5 Day Flexible Diet Meal Plan

IIFYM Meal plan

Starting any new diet can be challenging, especially knowing what to eat.

Here are 5 days worth of meals for those starting the flexible diet or for those already on the plan, but in need of some more meal ideas.

flexible dieting bookWe’ve published a comprehensive guide to flexible dieting. It contains everything you need to know and do to be successful with tracking macros. Plus, 10 days worth of meals!

The Meal Plan

This meal plan was developed using our flexible dieting macronutrient calculator; based on a 41 year old male, weighing 170 pounds, 70 inches tall, moderately active, extra protein, and set for weight loss.

macro goals

Of course you’ll have to adjust the portions based on your individual macros, but this 5 day flexible diet meal plan will give you great guidelines for what your flexible diet should look like.

Day One

Breakfast

Macros

  • Protein: 23.2 grams
  • Fat: 16.8 grams
  • Net Carbs: 46.2 grams
  • Fiber: 15.4 grams
Snack

  • All natural vanilla protein shake (2 scoops) with 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cup red grapes
Macros

  • Protein: 39 grams
  • Fat: 7.5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 43 grams
  • Fiber: 1.3 grams
Lunch
Green Salad w/tuna

  • 4 cups mixed greens salad mix
  • 4 oz. can albacore tuna in water
  • 1 tablespoon light honey mustard dressing (Make your own using 3 parts honey to one part dijon.)

A large apple

Macros

  • Protein: 27.6 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 6.6 grams
Snack

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • Large banana
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1-2 cups water

Nature valley granola bar

Macros

  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Net Carbs: 60.6 grams
  • Fiber: 5.5 grams
Dinner

Macros

  • Protein: 47.2 grams
  • Fat: 18.6 grams
  • Net Carbs: 38 grams
  • Fiber: 14.6 grams
Daily Macro Totals:Calories: 2,104

  • Protein: 164 grams
  • Fat: 62.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 221.8 grams
  • Fiber: 43.4 grams

Day 2

Breakfast

Blueberry Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup (dry) steel cut oats cooked
  • 1 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Macros

  • Protein:  31 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Net Carbs: 58 grams
  • Fiber: 12 grams
Snack

22 dry roasted almonds with salt
3 unsulfured dried apricots

Macros

  • Protein:  7 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Net Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
Lunch

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps

  • 8 oz. cooked tilapia
  • Sautéed peppers and onion (1 cup each raw) w/ 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3 large leafs of romaine lettuce
  • Dijon mustard

1 large apple

Macros

  • Protein: 49 grams
  • Fat: 6.5 Grams
  • Net Carbs: 41 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
Snack

Peanut butter banana protein smoothie

  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1.5 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1-1.5 cups water
Macros

  • Protein: 32 grams
  • Fat: 10 Grams
  • Net Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
Dinner

  • Roasted Veggie and Grilled Chicken Salad (see recipe) (2 servings)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar as dressing

1 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich

Macros

  • Protein: 50 grams
  • Fat:  24 grams
  • Net Carbs: 83 grams
  • Fiber: 18 grams
Daily Macro Totals:Calories: 2109

  • Protein: 169 grams
  • Fat: 61.5 grams
  • Net Carbs:  220 grams
  • Fiber: 46 grams

Day Three

Breakfast

Spinach & Onion Omelet

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

2 strips crispy bacon

1 medium orange

Macros

  • Protein: 27.9 grams
  • Fat: 23.7 grams
  • Net Carbs: 24.4 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
Snack

1 large apple-dipped in-1/2 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla protein powder mixed in.

Macros

  • Protein: 28.6 grams
  • Fat: 1.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 39.8 grams
  • Fiber: 5.9 grams
Lunch

Smoked Salmon on Brown Rice Crackers

  • 4 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1 cup brown rice crackers

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2-1 cup water
Macros

  • Protein: 72.5 grams
  • Fat: 7 Grams
  • Net Carbs: 78.6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.8 grams
Snack

1 large banana

Macros

  • Protein: 1.5 grams
  • Fat: .4 Grams
  • Net Carbs: 27.6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
Dinner

Grilled Chicken with Almond Alfredo (see recipe) (1 servings)

6 dried figs

Macros

  • Protein: 45 grams
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Net Carbs: 46.8 grams
  • Fiber: 14.4 grams
Daily Macro Totals: Calories: 2051

  • Protein: 175.5 grams
  • Fat: 53.5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 217 grams
  • Fiber: 32.2 grams

Day Four

Breakfast

Cinnamon & Raisin Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup (dry) steel cut oats cooked
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Macros

  • Protein: 34 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Net Carbs: 77.6 grams
  • Fiber:  9.3 grams
Snack

Apple Pie Larabar

1 medium orange

Macros

  • Protein:  5.3 grams
  • Fat:  10 grams
  • Net Carbs: 33.5 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
Lunch

Tuna and Kale Salad

  • 4 oz. of canned tuna (drained)
  • 3 cups baby kale
  • Tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
Macros

  • Protein:  36.4 grams
  • Fat:  11 grams
  • Net Carbs:  16 grams
  • Fiber:  4 grams
Snack

Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 cups water
Macros

  • Protein:  39.7 grams
  • Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Net Carbs:  27.9 grams
  • Fiber:  3.4 grams
Dinner

  • Low Carb Turkey Burgers (see recipe) (2 burgers)
  • 3/4 cup non-fat frozen yogurt
Macros

  • Protein: 50.5 grams
  • Fat: 26 grams
  • Net Carbs: 64.4 grams
  • Fiber:  6 grams
Daily Macro Totals: Calories: 2039

  • Protein:  166.3 grams
  • Fat: 55.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 219 grams
  • Fiber:  35 grams

Day Five

Breakfast

Macros

  • Protein:  23.1 grams
  • Fat: 16.8 grams
  • Net Carbs: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
Snack

  • All natural vanilla protein shake (2 scoops) with 2 cups water
  • 2 cups red grapes
Macros

  • Protein: 36 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Net Carbs: 54 grams
  • Fiber: 1.3 grams
Lunch

Chicken Burrito

  • 4 oz. grilled chicken breast
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • Large whole wheat tortilla

A large apple

Macros

  • Protein: 44.2 grams
  • Fat: 24.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 59.3 grams
  • Fiber: 18 grams
Snack

Large banana

Macros

  • Protein: 1.5 grams
  • Fat: .4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 27.6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
Dinner

  • 6 oz “jerk seasoned” grilled chicken breast
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 3 cups steamed broccoli

Homemade fruit sorbet

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • Add water till smooth

(blended with a high speed blender)

Macros

  • Protein: 64.3 grams
  • Fat: 13.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 50 grams
  • Fiber: 17 grams
Daily Macro Totals: Calories: 2,098

  • Protein:  169 grams
  • Fat: 58 grams
  • Net Carbs:  225 grams
  • Fiber:  56.8 grams

Wait! Your Macros Aren’t Exact?

We have to stress the importance of being flexible when planning out your meal plans. If you strive to meet your exact macros each day, you will either end up eating the exact same thing everyday or you’ll stress yourself out!

The flexible diet is just that, FLEXIBLE! If one day you eat less carbs and more fat or more protein and less carbs it’s OK.

Just try to aim to be within + or – 5 grams of your target macro amounts.

And, if your calorie levels are a little higher or lower on a particular day, that’s ok too. Small daily differences will make little difference in your overall long-term outcome.

If you stress out about hitting each macro exactly, it will become frustrating or it will cause you to feel the need to eat some strange foods at the end of the day just to satisfy your macros.

After all, IIFYM isn’t an exact science but just an estimation of what your body needs.

roasted vegetable salad

Roasted Veggie Salad

It’s a Lot of Food!

Looking over the meal plan, you’ll notice that it requires quite a bit of food to hit the macro amounts in the example.

This is mainly due to the elimination of most processed foods, refined grains, and refined sugars.  Those types of foods are calorie dense and don’t really fill you up nor keep you satisfied.

Eliminating most of these foods actually allows you to eat a lot more, which means you are seldom hungry. 

IIFYM Meal Plan Shopping List

Here’s a shopping list to help you if you want to try the meal plan. Again you’ll have to adjust some of the quantities based on your macros. It contains everything needed for all 5 days, but of course some stuff you may already have on hand.

