Bariatric Meal Planning:
A Recipe for Success

Let's face it, bariatric meal planning can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, it's as simple as deciding what you're going to eat before you're standing in front of the fridge like a deer in headlights.

Meal planning isn’t the same thing as meal prepping.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." And when it comes to bariatric meal planning, he couldn't be more spot on. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of meal planning.

The first step is to…

Define What Meal Planning Means to YOU

What’s your personal bariatric meal planning approach? Take a moment to ponder your options.

Will you plan for:

  • One day at a time? (because let's be real, anything more than that is too much pressure) 
  • One week?
  • One month?


What meals will you focus on?

  • All of them?
  • Just breakfast?
  • Just dinner? 
  • Just snacks? (because snacks are life?)

Pro Tip:

Not sure what approach to take?

Identify the one meal that you struggle with most and start there.

(Because let's not make this harder than it needs to be!)

Whatever your approach, there's no "wrong way" to meal plan, as long as you're doing it. As long as you’re not eating fast food 7 days a week you’re doing great.

The next step…

Consider the Variety Needed…or Not

When it comes to variety, it's all about knowing your "boredom factor!" I made that phrase up…but what it means is…

Are you okay with:

  • Eating the same breakfast every day? (because sometimes, simplicity is key)
  • Same lunch every day? (because why fix what isn't broken?)
  • Or do you need a couple of options to alternate between? (because variety is the spice of life)

Decide how much variety you need (or don't need) before you start meal planning. This way, you'll be able to plan your meals in a way that satisfies your appetite and keeps you on track. Boredom with food choices usually results in a trip to the fast food lane. And you don't need me to tell you that's bad news bears!

So….Once you have your plan in place…

It’s Time to Bring it to Life

  • Select your recipes (because who wants to eat plain chicken and broccoli every day?)
  • Save your work (because why do the same thing twice?)
  • Write down your meal plan (because if it's not written down, it's not real)
  • Make a grocery list based on your bariatric meal plan (because you can't cook a meal without ingredients)
  • Schedule a day and time for grocery shopping (because let's not leave that to the last minute)

Select Your Recipes

Struggling to come up with meal ideas? Don’t worry! There are plenty of resources available:

And don't forget about Bariatric Diet Guide (that’s me!) quick and simple combos:

Write Down Your Plan

Commit your plan to paper.

Studies show that goal setters achieve their goals. Planning what to eat is a goal! Committing your plan to paper is more powerful than just thinking it through in your head. It “ups” the level of intention and accountability.

Use one of these templates over at my other website:

Writing your meal plan down forces you to get clear on what you’re going to eat…

…and your grocery list practically makes itself as a result! Oh yeah…that’s an important point you don’t want to miss. In order to eat what you plan, you have to...

Pro Tip

Treat meal planning and grocery shopping like a hot date!

Put it on your calendar and don't be late!

Grocery Shop

You can’t eat what you don’t have. Make a list of all the groceries you need based on your meal plan.

Schedule a Regular Shopping Day and Time

Plan to shop on a regular planned schedule so it becomes routine. 

Save Your Work

Once you have a written menu plan and a corresponding grocery list, file it away manually or electronically. Don’t throw all your hard work in the trash! You can pull it out and use it some week in the future when you’re pressed for time. Or you can simply cycle through your meal plans once you have enough of them.

Summing it Up

  • Define Your Personal Approach
  • Decide How Much Variety You Need
  • Bring the Plan to Life

And Oh Yeah...

  • Repeat This Process Regularly!

Spread Out the Work

If you’re planning to meal plan AND meal prep… consider spreading the two out on different days to make it more manageable:

  • Day 1: Plan and Shop
  • Day 2: Cook and Portion

This will prevent feeling overwhelmed and make the process more manageable.


Enjoy the process! Sit down with a hot cup of tea or sugar free hot cocoa in your fuzzy slippers, put on some music and make it an enjoyable experience. Meal planning may seem like a chore, but it can also be a fun and rewarding experience.

Bariatric Meal Planning Mantras to Live By

  • Meal planning is not a destination, but a journey.
  • Done is better than perfect.
  • A well-planned meal is a recipe for success.

So, go forth and conquer your bariatric meal planning. Over an out.

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