Meal Planning for Beginners | Meal Plan for Building Muscle | Meal Plan for Weight Loss

When people are struggling to lose weight, they often don't realize how much of it is because of their diet plan—or lack of one. If you're trying to lose weight and aren't following a targeted weight-loss meal plan, you're making things harder than they need to be. Yes, you can lose weight by following several methods, such as the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, or IIFYM, but you need to approach them with the specific goal of weight loss.  

Want a full education on how to eat for weight loss? Registered dietician Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., RD, has it in the video, "How to Eat to Lose Weight" from's Foundations of Fitness Nutrition video course.

Following the right diet is only half the battle, though. If you're serious about losing weight, make sure you're also following a well-designed program specifically for that goal. Here are some popular programs from BodyFit:  

Supplements can also help you accelerate your weight-loss results once you have your diet and training figured out. Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., shares her recommendations in the article, "5 Ways to Up Your Fat-Loss Supplement Game." 

The Bodybuilding Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Target: 2,000 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 using fats as its main source of energy (an insider trick for torching fat but not muscle).


  • Meal 1:  Breakfast (low-carb) 
  • Meal 2:  Snack (low-carb) 
  • Meal 3:  Lunch (low-carb) 
  • Meal 4: Post-workout snack or shake (containing starchy carbs) 
  • Meal 5: Dinner (containing starchy carbs) 

Sample Day

Meal 1: Spinach Omelet
Cheese (pepper jack)
1 slice
1 cup
Meal 2: Chocolate Nut Shake
Protein Powder (chocolate)
1 scoop
Chocolate Milk
2 cups
Peanut Butter
2 tbsp
Chia Seeds
1 tbsp
2-3 cubes
Meal 2 Alternative: Strawberry Cream Smoothie
Protein Powder (vanilla)
1 scoop
1 tbsp
3/4 cup
Meal 3: Grilled Steak With Avocado-Tomato Salad
Steak (top round)
4 oz.
Meal 4: Post-Workout Nutrition
Protein Powder (shoot for 50 g carbs, 25 g protein)
1 serving
Meal 5: Flax Pasta With Hearty Sauce
Chicken (cubed, boneless chicken breast)
3 oz.
Pasta (whole-wheat flax penne)
1 oz.
Mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup
Broccoli (florets)
2 cups
Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup
Olive Oil (extra virgin)
1 tbsp

About the Author

Contributing Writer’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

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Meal Plan