Winter may be creeping in fast, but that doesn’t give you the green light to fatten up and prepare for hibernation. Quite the opposite, in fact — sticking to your health and fitness routine through the holidays and cold weather season can help you come out on the other side better than ever. And trust us, when it’s time to peel off the layers and reveal your hard work, you’ll be glad you stuck to it while everyone else was overindulging.
This two-month no-fail meal plan will set you up for success in 2021. It’s packed with nutritious and satisfying meals and snacks designed to ramp up muscle accrual while keeping fat in check. And to keep things simple and affordable, you will repeat days every other week to take advantage of bulk cooking and meal-prep techniques.
Every week consists of two different meal schedules that you will alternate every other day. On Sundays, you can choose to follow either Plan A or Plan B of that week and replace one meal with a treat meal. Remember, it’s not a free-for-all, though. It’s one meal, not an entire day. Use it to enjoy a special occasion, holiday, date night or night out with friends. When the week is over, move to the next set of meal plans and so on and so forth. Here is an example:
Monday: Plan A
Tuesday: Plan B
Wednesday: Plan A
Thursday: Plan B
Friday: Plan A
Saturday: Plan B
Sunday: Treat Day! Follow either Plan A or Plan B and swap one meal for the treat meal of your choice!
Every other week, you’ll repeat the same schedule of meal plans from two weeks prior like this:
Week 1 and 3: Meal Plan A and B
Week 2 and 4: Meal Plan C and D
Week 5 and 7: Meal Plan E and F
Week 6 and 8: Meal Plan G and H
The Ultimate Muscle Meal Plan
Ultimate Muscle Recipes
Juicy Turkey Burgers With Grilled Zucchini Fries
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 whole-wheat sandwich thins
Grilled Zucchini Fries
- 2 large zucchini, cut into long strips
- ¼ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large egg whites, lightly whisked
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat grill (or oven).
- In large bowl, combine ingredients and mix with your hands.
- Form into four 3-ounce burgers.
- Grill four to five minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Toast buns, as desired.
- Whisk egg whites lightly in shallow bowl and set aside. Combine Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in another bowl and set aside.
- Dip zucchini strips into egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs. Transfer strips to pre-greased grill pan or baking sheet.
- Season strips with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
- Cook on grill, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. If cooking in oven, preheat oven to 425 degrees and cook 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 423, total fat 16 g, saturated fat 3 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 38 g, sodium 825 mg, carbs 36 g, fiber 7 g, sugar 8 g
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Makes: 8 servings
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup Splenda or 2-3 tbsp stevia
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In medium bowl, combine seasonings with a fork.
- Add almonds to large bowl and pour lightly beaten egg white over almonds. Using a spatula, stir to coat evenly.
- Add powdered ingredients to egg-white-coated almonds and stir with a fork until well-coated.
- Spread almonds out onto lined baking sheet. Make sure almonds are in one layer to ensure even cooking.
- Bake in oven for four minutes. Remove and stir, then bake for another four minutes. Stir once more and then cook for another one to two minutes.
- Allow almonds to cool before storing in airtight container for up to four weeks. Note: Almonds will brown and dry as they cool.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 211, total fat 18 g, saturated fat 1 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 8 g, sodium 74 mg, carbs 9 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 2 g
Potato Breakfast Bowl
Makes: 1 serving
- 1 small white potato
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp crushed garlic
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1-2 cups fresh baby spinach or kale
- 2 tbsp diced onions
- Cube potato into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat olive oil, potatoes, rosemary, garlic and salt over medium heat in medium saucepan. Stir until potatoes are coated with oil and seasonings.
- Cover and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender (about 12 to 15 minutes). Set aside.
- Spray small skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add fresh greens and dash of salt and pepper. Cook until greens are wilted, stirring frequently. Set aside.
- Using the same skillet, cook two large eggs to your liking — try sunny side up or scrambled.
- Add potatoes to bowl, then top with sauteed greens and eggs.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 436, total fat 24 g, saturated fat 5 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 19 g, sodium 536 mg, carbs 38 g, fiber 7 g, sugar 3 g
Meal-Prep Timesaving Tips
- Always buy in bulk, stocking up on as much of an item as you need for a week’s worth of meals. For example, if sweet potatoes are on the meal plan for eight consecutive days, buy eight. They won’t go bad, and you’ll be glad you have them on hand when you need them.
- Cook in bulk. Don’t just make enough brown rice for today and tomorrow — instead, make enough for the entire week. You can even take it a step further and measure out portions ahead of time. This is especially useful if you’re a super-busy person with little time on a daily basis to put together meals.
- What you don’t eat, freeze. Made too much chicken or fish or are just tired of it? Package up the leftovers in freezer bags, use a Sharpie to label and date, then pop in the freezer for easy meals that will likely come up again in the meal plan.
- Take advantage of pre-portioned foods. Pick 100-calorie packs of almonds over a large bulk bag so you can save time counting and bagging appropriate portion sizes. Other easy items like string cheese, brown rice cups, tuna pouches and yogurt cups are also great in a pinch.
- Plan ahead. Look at the meal plan for the week to create your grocery list, then buy everything you need for the week so you’re prepared. Pick one day out of that week to prep what you need so cooking is a breeze and you can grab a meal or snack when needed.
- Try frozen veggies. This timesaving (and money-saving) convenience food is just as nutritious as the fresh variety and tastes just as good. Get a large bag of frozen veggies to keep on hand for a quick and easy addition to almost every meal in the plan.