Customizing Meal Plans

So you have your new mighty MealPrepPro meal plan. You have input your target calories and you’re all set with your delicious recipes that you have hand-picked from the app. But then, a question pops-up that begins with “how do I..?” 🤦‍♂️

  • How do I add extra meals to my plan?
  • How do I eat my own snacks?
  • How do I start intermittent fasting? or skip a breakfast?
  • How do I cook for my entire family?
  • How do I manage my allergy? and avoid certain foods?

How Meals Plans are Structured

Before we get to answering those questions, let us start by sharing how we arrived here today. MealPrepPro was designed with simplicity in mind. We spoke to nearly a dozen nutritionists, dieticians & personal trainers early on to establish how many meals per day the average person eats. The same question was then put to the community. The overwhelming answer we heard…4. Four hearty meals in the form of a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner and a snack. Great, we thought – let’s build a meal prep app with 4 fixed meals. ✅

That being said, as we stand today, we know that 4 is not the magic number for everyone. Over the past year we have heard from many people who are looking for greater flexibility from their plans. That may mean eating 2-3 meals a day, or it may mean splitting them up into 5-6 per day. It may also mean the equivalent of 8+ meals a day if you have an extra mouth or two to feed at home.

There are solutions inside MealPrepPro for these for your circumstances. 👏 To understand, we need to look at how your calories each day are allocated. If you haven’t checked out our other post on how to edit your calories, we’d recommend to read that also.


Standard / Keto / Plant-Based / Vegetarian / Pescatarian

If you have one of the balanced macro plans, e.g. Standard, Keto, Plant-Based, Vegetarian or Pescatarian, your calories for each day are split as follows: 30% for Breakfasts, Lunches & Dinners, 10% Snacks.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snack

High Protein / High Fat / Low Fat / Low Carbs

If you have a customized macro plan, e.g. High Protein, High Carbs, High Fat or Low Fat, your calories each day are equally distributed between all meals: 25% for Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners & Snacks.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snack


Customizing Your Meal Plan

Now that we know that how the plans are formed, let’s tap on any of the below headings matching your situation.

The easiest way to eat extra meals in your plan is to divide one of your meals into 2 or more portions MealPrepPro. e.g: If on the ‘Standard’ plan – you may choose to divide your breakfast – 30% of calories – into 2 portions, making one a mid-morning snack. On the ‘High Protein’ plan, you may instead choose to split your snack, which is 25% of your daily calories – into one mid-morning & one afternoon snack. You can do this by eye or using the “how to portion” functionality within the recipe:

Note: We expect to add more options within the UI in future, to allow you to see more/less than 4 meals in your plan on any given day 😎

Perhaps you wish to skip breakfast in the morning or are looking to start “intermittent fasting” for its known health benefits. The MealPrepPro app can be cater to that. To adjust the plan, we need to understand how many calories are coming from the meal that you wish to skip – in this case breakfast. Let’s say for example you are on 1,600 calories with the ‘Standard’ plan – so that’s 30% of daily calories or ~500 kcals from your breakfast.

With this in mind, you need to increase your calories by 30% to still hit 1,600. In this instance, go to the Settings tab and set your calories to 2,300 (which means after you skip breakfast you’ll have around 1,600).

You can then ‘skip’ the breakfast each day. Or by tapping on one of the breakfasts, choosing ‘swap‘ and then tapping on “Eating out”, marking all the other days as eating out. Voila! 🙌

You can already add your own recipe creations when you tap ‘swap’ and then ‘your recipes‘. Right now, you can add a title and the headline nutritional information. In the future, we expect to expand this and allow you to build your own recipes with specific ingredients and steps inside.
You will however need to be careful with calories and macros, as the rest of the plan won’t adjust automatically to the increase/decrease in calories and will continue to be based off the allocated macros. For example let’s say a snack was contributing 200 kcals to your plan, but you replace it with a 400 calorie snack. Your plan will not automatically reduce your calories to keep you on track for your goals – so do be mindful of those naughty ‘extras’  👀

So you added your partner to your plan, you are in the grocery store and you feel like you forgot something. The kids! 😱 Just like in the film ‘Home Alone’, we unfortunately left the kids behind. Thankfully, we will be adding support for additional family members to your plan later in 2019, but for now you can achieve something similar by inflating your partner’s calories.

Most families eat together at breakfast and at dinner. This on the standard plan amounts to 60% of their calories for the day – 30% for Breakfast and 30% for Dinner. Knowing this, we can artificially inflate your partner’s calories to serve-up an additional portion or two for the family (via the Settings tab):

In this example, your partner is set to 1,800 calories and is joining for those 2 meals. If you bump their calories to 3,000 – that provides 1,200 (40%) extra for the child in the family.

Simply tap the “how to portion” button inside the recipe and the app will do the calculation for you to find your own portion size. You will then be able to divide the partner portion 60/40 as we split it above – so that everyone gets to enjoy a taste of meal prep success! You still get to stay on track for your own nutritional goals & you can easily portion the rest of the meal for your loved ones too.

In an update towards the end of 2018, we allowed you to add allergens to your plan inside MealPrepPro. When selecting a new plan (via ‘Dietary Prefs’ in the Settings tab), you are able to select from a number of allergens. MealPrepPro will hide any ingredients & recipes that are incompatible with those allergens. This will reduce the recipe options available to you – so try not to add too many or be too fussy. 😆

Where ingredients may/may not contain the allergen selected, the app displays a warning sign. We added this because many brands and manufacturers prepare their products differently and we can never be sure if they do or do not contain allergens. Tapping the warning sign will bring-up further information about that allergen:

Note – By 2020, we hope to expand this functionality further to allow you to add specific ingredients that you dislike, to the same effect. 🤓

The above solutions, we do recognize, are not perfect. We hope that later in 2019 we will be in a position to allow you to select the number of meals (& which meals) you wish to appear in your meal plan. You will, we hope, be able to add more than one partner to your plans. We are committing to building the perfect meal plan for your needs.

If you would like us to provide support for any other specific needs, please do feel free to say hello & Contact Us. We’re particularly keen to find out what we could do for you to make your meal prep easier (but we’re not washing your filthy dishes) 😄