For many of us, the hardest part of staying fit isn’t doing burpees, pullups or running. It’s eating right.
While most people would probably like to eat healthier, many just don’t know how. On top of that, people with busy, hurried schedules often eat something fast and make food decisions on the fly. And, as too many of us are well aware, food decisions made in the moment are often bad decisions.
That’s why one of the most important things you can do to improve your diet is meal planning. And if you think meal planning means carving out a large chunk of time to sit down, pour over dozens of recipes and plan out your entire week (And who has time for that?), think again.
Today you can use the power of your smartphone to make meal planning quick, easy and effective. Many apps are available that not only make meal planning a breeze, but can design meals around your fitness goals, food preferences, available ingredients and more. Some will even create shopping lists for you and track the food in your pantry. Thanks to these apps, there’s no excuse not to plan out your meals. Here are a few of the best meal planning apps now available.
- Yummly – This highly-intuitive app is not only extremely easy to use, it also features an attractive design with vivid photos and videos. Yummly has more than one million recipes it can suggest to you based on your preferences. You can organize your favorite recipes and easily add ingredients to your shopping list.
- Mealime – Mealime features customizable meal plans and recipes, making it easy to personalize a plan for your tastes and lifestyle. The app eliminates decision fatigue, offering plenty of healthy choices that are easy to cook in 30 minutes or less.
- Make My Plate – This simple, visual meal planner offers pre-made healthy eating plans with thousands of low-calorie meals created by registered dietitians and nutritionists. It has a guide that will help you control your food portions, and it features balanced meals calculated for calories, fat, protein and carbs. It also has a live support group.
- Fitness Meal Planner – This app automatically calculates your macro needs and builds a meal plan to complement your workout. Enter basic info, your fitness goals, number of meals per day and food preferences, then begin receiving your own meal plans.
- Eat This Much – This weight loss app generates meal plans based on your food preferences, your budget, your schedule and calorie goals.
- MealBoard ($3.99) – MealBoard’s easy-to-use interface makes it a breeze to personalize your meals. Have your meal plans organized by day and meal type, generate a grocery list based on your meal plan and even track what you have in your pantry.
- Paprika Recipe Manager ($4.99) – Paprika allows you to find recipes and plan meals for a month (if you’re feeling ambitious). It’s also highly customizable, allowing you to scale ingredients and organize your grocery categories based on how you shop.
- Mealplan ($3.99) – Created by fitness personality Michelle Lewin, Mealplan allows you to watch, prep and cook over 90 recipes. Use this app to create your own meal plan, track calories and cook meals that match your fitness goals.