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


Are you seeking to acquire weight and muscle mass however you’re discovering it exhausting to stay to your targets?

Certain, you possibly can hit the drive-thru for a calorie-packed meal, however once you need that weight to land in your biceps and never your stomach, what you eat issues. Meal prepping is the final word strategy to ship constant, quick outcomes to realize your wholesome weight acquire targets.

In the event 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 model of consuming can really feel intimidating. However this entire newbie’s information to meal prep for weight acquire gives you a easy step-by-step course of that can aid you grasp the entire ideas, methods, and recipes of meal planning.


Whether or not you’re seeking to bulk up for health functions or recovering from an sickness that brought on important weight reduction, gaining weight comes down to 1 easy factor: energy. Eat fewer energy than your physique wants, and also you’ll reduce weight. Eat extra energy than your physique wants, and also you’ll acquire weight. Easy as that. However if you need muscle and never simply fats, then it’s essential to contemplate what you eat, the way you train, and your life-style normally.

You can also make exercise plans and stand targets, however because the meals consultants in the home, we’ve acquired some suggestions on what you eat. Listed below are two necessary facets to think about as a part of your bulking weight loss program if you need muscle and never simply fats: calorie depend and macro sort.

Beneath you’ll discover ways to grasp these components when choosing what to eat. Then we’ll present you methods to put together the meals, so it’s handy in your life-style and schedule. This can aid you obtain your bulking targets and keep away from junk meals temptations.

What number of energy do it’s essential to acquire weight?

The quantity of energy you’ll want for weight acquire is dependent upon your exercise stage and your present weight. Following these steps gives you an excellent goal calorie depend:

Step 1: Multiply your present weight.

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

Instance for a person presently weighing 190 lbs: 2090 energy

Instance for a lady presently 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
  • Average train 6-7 occasions per week – x 1.5
  • Arduous train 6-7 occasions per week – x 1.7
  • Arduous train 2+ occasions a day – 1.9

Instance for a person presently weighing 190 lbs with average train: 3135 energy

Instance for a lady presently weighing 140 lbs with average train: 2100 energy

Step 3: Add energy for weight acquire.

In the event 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 wish to get greater. Additionally, if in case you have a naturally skinny physique, you’ll want a distinct strategy than somebody beginning out with a bit extra physique fats.

So, the calorie enhance is totally different relying on 1) the place you’re at in your muscle-building course of and a couple of) your present share 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 no less than 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 no less than 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 no less than 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 no less than 1.2 grams of protein per pound of physique weight

Instance for a person presently weighing 190 lbs NEW to average train: 2508 energy

Instance for a lady presently weighing 140 lbs NEW to average 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. that the drive-thru received’t aid you attain your targets – understanding macros will assist why. 

What are macros? 

Macros, or macronutrients, are the three kinds of vitamins that make up most of our meals and supply your physique with vitality. They’re protein, carbohydrates, and fat. One of the simplest ways to stability your vitamin and attain your weight acquire targets is to know methods to depend the every day grams of proteins, carbs, or fat that you just’re consuming. Every of those macros impacts your muscle development in a different way – so the appropriate stability between the three is vital.


You’ve most likely heard that muscle constructing requires extra protein. Effectively, that isn’t incorrect. Protein is the essential constructing block of your muscle tissue. So, with out sufficient protein, your physique received’t have what it wants to keep up or enhance your muscle mass. Not solely is it necessary to eat sufficient protein, however constantly consuming protein all through the day in your whole meals and snacks is necessary for muscle development and to extend your lean mass. 


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


Whilst you need to prioritize protein and carb consumption, fats is a long-lasting vitality supply and a fast strategy to increase energy. Every gram of fats is twice as many energy as a gram of protein or carbs. Watch out along with your fats consumption since rising your fat can simply result in fats storage. A balanced weight loss program emphasizes protein and carbs over fat and features a average quantity of wholesome fat.

