The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 22

Nutrition isn't a punishment. It's a tool you can use to fuel your workouts and build the body you've always wanted. This week, you're going to get serious about eating right!

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Consistent, challenging training is a major part of the fit life, but it's only one part. Some people believe it's not even the biggest. When people who have transformed successfully tell their story on our site, they almost always say nutrition is more important than training. In some cases, they've put the ratio as high as 90/10.

This week, you're going to get a taste of how physique athletes eat. Trust us, it's better than you think! Here's Kathleen to tell you more.

Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 22
Watch the video: 2:45


Day 22 Challenge

  • Plan your meals for the upcoming week.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Prep your meals!

Make Nutrition Work For You

Below, you'll find sample meal plans and grocery lists for several levels of caloric intake, from a meager 1,500 calories per day up to 3,500 calories. Look back to the caloric demand calculator you used on day 8 to see which amount lines up best with your body and activity level. Then check out the sample day and shopping list from today that goes with that amount. Customize this plan to meet your cooking abilities, taste, and restrictions, but try to stick to it as tightly as you can. Remember, this is a learning experience!

Your Sample Meal Plans

1500 Meal Plan

Breakfast

Egg Whites 5 (Protein: 18 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 86)


Whole Egg (Large) 1 (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 72)


Oats 1/3 cup uncooked (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 18 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 103)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 261
Fat6 g
Carbs18 g
Protein28 g
Mid-Morning

Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 1/2 tablespoon (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 2 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 53)


Wheat Bread 1 slice (1 ounce - Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 14 grams | Fat: 1 gram | Calories: 75)


Strawberries 5-8 (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 7 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 20)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 148
Fat5 g
Carbs23 g
Protein6 g
Lunch

Chicken 3 ounces (Protein: 25 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 140)


Brown Rice 1/2 cup cooked (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 110)


Spinach/Mixed Greens 3 cups (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 21)


Avocado 3-4 slices (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 1 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 45)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 316
Fat7 g
Carbs24 g
Protein30 g
Mid Day

Chicken 3 ounces (Protein: 25 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 140)


Sweet Potato 5 ounces, skinned (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 24 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 103)


Broccoli 1 cup (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 6 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 35)


Olive Oil 1 teaspoon (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 45)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 323
Fat7 g
Carbs30 g
Protein30 g
Dinner

Tilapia 5 ounces (Protein: 29 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 2.5 grams | Calories: 136)


Brown Rice 1/2 cup cooked (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 110)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 246
Fat2.5 g
Carbs20 g
Protein31 g
Post-Workout

Protein Shake 1 serving (Protein: 25 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 130)


Apple 1, small (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 77)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 207
Fat2 g
Carbs24 g
Protein25 g
Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 1501
Fat29.5 g
Carbs139 g
Protein150 g

1500 Calorie Meal Plan PDF (1.09 KB)

2000 Meal Plan

Breakfast

Egg Whites 7 (Protein: 25 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 120)


Whole Egg (Large) 1 (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 72)


Oats 1/2 cup uncooked (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 27 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Calories: 156)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 348
Fat8 g
Carbs27 g
Protein37 g
Mid-Morning

Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 1 tablespoon (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 8 grams | Calories: 105)


Wheat Bread 1 slice (1 ounce - Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 14 grams | Fat: 1 gram | Calories: 75)


Strawberries 5-10 (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 10 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 35)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 215
Fat9 g
Carbs28 g
Protein8 g
Lunch

Chicken 4 ounces (Protein: 35 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 187)


Brown Rice 3/4 cup cooked (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 34 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 164)


Spinach/Mixed Greens 3 cups (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 21)


Avocado 3-4 slices (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 1 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 45)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 417
Fat10 g
Carbs38 g
Protein41 g
Mid Day

Chicken 4 ounces (Protein: 35 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 187)


Sweet Potato 6 ounces, skinned (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 35 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 154)


Broccoli 1 cup (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 6 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 35)


Olive Oil 1 teaspoon (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 45)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 421
Fat9 g
Carbs41 g
Protein41 g
Dinner

Tilapia or White Fish 7 ounces (Protein: 40 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 3.5 grams | Calories: 191)


Brown Rice 1/2 cup cooked (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 110)


Mixed Vegetables 1 cup steamed (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 118)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 419
Fat3.5 g
Carbs32 g
Protein45 g
Post-Workout

Protein Shake 1 serving (Protein: 25 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 130)


