When you’re trying to build muscle, what you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. Protein is the key, which is why we’ve brought you this high-protein meal planner – taken from New Body Plan Plus, which along with this gym training plan for building muscle can help you increase your muscle mass. The combination of gym and meal plan is best used by experienced gym-goers who are looking to make a concerted effort for a short period of time, but the meal plan can be used by anyone looking to support their training.

This week-long eating plan contains plenty of protein to support your efforts in the gym while also containing the right balance of nutrients to help you get lean. The more closely you can stick to your meal plan the better, but if you can’t make a particular meal then you can substitute in another meal from the same time of day from the same week. If you miss a meal (or multiple meals), don’t worry about it, just carry on with the plan.

To make following the meal plan easier, consider doing a big shop to line up everything you need. To help, we’ve collated a shopping list after the recipe section below. Give it a browse and you’ll pick up a few great healthy diet tips even if you don’t commit to the plan. Those tips include opting for wholemeal carbs, making sure fruit and veg dominate your trolley, picking up nuts and seeds, eating fish a few times a week and varying your sources of animal protein.

Muscle-Building Diet Plan

Monday

Breakfast 3 scrambled eggs, 3 rashers of grilled lean smoked bacon, a large handful of spinach and 1 slice of lightly buttered wholemeal toast. ½ a grapefruit.
Snack Protein shake with 30g whey protein powder and 200ml semi-skimmed milk. 1 small banana.
Lunch Tuna mayonnaise sandwich. Mix one 150g can of tuna with 2tbsp of low-fat mayonnaise and serve on two slices of wholemeal bread. 3 salt and vinegar rice cakes. 1 orange.
Snack 25g brazil nuts.
Dinner Paprika grilled chicken and vegetables. Chop some pepper and onion and place them in a bowl. Add 1tbsp rapeseed oil, 1tsp paprika, salt and pepper, and mix together. Pour the mixture over 300g sliced chicken breast on a baking tray. Meanwhile, lightly steam some broccoli then set aside. Grill the chicken and veg for 5-7 minutes then add the broccoli and grill for a further 5-7 minutes. Serve with 200g lightly buttered new potatoes.
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 100g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 small sliced frozen banana.

Calories 2,510 Protein 242g Carbs 197g Fat 86g

Tuesday

Breakfast Mushroom, cheese and onion omelette made with 4 eggs and sautéed mushrooms, onion and 30g cheddar cheese. 1 slice of lightly buttered wholemeal toast.
Snack 1 apple and 30g peanut butter.
Lunch BLT sandwich. Grill 3 rashers of lean smoked bacon and place them between 2 slices of wholemeal bread with sliced tomato, lettuce and low-fat mayonnaise. 1 orange.
Snack 50g beef jerky.
Dinner Grilled salmon and vegetables. Slice some pepper and courgette and halve some cherry tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add 1tbsp of rapeseed oil, a splash of soy sauce, ½tsp of ground ginger and salt and pepper. Mix together then spread over a salmon fillet on a baking tray. Grill for 10-12 minutes and serve with 75g brown rice. Quick tip Cook an extra portion of salmon at dinner for lunch the next day
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 100g frozen berries.

Calories 2,345 Protein 167g Carbs 187g Fat 103g

Wednesday

Breakfast Ham and cheese omelette made with 4 eggs, 50g ham and 20g cheddar cheese, served with a large handful of spinach, a handful of tomatoes and 1 slice of lightly buttered wholemeal toast.
Snack Protein shake with 30g whey protein powder and 200ml semi-skimmed milk. 1 small banana.
Lunch Salmon and avocado salad. Mix together 1 flaked salmon fillet,½ a sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, salad leaves, 10g pine nuts, 10g rapeseed oil, a generous squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper.
Snack 25g almonds.
Dinner Honey and mustard chicken. Cut 250g of chicken into slices and add it to a bowl with 1tbsp honey and 1tsp mustard. Season with salt and pepper and mix. In another bowl, chop some courgette, pepper and onion, add 1tbsp rapeseed oil, salt and pepper, mix and spread it over a baking tray. Add the chicken to the tray and grill for 5-7 minutes before turning the chicken. Cook for a further 5 minutes and serve with 75g brown rice. Quick tip Cook an extra portion of chicken at dinner for lunch the next day
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 handful of frozen grapes.

