If you're just getting started with meal planning - you might want to try it out yourself first to see what you think.
If that's you - it's helpful to have a meal plan template to help you get started
Luckily, not only we do host the best meal planning app on the planet, but we also have a ton of great meal plan templates so you can do some DIY meal planning on your own!
Why Use a Meal Plan Template?
Our free meal plan templates mimic our actual meal plans - minus the recipes, shopping lists, and more - but if you want to try to do it yourself, they're a good place to start.
Every template has a space for breakfast/lunch/dinner and a snack.
On a separate tab, you'll find a list of ingredients you can keep track of as you go to the grocery store and do your shopping.
Alternatively, you can sign up for a free trial and get your groceries delivered to you, but everyone has their own pace.
Download a Free Meal Plan Template
If you're wanting a free simple meal plan template to download, just grab yours here. It's a free printable weekly meal plan from Ultimate Meal Plans with a breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack spot for each day of the week.
It's absolutely free -no gotchas, catches or anything.
It's simple to use (and best of all) it's printable! Check it out below
How to Use These Meal Planning Templates
If you're brand new to meal planning, you still might feel a bit intimidated by the whole meal planning thing - but it's really not that tough. Case in point -
Here's what I do:
- Every Sunday, I sit down and print out a new meal plan template.
- I write out which days I know I have things going on and won't be able to eat at home. I cross those off immediately.
- I'll plot out my breakfasts first (usually I drink coffee or fast for the morning so that makes things easier).
- Once I'm there, I'll write out what I want for dinner. I usually eat post-workout so it's important that I plan these out well.
- From there, I'll go through and add my lunch items.
- Often, I'll save leftovers from a dinner and use them for lunch the next day.
- Once, I'm done planning out the week, I'll add up all the ingredients I need and build a shopping list out of it.
- Then, I will either go to the store and pick up everything I need (being careful to not get distracted by the snack aisle), or just order online through Amazon Fresh or at Central Market here in Texas (online groceries are a game changer).
- Once, I have all the food at my house, I'll either meal prep the entire week ahead of time or meal prep 2-3 days at a time if I know I have the room in my schedule.
Of course, now that I built - the hour or two every week that I would spend doing this I can handle in 5 minutes with Ultimate Meal Plans. If you want to test it out - you can try meal planning free for 14 days here.
More Free Meal Plan Templates (Digital)
We created several meal planning templates + calendars using different tools from around the web. As our goal is to make it even easier for you to eat healthy and plan your meals - whether or not you're a customer.
Check out the free meal plan templates we created on Google Sheets, Airtable and Coda (or just sign up below and get a free copy of all them delivered to your inbox).
Google Sheets meal plan template & calendar
If you prefer Google sheets - here's a free template for you to download. Be sure to click this and MAKE YOUR OWN COPY so you can edit as you like. (Do not try to request access as it won't work).
This google sheets meal planner is great for people who already use gmail and other google tools. It keeps everything neat and organized and makes sure that you don't have to learn a new tool to start meal planning effectively every week.
Airtable meal plan template + calendar
Airtable makes "smart" spreadsheets. You can drop items like recipe photos, etc into your meal plan and have a smarter, fresher looking meal plan for the week. Get our free template on airtable here.
Airtable is the new kid on the block of spreadsheets. If you like more visual tools, this might be a good option for you as you can take photos of your meals and upload them as necessary. It can come in handy to have a visual reference while you're actually making your food.
Coda meal plan template + calendar
Coda has become very popular when it comes to upgraded spreadsheets. You can download one of our planning templates here.
Coda is a great option if you want to try something other than google sheets but don't really appreciate airtable. Everyone has their own preferences (just like food), so it's a good idea to find out which one you like best!
A Final Meal Planning Pep Talk
I know meal planning isn't always the most exciting thing in the world, but when it comes down to sticking to a diet like paleo or keto, it can be a complete game changer and be the difference between seeing incredible results and falling off the bandwagon when you hit the keto flu.
Having your meal prepped and ready to go, and having your pantry stocked with diet-friendly snacks can be a life saver when life gets hectic and you want to pull your hair out. When you're able to stick to your plan throughout the week, then it makes it a lot easier to wind down with a glass of wine at the end of it without throwing your entire life into chaos.
Remember, sticking to your health journey isn't always easy, but it is worth it. You can do it and we believe in you! We want to do everything we can to help.
Try Meal Planning Free for 14 Days
Other Meal Planning Templates
There are tons of other meal planning templates from around the internet you might like. Here's a few of our favorites: