Setting Up a Weekly Meal Plan Using Google Calendar
Meal planning has become a hot topic in the fitness world as of late. Everywhere you look, there’s yet another piece of content, touting the idea of planning.
And with the arrival of the new year, most people have set out to change their nutrition completely, or, at the very least, eat a bit more healthily from now on.
The good news is, it all starts with a plan. The not-so-good news is, it can be fairly challenging to get started.
To that end, we’ve put together this simple guide for you. In it, you’ll learn how to use Google Calendar, and why pairing it up with our Evolution Nutrition meal plans is so beneficial for your clients.
The Value of Setting Up A Weekly Meal Plan Using Google Calendar
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Planning is one of the best ways to ensure consistency. By knowing precisely what your client needs to do - or, in this case, eat - you set them up for success. There is no guesswork, no worrying about what they should eat, and when.
On top of that, creating a weekly meal plan makes it easy to follow anywhere, share with anyone, and add links to recipes and such to help them with the preparation of their meals.
Why Google Calendar?
These days, we’ve got dozens of options for planning, and a quick search on Google will give you tons of ideas. But, we firmly believe that Google Calendar is one tier above all else, and it’s the right choice for the job.
Google Calendar is simple, easy to use, and flexible for the organization of all types of routines. What’s more, Google Calendar offers the option of creating a separate calendar for workouts and meal planning that makes it much easier to stay on track.
On top of all that, having online access to your clients’ plans makes it easy to use when running errands, traveling, and such. It also makes it incredibly convenient for your client to share meals, ideas, and recipes with friends, family, and colleagues.
Tips For Using Google Calendar to Meal Plan
Using Google Calendar for meal planning offers some incredible benefits for staying on track. Here are some simple tips to help you better support your clients:
- Separate their meals into different sections of the calendar for each day to make it easier (and more obvious) to see what the next meal on their plate is.
- Color-code meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, add a few ‘events’ to help with timely snacking.
- Add links in the description of each meal so they can have the recipe or a link to it as a calendar event.
- Add events for grocery shopping on the weekend.
- Got workouts planned? Add in a pre and post-workout event to remind your clients to have a shake or snack to fuel themselves and replenish the energy they’ve spent exercising.
How Many Days Do I Need to Meal Plan?
First off, it’s important to remember that we are all different, and we don’t all have the same schedules and goals. So, there won’t be a ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ solution.
With that said, we recommend making a weekly meal planning template. That way, your clients can buy everything they need at once, plan out meals, and prepare in advance. Let’s take a look at how we can set up our weekly meal plan:
1) Set aside some time to plan before the week starts.
It’s crucial to dedicate a bit of time each week to plan. Check your schedule, find out when you can do it, and put it in your calendar.
It’s also a good idea to avoid having your client do everything in one day. For example, suggest that they shop on Friday, and then do their cooking over the weekend.
2) Assemble recipes.
Tools like Evernote make it incredibly easy to write down recipes from our Evolution Nutrition meal plans. Assemble all of your clients’ favorite recipes in one place, and you’ll have a much easier time planning for the week.
Over time, as you come across new recipes, you can always include links and expand the list.
3) Put together a grocery list.
Once you’ve got your client’s weekly meal planner ready, you can go that extra step and put together a grocery list.
It will take a bit of trial and error until you find the sweet spot for how much food to buy for the week, but eventually, you’ll tune it just right.
4) Make a weekly meal planning template.
You can assign some loose categories to each day, which is a great way to take away the guesswork and stop yourself from overthinking about what you should assign for each day. For example:
- Monday can be a strictly-vegetarian/salads day; Tuesday can be a crockpot day;
- Wednesday can be pasta;
- Thursday can be leftovers day;
- Friday can be a day for eating out.
With a bit of thought, you can make your unique categories.
5) Plan breakfast and lunch to be repetitive and straightforward.
There’s nothing wrong about having your clients eat some of the same things every day. Having the same breakfast and lunch every day not only makes planning much easier, but it also makes the preparation simpler, and the level of adherence greater.
6) Pair meals with simple sides.
Things like microwave-able broccoli and store-bought salad mix make it incredibly easy to add delicious and nutritious sides to meals without having to spend an extra twenty minutes preparing.
How Many Calendars Do I Need to Meal Plan?
Organization is vital, and splitting up breakfast, lunch, and dinner into separate calendars is ideal for helping your clients see and color-code each type of meal. Let’s walk through how to do that.
Go to Google Calendar and find the ‘Other calendars’ section that is below ‘My calendars’ on the left-hand side. Click on the large ‘+’ symbol and choose ‘Create new calendar.’ Add a title for it (e.g., Breakfast) and a description (optional). Then, click ‘Create calendar.’
It will now appear on the vital side underneath ‘My calendars.’ Go to it and pick the option of ‘Display this only.’ Now, all you need to do is go over each day, select a specific time, and write the meal for your client – this is where our Evolution Nutrition meal plans come in handy. You can also pick a particular color for it.
Once done with that, go back to step one and do the same for lunch and dinner, as well as snacks (if you wish).
That’s it. You now have an online meal planning calendar for each meal.
What Should I Do After Week One?
Say you’ve put together your client’s weekly meal plan, and they’ve followed it successfully. Now what?
Well, that’s simple:
Start planning the next week. And don’t worry - Google Calendar makes it incredibly effortless. Here’s what you need to know:
Planning For Additional Weeks
Go to Google Calendar and toggle a specific calendar for a given meal, for example - dinner. Pin special occasions first - birthdays, parties, holidays, and social events in general. Of course, you might not have all the information, so communicating with clients is vital.
After that, pin your regular meals; for example – a given client may want to have meals out with their family on Friday evening.
Once you’re done with that, look at the remaining evenings and note down any activities your clients might have - working out, dancing lessons, and such. This will help you remember to plan simple meals for those evenings.
Once you’re finished with all of that, what’s left is to fill in the blanks that remain. Use the steps we outlined a couple of points back, and refer to our Evolution Nutrition for inspirational ideas.
This is where having all of your recipes in the same place makes it more convenient, as it allows you to add exciting and various ideas for meals for weeks to come.
Don’t treat your clients’ meal plans as something that cannot, under any circumstances, be changed. Feel free to adjust and add or remove things as time passes, especially if unexpected things happen.
After all, a meal plan should make your client’s life easier, not harder. It should give them direction, but there should be enough flexibility and common sense to allow for necessary changes.
Start Weekly Meal Planning On Google Calendar Today!
Setting up a meal plan is one of the simplest, most convenient, and most effective ways to ensure your clients’ consistency. What’s more, meal planning allows your clients to do the bulk of the work at once, be more productive with their nutrition, save money, and eat more healthily.
All of this translates to more success for clients, better organization, digital tracking and reminders, and a greater sense of accountability.
And, thanks to Google Calendar, it’s effortless to set up our Evolution Nutrition meal plans with the help of our meal planning software. You can help your client add recipes and events, and share individual calendars (for example, their monthly dinner plans) with friends or their significant other.
Hopefully, our tips and suggestions have shown you just how easy it is to get your clients started.
If this post helped you, and you’re eager to learn more about fitness, meal planning, and proper nutrition, head over to our homepage and sign up for our email list.