How To Meal Prep For Weight Acquire (Recipes & Ideas)


Are you trying to acquire weight and muscle mass however you’re discovering it arduous to stay to your objectives?

Certain, you would hit the drive-thru for a calorie-packed meal, however while you need that weight to land in your biceps and never your stomach, what you eat issues. Meal prepping is the final word approach to ship constant, quick outcomes to attain your wholesome weight acquire objectives.

In case you’ve by no means heard of meal prepping otherwise you’re unsure how you’re feeling about cooking in your kitchen, leaping into this new fashion of consuming can really feel intimidating. However this whole newbie’s information to meal prep for weight acquire provides you with a easy step-by-step course of that may enable you grasp the entire suggestions, tips, and recipes of meal planning.


Whether or not you’re trying to bulk up for health functions or recovering from an sickness that precipitated vital weight reduction, gaining weight comes down to at least one easy factor: energy. Eat fewer energy than your physique wants, and also you’ll shed some pounds. Eat extra energy than your physique wants, and also you’ll acquire weight. Easy as that. However if you would like muscle and never simply fats, then you must contemplate what you eat, the way you train, and your way of life on the whole.

You can also make exercise plans and stand objectives, however because the meals specialists in the home, we’ve obtained some suggestions on what you eat. Listed below are two vital points to think about as a part of your bulking eating regimen if you would like muscle and never simply fats: calorie depend and macro sort.

Beneath you’ll discover ways to grasp these components when deciding on what to eat. Then we’ll present you tips on how to put together the meals, so it’s handy to your way of life and schedule. It will enable you obtain your bulking objectives and keep away from junk meals temptations.

What number of energy do you must acquire weight?

The quantity of energy you’ll want for weight acquire depends upon your exercise stage and your present weight. Following these steps provides you with a superb goal calorie depend:

Step 1: Multiply your present weight.

  • Males – present kilos x 11
  • Ladies – present kilos x 10

Instance for a person at present weighing 190 lbs: 2090 energy

Instance for a girl at present weighing: 140 lbs: 1400 energy

Step 2: Multiply that quantity by your exercise stage.

  • Little or no train – x 1.1
  • Gentle train 1-3 occasions per week – x 1.3
  • Reasonable train 6-7 occasions per week – x 1.5
  • Onerous train 6-7 occasions per week – x 1.7
  • Onerous train 2+ occasions a day – 1.9

Instance for a person at present weighing 190 lbs with reasonable train: 3135 energy

Instance for a girl at present weighing 140 lbs with reasonable train: 2100 energy

Step 3: Add energy for weight acquire.

In case you’re new to muscle constructing (lower than two years of expertise), you’ll acquire muscle extra rapidly than somebody who has already bulked up and want to get greater. Additionally, when you have a naturally skinny physique, you’ll want a distinct method than somebody beginning out with a bit extra physique fats.

So, the calorie improve is totally different relying on 1) the place you’re at in your muscle-building course of and a couple of) your present proportion of physique fats.

New to muscle constructing:


Lower than 10% physique fats Add 300 to 1,000 energy
Greater than 10% physique fats Reduce 15-20% of energy and eat at the least 1 gram of protein per pound of physique weight


Lower than 20% physique fats Add 300 to 1,000 energy
Greater than 20% physique fats Reduce 15-20% of energy and eat at the least 1 gram of protein per pound of physique weight

2+ yr of muscle constructing expertise:


Lower than 10% physique fats Add 100 to 300 energy
Greater than 10% physique fats Reduce 15% of energy and eat at the least 1.2 grams of protein per pound of physique weight


Lower than 20% physique fats Add 100 to 300 energy
Greater than 20% physique fats Reduce 15% of energy and eat at the least 1.2 grams of protein per pound of physique weight

Instance for a person at present weighing 190 lbs NEW to reasonable train: 2508 energy

Instance for a girl at present weighing 140 lbs NEW to reasonable train: 1680 energy

How do you calculate your macros to construct muscle?

After you’ve calculated a tough estimate of every day energy for weight acquire, you’ll want to know the macros required when growing lean mass. You understand that the drive-thru received’t enable you attain your objectives – understanding macros will assist you realize why. 

What are macros? 

Macros, or macronutrients, are the three forms of vitamins that make up most of our meals and supply your physique with power. They’re protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The easiest way to stability your vitamin and attain your weight acquire objectives is to know tips on how to depend the every day grams of proteins, carbs, or fat that you just’re consuming. Every of those macros impacts your muscle progress otherwise – so the correct stability between the three is essential.


