go to content
Food

Here's A 7-Day No-Added-Sugar Meal Plan That's Actually Doable

You'll learn how to eat well, prep more, spend less — and feel amazing along the way.

Posted on

Eating well often works best when you do one thing: Plan ahead.

And if that plan includes affordable ingredients, a smart prep routine, and easy recipes that taste good — and are good for you? That's even better.

Since finding that combo is usually the toughest part, we wanted to do the work for you. So we put together a full week's worth of healthy breakfasts + lunches + dinners that you can make at home.

Five things to know about the meals:

They're made with whole, real foods. That means unprocessed or minimally processed stuff that you can feel good about.

They contain no added sugar. Not to be confused with naturally occurring sugars, like the ones in fruits. (Though for certain items, like bread or pasta, added sugar can depend on the type and/or brand. There are a ton of different names for sugar, so when in doubt, double-check ingredient labels to make sure none of these are listed.)

They aim for a trio of protein + fat + carbs. The plan is packed with colorful, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies; healthy fats; a mix of plant-based and animal-based proteins; and complex carbs.

They're built with saving time and money in mind. Time-wise, that means a full meal-prep plan you can tackle in advance, so during the busy workweek, you'll cut down on both cooking and cleanup. Budget-wise, the plan is loaded with inexpensive (but good for you!) staples — like eggs, beans, and grains.

They're completely customizable. There's a full seven-day plan below, but you can use these meals in whatever way makes sense. Maybe that means making just one meal per day — like breakfast — better. Or, if you're used to having meat with every dinner, picking a few nights a week to try a plant-based protein instead.

Here's what you'll need for the week's worth of meals:

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Our total at the local Trader Joe's for seven days of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners: $74.20, or about $3.50 per meal. (But that's also with us shopping in NYC at a grocery store that doesn't take coupons. Meaning: You could probably do this for cheaper!)

Here's the full grocery list in printable PDF form.

(*Also, a note on buying organic: To keep costs down, we opted out of organics if TJ's had conventional options available. But if your budget allows, feel free to splurge.)

The day before you start the plan, we'll walk through a step-by-step meal-prep routine. You'll make five simple things ahead of time, which will set you up for an even easier week ahead.

Taylor Miller / Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Find the complete make-ahead meal-prep routine here.

Then you'll move onto the meals! Here's the week's menu:

Day Three:

Taylor Miller / Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

The lineup: peanut butter and banana toast; leftover veggie frittata; and black bean tacos stuffed with roasted sweet potatoes, pico de gallo, and Greek yogurt crema.

Find complete recipes for Day Three here.

In order to get the most out of the week, we suggest grocery shopping and doing the prep work on a Saturday or Sunday. Then the following day, start Day One of meals.

BuzzFeed

That doesn't work for your schedule? No problem. Feel free to pick and choose a few recipes, or just browse through for inspiration.

Before getting started, we also turned to an expert for guidance on taking on a meal plan if you're a first-timer.

Jessica Jones, of Food Heaven Made Easy, is a registered dietician with a master's degree in nutrition. She's also an absolute pro at helping people eat healthy on the cheap.

One of her best tips for tackling this — or any other — meal plan? Figure out what type of person you are when it comes to trying new things.

NBC

"Think back to the last time you accomplished a goal — whether it was food-related or not," says Jones. "And ask yourself: What helped you get there?"

If you're internally motivated, maybe that means tracking your habits — via a productivity app, bullet journal, or quick to-do list. If you're externally motivated, maybe you team up with friends and help each other out along the way.

Once you know what motivates you, says Jones, you're more likely to stay focused and meet your goals — whether that's cooking at home more often, cutting back on added sugar, or something else entirely.

Ready to get started? Let's do this. 🙌

JUMP TO:

Intro | Prep Day | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven

EXTRAS:

Snack Ideas | Grocery List | Printable Recipes

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss