Meal prep for getting toned up

5 min read

Meal prepping and getting toned can be, in their own right, daunting prospects. Achieving the two together can sometimes feel like an impossible task.
However, finding the time, money and motivation to prep meals and obtain that dream, toned body isn’t as difficult as it might seem.
With a bit of forward planning, some simple tweaks to your diet, and knowing how to get toned, you can set yourself on the path of eating good quality food that’s easy, quick and cheap to prepare.
Here, we explain how you too can achieve it.

What is “getting toned”?

It is losing weight and building muscle.  The word “toned” is used by people as a way to feel shapely, lean and well-defined.
“How do I actually get toned, not skinny?”
It’s a dilemma that many of us have faced; achieving that great body, with a bit of muscle, without going too far into skinny territory. It’s important you have the correct nutrition and training in your lifestyle, to stop this from happening.

Female body builder
Photo by Scott Webb / Unsplash

Get your nutrition right

A high protein diet is vital for muscle growth so this should be your main focus. This is key to losing weight and building muscle and having a healthy diet.
When you plan your meals in advance you can save yourself a lot of time and money. It also makes you keep an eye on the ingredients you’re using, so you can ensure you’re adding the right foods to achieve your goals.

A good goal you should have for the day is to eat enough protein. You can figure that out from this ratio. 2.5grams per kg of body
Don’t feel scared to add bigger weights to the bar or more reps to your routine; weight.
On a calculator you can figure this out by doing this.
2.5 x (your weight in kilograms) =  Grams of protein you need to eat in a day.
Meal prepping meals can help you do this. If you’ve not had time to prepare lunch, you might find yourself taking a trip to the supermarket on your break and grabbing quick a meal deal.
However, a wide range of sandwiches, wraps, pasta pots, snacks and drinks are high calories that are difficult to track calories, so you are more likely to end up overconsuming. So meal prepping is a great alternative, that’s much cheaper.

Healthy Lunch
Photo by I E / Unsplash

How weight training helps you get toned

To any women out there who worry that they will get bulky, please don’t. This is a common misconception.
Weight training – otherwise known as resistance training – is an important part of an overall fitness programme and when it comes to achieving that toned appearance, it plays a vital role.
Prioritise strength training over cardio work. Squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, push-ups, pull-ups and their variations should be core elements of your training sessions.
Make yourself stronger! It is a gradual process that requires time and patience but the rewards at the end are worth it.

fitness group
Photo by bruce mars / Unsplash

Planning ahead

Keep recipes simple with easy to source, affordable ingredients. Include lean protein sources such as chicken and team them up with vegetables, pulses and healthy fats.

Using a weekly meal planner, to plan your meals can really help too. It will make sure you eat the correct foods and have something to refer back to if you’re unsure of what to eat. It will help you be more consistent when trying to get that toned body.
You might need to get some essential meal prep kit. Here are our top five pieces of kit you can pick up to make your prep much easier.
• Tupperware
• Disposable baking trays
• Food scales
• Measuring cups
• Measuring jug

Writing in a journal
Photo by Cathryn Lavery / Unsplash

Picking the right meals

Start by including a source of protein, some vegetables, grains and fats in most, if not all of your meals.
Once you have these basic staples in place, you can adjust the amounts of each to suit your individual goals.
Here are a couple of our favourite meals to try:

Peri Peri Chicken & Spicy Rice

This recipe brings together succulent chicken breast, the fabulous flavours of Peri Peri and a generous heap of vegetables.
It has 73g of muscle-building protein and less than 540 calories; it’ll fit in perfectly to any healthy eating plan.
It takes just 25 minutes to prepare and you can put together enough of these in one go to see you through the week.
Get the recipe here.
Nutritionals (per serving)
Calories: 533
Protein: 73.7g
Carbs: 45.6g
Fat: 6.9g
Fibre 7.8g
Prep time: 25 minutes

Spicy Sausage & Bean One-Pot

Easy and quick to prepare, this meal is ready in just 25 minutes and requires only a couple of elements to put it together. Great for when the weather gets colder.
Follow the recipe here.
Nutritionals (per serving)
Calories: 524
Protein: 24g
Carbs: 41g
Fat: 29g
Fibre: 11g
Prep time: 25 minutes

Pepper Nacho Boats

These nachos are healthier than ones you’d normally find; they’re packed with protein, lower in carbs and are kind on the calorie front.
They’re quick to prepare too, just what’s required after a long day in the office or a post-workout.
Simply sub in roasted pepper boats for the usual tortilla chips to give the dish a nutrient boost and make it easy to prepare in bulk!
Click here to try this Mexican wonder.
Nutritionals (per serving)
Calories: 403
Protein: 56.5g
Carbs: 9.3g
Fat: 13.9g
Fibre: 2.8g
Prep time: 25 minutes

Hickory BBQ Chicken Kebabs

Did you know you can turn your calorific kebabs into lean, nutritional powerhouses and prep them well in advance?
These Hickory BBQ Chicken Kebabs are simple and easy to prepare; they’re ready in just 30 minutes and you can pile them in to your Tupperware and for the days ahead.
See the full recipe here.
Nutritionals (per serving)
Calories: 157
Protein 30.5g
Carbs: 5.2g
Fat: 1.6g
Fibre: 1.9g
Prep time: 30 minutes


All of these recipes are freezer friendly, so no need to worry about anything going off in the fridge.
Meal prepping is a fantastic way to eat wholesome, nutritious food that will help you reach your weight loss and toning. It is also effective at saving you time in the long term; time you’d spend slaving over the stove night after night trying to come up with new dishes.
You can also wake up in the morning knowing what you’re eating that day. There’ll be no drive-thru breakfast on the way to work, no quick meal deal at lunch or the temptation of a takeaway in the evening.
Everything is prepared in advance; you can enjoy your quality time, eat well and smash those toned goals!