You’ve most likely heard that muscle constructing requires extra protein. Properly, that isn’t improper. Protein is the essential constructing block of your muscle tissue. So, with out sufficient protein, your physique received’t have what it wants to take care of or improve your muscle mass. Not solely is it vital to eat sufficient protein, however constantly consuming protein all through the day in your whole meals and snacks is vital for muscle progress and to extend your lean mass. 


Carbohydrates can get a nasty rap, however they’re vital for fueling your exercises and making certain wholesome muscle restoration. The important thing to managing your carb consumption is selecting advanced carbs when doable. Advanced carbs take longer to digest and are a extra secure supply of power than easy carbs. Examples of advanced carbs embody brown rice, oats, black beans, peas, candy potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, bell pepper, and berries.


Whilst you wish to prioritize protein and carb consumption, fats is a long-lasting power supply and a fast approach to increase energy. Every gram of fats is twice as many energy as a gram of protein or carbs. Watch out together with your fats consumption since rising your fat can simply result in fats storage. A balanced eating regimen emphasizes protein and carbs over fat and features a reasonable quantity of wholesome fat.

Macros decide our power ranges and the way rapidly we’re capable of construct lean muscle. Additionally they have a big influence on our general urge for food. Since 5 energy of broccoli will take up much more room in our abdomen than 5 energy of olive oil, we are able to use our macro stability to additionally curb our starvation. For somebody trying to shed some pounds whereas gaining muscle, together with meals like broccoli is the way in which to go. Those that are needing to achieve weight and acquire muscle might must pair that broccoli with extra calorie-dense fat to achieve the excessive stage of energy wanted per day. 

What number of energy are in every macronutrient?

Protein: 1 gram = 4 energy

Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 energy

Fat: 1 gram = 9 energy

The right way to calculate your macros for muscle acquire? 

Every physique tends to want a barely totally different ratio of macronutrients. Some folks thrive on low-carb diets, whereas others want barely greater carb ratios to maintain themselves. The federal dietary suggestions for macronutrient ratios are:

  • 45-60% carbs
  • 20-35% fat
  • Remaining from protein

For somebody on a bulking eating regimen, macronutrient ratios tip towards protein and look extra like this:

  • 35% carbs
  • 25% fat
  • 40% protein

Instance for a person at present weighing 190 lbs NEW to reasonable train consuming 2508 energy per day:

Carbs: 878 energy  220 grams
Fat: 627 energy 70 grams
Protein: 1003 energy 251 grams

Instance for a girl at present weighing 140 lbs NEW to reasonable train consuming 1680 energy per day:

Carbs: 588 energy  147 grams
Fat: 420 energy 47 grams
Protein: 672 energy 168 grams

The right way to calculate your personal: (lbs x %) / energy per gram = grams per day

Instance: (2508 x 0.35) / 4 energy per gram = 219.45 grams of carbs per day

Tip: A easy approach to calculate protein wants for fats discount and muscle acquire is to estimate 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of physique weight. So, a 190-pound man would want 190 to 285 grams of protein per day, which is 760 to 1145 energy. 

Keep in mind: Our female and male calorie examples are desirous to lose fats whereas gaining muscle. In case you don’t have fats to lose, your calorie depend can be a lot greater. However you’ll nonetheless shift your macro stability to extend protein and scale back fats and carb percentages to make sure lean muscle progress.


Now that you just’ve obtained your energy and macros found out, let’s get some meal prep concepts so you can begin cooking. The perfect meal prep recipe can be one you get pleasure from consuming, suits in your skill-set to cook dinner, and hits your every day calorie and macro objectives. Which will seem to be so much to pack into one wholesome meal, nevertheless it’s very doable. 

As a normal information, meal occasions ought to embody lean proteins, nutrient-dense fruit and veggies, and wholesome fat. To keep away from gaining undesirable fats on a bulk eating regimen, concentrate on clear consuming – embody entire meals and reduce saturated fat, processed meals, and extra sugar.

The right way to Meal Prep for Muscle Acquire

Meal prep, or making ready meals prematurely, is a good way to have wholesome choices readily available for any meal or snack. Primarily, you cook dinner as soon as and eat precisely what you want all week. By prepping the meals prematurely you’ll be able to portion out your servings to make sure they hit your calorie and macro objectives, making weekday consuming much less worrying. 

