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How To Plan And Create Balanced, Simple Meals

blog fat loss lifestyle meal prep tips Sep 23, 2022

Simplicity = Long Term Satisfaction 🔑

When you ‘train’ your body and mind to crave simple (and nutritious) meals, you will always feel satisfied! And when you learn to prepare your food in a way that supports your goals, life just becomes so much easier 💪🏻

The more elaborate and complicated you make your everyday meals, the harder it is to create sustainable satisfaction.

When I’m preparing my typical meals, I focus on the following👇🏻

Quick Overview for Building Meals

1. Protein First!

Quantity: Shoot for >30 grams per meal

  • Focus on leaner cuts of meat and dairy to make hitting your protein goal easier and think about adding your own healthy fats so you can control the amount you’re consuming AND the quality.

Examples:

  • Choose nutrient-dense, lean-er protein sources, animal-based if possible:
    • Sirloin, filet, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, 90%+ ground beef, fish, non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese
  • You can use protein powder to fill the gaps but don’t rely on it for every meal!

2. High-Quality Fats 

Quantity: Typically between 5-30 grams per meal depending on your personal preference and goals as well as meal timing around your workouts (see timing section below for more info).

Examples:

  • Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, nuts and seeds, nut butter, fattier fish, etc.

3. Colorful Non-Starchy Veggies

Quantity: As desired. Veggies add volume and fiber to keep you fuller, longer and of course help you bring in lots of micronutrients! But be cautious of adding too much fiber in one sitting because it can cause GI distress, bloating, gas, etc. if you overdo it.

Examples:

  • Asparagus, broccoli, leafy greens, summer squash, cauliflower, bok choy, cucumber, tomato, etc. (too many options to list out but you get the idea)

4. Fruit & Starchier Carbs

Quantity: Typically between 20-50 grams, depending on your personal goals and preferences, activity level, etc.. I like to ensure about 50% of my starchier/fruit carbs are allotted to meals surrounding my workout (i.e., in the meals before and/or after workouts)

Examples:

  • All fruit, potatoes, winter squash, oats, rice, bread, etc.

5. Don't forget the Salt & Spices! 

Use high-quality salt for flavor and to ensure electrolytes are balanced (sodium also helps influence the absorption of nutrients).

Keep a large selection of spices in your pantry to ensure that you never get bored with flavors (Trader Joe’s has great selections of spices).

Quantity: ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon salt while cooking or added to meals. Spices/seasonings as desired

6. Overall Timing

  • The meals around your workout are ideally high protein, high-er carb, and low-er fat.
  • The meals further from your workout are still high protein, but higher fat and lower carb.

Simple, Satisfying Meal Ideas

Shredded chicken with sugar-free barbeque sauce, steamed broccoli with everything but the bagel seasoning, kabocha squash with peanut butter and cinnamon, kiwi, salt.

Shredded chicken and steamed broccoli, smashed/air-fried golden potatoes with cheddar cheese, salt.

Shredded pork loin with sugar-free barbeque sauce, cauliflower rice and bell pepper saute, kabocha squash with peanut butter, salt.

Shredded chicken and steamed broccoli with everything but the bagel seasoning, kabocha squash with peanut butter and cinnamon, salt, berries on the side (not shown).

Chicken breast, steamed brussel sprouts, purple sweet potatoes with peanut butter, salt.

Egg whites, chicken breast, and broccoli with everything but the bagel seasoning, sweet potatoes with almond butter, salt.

Roasted pork loin, steamed vegetable medley, kabocha squash with peanut butter and cinnamon, salt.

Egg white veggie omelette with 1 whole egg in the middle, oatmeal with blueberries, cinnamon, and cacao nibs.

Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, almond stuffed olives, salt.

I promise, once you have a system in place that works for you...your life will become 1000x easier 🙌🏻

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