Can one shed fat while eating a lot to gain muscle? Check out this meal plan, it needs some effort but still easy to follow!
This is a weekly diet plan that main goal is to be easy to prepare and accessible for anyone with basic kitchen equipment and skills. The main protein sources are pork, chicken, egg, tuna and dairy with high protein – low fat content. The meat can be substituted with another type without great difference in protein or calorie values except for chicken breast. Chicken breast is way higher in protein and lower in calories than other meat products.
It’s a bit more advanced than the basic weekly meal plan because it doesn’t dedicate special prep days although the first two days can still be used as such. The main focus is still on simplicity and during 5 days it uses the same basic menu but it adds a bit more variety on the remaining two. It still aims to prioritize protein intake and maintain the required calorie level, daily.
Cooking during the week requires minimal equipment, effort and time yet intends to bring some joy into the menu too. The meal recipes are linked so check them out if needed.
The meal plan is designed for 1.6g/kg protein intake which is the recommended amount for an active person who is doing sport daily and intends to build muscles. The meals should be separated by a 2 – 3 hour window for optimal protein absorption. Since losing weight while losing muscle is the goal here, calorie intake is greatly restricted that should create at least 500kcal deficit for an active person easily yet maintain sanity and allow continuity with the plan.
Vegetables – Fruits
Vegetable soup -made with preparation day’s chicken or pork roast drippings- can last for days in the fridge but it can also be frozen in batches and warmed up as needed. Additional vegetables for more fiber and volume can be cooked in daily if required.
For example making a large batch of green bean soup can be turned into a little bit different the next day by cooking in the daily batch some potatoes, then peas the next day. The third day we can add cauliflower then broccoli on the next, and Brussels sprouts the day after. The vegetables can be mixed and matched or pureed if necessary. Adding a spoonful of no fat Greek yogurt to the soup will change their whole meaning and create a brand new dish on the whim. Sprinkling in freshly cut parsley, cilantro or chives will aide us if we desire more variety on the long run.
The soup can be swapped for grilled, steamed or raw vegetables if desired.
Fruits are fairly low in calories but there can be big differences between fruits. Bananas are one of the most energy dense fruits while watermelon and melons in general are on the low end. We can substitute a piece of banana with twice as much melon in weight. Feel free to swap bananas with other fruits as desired.
Beetroot is easy to prepare by cooking then rubbing off its skin and it last in the fridge without canning for a week, but its easier to buy. Cucumber can be also pickled, eaten raw, canned or made into cucumber salad.
Green leafy vegetables are welcome addition to any of the meals but oily dressings are not so much.
Fresh pasta or Egg noodles are a bit of a hassle but it tastes so much better than shop made ones. It can be made in a batch then dried out for later use during the week. We can of course use regular shop bought pasta too. Try to buy pasta that was made with eggs as it has higher protein content than just regular durum wheat pasta.
Pancake on the last day is made with low fat ricotta or even better no fat Greek yogurt. Make a bigger batch so it can be kept some for the next day giving the next round a joyful start. Using grated apples (or other fruits like pear) as sweetener with cocoa powder or cinnamon are great options to stuff between the layers of the pancake along with freshly made custard from low fat milk.
The meal plan contains some added sugar in the form of honey in some of the cakes. Feel free to substitute it with a sweetener of choice. During the week, snack time meals can be substituted with protein bars (these many times contain added sugars) or special treats introduced during the +2 days like hot cocoa, custard, hot chocolate cottage cheese cake, cottage cheese cake with jam, cottage cheese pastry, cottage cheese pie and everyone’s favorite cottage cheese chocolate cake.
- Pork or chicken can be substituted with each other or other meat products.
- There is no dedicated prep day but the first two days can still be used as such.
- Banana is high in calories and low in volume. Most fruits contain less calories thus provide more volume.
- In between meals Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt can be substituted with simple protein drinks, protein bars or other high protein treats.
- Vegetable soup can be of any soup made with a variety of vegetables and stock. It can be substituted with roasted vegetables.
- Add more vegetables for volume as desired.