What Is a Healthy Meal Plan?

What Is a Healthy Meal Plan?

What is a healthy meal plan, you ask? Quite simply, a healthy meal plan is one that you can actually achieve.

There are many factors to consider when making a meal plan, which differ for each person. We have different health needs and chemical reactions to what we consume, and no one size fits all meal plan is healthy for everybody.

The first step to figuring out what your meal plan should be is talking with your doctor and determining what your goals are. Suppose you have no dietary restrictions or sensitivities. In that case, it’s as simple as figuring out how many servings of each food group you need to consume each day without eating more calories than you expend each day.

When you have specific dietary requirements, though, it gets a little tricky. It can be challenging to plan your meals around particular ingredients, such as those containing gluten, or around specific macros, such as low carb.

For this reason, I use an app called RealPlans to help plan my weekly meals. This is my #1 recommended way of planning your meals. In the following sections, I’ll explain why.


To be transparent to our visitors, please understand that we get small commissions from purchases made through the links in this article. Please review our full disclosure at the very top left side of this site, next to the date.


Customized Meal Plans

what is a healthy meal planDo you go grocery shopping and wander aimlessly up and down each aisle, trying to decide what to eat for the week?

Do you grab the same things every week to begin yet another rotation of the same menu because you are picky or selective and can’t stand certain foods?

Or, like me, do you spend countless hours planning meals, making a list, checking the pantry, marking things off, etc. and STILL manage to forget stuff at the grocery store?

Can you honestly say while you’re at the grocery store, you make the healthiest meal choices?

When I started being a bit pickier with items I put in my mouth, I found that grocery shopping took longer. I was using a spreadsheet to calculate all the ingredients I needed and automagically create a shopping list for me. After several hours of clunking around and not working right, I gave up.

Then I found it. Customized meal planning software. WHAT?! Seriously? There’s an app for that? Okay, I definitely had to see what it was about.

I found it, read the reviews, and signed up within an hour which then let me create my meal plans for the next two weeks: dairy-free, gluten-free, and keto friendly. A list of ingredients was automatically designed for me as I planned my meals. I added a few extra things to the list myself and printed the automagically created shopping list that resulted.

I have now eliminated HOURS of planning for meals!  Check it out


Setting Up Your Meal Plans

Once you sign up, setting up your meal plan settings is the first step. This is where you identify the diet(s) you want to follow. There are many to choose from. I selected the Keto-LCHF diet, and it automatically added the diet’s excluded foods to the Excluded Food Groups in the app. This keeps me from adding meals that don’t align with my desired diet plan.

Meal Plan Settings

I could also add certain food items that I don’t like, such as mushrooms. By setting this up, I don’t have to worry about recipes containing ingredients I don’t like. What a cool feature!

After my dietary preferences were set, I was presented with a week’s worth of customized menu items.


Additional Settings

You can go into Additional Settings to select which kitchen items you already have. This will customize the recipes provided to you based on the equipment you have readily available.

I don’t know about you, but it’s frustrating when I see a recipe I want to make and don’t have the tools to make it.

Meal Plan Advanced Settings

You can also specify if you want notes and/or side dishes displayed with your recipes.

I recommend you keep those because they come in handy when you’re trying to plan meals and aren’t sure what else goes with that dish.


Recipe Box

The Recipe Box feature shows you previews of various dishes that meet your preferences. You can also import your own recipes, which will be displayed in your recipe box under whichever diet you selected when you imported them.

what is a healthy meal plan
Customized Recipe Box


You can customize your recipe box by selecting recipes according to who created them, which season they are best in, specific diet types or meals, and certain ingredients or cuisines. You can even select recipes based on how long they take to make or how much they cost.



You can select the number of servings you’re cooking for to programmatically update your shopping list. You can see how expensive the meal will be and how long it will take you to prepare it.



The Meal Plan

You can use the Meal Plan feature to add recipes for each meal throughout the week. You can even specify if you are eating out or eating leftovers so that the meal planner syncs with your actions.

Meal Plans

You can add several dishes to each meal slot if you’re making a few different sides, and RealPlans will update the shopping list accordingly. If you’re a meal prepper like I am, it’ll let you set it up for batch cooking.



You will get notifications on your phone to remind you of specific actions you need to take to prepare your planned meals. For example, if you have meat that needs to thaw, the timeline will notify you to pull the meat out of the freezer for your upcoming meal.



Shopping List

The shopping list is my favorite part! It automatically calculates the ingredients needed for your planned meals and sorts them by the grocery store department. Y’all, the produce section even separates refrigerated from non-refrigerated! Of course, you can also add your own ingredients and supplies to the shopping list.

Shopping List

Once I have my meals planned and ready to go shopping or make my order, I simply take my phone to the kitchen and check off the ingredients in the app that I don’t need more of. This removes them from the shopping list and adds them to the Got It list.

You can do the same in the grocery store while you’re shopping. Just tap the ingredient to check it off your list so that the list reduces to only what you have left to find. Isn’t that neat?

I use RealPlans every single week to plan my meals for the week, build my shopping list, and order my groceries. Give it a try, you get 10 days free! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.



To be transparent to our visitors, please understand that we get small commissions from purchases made through the links in this article. Please review our full disclosure at the very top left side of this site, next to the date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.