Meal Plan to Macros Pt.2 – How to Plan Meals for the Week That Fit Your Macros

So you have a daily macro goal (and you’ve read part 1 of this article), but you have no idea how to actually hit them. Does this sounds like you? If so, this article is for you.

If you’re new to the macro-counting game, I highly suggest doing some planning in advance. At a minimum sit down for 5-10 minutes in the evening and plan your meals for the next day; Going forward you can use this as your “base” and change meals/quantities as necessary.
Don’t feel like you have to start from scratch each day. Most of us tend to eat a lot of the same foods. I tend to be a creature of habit and have no problem eating only a few different breakfasts and dinners each week. Once I find something that works I keep it simple.
The easier you can make your nutrition the more likely you are to succeed. The less thinking/planning required each day, the better.
Now for some of you that are brand new to the world of macros, the thought of planning all your meals out the night before & trying to hit your macros may sound a bit stressful. 
For those of you who feel you need a bit more structure/guidance when it comes to nutrition, I’m going to go over the steps you can take to when switching from a meal plan to a macro-based nutrition plan. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it and may choose to “wing it” the night before. But for now, let’s start with the basics.
Step 1: Determine your daily macro goals
If you haven’t already figured out your daily macro targets, there are basic online calculators to get you started. If you want to take out the guesswork and expedite the process, you can hire a coach like myself to determine them for you.
Step 2: Choose 3-4 “base” recipes
These will serve as your dinners and some of your lunches. I usually double these recipes so there’s enough for both my husband and myself. 
If you’re single, have a large family or some other scenario you can alter the number of servings you make.
In my case, it’s my just my husband and me, but he tends to eat at least two servings at each meal so a standard “4 serving recipe” usually makes about three meals total. Plan accordingly 😉
A few examples:
healthy chicken enchiladas
asian meatballs
Step 3: Choose 2 (no recipe required) lunches
These should be easy and require no cooking/very little prep. A couple of examples would be chicken quesadillas (using pre-cooked chicken breast) and turkey sandwiches. 
chicken quesadillas: tortillas, pre-cooked chicken breast (I buy it pre-cooked from the grocery store), mozzarella cheese
turkey sandwiches: bread, all-natural deli meat, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado
Step 4: Choose 2-3 easy breakfasts
Again these should be basic recipes that are quick to make and can be prepped in advance. A few examples include protein smoothies, overnight oatmeal, and protein waffles.
 overnight oats copy
protein smoothie: almond milk, protein powder, frozen fruit of chose, optional: nuts, almond/peanut butter
Step 5: Choose three snack ideas
There are a million options here, but I’ll outline a few easy ideas below. Feel free to get creative and hunt for options that are appealing to you.
Some examples:
– raw almonds (mini snack packs are good for those of you who have a hard time stopping at one serving)
– string cheese
– apples/almond butter
– raw veggies (pre-cut veggie platters are great when you’re crunched for time)
– protein shakes
– deli meat & cheese rolls
Step 6: Lay out your meals in a weekly view & adjust quantities as needed
Make sure you’re not missing anything and have enough food for the week. Once you have this all laid out, you can easily pop those meals into whatever app you’re using to track your macros.
From here, it’s as easy as increasing/decreasing the serving sizes of your meals/snacks. Make sure your totals are close to your daily macros goals!
Here’s an example of a weekly & daily meal layout with all the meals mentioned above (you can download a PDF copy with linked recipes below).

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If you’d like to start from scratch with a blank template you can download my complete fitness tracker PDF to track of all your nutrition, training, progress, etc.
It’s a pretty sweet freebie if I do say so myself!

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Step 7: Prepare your grocery list based on the meals/snacks you chose in the steps above
Ok, so now that you know what you’ll be eating, it’s time to prep your grocery list!
An extra tip, save your list! Use an app or prepare a word document that you can reuse each week. Chances are you’ll want to make some of the same lunches, snacks, and dinners again. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use these as your starting point and adjust as needed. And if you’re really busy one week (and not already sick of your meals) you can save yourself some time/planning and use last weeks grocery list.

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Set aside some time each week to follow seven basic steps and you’ll be well prepared for the week ahead!
Here’s a quick recap of the steps:
Step 1: Determine your daily macro goals
Step 2: Choose 3-4 “base” recipes
Step 3: Choose 2 (no recipe required) lunches
Step 4: Choose 2-3 easy breakfasts
Step 5: Choose three snack ideas
Step 6: Lay out your meals in a weekly view & adjust quantities as needed
Step 7: Prepare your grocery list based on the meals/snacks you chose in the steps above
Looking for more nutrition or training guidance? Click here to read more about my coaching options and work with me 1:1!

About Melissa

Melissa Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA and received her Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In addition to in-person training, Melissa is the founder of ProShape Fitness -- a healthy living company, which specializes in online fitness and nutrition coaching for individuals who want to get back into shape and adopt healthier lifestyle habits.

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