Meal Planning for any goal

Meal planning for goals is an personal as religion or politics.  Everyone has different goals: cutting/leaning, bulking, increased mental cognition, to control blood sugar, ketogenic diets, high/low carb diets, and on and on. The only real reason (I believe) to be on a strict meal plan is for serious fitness goals or serious nutritional goals (like ketogenic). This is because macros can change your body dramatically, more so than hitting the gym 3 hours a day. Tracking macros (protein/carb/fat) also does not mean any old foods. For example, carbohydrates for macro tracking purposes can be just about any carbohydrates as long as you hit your mark. This is called flexible dieting or IIFYM (if it fits your macros). For example, 30 grams of carbohydrates from straight sugar is fine in a IIFYM/flexible dieting plan. But, this has no other nutrients. It is eventually broken down into glucose and absorbed.  

Now 30 grams of carbohydrates from dark, leafy greens or dark berries will have a ton of micronutrients along with breaking down into glucose. FYI-All carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose. The rate at which they do this is important for blood sugar regulation. So complex carbohydrates are better than highly processed, simple carbohydrates. But Ill save this conversation about carbohydrates for another post. 

If you have a specific fitness goal as in "I want a rockin hot body like those men/women in fitness magazines", I have some blunt news for you. First of all, a lot of photos are photoshopped and/or have awesome cameramen behind the lens. And great lighting. Ask any professional photographer about this. Second, these are professional fitness people or die hard fitness folks who make fitness their priority. So, their meal planning and macros are a full-time job. They don't mess around. They eat pretty much the same things over and over. This makes tracking much easier and their meal planning a basic routine. So, my advice for you is to pick 3-4 breakfasts that you already know the macros (same for lunch, dinner, snacks, pre/post workout) and load them into a macro app like My Macros+ (iPhone only) or My Fitness Pal. When you go Rogue, then you can search and add them into your daily macro count. When you do this (manually add them) you'll see why you want those same meals in your app already. Going off the plan makes it really difficult to track.

Give a shot for a week and see how it goes! Keep your goal in mind when you do this because it really can get tedious. But after awhile, you'll be able to eyeball portions of commonly eaten foods which will make it easier. 

Hungry for more info? Here is a great article written by Michael Matthews that goes into great detail, including calculating your personal macro breakdown:

http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/