Trying to track your macros and plan a day of eating can be extremely exhausting, confusing and frustrating when you get started. Knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and why can help you become more intuitive when planning your meals day to day.
Try to remain an intuitive, flexible dieter and rely on nutrient-dense foods to help make it easier to stick to your target macronutrients. These foods make you feel more energized throughout your day and keep you full longer.
Struggling to get some good meals under your belt or figure out how to structure your day? Take a look at this full day of eating where you would plan to hit your workout mid-morning. Feel free to mix up these meal ideas to better fit your schedule as you see fit.
Meal 1, pt. 1: Coffee
Okay, coffee isn’t technically a meal, but it can feel just as necessary as breakfast in order to get your day started. Black coffee can get boring after a while and creamers, milk and sugar can add unnecessary calories. Instead, just add 1tbsp of protein powder to a splash of water and mix in your brewed coffee.
Make sure you mix the protein powder with water BEFORE adding it to your coffee for a smoother consistency!
Meal 1, pt. 2: Eggs and Toast
After you’ve mustered up the energy to start cooking, a meal full of protein, healthy fats, starchy carbs and fast acting carbs creates an optimal breakfast and pre-workout meal. Two eggs, poached with two slices of sandwich turkey meat, two pieces of bread and a few slices of apple.
Bonus: eggs are rich in vitamin B-12, which provides a boost of energy first thing in the morning.
Meal 2: Post-Workout Shake
Muscle protein synthesis, the rebuilding of muscles, is triggered by the stress we put on our body, during a workout for example. We want to feed this rebuilding process with adequate protein as soon as possible after a workout in order to for optimal muscle growth. An effective way to do this is by consuming a protein shake immediately post workout. If you can make it home shortly after your workout, use a blender to throw together a smoothie with a scoop of protein isolate, a handful of berries, a handful of spinach and water. This makes for a fat-free, high protein meal with a few fast-acting carbs, allowing the aminos to reach your muscles without any interference (fats would slow down this process).
Meal 3: Post-Workout “Fried” Rice
About an hour after having the protein smoothie, your ready for a solid post-workout meal. This meal should be low fat, high protein and high carb. Try to incorporate more slow-acting, starchy carbs to this meal to you remain feeling full longer. Scrambled egg whites, chicken breast, rice and mixed veggies creates a low-fat version of your classic fried rice recipe.
Meal 4: Fish, Rice and Salad
This salad is an easy staple for any health-conscious eater, and can be spiced up with many variations. Using a spinach or mixed green base, goat cheese, fruit of choice (pomegranate seeds, berries, apple slices etc.), this salad goes with everything and anything.
Worried about what salad dressing to use? Try combining two parts sugar-free maple syrup, one part balsamic vinegar and 1 part mustard for a virtually calorie-free, irresistible dressing. For a single serving, try 1tbsp syrup, 1/2 tbsp balsamic and 1/2 tbsp mustard. You can also make a full bottle of it, so it’s even easier to whip up a salad when you’re feeling it.
Some sweet potato baked ‘chips’ add a nice crunch. Using some leftover rice and veggies from lunch, adding a lean protein source such as a filet of Basa fish, pan fried in cooking spray with seasoning spices, this meal is high in protein, moderate in both carbs and fats and full of flavour.
Meal 5: Pre-Bed Oatmeal
Eating right before bed is not a crime, especially if it helps you sleep well throughout the night. As counting your macros becomes more intuitive, you are able to figure out how much of each macronutrient you need to consume before calling it a day. Higher volume workout days naturally require more calories. This calorie and nutrient dense bedtime snack consists of oatmeal and chia seeds cooked in egg whites, with shredded zucchini, berries and peanut butter. A side of greek yogurt will add more protein if you find yourself short in that department.
By no means is this a “perfect” day of eating, but everyone has their own preferences when it comes to meal timing, and if adhering to those preferences is what helps you maintain a consistent caloric intake, then it’s likely the best way to stay on track. Finding favourites you can look forward to each day is important to keep you satisfied and excited about the food you eat!
About the author
Maggie Morgan is a competitive powerlifter and former bodybuilder, as well as a devoted macro-counter. She’s passionate about lifting, nutrition, and sharing her learned knowledge with as many people as possible. She is an online nutrition and training coach at Maggie Morgan Fitness, and strives to help others reach their goals in the most enjoyable way possible.