T Nation

Advice on Building Meal Plans


I'm fairly new to creating a meal plan that will take me through the day / week and am quickly finding that it's a real pain. Trying to get the macros adjusted how I want for each meal is a bit puzzle like, unless I want to eat the same thing every meal...

Tips and tricks that some may have after doing this over the years would be very helpful.


A) Figure out what you're trying to do

  1. First decide your goal (gain lean body mass?)
  2. Then select an appropriate diet strategy (if you need help with this, then ask, of just read through the forums)
  3. Then select recipes that fit the guidelines of that diet strategy

B) Plan the meals

When that's all good and figured out,
1. Get a food scale
2. Get a recipe
3. Look up the food here: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
4. Presto

It's not easy, but it's also not that hard.


fitday.com is your friend. If I have carbs I try to take em only in my first 3 meals/post workout. Spread the protein/fat out evenly except low fat PWO. If you aren't counting calories and aren't gaining weight just up your milk/extra virgin olive oil consumption

I eat simple, like here is today's meal plan for me. Nothing fancy

3000 Calories
Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri (Workouts)
35% P/15% C/50% F
1050c protein/450c carb/1500c fat
262g prot/112g carb/166g fat

meal1= 541 Calories/38g P/5g C/39g F = 5 eggs, 21g whites, 20g cheese, .5tsp EVOO [527 Cal/38g P/3g C/39g F]
meal2= 541 Calories/38g P/5g C/39g F = 187g 90/10, 4.5tsp EVOO, 100g cabbage [520 Cal/38.9g P/6g C/39.1g F] [3g fiber]
meal3= 541 Calories/38g P/5g C/39g F = 100g bratwurst, 63g chicken, 35g flax, 100g cabbage [576 Cal/39.1g P/20.9g C/38.9g F] [13g fiber]
meal4= 541 Calories/38g P/5g C/39g F = 77g steak, 55g bacon, 10g fish oil, 100g cabbage [526 Cal/40.1g P/6g C/39.7g F] [3g fiber]
meal5(pre)= 264 Calories/35g P/31g C/4g F = 45g Whey, 28g waximaize [292 Cal/34.5g P/31g C/3.7g F]
meal6(pwo)= 264 Calories/35g P/31g C/4g F = 45g Whey, 28g waximaize [292 Cal/34.5g P/31g C/3.7g F]
meal7(pwo2)= 294 Calories/38g P/31g C/2g F = 165g chicken, 145g sweet potato [278 Cal/36.8 g P/29.7g C/1.5g F] [5.1g fiber]


Most people get discouraged when they find out that you have to sit down, put in a little research and effort and then put together a diet plan. Yes, keeping the same foods over and over makes things simpler, but if you limit yourself to 3 or 4 foods, you will lose your minds (and as some suggest develop food allergies). When I help people with a diet, I usually have them write down whatever they eat for 2 weeks, not so much so I just see how often they're eating, or even their macros, but moreso to give me an idea of the food CHOICES they make. If I were to have a client trying to eat the way I eat (cottage cheese, egg whites, lots of oatmeal...) not everyone would be a fan (especially of the cottage cheese! -lol)



Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?


Thanks for the input, I have an idea what I want for macro's and foods. I kinda figured simply assembling the recipee and adjusting quantity accordingly was the way to go, but I would rather not reinvent the wheel. I figured that if someone out there has a better methoud I'd just plagiarize the crap out of it. Better to ask folks that have been there before and possibly get the "Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?" response than not.

Thanks for the input