Meats

1 can of albacore tuna
26 ounces of chicken breast
2 strips bacon (buy a pound and freeze in 2 strip portions)
4 oz package of smoked salmon
8 oz ground turkey (92% lean)
8 oz of tilapia (fresh or frozen)

Dairy

7 large eggs
16 oz Greek yogurt
½ gallon of plain unsweetened almond milk
8 oz Parmesan cheese

Produce

1 yellow squash
2 lbs mini sweet peppers (use in place of all peppers)
1 bunch of Lacinato kale
16 oz. frozen wild blueberries
2 avocados
3 yellow Onions
1 bag Mixed green salad mix
1 eggplant
2 heads of Broccoli
2 cups white mushrooms
1 small head of Romaine lettuce
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 small fresh beet
1 cucumber
1 head of garlic
1 bag of baby kale mix or baby kale spinach mix blend (can be used for all kale and spinach)
1 bag baby spinach
A bag of shredded red cabbage or 1 small head
1 small spaghetti squash
2 medium and 1 large oranges
2 lbs Red seedless grapes
3 large apples
2 medium and 3 large bananas
8 oz fresh strawberries
2 kiwi fruits
8 oz frozen blackberries
1 lb dry roasted almonds
8 oz raw almonds
8 oz package of dried figs
8 oz package of raisins

Condiments/spices/seasonings

Virgin coconut oil
Garlic salt
Salt
Black pepper
A jar of pasta sauce
Olive oil
Honey
Dijon mustard
Balsamic vinegar
Thyme
Salsa
Cinnamon
Vanilla extract

Miscellaneous

2 lbs all-natural sugar free vanilla protein powder (18 protein grams per scoop)
A jar of all natural peanut butter
1 Nature Valley granola bar
1 small bar of dark chocolate (72% cacao or greater)
1 cup steel cut oats
1 package of brown rice crackers
8 oz of frozen yogurt
1 Larabar
1 package of large whole-wheat tortillas
1 box of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwichesd

Need More Help?

flexi-related

Resources Used for the Meal Plan

Scientific Reference: Wing, R. R., Jeffery, R. W., Burton, L. R., Thorson, C., Nissinoff, K. S., & Baxter, J. E. (1996). Food provision vs structured meal plans in the behavioral treatment of obesity. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 20(1), 56-62. Study link

Comments

  • fitdevangel

    Fantastic menu! lots of new inspiration 🙂

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Thanks! 🙂

      • SaRun Tamang

        Hi Ted, I have good question regarding to clean marco bulk. I have weight 72 gram, height 167cm, age is 28 and gender is male. My goal is around 83 to 86 kilo gram. How to track with the marco? how to measure protein from meats and others stuffs portion?. how to measure carbs from rice, sweet potatoes and other stuffs portion? I am busy men and I have work and how many meals intake is better per day? please email me here pema_tamang02@yahoo.com

        • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

          Hi SaRun, Check out this article, which addresses your questions. All the best!
          https://healthyeater.com/macro-amounts-foods

          • tina morris

            I was thinking about downloading this ,but i hate fish. And it looks like a lot of the meals are fish EEEWWW.

          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            You can substitute chicken breast for the fish, but it will change the macros slightly.

  • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

    I would love to see a grocery list for this diet! Everything one would need to execute it.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Great suggestion and you got it. I’ll work on it and post it at the end of the meal plan.

      • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

        Added and you’re welcome 😉

        • lloyd

          Do you watch sodium intake and oil? Do you use salt?

          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            Hi lloyd, I keep my sodium at or under 3000 mg per day but my BP is great, so yes I use salt. A little oil, but it will be identified and counted in the recipes within the meal plan.

  • sweetonnh

    This was a great read!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Thanks, I hope it helps 🙂

  • http://www.healthyeater.com/ Dan Bolton

    Loved this 🙂 Especially inspired to try these meals because of the amount of Fibre in them!! Thanks Ted

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      You’re welcome, Dan! Let me know how you like them.

  • Fearna

    I’m a little bummed as I can’t eat any dairy or most protein powders (rice seems to be ok) – any thoughts about what I can substitute to get the extra protein provided by the Greek yoghurt?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Could you use almond milk and a little protein powder made from eggs, peas, or hemp?

    • Mary

      I use Paleo Pro powders. They’re dairy free and loaded with protein. The vanilla and chocolate do have stevia in them but I think they taste great.

  • Allison Salame Galiano

    I’m a vegetarian therefore I find it difficult to increase my protein without increasing my fat as well. Any suggestions?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      I suggest that you get a high quality protein supplement. There are several good veg. based ones that use pea protein or hemp protein etc. I hear good things about this brand. http://myvega.com/

  • Diana Deal

    I’ve just started trying to work out and eat healthy and the last few weeks, I feel like I have been starving! I am going to try this!