Calories 2,515 Protein 223g Carbs 194g Fat 92g

Thursday

Breakfast 3 scrambled eggs and 70g smoked salmon with a handful of cherry tomatoes, a large handful of spinach and sliced red pepper. 25g brazil nuts.
Snack Protein shake with 30g whey protein powder and 200ml semi-skimmed milk. 1 small banana.
Lunch Chicken (approx 200g), avocado and tomato sandwich on wholemeal bread. 3 salt and vinegar rice cakes.
Snack 50g beef jerky.
Dinner Mighty turkey burgers (see recipe below).
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 100g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 small sliced frozen banana.

Calories 2,482 Protein 238g Carbs 142g Fat 109g

Friday

Breakfast 3 soft-boiled eggs with 1 slice of lightly buttered wholemeal toast and a small handful of nuts.
Snack 1 apple and 30g peanut butter.
Lunch Tuna Niçoise salad (see recipe below).
Snack 25g cashew nuts.
Dinner Power prawn curry (see recipe below).
Snack 50g dark chocolate.

Calories 2,364 Protein 181g Carbs 203g Fat 92g

Saturday

Breakfast 4 scrambled eggs with ½ an avocado mashed on 1 slice of wholemeal toast and a handful of cherry tomatoes.
Snack Immunity-boosting smoothie. Blend 1 apple, 100g frozen berries, 1 large handful of spinach, 1 carrot, 10g clear honey, ½tsp of ginger and 100ml water.
Lunch Tuna melt. Toast 2 slices of wholemeal bread and grill 40g of cheese on one of the slices. Mix together 1 can of tuna, chopped spring onion and 2tbsp low-fat mayo, spread over the other slice, then put them together.
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 handful of frozen grapes.
Dinner One-pot pork stew. Fry some onions for a few minutes then add 250g of diced pork chops. Brown the meat, then add ½tsp of paprika and some mushrooms. Cook for a few more mins then add a big squeeze of tomato purée and 200ml veg stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, mix in 50g Greek yogurt and serve with 100g potatoes and broccoli.
Snack 1 small bag of salted popcorn.

Calories 2,454 Protein 230g Carbs 161g Fat 99g

Sunday

Breakfast Chia seed power pot (see recipe below). 25g brazil nuts.
Snack 1 apple and 30g peanut butter.
Lunch Roast beef (approximately 250g), 200g roast potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli and gravy.
Snack 20g cheddar cheese and a handful of grapes.
Dinner Roast beef sandwich made with 150g leftover beef from lunch, sliced red onion, rocket leaves, mustard and low-fat mayonnaise on slices of wholemeal bread.
Snack 30g whey protein powder mixed with 150g low-fat Greek yogurt and 100g frozen berries.

Calories 2,394 Protein 197g Carbs 172g Fat 103g

Mighty Turkey Burgers

Prep time 10min Cooking time 15min

You probably didn’t expect to see burgers in this plan, did you? The thing is, there’s nothing inherently bad about a burger. The thing that’s unhelpful about the way they’re usually served is the massive bun and big portion of fries, which contain a lot of calories but not much in the way of useful nutrients. Cook them like this, though, and you’ll be able to enjoy the taste while staying on track with your goals.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 300g turkey mince
  • 15g porridge oats
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ onion, finely diced
  • ½tsp chilli flakes
  • 100g green beans
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Small portion of oven chips

To make

  1. Cook the diced onion in a little rapeseed oil, then remove from the pan and allow it to cool.
  2. Place the turkey mince in a mixing bowl, then crack an egg into the bowl and add the oats and chilli flakes.
  3. Once the onions have cooled, add them to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and mix it all together so the ingredients combine evenly.
  4. Scoop out a small handful of the mixture and roll it into a compact ball in your hands, then place the ball on a baking tray. With the palm of your hand, press the ball down so that it forms a flat patty about 2.5cm thick. Repeat this process until you have used all of the mixture.
  5. Grill the burgers for five to seven minutes, then turn and cook for a further five minutes or until the patties are cooked through.
  6. Serve with the green beans and a small portion of oven chips.

Calories 722 Protein 75g Carbs 45g Fat 27g

Tuna Niçoise Salad

Prep time 10min Cooking time 20min

This French classic, so simple to make, is absolutely packed with flavour as well as protein and lots of the micronutrients your body needs. There are quite a few ingredients but it doesn’t require any cooking skill –you just need to chuck them together and add the simple dressing.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 200g new potatoes
  • 2 eggs, boiled
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • 100g green beans
  • 100g cherry tomato
  • Salad leaves
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 5ml red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

To make

  • Boil the new potatoes and allow them to cool, then cut them in half.
  • Steam the green beans, then allow them to cool.
  • Boil, shell and quarter two eggs.
  • Add the salad leaves to a bowl then add the potatoes, eggs, tuna, green beans, onion and tomato.
  • To make the dressing, mix the rapeseed oil, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar and add it to the salad mix.
  • Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper.

