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6 Proven Weight Loss Meal Planning Tips From a Health Coach

Laura Banks reveals her “BLD” method of meal planning.

If you are trying to lose weight, meal planning can help, according to science. One study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that people who prepared their food in advance were less likely to be obese. Laura Banks (@laura.b.healthy) is a health coach, podcaster, and TikTok influencer who lost 100 pounds by making simple dietary changes. One of the main tactics she uses? You guessed it: Meal planning. "Let's make a healthy meal plan together," she says in her viral video. Here is everything you need to know about her simple meal plan and all of her tips to make it easier. We also asked our Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian.

She Keeps a Notebook on Her Counter


"I keep this notebook on my counter at all times," Laura says, explaining that it has all of her recipes, "so that it's so easy whenever it's time for me to meal plan, I just go back and look at things that we've enjoyed before." Collingwood agrees that her tactic is very smart. "The hardest part for many people (including myself!) is figuring out what to cook. Keeping a notebook so you can make note of changes you make to a recipe, rate the recipe, give suggestions on what you would do differently next time….all excellent ideas!" she says. 

RELATED: I Lost 40 Pounds by Tracking My Macros, Here's How You Can Do It Yourself

She Uses the BLD Method


"I use what one of my clients called the BLD Method, breakfast, lunch, dinner," says Laura. "So easy. The easier you keep healthy habits, the easier they are to stick to." She also reveals that leftovers are a big part of her plan. "Leftovers are an excellent way to repurpose food and not let it go to waste – the biggest food cost is throwing it away," says Collingwood. "You can make a totally different meal with some leftover chicken or salmon than you had with it the first time you cooked it."

She Checks Her Pantry and Fridge

Rear View Of Young Woman Looking In Fridge At Kitchen

"First thing I usually do when meal planning is look and see what we already have in our pantry, in the freezer, in the refrigerator, that we can use so I can save some money. She reveals that she has everything needed for tacos, except the ground beef, "so I'm going to go with tacos as one of my meals that typically makes enough leftovers," she says. "I'm going to do that on Wednesday and Friday this week." She adds that she has been craving salmon lately and since she has a glaze on hand, she is going to buy salmon for dinner. She still has Tuesday and Thursday open, so decides to use frozen meatballs to make meatball subs on those days."Taking inventory of your freezer and pantry helps to use up items before they go bad," agrees Collingwood.

She Moves Onto Lunch


"Now I typically move on to lunch," says Laura. "I have a chicken sausage and some chickpea noodles. I think I'm going to use those to get a little bit creative and make some kind of pasta salad or something like that for lunches this week."

Then, Breakfast


"That just leaves breakfast. I typically choose one or two breakfasts for the week and then just rotate between the two. I think this week I'm going to just do one and I'm going to do overnight oats," she says. 

RELATED: 9 Habits That Helped Me Lose 15 Pounds of Fat

She Makes Sure She Is Eating Colorfully


"I am currently trying to make sure that I eat more colorful fruits and vegetables, so I'm doing a little chart down at the bottom to track that and make sure that I am getting in enough colors," Laura continues. "As you can see from my chart, I'm missing orange and red in this week's meal plan." So, she adds sweet  sweet potato and some tomatoes roasted in the oven as sides. "Love the idea of a variety of different fruits and veggies and tracking that with different colors.  The different colors actually do change the nutrients that are in foods, so eating around the rainbow is brilliant!" says Collingwood.

💪🔥Body Booster: Making a meal plan at the start of the week will keep you from grabbing unhealthy food out of convenience.  

@laura.b.healthy Breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas in this healthy meal plan – remember the easier you make things, the easier it is to stick to them so make meal planning as easy as possible! #healthymealplan #simplemealplan #howtomealplan #makeamealplan ♬ original sound – Laura B. | Health Coach

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more