How to Plan Meals and Meal Prep While Tracking Macros

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If you want to track your macros but are having trouble, try meal prepping! You can plan a full day of meals to reach your macro goals, dedicate a couple of hours to cooking, then stay on track and size time throughout the week! Discover how I use MyFitnessPal to make meal planning and prepping a breeze! -www.LivinglikeLeila.com-

You may have come here after reading my blog post about macros and how to track them, or maybe you’re just interested in meal prepping and getting on track with your diet! Either way, I’m going to show you how I plan my meals for the week with my macros in mind, it’s easy and saves me tons of time!

What do I mean by meal prepping?

I plan a full day of meals and snacks and I will eat basically the same exact thing everyday for one week. This has been the most effective way for me to save time while staying on track with what I eat. When I first started to do this, I honestly hated it. Eating the same foods every single day wasn’t my style, but then it grew on me. I learned how to simplify the meal prepping process and found combinations of foods I love and honestly enjoy eating everyday. I suggest trying this at least for a couple weeks and then see how you feel!

You will need to set aside about an hour of your time to actually plan your meals to fit your macros + an additional 2 to 5 hours for actual meal prepping and dishes. I generally meal prep on Sunday, so everything is set for the new week, choose a day that works best for your schedule! I use FitPacker meal prep containers for all cooked meals, which are the perfect size for me!

So let’s get started…

  1. Login or Create a MyFitnessPal account
    This is really easy and free! You can use the app on your phone or on the computer, I prefer the computer because it’s easier for me to see everything.
  2. Enter your personal info and goals
    You can enter your age, weight, height, etc. under the ‘My Home’ tab, then the ‘Profile’ tab.
    Adjust your macros by going to the ‘My Home’ tab followed by the ‘Goals’ tab. Unfortunately, you cannot customize your macros to be exact unless you upgrade to premium. I just use the free version and get the amount as close as possible. So my actual macros are Carbs: 160 g Fat: 42 g and Protein: 104 g and Calories: 1429, you can note the insignificant difference below. These differences are nothing to stress about!
    MFP macros
  3. Fill in your food diary
    Click the ‘Food’ tab, and you will navigate to a page like below. It’s a great layout of all of your meals and as you add food, the totals will change at the bottom. If you eat 6 meals a day, just add any additional meals to whichever category you would like to. I usually start my planning my lunch and dinner first because those are the meals I actually meal prep, then I plan breakfast and snack to fit what I can into the remaining macros.**When it comes to fruits and vegetables, I am NOT strict with macros or sugar content. Why? Because it is impossible to meal prep with macros and get a good amount of daily vitamins from foods. Bananas are high in carbohydrates, almost all fruits are high in sugar, don’t stress about it. If you choose to snack “outside” your macros, go for fruits and veggies, add lots of color to your diet!!!
    Food macros
  4. How to add food
    Click ‘Add Food’ under whichever meal and if you’re new to MFP you’ll see a pretty empty page. Mine looks like the image below; it has a list of previous food I’ve added which you can quickly add and adjust the serving size by checking the box next to the item or you can add meals from the ‘Recipe’ or ‘Meals’ tab. You can add recipes from the top tabs directly from a URL/website, and MFP will find the items in that recipe for you which you can customize if needed. Meals are created by you and you can customize your own meal that you made so it’s easier to add to your day later.
    Add food
  5. My food- Breakfast
    Like I said earlier, I usually plan breakfast last, but for sake of organization I’ll show you it first. This week I’m eating 2 slices of toast with half an avocado and 2 small campari tomatoes (so yummy!!). I enjoy a cup of coffee with almond milk creamer (which I do track) and a handful of blueberries and raspberries (which I do not track).
    BreakfastAvocado Toast with Campari Tomatoes
  6. Lunch
    This week I’m enjoying Beyond Meat beefy (vegan) ground crumbles with steamed yams/sweet potatoes. It’s one of my favorite combinations!
    Lunch
    Beyond Meat Beefy Ground Crumbles and Steamed Yams
  7. Dinner
    I made some Cilantro lime black bean burgers from Be Whole Be You, these burgers are delicious and easy to make! No buns or ketchup though! Just a side of roasted asparagus topped with olive oil, himalayan pink salt, pepper, rosemary, and fresh lime juice!
    DinnerCilantro lime black bean burgers and roasted asaparagus
  8. Snacks
    This week I’m keeping snacks to a minimum, only because I got off track last week. I usually add dessert to this section as well, and I’ll eat a small serving size of some sort of sweet, like a vegan cookie for example. All I have are D’s Naturals No Cow Bar and a vegan protein shake. Both are protein supplements so I can reach my protein intake for the day (about). I will also be snacking on fruits (peaches, banana, berries) and bell peppers, but I do not track these.
    Snacks
  9. Totals
    So as you can see, I keep my meals very simple. The first week I dedicated to this, I spent way too much time in the kitchen cooking and doing dishes, so I’ve learned my lesson. If you have the time, go for it! I also don’t hit my macros 100%. That is life! I’m not going to stress about getting each nutrient exactly on the dot, that’s really difficult, especially as a vegan! So experiment and try new things, and you’ll definitely see physical improvements if you stick to it in combination with high water intake (aim for a gallon) and physical exercise at least 3 times per week!
    MFP tells you how many grams you went over in red or if you still can include more in green. There is nothing I can eat with only protein and calories, so this is when I’m set!
    Totals

Share your experience with macros, MyFitnessPal, or meal prepping! I would love to hear about any positive changes in your health!

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5 thoughts on “How to Plan Meals and Meal Prep While Tracking Macros”

  1. Pingback: How to Stay on Track During the Holidays - Lokal Lifestyle

  2. Lois Trenholm, D.C.

    Hey Leila!! thanks for the explanations – also for the encouragement to not sweat the exact amounts – I definitely reach my fats and carbs before I hit the protein!! I am not vegan – I am actually doing the Keto – Adapted diet . So far I have found this app very helpful! Look forward to your newsletter! have a great Day!!

  3. Great post, you make it so simple to break down. How do you decide what fruits/veggies you don’t track-just the snacks? This seems very doable 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad it’s helpful. If I’m tracking I would definitely always track processed food. Unless you’re trying to cut for a bikini/physique competition of some sort, I wouldn’t worry about tracking all your fruits and veggies. I don’t know the ins and outs of macro counting for competitions. It is possible to eat too much fruit because some have high amounts of carbs and sugars. Of course natural sugars are WAY healthier than processed sugars, the numbers can still add up and cause you to store fat. Berries have pretty low sugar content, bananas on the other hand have high carb and high sugar, so that’s something I would consider tracking. However, I think if you’re eating a few fresh fruits and veggies a day that’s great and you shouldn’t stress about the numbers! Hopefully that makes sense, let me know if you have anymore questions!! 🙂

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