How to find a meal plan that will make you 1,000% more likely to get a lean body
I’ve never been good at meal planning.
It’s a pain in the butt.
But, removing decision-making from eating is crucial if you want to lose weight or build muscle.
Hence, the need for a meal plan.
So I do it.
And so does anyone else with a lean body.
With a good meal plan, you’ll:
- Be more energized during the work day.
- Be more relaxed when you get home.
- Sleep better having fueled your body right.
All of those lead to getting in the gym, having less stress and being more happy.
Then, of course, all those things compound upon each other resulting in a leaner body.
So, meal plans make sense. And they’re used by us lean body folks.
Yet the question remains:
What’s the best way to find a meal plan that works?
One that sticks.
One that is easy.
Well, the answer is simple.
Does this sound familiar?
Discovering that meal planning didn’t need to be so hard
We all juggle:
- Social lives.
But juggling meal-planning considerations is impossible.
How do you consider variety, nutrition, scheduling, hosting, avoiding waste, seasonality, simplicity, difficulty, mood, et al. when trying to come up with the perfect meal plan?
I tried to juggle all that when meal planning.
Then, it hit me.
Who says I can’t just take the few things I make really well and call THAT a meal plan?
So I did just that.
My six specialties became my simple meal plan.
And quickly, I was:
- Worry-free about crafting the perfect meal plan.
- Enjoying the lean body benefits of a meal plan.
- Excited to get creative with my simple meal plan (instead of constantly struggling to create one that could never be perfect).
And, the excitement of this meal planning revelation was just the beginning.
The results on my body were incredible.
35 lbs lost: My success with a simple meal plan
My simple meal plan varied depending on whether or not I was traveling for work.
But here’s what didn’t vary: My success.
My framework for a simple meal plan made losing weight and building muscle effortless.
I couldn’t believe it was so simple. But then again, it’s just science. And, well, psychology.
Here’s what I mean.
Why simple meal plans are best for weight loss and muscle building
For a six-day, four-meal-per-day meal plan, you have 24 meals to plan (6 x 4 = 24).
Timeout: “Meal”, as used in this post, refers to anytime you eat. As such, a healthy, light snack is a “meal.”
Now four-meals-per-day doesn’t seem like too much, right?
Now here’s a question:
For those 24 meals, which would you rather have?
- Six choices.
- 24 choices.
Sure, variety is nice, but what are the odds that you would actually come up with a meal plan if given 24 choices?
In fact, you’re 10x more likely to give up on making the meal plan given all those choices.
That’s right. 1,000%.
A classic study with jam illustrates this quite nicely.
Yes, jam. The kind you’d put on toast.
Six choices or 24: The jam study in summary
In the study, a gourmet food store set up jars of jam for shoppers to sample. On day one, they offered shoppers six jams to sample. On day two, they offered 24 jams to sample.
Shoppers who only had six choices were 10x more likely to pick a jam to buy.
Moral of the story?
With fewer choices, you’re much more likely to make a decision.
Classic analysis by paralysis.
Too many choices makes the brain spin and make you want to take the easy way out. Its decision is to NOT decide…
…which brings us back to the simple meal plan.
Pick From Six: Meal planning made easy
Let’s be honest, four meals per day is a lot.
No, not necessarily a lot of calories.
Four meals per day is a lot to commit to (despite being very worth it).
Even three meals every day is no easy task.
But here’s the deal:
When I have a simple meal plan to follow, even eating four meals per day is easy to maintain.
And let’s be honest, when I’m working hard and exercising vigorously, I need the fuel.
Enter Pick From Six.
Find six meals and make them over and over.
Six meals to pick from. Just like samples of jam.
A Pick From Six meal plan gives you:
- Flexibility when you need it.
- Variety when you want it.
- Consistency (that thing our brains need to stay focused).
So, without further ado, here’s my simple meal plan.
My Pick From Six meal plan
Here are the six meals I rotate every single day.
My goal is to eat four. Occasionally I’ll have all six.
Here is the short version:
These six are good every day in ANY order. Make ’em at home or find ’em on the road.
- Egg white omelet.
- Raw almonds.
- Salad with protein.
- Fish & veggies.
That’s it, folks. That’s my simple meal plan.
Before walking through how to make YOUR version, let’s go into detail on each of my six meals.
Keep in mind, two of them take ZERO skill whatsoever.
Meal 1: Egg white omelet
It gives you the protein you need to start the day energized and stay satiated for many hours. I add oats if I’m building muscle and need the extra fuel.
Cook the omelet in olive oil (not butter). It takes fives minutes to cook, and five minutes to eat.
Meal 2: Raw almonds
I always have a stash of raw almonds in my desk drawer. Often, I’ll have raisins with ’em, too.
If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll bring a banana with me and have that with the raw almonds. No matter what you pair with the raw almonds, the fruit makes these protein-rich nuts a lot easier to palate and more enjoyable to eat.
Meal 3: Salad with protein
This is a meal you can pack to-go or find on any menu. Here are the keys to making this work.
- Greenest greens. The darker the better. Kale, spinach, arugula, mixed greens are good too.
- Egg whites. Buy ’em pre-made (if you’re lazy) or make ’em yourself. Or, if you’re at the salad bar, don’t be afraid to leave the yolks behind. No, some yolk won’t kill you. But, the whites are the best for you, by far.
- Broccoli. Load up on raw broccoli. Full of vitamins, minerals and protein.
- Legumes. These are technically not Paleo. Alas, that’s a major problem with paleo in my opinion. Legumes like black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans are a brilliant source of protein and good carbs.
- Dressing. Make your own. Avoid the pre-bottled, pre-made dressings at all costs. They’re often filled with HFCS.
- GF, DF, SF. Simply remember to avoid cheese, bread (croutons), or any sugar-added items.
- Rest of ingredients. Add everything else sparingly.
Meal 4: Smoothie
Smoothie or shake, you can eat this meal any time of day. When loaded with protein, like mine, they’re good for breakfast, lunch or even a late night snack.
If it’s the meal you’re eating post-workout, you should eat it within 30 minutes of leaving the gym.
And for the record, my egg white smoothies make people go speechless. And for me, there is no better reward than a delicious drink after working out.
Meal 5: Fish (or chicken) and vegetables
At home, with zero prep, you can make this easy, healthy and quick dinner in under 30 minutes. No need to get overly fancy or creative. Plus, if you’re out to dinner, this is ALWAYS available, even if it’s not on the menu.
And be sure they cook it without butter or cream.
Meal 6: Hummus (and anything)
Hummus with raw vegetables is an incredibly filling and flexible meal. Good with apples, too.
Making your own Pick From Six meal plan
A simple meal plan like the Pick From Six is:
- Easy to remember.
- Easy to stick with.
- Easy to find success in with weight loss or muscle building.
And there are just two steps to making your own plan!
Step 1: Avoid bread, dairy, and sugar.
All of the meals above are bread free, dairy free and have no added sugar. While they may seem harmless, those three are what’s stopping you from getting a lean body.
Remember: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free is the NOYOKE way.
Step 2: Master six things
All you have to do is get good at six simple meals.
Two of them are easy snacks!
Of course, don’t expect to become a master of your Pick From Six meal plan overnight.
It took me a few weeks to really get the hang of it.
And as with any big change in the way you eat, don’t focus on succeeding with all six meals right away.
Instead, start with one: Breakfast.
Because once you’ve mastered breakfast, you’re nearly 20% of the way to mastering your meal plan.
And, in all likelihood, you’ll be 1,000% more likely to have a meal plan that can help you lose weight, build muscle and have the body of your dreams.
Related & recommended
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The video below which