  • Brianna

    i was wondering how flexible dieters track their macros when going out to eat?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      This can be a tough one. MyFitnessPal has many of the chain restaurant meals already in its database, so I suggest you use that when possible. But, if you are at a local restaurant, the best you can do is estimate the portions of food they are serving. You’ll likely miss something but it will at least put you in the ballpark.

  • Jamie

    I see you are counting “net carbs”. Does that mean you are subtracting the fiber from the carbs? I thought they should be counted gross rather then net and then you just keep track of the fiber by itself. Could you please clarify 🙂 Also, thoughts on sugar?? It seems iifym doesn’t pay any attention to sugar. Do you still keep an eye on it?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Jamie, so there are two schools of thought 1. All carbs count 2. Only digestible carbs count since fiber is a carb but humans do not completely digest it. Most people count total carbs because it’s easier and there may be a small amount of energy derived from some fiber sources. It’s really up to you. I generally just count total carbs because that’s what myfitnesspal does, but I keep in mind I have a slight “buffer” with the fiber I’m eating. As for sugar iifym isn’t concerned with it because all carbs are converted to sugar by the body. However, I believe that the majority of your carbs should be from complex sources which allow for slower more extended release of energy.

      • Jamie

        I like your idea of counting total carbs and keeping in the back of your mind that there is a little wiggle-room. This way I won’t beat myself up if I go a few grams over, but I had a lot of fiber for the day. Thanks!

  • Thomas Rosales

    I want to try to diet, but I weight 154lb, will the protein amount be too much for me?

  • Daphne

    I’m interested in purchasing the book. Does it have a grocery list at the end like this post as well?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Daphne, No it doesn’t but I could add that to the next revision. There’s a lot of other great stuff in there though. 🙂

  • djhollingsworth

    You had me until “tilapia”. Really, though, this is a great meal plan and almost fits my macros exactly. Thanks for posting it. But seriously, tilapia?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Thanks DJ, glad you found it useful. If you don’t like Tilapia substitute it for trout, cod, or some other with fish you like.

      • tina

        What if you dont like fish at all

  • Angelica

    Does the book comes with a meal plan examples like the one above for more than 5 days?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Angelica, yes, for 10 days plus the recipes for each dish.

  • Nhung Pham

    Hi Ted, I’m really new to IIFYM and worried about my sugars. How i can calculate it?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Nhung, Welcome! Sugars are included in the carb category. As for the number you should stop at or strive for, it’s really a personal choice. I think no more than 30-40% of your carbs intake should be sugars. Even healthy foods can contain natural sugars.

  • Yarel Ruiz

    Can this work for a teenager who is having a restricted diet?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Yarel! Yes, but you should really figure out the teen’s TDEE and then adjust the meal plan accordingly. See our calculator here: https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator

      • Yarel Ruiz

        Once we calculate it should we talk to a doctor first and start adding a few calories at a time?

        • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

          It’s always a good idea to discuss a new diet plan with the child’s doctor especially if the child is currently undergoing treatment for something.

  • FredZ

    How do you implement these recipes while at work? I’m not a morning person, so I rarely cook breakfast, and I don’t really have time to prepare a lunch. So, on top of those, how are you preparing smoothies during the day at the office?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Fred, You really have to make it the morning and take it with you or some people buy a “magic bullet” type blender for the office and take the ingredients with them.

  • Lorraine

    What is a substitute for an apple?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      A similar piece of fruit like a pear, peach, or a couple of plums should be close.

  • Mandy Seber

    Fat- I utilize myfitness pal as I am new to macros. I have my macros estimated but it appears i “always” go over on my fat percentage but I am still at a deficiency of calories for a day.. So, basically i don’t reach my calories and I am still always over in fat. I don’t add olive oil which i love as that will even double it which is a “healthy fat”. I am assuming “healthy” fats are still calculated the same as any fat regardless?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Mandy, yes all fats count the same since all fats supply 9 calories per gram. You can adjust your fat intake to 30% and then lower your carb intake and still be within good margins.

      • Mandy Seber

        Thank you for the response and info 🙂

  • AllThePlates

    Use this simple guide in conjunction with this article to help you begin meal prepping with macros – it lists all the basics that you will need and how to go about tracking and prepping meals with your macros https://alltheplates.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/intro-to-meal-prepping-with-macros/