You’re quite the achiever aren’t you?
"Compromises are for the weak", you say.
"Whatever it takes" is your motto.
You want results and you are ready to commit to the path.
You also might hate cooking.
Therefore, you want to optimize the way you do it so that it takes the least amount of time, which leaves you to do more important things.
Going to the gym, meeting hot chicks, and trying to save the world.
I was raised in
To achieve your physique goal or even only if you want to get strong, you know that training alone won’t cut it. Nutrition is the fuels that you will put in your body to make your muscle grow and get tough.
What should I eat? What do I have for breakfast? What should I eat for dinner? Etc. etc…
You might be asking these questions while staring at the wall confused and scared.
Fear not my friend! In this post, I will teach you a practical and rational way to create a meal plan that you will be able to rely on while you are busy making incredible progress in the gym!
#1: Keep It Simple Stupid
Your life is complicated enough already. You might have school, classes to attend, exams to prepare and a part-time or
We all are busy and we don’t have to use that as an excuse not to act. We actually have to use it as a way to get smart.
It’s not written in stone that you should eat something different every day.
If you look at successful bodybuilders, they have every day the same meal. They keep it simple so that they can focus on things that matter.
If you have to think about a new recipe or a new food every time, your will power will get drained, you’ll get exhausted and you are less likely to stick to your goal.
Do not over complicate things, keep them simple and stupid. Consistency is one of the keys to success.
If your food choices are smart and cover different nutrients, there is no problem with eating the same meal every day.
To get an idea of which foods you should eat to cover the nutrients requirements, you can download my free nutrition guide here.
#2: You Need ‘Em Proteinz
To grow big and strong you need protein. There’s no way around it. They are needed to repair your muscles and to make them strong enough to lift the weight during your next workout.
In every meal, you should have a source of protein to keep your muscles happy and willing to grow.
So firstly, we are going to make a list of all the protein source you like and you have easy access to.
For instance in my case they are:
- Ground/lean beef
- Chicken/Turkey breast
- Canned tuna
- Greek yogurt
- Whole-fat milk
- Cottage/Parmesan/Mozzarella cheese
To make it easier to identify them, you can create a table in which you put: red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish&shellfish.
#3: Carbs And Fat Too
Now that you have your protein list, create a similar list for carbs and fat too.
For carbs you can subdivide it like this: Sauces, Fruit, Veggies, Grains, Legumes (even though I would avoid these last two if you really want to make some serious gains and stay healthy).
To give you an example of my carbs:
- Bell peppers
For fat the choices are slightly less limited and you can divide them in oils, nuts&seeds, meats, dairy and fruits.
These are the fats I include in my list:
- Olive/Coconut oil
- Almond butter
- Whole-fat milk/yogurt
#3: Make Them Do It
Now that you know all the foods you can have access to, it becomes super easy to create a meal plan!
Pick one to three items from each column and you have a meal
That’s exactly as easy as that!
Do you want to keep it simple? Keep that meal throughout the week!
Ground beef (protein) + onions and tomato paste (carbs) + olive oil (fat) = Super freaking delicious and easy meal!
This can be your dinner for the entire week. You just need to cook it in bulk and keep it in containers in the fridge ready to be taken out at meal times, eaten and that’s it!
Repeat this process for as many meals as you are going to have throughout the week.
What I personally do is having the same breakfast and lunch every day. I have three different dinner options because I like to experiment but you can keep the same dinner every night!
#5: Schedule Like Boss
Once you have your list of meals, in Excel or Google Drive, create a spreadsheet with 7 columns, one for each day and as many rows as meals you are going to have.
Fit each meal in the proper cell so that you know exactly what you are going to eat at each time every day.
This is so easy bro!
#6: Let’s Math This Out
Now we have to get geeky here. But you have to do this only once and this will save you so much time it’s incredible (as we’ll see later).
What you have to do is figure out the amount of each component in each meal to fit your caloric intake. This might seem overwhelming but I have a couple of tricks for you to use to make it fool proof.
We are going to use MyFitnessPal to help us see the contribution of each food to our caloric budget.
In the beginning, we need to make some assumptions:
- For each protein source, we use 100 grams. For the
eggsyou can use 2 and for the whey and casein 1 scoop.
- For the fats we use 1 tbsp (15 mL) for the oils and 15 grams for the solid fats.
- For carbs we assume 100 grams.
Now, open MyFitnessPal (I assume you already set in there your caloric goal).
Go to a day one week from now (so that it is empty) and, for each meal, start adding the ingredients you selected in point 1 and 2 and set as the amount, the one we discussed.
Example: Breakfast: 100 g ham + 1 tbsp olive oil + 100 g lettuce
Do this for each meal and at the end see if you have any calories left or if you went overboard.
- If you went overboard AND you still didn’t hit your protein target: reduce carbs and fat and increase protein at dinner.
- If you went over board AND you hit your protein target: reduce carbs and fat.
- If you have calories left AND didn’t hit your protein target: increase your protein amounts (try to have most of them at dinner) first and then add carbs or fat to complete.
- If you have calories left AND hit your protein target: increase carbs and fat to complete.
- It’s better to have most of your protein and carbs at night.
- Try to have at least 0.33 grams of protein per kg of body weight per meal.
#7: When You Used To Spend Hours Thinking What To Buy
You can imagine how easy now is making a grocery list!
Just add up all the amounts you figured out in step 5 and you know exactly how much of each food you have to buy.
What if the portion size you can buy is bigger than you need? Depending on the food you can always freeze if too much and use it for the week after.
Make a grocery shopping list only once and you can use it forever! (or until you change your meal plan).
Making the list will now take you just 5 minutes. Go to the supermarket, buy your foods, no distraction, out. You just spent 15 minutes instead of the usual 30+.
#8: You Only Cook Once
With this approach, you need to only cook once per week. If you have selected as few meals as possible, cooking in
You cut all the veggies needed at once, you just need to wash one pan and you’ll have a week's worth of meals in one single session!
To save even more time, don’t wash your pan between cooking different meals.
You can do this only if the ingredients of the different meals are compatible, i.e. I wouldn’t use the same pan in which I cooked fish, to cook pork. GROSS!
Now you can store each single portion meal in practical plastic containers or, if you have space limitations, in Ziplock backs. Either put them in the fridge (lasting 1 week) or in the freezer (lasting months).
You just became the king of meal planning, congratulations!
By applying these tips you will free up so much time in your life, you finally won’t have any excuse whatsoever to hit the gym and get big and strong.
With some smart planning and tricks that you learned from this post, you won’t have to spend your life cooking and cleaning anymore!
To get a sample meal plan I designed, together with my free guide that teaches you what to eat and how much, click here and you will get both of them for free (together with another surprise)!
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Let me know in the comments: what is the most frustrating part of meal planning for you?
(thanks to Klaas for proofreading this post)
Are you ready to become a high-performer?
P.S. If you want to be coached by me and you are badass, committed and ready to change your life, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I take on only the most motivated, disciplined and serious people so if you are not like that don't contact me please.