Macros decide our vitality ranges and the way rapidly we’re capable of construct lean muscle. In addition they have a big influence on our total urge for food. Since 5 energy of broccoli will take up much more room in our abdomen than 5 energy of olive oil, we will use our macro stability to additionally curb our starvation. For somebody seeking to reduce weight whereas gaining muscle, together with meals like broccoli is the way in which to go. Those that are needing to realize weight and acquire muscle could have to pair that broccoli with extra calorie-dense fat to succeed in 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 desire a barely totally different ratio of macronutrients. Some folks thrive on low-carb diets, whereas others want barely increased 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 weight loss program, macronutrient ratios tip towards protein and look extra like this:

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

Instance for a person presently weighing 190 lbs NEW to average train consuming 2508 energy per day:

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

Instance for a lady presently weighing 140 lbs NEW to average 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 strategy 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 wish 190 to 285 grams of protein per day, which is 760 to 1145 energy. 

Bear in mind: Our female and male calorie examples are eager to lose fats whereas gaining muscle. In the event you don’t have fats to lose, your calorie depend can be a lot increased. However you’ll nonetheless shift your macro stability to extend protein and cut back fats and carb percentages to make sure lean muscle development.


Now that you just’ve acquired your energy and macros discovered, let’s get some meal prep concepts so you can begin cooking. One of the best meal prep recipe can be one you get pleasure from consuming, matches in your skill-set to prepare dinner, and hits your every day calorie and macro targets. Which will look like so much to pack into one wholesome meal, however it’s very doable. 

As a common information, meal occasions ought to embrace lean proteins, nutrient-dense vegatables and fruits, and wholesome fat. To keep away from gaining undesirable fats on a bulk weight loss program, give attention to clear consuming – embrace entire meals and decrease saturated fat, processed meals, and extra sugar.

The right way to Meal Prep for Muscle Acquire

Meal prep, or getting ready meals prematurely, is an effective way to have wholesome choices readily available for any meal or snack. Basically, you prepare 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 targets, making weekday consuming much less tense. 

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 it’s essential to put together. Listed below are some issues to think about:

  • Chances are you’ll have to eat extra regularly to extend your every day energy.
  • Attempt to embrace protein all through your day.
  • Relying on how usually and exhausting you’re understanding, you could want pre- and post-workout meals.
Choose recipes

Make a listing of recipes which can be wealthy in protein and can aid you accurately stability your macros.

Ideas for pre- and post-workout meals: 

  • Eat just a few hours earlier than your exercise. 
  • For morning exercises, use easy sugars for fast-acting vitality (ex. muffin or chocolate milk).
  • Pre-workout meals for carry days ought to embrace extra energy, notably from carbs.
  • Publish-workout meals ought to embrace 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. Maintain it easy as you begin out – you’ll be able to eat the identical meals every day if wanted. However don’t overlook to incorporate any snacks, treats, or drinks you’ll need. You probably have a cheat day, mark that as properly.

Make a grocery record

Write out the substances you’ll want after which examine your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what’s lacking. Make a grocery record after which hit the shop in your lacking objects.

Observe energy and macros

It might appear tedious to put in writing out the numbers, however you’ll thank your self later in the event you do the entire calculations upfront. You may also reuse this meal plan, so save your whole calculations someplace so that you solely should do the maths as soon as in the event you select to repeat a meal plan.

Step 2: Cook dinner

Comply with the instructions in your recipes. In the event you’re new to cooking, maintain it easy. If cooking is an inconceivable process for you, contemplate ordering from a meal prep firm to assist as you construct your cooking abilities. 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. Be sure 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 giant batches of a meal is an effective way to avoid wasting time, however be sure that meals you prepare dinner greater than 5 days prematurely are saved within the freezer. 

Step 4: Eat

Seize your meals as wanted and luxuriate in with the boldness that you just’ve acquired energy and macros within the bag. Not everyone seems to be a fan of leftovers, so listed below are just a few ideas for serving to your meals style contemporary:

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

Recipes for Weight Acquire

You could have the whole lot it’s essential to get began on meal prep recipes for weight acquire. The swap to wholesome consuming generally is a powerful life-style change, however with the instruments listed above, you’re prepared to perform your whole weight acquire targets by way of meal prepping. 

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

Breakfast recipes

Prompt 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

Hen 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 once I realized that wholesome residing is really a lifelong journey, primarily received by having a well-balanced weight loss program 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 just a few changes, I might design a weight loss program that would assist me obtain my private health targets. Our our bodies are constructed within the kitchen and sculpted within the fitness center.



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