Meal Plan For Every Guy

Guys get ripped for being kitchen novices, but these pillars of nutrition can elevate you to pro status.

If you're going to bulk up, lose fat, or stay healthy, you'll also need a goal-specific meal plan to get results. We've created templates to help you do all three, along with guidelines to help you track the calories, carbs, protein, and fat you should be shooting for each day.

Stock your fridge and pantry with the foods outlined in our grocery lists to whip up delicious, nutritious meals all year. To get you started, we've also included sample recipes, plus plenty of options to swap in for added variety. This is your one-stop shop for what and how to eat in the new year.

The composition of your meals will be determined by your goals and the timing of your weight training. The meals in our New Year's plan are divided into two categories: those with starchy carbs and those without.

Grocery List

You'll need to eat more starchy carbs and fewer fats before and after workouts to promote energy and muscle growth. If you're training to pack on size, you'll eat like this more frequently. And when you're hours removed from a workout, you'll limit starches and increase fats, which will keep you on track to meet your fat-loss goals. For meals containing starchy carbohydrates, your meal options include:

Starches: Brown rice, quinoa, yams, potatoes, oats, whole-wheat pastas, bread, cereals, wraps

Protein: Protein powders, egg whites, whole eggs (sparingly), white meat, white fish, Greek yogurt

Fruits/Vegetables/Legumes: Tropical fruits, green/fibrous vegetables, beans

Oils: Use sparingly; think teaspoons, not tablespoons

For meals not containing starchy carbohydrates, your options are:

Protein: Protein powders, eggs, white meat, red meat, oily fish or white fish, Greek yogurt

Fruits/Vegetables/Legumes: Berries, green/fibrous, beans (sparingly)

Oils/Fats: Tablespoons, not teaspoons. Avocados, nuts/seeds, coconut oil, canola mayonnaise, full-fat cheeses

Note: Where "Post-Workout Nutrition" is used, it can refer to a shake containing fast-digesting carbohydrates or a meal that contains them.

The Beginner Meal Plan

Target: 2,500 calories, 218 g carbs, 218 g protein, 83 g fat

If you want to stay healthy and have more energy, this is the plan for you. It's relatively low in carbs and very high in protein, and it emphasizes antioxidant-rich foods to improve the health of your blood vessels while also warding off inflammation—two factors that accelerate the rate at which every cell in your body ages.

Template

  • Meal 1: Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 2: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 3: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 4: (Post-Workout Nutrition) Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 5: Contains starchy carbs

Sample Options

Ingredients

greek yogurt 1 1/2 cup


rasberries 1/2 cup

Alternate Options: 5 sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 2/3 cup blackberries, or 1 tbsp raisins

Vanilla Almond Crunch Bear Naked Granola 1/3 cup

Alternate Options: 1/3 cup Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin cereal, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup Fiber One cereal, or 2/3 cup Kashi Organic Cinnamon Harvest

Omega-3 Eggs 3


meal 2: Double Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

chocolate protein powder 2 scoops


coconut milk 1/4 cup

Alternate Options: 2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Cherries 3/4 cup

Alternate Options: 1 cup blackberries

flaxseed 1 tbsp


cocoa powder 1 tbsp


ice cubes 3-4


water 2-3 cup


Protein Smoothie Power

While you could swap the shake in meal two for another whole-food meal, a whey protein smoothie is a great way to tickle your taste buds and feed your hungry muscles with the nutrients they need to grow. Protein is responsible for tissue growth and repair, so it's essential that you get enough for muscle growth and recovery. Whey protein is a delicious, fast-digesting, clean, and convenient way to add to your daily protein intake!




Meal 3: Bibb Lettuce Burger

lettuce 2 leaves


95% ground beef 8 oz


tomato 2 slices


red onion 2 slices


ketchup 1 tbsp


canola mayonnaise 1 tbsp


grean beans 3 cups


Meal 4: Post-Workout Nutrition

Recovery shake


Meal 5: Shrimp With Spinach Salad & Brown Rice

shrimp 6 oz


brown rice 1/4 cup


spinach 4 cup


feta cheese 1/4 cup


red bell pepper 1/2


extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp



The Skinny Guy Muscle-Gain Plan

Target: approx. 3,000 calories, 300 g carbs, 225 g protein, 100 g fat

Forging new muscle requires a menu that is high in both carbs and calories. But remember, going on a muscle-building diet is not an excuse for eating everything in sight. Instead, you'll eat just enough high-quality, nutrient-dense carbs when your body needs them most—around your workouts. Note that the plan here is for a guy who trains in the afternoon. If your sessions are in the morning, simply rearrange it so you're eating the starchy meals before and right after your workout and then avoid starchy carbs later in the day.

