When you first commit to living a fit and healthy lifestyle, it is easy to become intimated and overwhelmed by all of the options and information out there. There are more products then you can image, more workouts then you can do in a year, and more diets then you have appetite to try. I spend hours and hours each week pouring through much of this information and have been able to figure out what works for me, and what I feel good recommending. I can say with confidence that my obsession of the week is by far one of my favorite tools out there to help me maintain my lifestyle – my Muscle and Fitness Hers Meal Planner.
One thing I have learned is that being fit and healthy does not have to be hard, it just takes a bit of planning. You need to be prepared for ‘life’ situations that arise, and be able to react and keep flowing in your fitness and diets so that you don’t fall off the wagon. I am a total planner in everything I do (I am a bit type A :)) and I do enjoy spending time to plan out my fitness and health routine. Even if you are not a planner like myself, I think anyone could find it enjoyable to plan fitness and diet as you know you are spending time planning for your health and working towards your goal. As time consuming as this sounds, I will say that my planning and being committed to my plan is one of the reasons I have been so successful in my fit and healthy lifestyle.
‘Planning’ does not mean you have to do it all on your own. In fact, with this meal planner, it does all the calculating and nutritional information for you; you simply have to input your meals. At the beginning of every week, I sit down and plan out all of my meals and snacks for the week so I know how many calories I am going to be consuming and on what, and I know exactly what I need from the grocery store.
The thing I love about the Muscle and Fitness meal planner is that it not only adds up your calories for you, but it breaks down all of your nutritional and mineral absorption throughout the week. It will tell you if you are not consuming enough vitamin B, for instance, or if you are consuming too much. It also balances out your carbohydrates, protein and fat so you can ensure you are staying on track with your overall nutritional plan (mine is 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat).
The program itself has a subscription charge of $10/month. I figure, with having my grocery list so organized and not just buying whatever I think I need at the grocery store, I end up saving more then I am spending on the fee! The one disadvantage is that although they have an app for MuscleandFitness.com, the app does not cover the meal planner – I have reached out to them several times and have been assured this is in the works! Typically I just print out the calendar at the beginning of the week, or write down my meals each day once they are planned in my phone and it helps me remember.
How to Use the Meal Planner for your own diets:
1. The direct link to sign up for the program is here. Click ‘sign up’ at the top right to create your account.
2. Once account is created, it will bring you to the Muscle and Fitness Hers page. Click on “My WT” on top toolbar (my workout trainer) then click “nutrition” in drop down box.
3. Once in Nutrition section, you have the option to either create your own meal plan, or view meal plans others have created.
4. If you create your own, this blank screen will appear, allowing you to begin customizing your plan. You have the option to browse foods from the library (most common foods are in here, i.e. chicken, bananas, apples, brocolli, ect. Just be specific as to what you are looking for). If you don’t see the food in the library, go to ‘custom foods’ on the top and you can create your own foods. I typically insert a lot of my recipies in here so I can select them in the future, and already have all the nutrition information stored on them. Yes, this is more time consuming, but you have them already saved for future which will save you time then.
5. As you insert your meals, it will grade you on the left side so you know how you are comparing nutritionally to what you should be consuming. Final plan should look similar to this:
Once account is created, it will bring you to the Muscle and Fitness Hers page. Click on “My WT” on top toolbar (my workout trainer) then click “nutrition” in drop down box.
There is a video tutorial on the Meal Planner I highly reccomend watching to get a better feel for the program. I can assure you though once you use it a couple times, it will not be as complicated as it sounds!
If you have never planned out your meals before, I can only imagine how daunting this must seem. I highly encourage you to give this a try though and test the results. I am very confident you will find that when you plan ahead, you are less likely to splurge on impulse meals/snacks and you will learn to savor your ‘treats.’ Also, you will be able to better calculate your total calories consumed with your total calories burned thus allowing your body to loose weight and gain muscle.
I think you will soon realize why the meal planner is an obsession of mine and I hope it works as well for you as it does me!