Turning into a meal prep professional is straightforward with these easy steps:

Step 1: Plan

When and what you eat can have a huge effect in your success. 

Variety of meals

First decide what number of meals and snacks you must put together. Listed below are some issues to think about:

  • You might must eat extra continuously to extend your every day energy.
  • Attempt to embody protein all through your day.
  • Relying on how usually and arduous you’re figuring out, it’s possible you’ll want pre- and post-workout meals.
Choose recipes

Make an inventory of recipes which might be wealthy in protein and can enable you appropriately stability your macros.

Ideas for pre- and post-workout meals: 

  • Eat a couple of hours earlier than your exercise. 
  • For morning exercises, use easy sugars for fast-acting power (ex. muffin or chocolate milk).
  • Pre-workout meals for carry days ought to embody extra energy, notably from carbs.
  • Submit-workout meals ought to embody little or no fats whereas specializing in fast carbs and protein.
Make a calendar

Map out your exercise plan for every day. Then assign recipes for every meal and wholesome snack wanted all through the week. Hold it easy as you begin out – you’ll be able to eat the identical meals every day if wanted. However don’t neglect to incorporate any snacks, treats, or drinks you’ll need. In case you have a cheat day, mark that as nicely.

Make a grocery listing

Write out the elements you’ll want after which examine your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what’s lacking. Make a grocery listing after which hit the shop to your lacking gadgets.

Observe energy and macros

It might appear tedious to write down out the numbers, however you’ll thank your self later in case you do the entire calculations upfront. You too can reuse this meal plan, so save your whole calculations someplace so that you solely need to do the mathematics as soon as in case you select to repeat a meal plan.

Step 2: Prepare dinner

Observe the instructions in your recipes. In case you’re new to cooking, preserve it easy. If cooking is an unimaginable process for you, contemplate ordering from a meal prep firm to assist as you construct your cooking expertise. Once more, for the primary few minutes, contemplate prepping only some recipes and utilizing the identical meals all through the week till you’re capable of construct your confidence in meal prepping and cooking.

Step 3: Retailer

Portion out your meals in meal prep containers and pop them into the fridge or freezer for later use. Ensure you use containers that suit your wants, together with reheating your meals later within the week. Meals that’s saved correctly ought to final within the fridge safely all through the week. Cooking massive batches of a meal is a good way to save lots of time, however make certain meals you cook dinner greater than 5 days prematurely are saved within the freezer. 

Step 4: Eat

Seize your meals as wanted and revel in with the arrogance that you just’ve obtained energy and macros within the bag. Not everyone seems to be a fan of leftovers, so listed below are a couple of suggestions for serving to your meals style recent:

  • Reheat utilizing a stovetop or oven when doable.
  • Add salt, recent herbs, and sauces to enliven the flavors.

Recipes for Weight Acquire

You’ve gotten the whole lot you must get began on meal prep recipes for weight acquire. The swap to wholesome consuming could be a robust way of life change, however with the instruments listed above, you’re prepared to perform your whole weight acquire objectives by way of meal prepping. 

Listed below are 25 simple meals for wholesome cooking to kickstart your meal plan:

Breakfast recipes

On the spot Pot Oatmeal

Pumpkin Protein Waffles

Salmon Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Casserole

Superfood Breakfast Casserole

Lunch recipes

White Bean and Mushroom Farro (vegan meal)

Stuffed Candy Potato

Tuna Salad

Lamb Curry Fried Rice

Stuffed Tomatoes

Dinner recipes

Sesame Beef and Broccoli

Rooster Alfredo Bake

Pineapple Salmon

Teriyaki Brussels Sprouts with Salmon

Mexican Fried Rice

Snack recipes

Protein Smoothie

Inexperienced Protein Smoothie

Power Protein Balls (vegan meal)

Banana, Carrot, Oat Muffins

BBQ Turkey Wrapped Asparagus

Dessert recipes

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins

Protein Banana Cut up

Zucchini Brownies


Banana Cupcakes


Hey, I am Kevin

My identify is Kevin. My life modified after I realized that wholesome residing is actually a lifelong journey, primarily received by having a well-balanced eating regimen and having fun with sufficient train.

By experimenting within the kitchen and brazenly sharing my meals, I discovered that wholesome consuming is hardly boring and that by making a couple of changes, I may design a eating regimen that might assist me obtain my private health objectives. Our our bodies are constructed within the kitchen and sculpted within the health club.


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