan your meals. Going through your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to see what items you already have is a good idea. This will keep you from buying items you already have. 

#1 Choose Recipes

You can make a list of these staple items for simplicity. Then, think about the typical meals you eat and the types of food you and your family enjoy eating. Next, assess how well these preferred meals fit into a healthy lifestyle. You can usually change portion sizes, add more veggies and fruits, and swap typical bread products for whole grains to meals to adapt them for healthy eating. 

If you have dietary restrictions or are trying a new diet plan, such as a keto or Mediterranean diet, you can research new recipes. Some diet plans have certain foods you should eat and others you should avoid.

For example, the paleo diet focuses on high protein, low carb foods, and whole foods. Be sure to thoroughly research a diet before trying it out. Also, talk to your healthcare provider to ensure this diet is suitable for your needs.

#2 Think About Your Schedule

Once you decide on a diet and pick some recipes, be sure to bookmark or print out these recipes so you don't lose them. 

Some people like to make a theme for each day to streamline their eating plan for weight management. So, for example, you could have "Meatless Mondays" or "Taco Tuesdays." Then, you simply pick a recipe that fits that category each day. 

If you are starting on meal planning, it may be a good idea to have one or two days in the week as "cheat days." These are days when life happens, and you can't fit in the meal plan. You can also prepare easier meals for days you know you have to work late at the office or watch your kid's soccer game. 

Some people only plan dinner or lunch, but you can prepare meals for every meal, including snacks. If you are trying to eat healthier and are meal planning for weight loss, this would be the best course of action.

#3 Make a Grocery List

Once you have your plan made, look through the recipes and jot down any ingredients you need to buy on a separate grocery list. These items are what you should shop for next time you head to the supermarket. You can take this opportunity to align your food plans with sale items at grocery stores to maximize your budget. 

If you want to go an extra step, you can arrange your grocery list by department to make your trips to the grocery store even quicker. By following the list to the T, you can avoid buying the snacks and sugary foods you may typically buy on impulse. If you go to the store weekly, you can buy fresh produce. Follow the plan and use the veggies as soon as possible. You can also benefit from reducing food waste. 

After you've made your grocery list and bought the necessary items, you can begin preparing your meals each night. 

#4 Place the Meal Plan Somewhere Easy to See

People often write their meal plans on a whiteboard calendar or have a printed version they keep up with. You can post this up in a central location for the whole family to see, but you can also keep up with your meal plans through an app. Some apps even have ways for you to share and collaborate with others. 

Having the plan in plain sight every day will help remind you about the meal plan. This can be a great way to reaffirm your commitment to eating healthy daily. It can also remind you to thaw out any frozen ingredients or prep any foods that need to be cut or marinated in advance.

If you need help getting to a healthy weight, you can work with a dietitian to create a weight-loss meal plan that is catered to your specific body weight and height. Many weight loss programs are available for people who don't have time to sit and plan out every meal.

Baked turkey with vegetables healthy meal plan meal prep for weight loss for men

What Are The Best Meal Plans for Men?

When planning meals for weight loss, be sure to avoid carbohydrates. You want to focus on recipes that satisfy your cravings while remaining low-carb and low-fat. You will also want to increase your activity level. Together with proper exercise and good eating habits, you can begin to lose body fat and build muscle

There are plenty of options for ready-made meal plans. You can check out weight loss programs like WW (Weight Watchers) or Jenny Craig. Many different meal kit plans are also available, such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.

Some companies also offer meal delivery services where the meal is completely prepared and ready to serve in a matter of minutes. You can also hire a personal coach to help you prep meals for weight loss. When choosing the best meal plan option for yourself, be sure to realistically think about the time, energy, and brain power you are willing to put into making the meal plan each week.

This will help you to be more successful with your plan. Along with a great meal plan, there are other ways to ensure you achieve your weight loss goals. As men age, sometimes low testosterone can lead to slowed metabolism.

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What Should You Include in Your Meal Plan for Weight Loss?

A healthy meal plan for weight loss should avoid added sugars and processed food. It should also focus on providing you with the best macronutrients while also providing you with the appropriate calorie intake for your height, weight, and fitness level.

You will want to pack your meal plan full of fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, zucchini, and green beans. Also, mindfully balance your diet to include grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats such as olive oil. 

You don't have to overthink the meals. They can be easy. For example, you could have an omelet for breakfast, a breakfast smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, or overnight oats. For low-calorie, healthy snacks, consider making it simple with a container of Greek yogurt, a handful of blueberries, and cashews or a tortilla with peanut butter.

Hummus and raw carrot sticks make for a great snack, as well. Dinner can be as easy as a baked chicken breast, brown rice, leafy greens with vinaigrette, and whole grain bread, or you can go for a veggie-filled stir fry.  

Other great foods to add to your meal plans include black beans, quinoa, and lentils. You can often substitute these ingredients for other proteins or grains. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to opt for raspberries or sweet potatoes rather than sugary foods. 

It's ok to try out new things and experiment from week to week to find the best foods for your weight loss meal plan.

The Importance of Portion Control

In addition to selecting nutritious foods, portion control plays a crucial role in meal planning for effective weight loss. Even healthy foods can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excessive amounts. Therefore, it's essential to pay attention to portion sizes when mapping out your meals.

When planning your meals, consider using smaller plates and bowls to naturally limit portion sizes. Additionally, familiarize yourself with standard serving sizes for different food groups, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This knowledge can help you allocate appropriate portions to achieve a balanced and satisfying meal while staying within your calorie goals.

Remember, practicing portion control doesn't mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods. Instead, it allows you to enjoy them in moderation while still making progress towards your weight loss objectives. By incorporating portion control into your meal planning routine, you can cultivate sustainable eating habits that support your long-term health and wellness goals.


You can use meal planning as a way to encourage fat loss. A meal plan allows you to save time and money and promote a healthy diet. You can commit to eating better and controlling your food intake by mapping out your meals.

If making your plan seems too daunting, you can invest in a meal kit or weight-loss diet program to build a healthy plan. You can also seek out the help of a professional dietitian to make a plan catered to your needs.

These plans are also great for men with dietary restrictions or conditions associated with certain kinds of food. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet to ensure it is right for you. 

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