How to Create a High-Protein Meal Plan (5-Day Plan Included!)

Welcome to our guide on creating a high-protein meal plan to fuel your health and fitness journey. In this blog, we’ll break down the essentials of crafting a protein-packed meal plan that supports your goals, whether you’re aiming to lose weight, build muscle, or simply boost your overall wellness.

Plus, we’ve got you covered with a 5-day meal plan to kickstart your high-protein adventure. Let’s dive in and discover how to make nutritious and delicious meals that keep you satisfied and energised throughout the day.

First Up – Calculate How Much Protein You Need

When it comes to a high-protein diet, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule. But let’s start with some health guidelines we already have.

According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, for a high-protein diet, shooting for around 20-25% of your daily energy from protein is a solid start. Some people might even aim for up to 30%.

  • So, if you’re on a 2000-calorie diet, that could mean eating about 100 grams of protein a day.

Another way to figure out your protein goals is to consider your body weight. The current recommendation suggests about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day.

However, many experts suggest that might not be enough for everyone. Some research suggests that aiming for 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilo per day could be the real sweet spot for managing weight, appetite, and heart health.

  • So, if you weigh 65 kilograms, aiming for around 100 grams of protein daily might be the sweet spot.

What About Calories & Other Macros?

Again, there are no specific guidelines detailing the number of calories to consume on a high-protein diet, and the same goes for other macronutrients, such as fats and carbs.

Your daily calorie requirement will differ based on various factors, such as your body weight, lifestyle, and age.

However, here’s an example of the daily macronutrient breakdown for a 2000-calorie, high-protein diet based on recommendations from the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

  • Protein: 400 calories or ~100 grams of protein (20% of total calories)
  • Carbs: 1100 calories or ~275 grams of carbs (55% of total calories)
  • Fat: 500 calories or ~55 grams of fat (25% of total calories)

5-Day High-Protein Meal Plan

DayMealMenuProtein (grams)
1BreakfastSmoked salmon sandwich (2 oz smoked salmon, 2 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt, 2 slices whole-grain bread, baby greens, sliced tomatoes)~23
LunchChicken salad (90g cooked chicken breast, 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, diced apples, sliced seedless grapes, diced celery, seasonings)~38
SnackApple slices with 2 tbsp of almond butter~7
DinnerHigh-protein chicken alfredo (150g thinly-sliced chicken breast, olive oil, Laughing Cow cheese, parmesan cheese, low-fat milk, herbs and spices)~28
2BreakfastHigh-protein tuna sandwich (60g canned tuna, 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, diced cucumbers, chopped olives, chopped dill)~25
LunchLow-calorie beef crunch wrap (120g lean minced beef, 1 low-carb wrap, 1 serving light cheese, 1/2 diced tomato, onion, baby spinach)~30
SnackPeanut butter and banana oatmeal (rolled oats, a small sliced banana, a tbsp of peanut butter, chopped almonds, chia seeds)~10
DinnerLow-calorie creamy chicken (150g raw chicken breast, chopped spinach, low-fat milk, Laughing Cow cheese, mozzarella cheese, a carb such as sweet potato or brown rice)~38
3BreakfastCottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl (1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, toppings such as blueberries, chia seeds, chopped almonds)~23
LunchTurkey taco lettuce wrap (120g seasoned and cooked lean ground turkey, large lettuce leaves, onions, diced tomatoes, bell pepper)~30
SnackA large boiled egg with salt and pepper~6
DinnerChicken burrito bowl (150g chicken breast, 35g Greek yoghurt, Mexican-style rice, diced tomatoes, white onion, corn, black beans, seasonings)~41
4BreakfastBanana protein smoothie (1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt, 1 banana, 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, water)~40
LunchChickpea salad (150g chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, chopped onions, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, 40g feta cheese, olive oil)~35
SnackChia pudding (2 tbsp chia seeds, half cup almond milk, honey or sweetener of choice)~5
DinnerLemon chicken breast with rice (120g chicken breast, rice, reduced salt chicken stock, lemon, and seasonings)~27
5BreakfastCottage cheese toast (1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 2 slices of toasted whole-grain bread, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado, red onion, seasonings)~25
LunchHigh Protein Nandos Wrap (100g chicken breast, 75g cottage cheese, salad, seasoning)~33
Snack1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds~6
DinnerSalmon fillet with asparagus, potatoes, and garlic butter sauce~36

Vegan Options for a High-Protein Meal Plan

Some high-protein vegan foods you can incorporate into a vegan diet include the following plant-based protein sources:

  • Lentils, chickpeas, and beans
  • Almonds, pistachios, and other nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and other seeds
  • Edamame
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Oats

It’s important to vary your sources of protein to ensure you get all the amino acids and nutrients your body needs.

For instance, chickpeas contain all the essential amino acids you need except for methionine. On the other hand, quinoa delivers a decent amount of the amino acid methionine, making it a great complementary protein source to cereals and legumes.

How to Create Your Own High-Protein Meal Plan

  • Calculate Daily Needs: Adults generally need about 2080 calories per day to maintain weight. For weight loss, aim for a deficit, such as 1500 calories per day.
  • Determine Protein Intake: Aim for protein to make up 20-25% of your daily calories. Since 1 gram of protein equals approximately 4 calories, calculate your protein needs based on your total daily calorie intake.
  • Balance Carbs and Fats: Allocate 45-65% of your daily calories to carbs and 20-35% to fats.
  • Plan Your Meals: With your macronutrient targets in mind, plan meals using healthy protein sources like chicken, turkey, salmon, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and dairy products like Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese.
  • Consult a Professional: Before changing your diet, talk to a dietitian or nutritionist for personalized advice.

Remember, these are general guidelines. Tailor your meal plan to your specific needs and goals.

Tips to Get Started on High-Protein Meal Prepping

When creating your high-protein meal plan, here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Try to spread your protein intake across the day. This allows your body to utilize protein more effectively.
  • Make sure to include different protein sources in your diet. This helps you get all the essential amino acids you need.
  • Opt for high-quality sources of proteins that aren’t saturated with unhealthy fats or sugars. One good example is lean meat, such as chicken breast.
  • Avoid highly-processed, high-sodium meats, such as ham, sausages, bacon, and salami.
  • It’s important to ensure you get enough healthy fats, carbs, and fibre while on a high-protein diet.
  • You can meal prep for more than one day at once. Most foods can be stored in the freezer for five days, and sometimes more.

Final Takeaway: The Best High-Protein Meal Plans

The key to a great high-protein meal plan is giving your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy. Figuring out what works best for you might take a bit of trial and error. If you’re keen to start a high-protein diet, it helps to plan ahead.

One handy tip is to prep your high-protein meals in advance for the week. You could also marinate a bunch of chicken and pop it in the freezer for later. There are lots of easy ways to sneak more protein into your snacks and meals, like adding a scoop to your morning smoothie or swapping out your regular dip for Greek yogurt.

And if you want a super easy way to enjoy high-protein meals without the fuss, you could consider getting pre-made meals delivered to your door. It’s a time-saver and ensures you’re getting the nutrition you need without the hassle. Some of the top meal service providers offering high-protein meals include:

Check out our review on the best meal providers for bodybuilders and the best meal providers for weight loss to learn more.

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