We’ve released our first free meal plan template that absolutely anyone can use 🎉. Before we started Noshh (and after we tried a bunch of other pretty disappointing or expensive services) we settled on using a spreadsheet to do our meal planning for the week. This free spreadsheet is based on the one we used, for every meal, every day, for months. It was a great start to get us into meal planning, and we met the goals we wanted to achieve using it! The best part about using a spreadsheet as a meal plan is you can customise it as much as you want it - this is just the start!
What is a “macro” meal plan?
A macro meal plan is a plan built around the macronutrients your body needs, with a focus on meeting the nutrients your body requires. It’s the same philosophy our automated meal plans are built on with Noshh - you can, and should, eat the food you want to, as long as it’s enough for your body to function.
Macronutrients, often just shortened to macros, are comprised of three core nutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates (carbs). Of course, your body requires a much wider array of nutrition, like vitamins and minerals, and other essentials like fiber. The macros, however, make up the core of your regular intake - so you guessed it - they’re the three that are responsible for your weight. A lot of (fad) diets rely on cutting out some macros, like low-carb or low-fat diets. Some even focus on increasing them, like the high-fat-high-protein diets. If you’re cutting out an important macro (and let’s face it, they’re all important), it’s really difficult to turn it into a lifestyle. Are you really willing to cut carbohydrates for the rest of your life? We weren’t, that’s for sure.
So if you want to make sure you’re not overeating, or you want to eat better to reach your goals of fat loss or muscle gain, what could be a better option? Watching what macros you eat. Macro counting can be difficult and tedious, so we’ve made it a little bit easier with our free meal plan template. The template makes it easy for you to add your weekly meals, and see if you’re reaching your dietary requirements for the day. This is a meal plan you can, and should, tailor to yourself!
How do I get the free meal plan?
Head over to our download page by clicking here and click the ‘download now’ button. After entering your name and email address, we’ll send you a link to the spreadsheet. Getting your own copy is easy:
You can ‘duplicate’ the sheet if you’re logged into a Google account. Duplicating the sheet will save a local copy to your own Google Drive which you can easily edit.
If you want the template saved to your computer, click File ⇒ Download in the top menu bar. You can download the spreadsheet in many formats, including as a PDF and an Excel Spreadsheet.
Want a meal plan that works on all your devices?
We've worked hard to make sure Noshh works on your computer, tablet and phone. Easily look at your meals for the week, and recipes on any device! Find out more.
Meal plan template overview
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at a spreadsheet, things can seem pretty daunting. Once you’ve had a look around, you’ll realise that this is a simple template, and one that focuses on ease of use. Why did we make this template so simple? Planning can take time, and when you’re in the middle of dinner and you can’t remember what ingredients you need, it should be quick and easy for you to find your plan.
It’s important to note that the data in the spreadsheet isn’t accurate and you should fill it in with your own dietary requirements and meal plan. It’s to be used as a guide only!
The Meal Plan main page
There will be a tab in the menu at the bottom of the window that says “Main Page”, and if you click it, you’ll see the core of the plan. The main page is also the default page that opens with the meal plan, so chances are if you’ve just opened the spreadsheet, it’s the one you’re already looking at:
Outlined in the purple circles with white numbers are the most important parts of this page - some require your input, and others don’t:
Your Meal Plan (1)
This is the main table of the entire plan, and should be your ‘point of entry’; whenever you open up your meal plan, this is where you can take a quick look at how you’re meeting your dietary requirements, and where to go to look at the meals for a specific day of the week.
Days of the week (2)
Meal plans can be centred around different elements, like how much food you’re eating over the entire week, or specifically what you need to eat (e.g. ‘I want to eat 3kg of chicken this week’). The Noshh meal plan focuses on the days of the week, which is the most obvious and natural way to plan your meals. Every day of the week, from Monday through to Sunday, has its own sheet and place that you can outline what meals you’re eating.
Don’t worry if your week doesn’t start on a Monday. Some people do their shopping mid-week and therefore their plans start during the week - and that’s fine too! This meal plan doesn’t dictate that you start planning around any specific day.
Shortcut to a days meal plan (3)
In the same area that you clicked the ‘Meal Plan’ tab earlier, you’ll notice there are seven other tabs with the labels from days of the week. The ‘click here to view’ links are just shortcuts for you to make it easier and more obvious on getting to your days! Hover over the link, a little popup will appear with a blue link and you click that - simple!
Macro overview for the week (4)
It’s great to see how you’re doing on a given day, but it’s great to have a birds-eye view over your whole week. Generally, at Noshh, we approach your nutrition requirements on a per week basis. It’s okay if you don’t meet your protein goal for today, just as long as you make up for it within the rest of the week. Whenever you think like this, always be within reason - i.e. don’t eat all of your carbs in one day and no carbs the next. Be sensible so your body is still happy!
Your requirements (5)
This is where you should start when building out this template for yourself. All you need to do is add in the fat, protein, and carbs your body requires on a daily basis. The values are all in grams, so in the template, the requirements were 50g of fat, 88g of protein, and 280g of carbs. Keep in mind that these values are just placeholders and you should definitely not use them!
Instant meal plans, every week
Don't just stop at one week or even one month. Instant and customisable meal plans mean you can make meal planning a part of your life without any extra work. Find out more.
Daily meal plan pages
Every day of the week has its own dedicated meal plan page. This page includes all the details for each day, including what you need to eat and when. The template has a focus on macros at the top, and the details down below, to really give you a good overview and keep things absolutely simple.
Macronutrient overview (1)
Starting at the top, there’s a small table that details both the totals and relative values for your macro requirements. The first row is the totals, and it’s simply in grams. The second row is the percentage of your daily intake. You should aim to hit 100% as close as you can - but the automatic highlighting will help you see quickly if you’re on track. If you’re eating between 98 - 102% of your goal, it will be green! If you’re eating more than that, it will highlight the cell as red, an indication that you should make a change or two!
Meal types (2)
We split our meal plans into regular meals - no skipping or fasting required. Meals that the template caters for are breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks (of course!). If you want to skip a meal, say you don’t eat dessert every night of the week, simply leave that area unfilled. Easy!
Your meals (3)
Variety in your diet is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mentality too. That’s why you should plan to eat a bunch of different foods! This section helps you name your meals - you can include as much detail as you want here, including any quirks or links to the recipe.
Ingredients for your meals (4)
List out as many ingredients as you want, however you want to describe them. There’s no volume of ingredient, so you don’t have to worry about formatting, you can use grams, millilitres, teaspoons, cups, etc!
Macros for each ingredient (5)
The last section on this page is where you’ll put most of your focus - how many macros for each ingredient. Like your requirements on the main page, the macros here are in grams and the columns are fat, protein and carbs. Add the total amount for each ingredient, so if you’re cooking with two eggs, which have roughly 6g of protein in them, you should put 12 in the protein cell!
How do I use this template for more than one week?
In the same way that you duplicated it the first time, you can duplicate it again and again! We had a new spreadsheet for every week - this means if you’re super busy and you can’t get time to plan, or if you’ve fallen in love with one of your plans, you can use it again without any extra effort!
It’s pretty common to use the same meal plans regularly, especially when you first start out meal planning. If you can create four meal plans, you can rotate them through the month and not get exhausted creating a new plan every week for a few months.
Can I share my meal plans with friends?
Yes, of course! Share your meal plans, or this template with as many friends and family as you’d like. At Noshh, one of our goals is to get as many people eating better as possible. Sharing this template, and your ideas around is a great way to help us do that!