There are so many different nutrition plans out there, but the most effective strategy I have found is focusing on the right mix of macros. It can be confusing to plan your meals this way without a guide – which is why I am sharing my personal template!
When I changed my eating habits to plan meals based on macros several years ago, I got a lot of questions about how to get started. As a spreadsheet geek, I spent months creating and refining a meal planning template that made this process easier for me. And since you asked, I want to share this excel template with you!
The template offers two macronutrient planning options:
Basic: If you’re eating the same split of macros each day, use the basic template and just duplicate the grams on each day.
Carb Cycling: If you have different macro targets on different days, there is an extra column that designates if the day is low or high carb (I move these around weekly to match my plan). This makes it easier to copy & paste to fill out the week’s plan.
Both options allow you to plan grams of protein, carbs, and fat for each meal. I also included separate columns for veggies & fruit, to accommodate for nutrient timing strategies. Just delete any columns that don’t apply to you, so that this template becomes your own!
If case you’re curious on the calories, the meal planning template also has a total section which automatically calculates the calories planned per day based on the macros you planned.
Bonus tip: If you’re looking for help in calculating your macros & are following a high-fat/low-carb (or keto) approach, this macro calculator from Perfect Keto is my current favorite (and super easy to use).
<Editor’s Note: This template is no longer available>
How do I use the meal planning template?
Whenever my meal plan changes, I start by updating the macros assigned for each meal on each day. If I’m carb cycling, I enter one high carb & one low carb day and then use copy/paste to duplicate it to the appropriate days.
Then I start adding my recipe ideas in the “meal description” column. I use the Calorie Count online tool to get the macros for recipes I’m planning. That allows me to easily make adjustments to hit the nutritional goals I have for each meal. Once I have the plan finalized, I use Plan to Eat to lay out the recipes with the proper servings. That generates my shopping list automatically and I head to the store for grocery shopping.
I also print a copy of my meal planning template to hang up in the kitchen. This makes grabbing my meals a snap each day! Especially helpful on sleepy mornings.