Calories 520 Protein 50g Carbs 30g Fat 23g

Power Prawn Curry

Prep time 5min Cooking time 25min

You probably don’t automatically think of curry as a healthy food. That’s partly because a lot of them are made with generous quantities of butter and cream, and they’re also often washed down with a few pints of lager. But there are many ways of making curries and lots of them fit easily into the way you’d like to eat while you’re following your New Body Plan. Even better, it’s also possible to make them in a way that’s both quick and tastes great.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 150g king prawns
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1tsp rapeseed oil
  • ½tsp chilli powder
  • ½tsp coriander powder
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp curry paste
  • 75g brown rice

To make

  1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan and chop the onion. Add the onion to the pan and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic and reduce the heat.
  2. Add 100ml of water and simmer for about ten minutes.
  3. Add the chilli, coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for a further five minutes.
  4. Add the prawns and the curry paste and cook for five minutes.
  5. That’s it. You’re done. Just serve with the rice and enjoy!

Calories 572 Protein 41g Carbs 83g Fat 7g

Chia Seed Power Pot

Prep time 5min Cooking time 2hr

This is a really quick and easy recipe that tastes just like an indulgent treat but will in fact help you to achieve your better-body goals. You can also make it in advance and store it in the fridge. Chia seeds have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason: they’re high in fibre, which can aid digestion and help you feel full, while they also pack a protein punch and are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which will reduce post-workout inflammation.

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 20g chia seeds
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 10g clear honey
  • 15g whey protein powder
  • 50g frozen berries

To make

  1. Pour the coconut milk into a bowl.
  2. Next, pour the chia seeds into the bowl and stir so they mix well with the coconut milk.
  3. Pour in the honey and whey protein powder and stir thoroughly so that it mixes evenly.
  4. Put the bowl in the fridge and leave it to set for a couple of hours.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, top it with the frozen berries.

Shopping List

We’ve collated the above and listed it below, including quantities where sensible. However, it’s unlikely you’ll find the exact quantities so portion out what you need when you get home and freeze any excess if you can to avoid unnecessary food waste. Also keep an eye on “best before” and “use by” dates on the fruit and veg so it doesn’t spoil before it’s time to eat it.

While your local supermarket may stock whey protein, you can often find better value online. We’ve tested enough to create a comprehensive list of the best protein powders, but our quick recommendations are Myprotein Pro THE Whey+ and, for a more affordable option, Bulk Powders Pure Whey Protein.

Meat, Fish And Dairy

  • Bacon, lean smoked (6 rashers)
  • Beef jerky (100g)
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese (110g)
  • Chicken breast (750g)
  • Eggs (23)
  • Greek yogurt, low-fat (850g)
  • Ham (50g)
  • King prawns (150g)
  • Milk, semi-skimmed (600ml)
  • Pork chops 250g
  • Roast beef (400g)
  • Salmon fillet (2)
  • Smoked salmon (70g)
  • Tuna (3 cans)
  • Turkey mince (300g)

Carbs

  • Brown rice (225g)
  • Oven chips
  • Porridge oats (15g)
  • Wholemeal bread (1 loaf)

Fruit And Veg

  • Apples (4)
  • Avocado (2)
  • Banana (5)
  • Berries, frozen (350g)
  • Broccoli (1 head)
  • Carrot (2)
  • Cherry tomatoes (400g)
  • Courgette (1)
  • Garlic (1 head)
  • Grapes (3 handfuls)
  • Grapefruit (1)
  • Green beans (300g)
  • Lemon (1)
  • Lettuce (1 small)
  • Mushroom (small pack)
  • New potatoes (400g)
  • Onion (3)
  • Oranges (2)
  • Peppers (2)
  • Potatoes (300g)
  • Red onion (2)
  • Rocket leaves
  • Salad leaves
  • Spinach
  • Spring onion
  • Tomato (4)

Sundries

  • Brazil nuts (100g)
  • Cashew nuts (25g)
  • Chia seeds (25g)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Chilli powder
  • Coconut milk (100ml)
  • Coriander, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Curry paste
  • Dark chocolate (50g)
  • Gravy granules
  • Ginger, ground
  • Honey, clear
  • Mayonnaise, low-fat
  • Mustard
  • Paprika
  • Peanut butter (90g)
  • Popcorn, salted (small bag)
  • Pine nuts (10g)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice cakes, salt and vinegar flavour (6)
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato purée
  • Turmeric
  • Veg stock cubes
  • Whey protein powder (285g)



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