Apple 1, small (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 77)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 207
Fat2 g
Carbs24 g
Protein25 g
Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2027
Fat41.5 g
Carbs190 g
Protein197 g

2000 Calorie Meal Plan PDF (1.09 KB)

2500 Meal Plan

Breakfast

Egg Whites 8 (Protein: 29 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 137)


Whole Egg (Large) 1 (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 72)


Oats 1/2 cup uncooked (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 27 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Calories: 156)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 365
Fat8 g
Carbs27 g
Protein41 g
Mid-Morning

Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 1 tablespoon (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 8 grams | Calories: 105)


Wheat Bread 2 slices (2 ounces - Protein: 7 grams | Carbs: 28 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 149)


Strawberries 8-10 (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 10 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 40)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 294
Fat10 g
Carbs42 g
Protein11 g
Lunch

Chicken 5 ounces (Protein: 44 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 234)


Sweet Potato 7 ounces, skinned (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 41 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 179)


Broccoli 1 cup (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 6 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 35)


Olive Oil 2 teaspoons (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 9 grams | Calories: 79)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 527
Fat14 g
Carbs47 g
Protein51 g
Mid Day

Chicken 5 ounces (Protein: 44 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 234)


Brown Rice 1 cup cooked (Protein: 5 grams | Carbs: 46 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 218)


Spinach/Mixed Greens 3 cups (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 21)


Avocado 5-6 slices (Protein: 1 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 6 grams | Calories: 70)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 543
Fat13 g
Carbs53 g
Protein53 g
Dinner

Tilapia or White Fish 8 ounces (Protein: 44 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 218)


Brown Rice 1/3 cup cooked (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 15 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 73)


Mixed Vegetables 1 cup steamed (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 118)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 409
Fat6 g
Carbs27 g
Protein49 g
Post-Workout

Protein Shake 2 serving (Protein: 50 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 260)


Apple 1, small (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 77)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 337
Fat4 g
Carbs28 g
Protein50 g
Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2475
Fat55 g
Carbs224 g
Protein256 g

2500 Calorie Meal Plan PDF (1.09 KB)

3000 Meal Plan

Breakfast

Egg Whites 8 (Protein: 29 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 137)


Whole Egg (Large) 1 (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 72)


Oats 2/3 cup uncooked (Protein: 9 grams | Carbs: 36 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Calories: 207)


Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 1/2 tablespoon (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 2 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 53)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 469
Fat12 g
Carbs38 g
Protein46 g
Mid-Morning

Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 2 tablespoon (Protein: 8 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 16 grams | Calories: 210)


Wheat Bread 2 slices (2 ounces - Protein: 7 grams | Carbs: 28 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 149)


Strawberries 10-12 (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 50)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 409
Fat18 g
Carbs48 g
Protein16 g
Lunch

Chicken 5 ounces (Protein: 44 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 234)


Sweet Potato 7 ounces, skinned (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 41 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 179)


Broccoli 2 cup (Protein: 5 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 62)


Olive Oil 2 teaspoons (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 9 grams | Calories: 79)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 554
Fat15 g
Carbs53 g
Protein53 g
Mid Day

Chicken 5 ounces (Protein: 44 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 234)


Brown Rice 1 cup cooked (Protein: 5 grams | Carbs: 46 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 218)


Spinach/Mixed Greens 3 cups (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 21)


Avocado 7-8 slices (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 5 grams | Fat: 7 grams | Calories: 90)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 563
Fat14 g
Carbs54 g
Protein54 g
Dinner

Tilapia or White Fish 9 ounces (Protein: 51 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 245)


Brown Rice 1/2 cup cooked (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 110)


Mixed Vegetables 1 cup steamed (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 118)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 473
Fat5 g
Carbs32 g
Protein56 g
Before Bed

Tomato 1/2 cup chopped (Protein: 1 gram | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 16)


Low Fat Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup (Protein: 14 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 81)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 97
Fat1 g
Carbs3 g
Protein14 g
Post-Workout

Protein Shake 2 serving (Protein: 50 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 260)


Apple 1, small (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 77)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 337
Fat4 g
Carbs28 g
Protein50 g
Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 2902
Fat69 g
Carbs259 g
Protein292 g

3000 Calorie Meal Plan PDF (1.09 KB)

3500 Meal Plan

Breakfast

Egg Whites 8 (Protein: 29 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 137)


Whole Egg (Large) 1 (Protein: 6 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 72)


Oats 3/4 cup uncooked (Protein: 10 grams | Carbs: 41 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 233)


Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 1/2 tablespoon (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 2 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 53)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 495
Fat13 g
Carbs43 g
Protein47 g
Mid-Morning

Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 2 tablespoon (Protein: 8 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 16 grams | Calories: 210)


Wheat Bread 2 slices (2 ounces - Protein: 7 grams | Carbs: 28 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Calories: 149)


Strawberries 10-12 (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 50)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 409
Fat18 g
Carbs48 g
Protein15 g
Lunch

Chicken 6 ounces (Protein: 53 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 6 grams | Calories: 281)


Sweet Potato 7 ounces, skinned (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 41 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 179)


Broccoli 2 cup (Protein: 5 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 1 grams | Calories: 62)


Olive Oil 1.5 teaspoons (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 7 grams | Calories: 59)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 581
Fat14 g
Carbs53 g
Protein62 g
Mid Day

Chicken 6 ounces (Protein: 53 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 6 grams | Calories: 281)


Brown Rice 1.5 cup cooked (Protein: 7 grams | Carbs: 69 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 328)


Spinach/Mixed Greens 3 cups (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 3 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 21)


Avocado 1/2 (Protein: 2 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 15 grams | Calories: 160)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 790
Fat21 g
Carbs80 g
Protein65 g
Dinner

Tilapia or White Fish 10.5 ounces (Protein: 60 grams | Carbs: 0 grams | Fat: 5 grams | Calories: 286)


Brown Rice 1 cup cooked (Protein: 4 grams | Carbs: 45 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 218)


Mixed Vegetables 1 cup steamed (Protein: 3 grams | Carbs: 12 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 118)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 622
Fat5 g
Carbs57 g
Protein67 g
Before Bed

Tomato 1/2 cup chopped (Protein: 1 gram | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 16)


Low Fat Cottage Cheese 1 cup (Protein: 28 grams | Carbs: 6 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Calories: 163)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 179
Fat3 g
Carbs10 g
Protein29 g
Post-Workout

Protein Shake 2 serving (Protein: 50 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Calories: 260)


Apple 1, small (Protein: 0 grams | Carbs: 20 grams | Fat: 0 grams | Calories: 77)


Meal Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 337
Fat4 g
Carbs28 g
Protein50 g
Daily Totals
Amount per serving
Calories 3413
Fat78 g
Carbs319 g
Protein338 g

3500 Calorie Meal Plan PDF (1.09 KB)

Over the week to come, try to plan out as much of your eating schedule as possible ahead of time using your plan. Use at least one meal per day from your plan and maybe more, especially when you're at home. If you've considered "cleaning house" and getting rid of the junk food in your life but haven't done it yet, today's the day.



All that planning may sound like a lot of work, but today is a rest day, so consider this meal prep your workout! You may have heard how bodybuilders and other physique athletes prepare meals days ahead of time and keep them in labeled Tupperware containers. They can tell you that this method works!

Below you'll find links to the meal plans for some of our other most popular trainers, like Jaime Eason's LiveFit and Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Trainer. Check them out and compare them to what you're doing this week in terms of what you would eat, how much, and when. All three of those variables matter. Become a student of performance nutrition, and you'll develop the tools to achieve the body of your dreams!

CHECK OUT OUR FULL LINE OF B-ELITE FUEL MEALS! Go Now!

What if I want to change my body?

That's a great question. How much you eat, and what types and ratios of food you eat can sometimes seem hopelessly complicated. For now let's stay focused on the basics, and on gaining a better understanding of what you're already doing.

Your body burns fuel doing everything—even sleeping. This energy expenditure is measured in calories. How many calories you need can change from person to person, due to different amounts of muscle, activity levels, gender, and even your height. The EER calculator helped you estimate how much energy you use on an average day. But of course, that's not the end of the story.

Your EER tells you how much you need to maintain your weight. If you wish to change your body composition, you will typically alter your calories from this number. In most cases, we reduce calories to lose body fat. By not eating enough food to meet our EER, our body is forced to strip off fat stores to meet energy requirements. Alternatively, when we wish to gain muscle mass, we often eat a little more than we need. These two alternative approaches are often referred to as "cutting" and "bulking."

Don't worry about trying to gain or lose weight during the 30-Day Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness. If you want to take this opportunity to get serious about nutrition, just try to stick at your maintenance level and see how that feels. When you try new programs in the future, you'll have a better understanding of your needs and what makes you feel and look your best.

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