Once you have all of your supplies together (check out last weeks post HERE to see the 7 things you need to make sure you win at leam prep), the next step in meal prepping is to come up with a meal plan.
As coaches, we recommend having 40% of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat. We find this balance works best for the majority of people.
This balance has the best approach when it comes to losing weight, gaining muscle and balancing your hormone levels so you just feel better. Yes, there is a learning curve at first and there are other percentage balances out there, we have found this is the best for overall balance and longevity.
It can be tough at first to wrap your head around what specific servings are, etc. But, the great thing about eating the way we prescribe is its ability to include most all whole foods. And once you understand it you can adapt your proportion sizes to any meal.
We don’t believe in FAD diets (i.e. keto, atkins, flexible dieting, cleanses, detoxes, etc.) because they don’t set you up for success in the long run.
Our goal is not just to lose weight and gain muscle, but to set you up to sustain strength and health for the rest of your life.
The first thing we need to do is determine the number of servings of protein, fat and carbohydrates you need to consume in a day. We will use the terms “servings” and “blocks” interchangeably.
We are going to approach this two ways. The first will be using your body fat % & lean muscle mass % to do so.
But we recognize the numbers can be overwhelming for some. So we will provide another approach we’ve developed based on just your height. It’s not as accurate, but it works to get you started. Let’s Begin!
Approach #1: The Body Fat Percentage Method for determining your number of servings per day.
First you will need to determine your body fat percentage. You can do this by finding a local gym, nutritionist, hospital or other health provider that offers a service to measure your body fat percentage (we happen to know a good one HERE).
In our example, we will measure your weight and body fat percentage (BF%). From that we will determine the total number of servings of carbs, proteins and fats one should consume in a day.
So in our example we have a 165lbs person that has 25% body fat. Therefore, their lean body mass is 124 pounds [165 x (1-25%)].
Next we need to apply an activity factor. In our example, this person exercises about 1-2x per week for about 30 minutes.
This person is just a beginner so we are assuming they go out on walks and maybe one of those workout sessions is a treadmill or strength training with weights.
Next we multiply the activity factor x lean body mass to get the total number of grams of protein per day this person will consume.
In our case it is 81 grams or (124lbs x 0.65 activity factor).
Next we divide 81 grams by 7 to get a total of 12 servings or blocks of protein in a day.
The final step is to calculate the total servings of carbohydrates and fat as well. And it’s simple. It’s the same as the protein!
Therefore, in our hypothetical example, this person will need to consume 12 servings or protein, 12 servings of carbohydrates and 12 servings of fat in a day!
Have you gone cross eyed with that math and explanation? It’s ok. The other way is is quicker and requires almost no math.
Approach #2: A rough meal plan guide using your height
Ok so maybe math is not your thing. Maybe you are the type that just wants to be told what to do. You are in luck!
Since we’ve been doing this a while, we’ve been able to gather enough data to put together this handy little chart based on your height.
Remember, this table is a rough estimate based on height. There are several other variables to consider (like are you someone the has a runner’s build or one more like a bodybuilder).
The table provides the total number of “blocks” or “servings” you will need to consume throughout the day. You’ll want to split them up over the course of the day. We’ll talk about that and what exactly a “block” is and how to split them up next week.
For now, go get your measurements and start preparing to change the way you look at food. We’re about to change your idea of food forever, in an amazing way.
Got your stuff together and ready for the next step in planning your diet? Set an appointment with one of our coaches and get started today!