Template

  • Meal 1: Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 2: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 3: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 4: (Post-Workout Nutrition) Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 5: Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 6: Contains starchy carbs

Sample Options

Meal 1: Cheesy Scrambled Eggs With Scallions

Omega-3 Eggs 3


egg whites 4

Alternate Options: 2 slices turkey bacon, 2 small chicken sausages, 2 slices Canadian bacon, or 1/4 cup canned salmon

cheddar cheese 1/4 cup


scallions 2

Alternate Options: 2 tbsp salsa, 1/4 cup diced onions, or 2 tbsp diced sun-dried tomatoes

ezekiel bread 2 slices


apple


Meal 2: Blueberry Almond Smoothie

vanilla protein powder 2 scoops


blueberries 1 cup

Alternate Option: 3/4 cup frozen mango chunks

almonds 1 oz


vanilla almond milk 1 cup


water 1 cup


ice cubes 3-4


Meal 3: Steak With Tomato Bean Salad

grilled flank steak 6 oz


tomato 1


diced cucumber 1/2


chickpeas 1 cup


olive oil 1 tbsp


Meal 4: Post-Workout Nutrition

recovery shake Should contain 50 grams carbs and 25 grams protein


Pack on Serious Size

The post-workout period is an especially important time to fuel your muscles with protein and carbohydrates. Protein will stimulate recovery and growth, and carbs will replenish your used energy quickly so you can get back to running on a full tank. Thankfully, we have several weight gainers that contain both protein and carbs to help you build serious size.




Meal 5: Chicken With Quinoa Salad

boneless chicken breast 6 oz

Alternate Options: 6 oz pork tenderloin, 5 oz Buffalo rib eye, or 5 oz top round beef

quinoa 1/3 cup

Alternate Options: 1/3 cup couscous, 1/4 cup brown rice, or 1/4 cup wild rice

walnuts 2 tbsp


craisins 2 tbsp


Meal 6: Yams And Parmesan White Fish

tilapia 6 oz

Alternate Options: 5 oz tuna steak, 7 oz cod, or 6 oz shrimp

parmesan cheese 2 tbsp


yams 2 medium

Alternate Options: 1/3 cup Amaranth, 1/3 cup wheat berries, or 1/3 cup pearl barley

butter 1 tbsp


broccoli 1 cup



The Get-Lean Meal Plan

Target: 2000 calories, 150 g carbs, 150 g protein, 88 g fat

To accelerate your weight loss, limit starchy carbs to the period directly after weight training. This plan places a heavy emphasis on leafy greens and veggies for the remainder of the day—a practical way to cut both calories and carbs. You'll be eating more fat, as well, to switch your body from using carbs to fats as its main source of energy (an insider trick for torching fat but not muscle).



Template

  • Meal 1: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 2: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 3: Few carbs, if any
  • Meal 4: (Post-Workout Nutrition) Contains starchy carbs
  • Meal 5: Contains starchy carbs

Sample Options

Meal 1: Spinach Omelet

eggs 3


pepper jack cheese 1 slice


baby spinach 1 cup


peach 1


Meal 2: Chocolate Nut Shake

chocolate protein powder 1 scoop


chocolate milk 2 cups


peanut butter 2 tbsp


chia seeds 1 tbsp


ice cubes 2-3


Meal 2: Alternative: Strawberry Cream Smoothie

vanilla protein powder 1 scoop


flaxseed 1 tbsp


strawberries 6


plain yogurt 3/4 cup


Preserve Your Muscle

You may not know it, but protein is just as important to a fat-loss diet as it is to a muscle-building plan. As you get lean, protein becomes especially important to maintain your hard-earned muscle mass. Protein is also the most filling of the macronutrients, so it can help you feel satiated on a diet. Whey protein is clean, lean, and a great addition to your fat-loss diet!




Meal 3: Grilled Steak With Avocado-Tomato Salad

top round steak 4 oz


avocado 1/2


tomato 1


diced red onion 1/4


Alternate Salad Option 1

broccoli slaw mix 3 cup


coleslaw dressing 2 tbsp


Alternate Salad Option 2

toasted edamame 1/2 cup


diced dried tomatoes 2 tbsp


extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp


Meal 4: Post-Workout Nutrition

Recovery shake Should contain 50 grams carbs and 25 grams protein


Meal 5: Flax Pasta With Hearty Sauce

cubed boneless chicken breast 3 oz

Alternate Options: 3 oz 95% lean ground beef, 3 oz yellowfin tuna, 5 oz clams, or 3 oz clod roast

whole-wheat flax penne pasta 1 oz


sliced mushrooms 1 cup

Alternate Options: 3 stalks asparagus, 1 cup chopped baby spinach, 3 baby zucchini, or 1 diced plum tomato

broccoli florets 2 cups

Options: 2 cups cubed eggplant, 1 diced yellow pepper or summer squash, or 1 diced carrot + 1 diced stalk of celery

marinara sauce 1/2 cup


extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp