Intuitive Eating

How to Create a Weekly Intuitive Eating Meal Plan

May 9, 2024

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

Are you wondering how to create an intuitive eating meal plan?

Are you looking to liberate your inner intuitive eater and cultivate food freedom?

Come inside my kitchen with me today as I, an intuitive eater, plan my weekly meals for myself and my family. 

I know that it’s one thing to hear someone walk you through the steps to doing something, but it’s so helpful to actually see it in action. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do today. I needed to plan my meals and order groceries anyway, so I figured I might as well take my reader friends with me. 

I also created a free menu plan template for you. To use it, fill in the blanks for your meals that week. 

Let’s get started!

How to Meal Plan with Intuitive Eating

Meal planning work may sound overwhelming, but I’m going to show you how meal prepping is just another piece to food freedom. Having your meals and snacks made ahead of time will continue your amazing work of making food choices that are right for your body’s needs.

I’m breaking this down in a step-by-step process for you to copy if you’re planning alongside me. Feel free to “steal” this!

So let’s dive in:

Create Meals Based Around Your Calendar

Look at your calendar to determine how many dinners you need at home that week, and plug in any meals you’re going to plan to have out. You don’t need to know exactly where you’re going to go or what you’re going to order, just that you’re going out that night. If you do know where you’ll be going, great – because then you know what type of food it is, and you can plan around that. (e.g., you wouldn’t want homemade pizza the night after you go out for pizza or tacos the night after you eat at Chipotle or a Mexican restaurant).

So you can see that I’m identifying which meals I need. The dinner part of the planning takes the longest. Once we get to breakfast and lunch, it’s going to be so easy you’ll be shocked.

Pro Tip: Something that works well when my partner travels is if we eat something for dinner the night before he leaves that generates leftovers. I can use one of the nights he’s gone. 

Intuitive Eating and Meal Planning Dinners

You may be surprised to hear that I frequently grab McDonald’s with my kids as a registered dietitian. Sometimes, evenings are just so busy with different activities that fast food makes its way into our weekly meal plan. Besides, my boys love Happy Meals, which always sounds good! When we talk about gentle nutrition or what it means to practice intuitive eating, we’re really working against diet culture. It’s all about trusting our body to guide us to what will nourish us to fullness. 

So, “food rules” are restrictive, but the principles of intuitive eating encourage us to have peace with food.

Feeding a family means creating a meal plan around our lives and not strictly planning around food.

Here are a few examples of dinners we’ve had recently to give you some more ideas for your own menus and to normalize what family dinners can look like. 

  • Sun – grilled chicken, asparagus, flavored rice packet
  • Mon – enchiladas, salad
  • Tues – meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans
  • Wed – ranch pork chops, roasted potatoes, steamed carrots
  • Thurs – bowtie pasta lasagna bake, broccoli
  • Fri – leftovers
  • Sat – crock pot white chicken chili, crackers, cheese

Intuitive Eating: Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Now that we’re done with dinners, we can move on to breakfast and lunch. You might be thinking, “Holy moly, we have to do all that for breakfast and lunch, too?!”

Nope. I have a meal plan hack that’s going to make this part faster.

First, go back to your calendar to see if there are any outings or known meals that you’ll be having. For example, if you have a lunch meeting or are going to be out and about one day for breakfast or lunch, go ahead and write that in.

For the breakfasts and lunches you’re going to have at home (or take with you to work), I want you to pick 1-2 options that you can rotate between. 

Meal Planning and Intuitive Eating: Breakfast Ideas

Oatmeal, nuts, berries
Frozen waffles topped with PB and banana (or English muffin)
Scrambled eggs (or egg bites) with toast or bagel
Pancakes with sausage

Lunch: Practical Meal Plan

Leftovers if you think you’ll have them (and don’t need them for dinner)
Salad w/ fixings (could use a kit), make sure you add carbs
Charcuterie plate, homemade lunchable
Frozen burritos or any frozen meal if you like them
Sandwich or wrap w/ sides

Intuitive Eating Snack Time and Beverages

Ok, one last step: snacks and beverages!  Keep several options on hand. Think about different tastes, textures, and temperatures for your intuitive eating journey. Plan to make some snacks to take with you on the go. There’s no such thing as a “bad snack”. Remember, intuitive eating is not a restrictive diet but food freedom.

Pro Tip: To lower or eliminate food waste, see if any of your dinner or lunch leftovers can double as a snack. For example, my family has cheese and crackers with homemade chili. That always makes a great snack for at home or snacking on the go.

Meal Plan: Snacks

With the weather being nicer and vacations on the upswing, it’s time to really have snacks ready to grab and run out the door. Yes, you can even practice intuitive eating on vacation

Consider the following when adding snacks to your intuitive eating meal plan:

  • Carbs
  • Proteins
  • Portable vs at home
  • Take requests from family 

Meal Plan: Beverages 

What do you want to drink throughout the week? What do others in the house like to drink? Factor in needing a drink on the go to decrease having to spend money when you’re out.

  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Soda
  • Tea
  • Pre-made smoothies
  • Protein shakes

Intuitive Eating: Order Grocery Delivery

Once I have my weekly meal plan, I order the groceries using the app on my phone. I purchase many of these ingredients regularly, so I start by going through the “order again” section and clicking away, as well as getting my staples from there that I get every week. Then, I’ll go down my list of menus and order the items I need for each meal. 

This whole process, start to finish, takes me about 30 minutes most weeks, sometimes more if I’m feeling uninspired and I have to look for ideas or recipes, but when I’m in a good groove, I can crank it out pretty efficiently. 

I’ve put all these steps together in a guide, which comes with menu planning templates and a grocery list template to make all of this super quick and easy for you. 

Before You Go

Perhaps you’re wondering how to get to a place of comfort and ease with these foods, where you can embrace the need for convenience at times, intentionally work in all the food groups at your meals, and plan balanced nutrition over the course of an entire day or week. These truly are the skills of Intuitive Eating, beyond just eating what sounds good and honoring hunger and fullness. 

If you want to learn how to put these skills into action so that you don’t end up stuck in a cycle of impulsive eating, constantly running to the grocery store, or grabbing takeout because you don’t have the food you want at home, then don’t miss out on the latest podcast episode.

I do a live walkthrough of how I meal plan and prep for my family each week. Start intuitive eating and meal plan or meal prep with me. If you already use a meal delivery service, that’s okay. Take time to listen to the episode so you can choose meals that sound good to you.

Catch the episode here.

Listen & subscribe on your favorite platform:  Apple Podcasts  | Spotify | Deezer |  Google

Search for Episode 128: Listen to Me Planning a Week’s Worth of Meals for Myself and My Family (As An Intuitive Eater)

Looking for more support on your journey to food freedom and body acceptance?

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