by Anne Finch, Accredited Practising Dietitian for LiveLighter

meal plan

The problem with meal plans… is that it’s essentially someone else telling you what to eat. Unless you’ve got a private dietitian on call who knows what you like, how much time you have and what’s in your fridge, the meal plan can end up being very disconnected from reality. And that’s when a takeaway starts to sound like a great option. Goodbye salad-y new years’ resolution, hello hot chips!

Over at LiveLighter, we’ve been working hard to make a meal plan that’s seriously flexible, super practical and (obviously) delicious. So how does it work?

Step 1: Tell us who you are

  • Depending on your age and sex, your nutrition requirements will be different. Let us know so we can put you in the right ball park.
  • How many people do you cook for? We’ll automatically adjust the recipes to serve your mob. Don’t worry, you can easily change the recipes later if people pop around unexpectedly.
  • Want to receive regular emails to remind you why you’ve signed up? We’re on it.
  • Are you tall, active or just very hungry? Switch to a “plus plan” for more food.

Step 2: Sort your dinners

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  • Get your dinner plan for the week! Don’t like what’s planned? Swap it! Use our filters to find recipes that suit your taste, special dietary requirements or what’s in the fridge.
  • Go shopping. We’ll automatically generate a shopping list for you! Tick-off the stuff you already have, and add anything extra you need. Don’t forget to add your breakfast, lunch and snacks.

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Step 3: Get familiar with your guidelines

  • This meal plan is based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. You’re aiming to meet your target number of serves from each of the 5 core food groups.
  • Your dinners have about 3 serves of vegies, 2 serves of grains and cereals and 1 serve of meat / alternatives. That’s why it’s called the 3-2-1 plan!
  • To meet the Guidelines you’ll learn how many serves you need at each meal and how big a serve is. Let your imagination run wild and mix and match your breakfasts and lunches. If you want more direction, we’ve got a bunch of quick and convenient recipes for this too.

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Step 4: What do you really want?

  • It’s a big question. Check out our goal setting fact sheet to break it down into more manageable chunks.
  • Use our tracking tools. Keeping a record of everything you eat, how much exercise you do and your weight/ waist measurements isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Research shows that it can be a really good tool to help reach your health goals. Choose a level that’s right for you.
  • Need a gentle reminder or some more organising? We can send you regular emails with your shopping list, the plan for the week and your own words and pics about your motivation. You’ve got this!

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A couple more things

Did I mention that this meal plan is absolutely free? (although technically, as it’s government funded, you’ve already paid for it…) And designed by dietitians who love food? And easy to use on your smart phone? And suitable for people aged 18 to 80?

What are you waiting for? Check it out here!

PS. If you’re after a super bossy meal plan that tells you what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we’ve got one of those too.