Meal hacks are easy meals that can be “assembled” versus prepared in advance. They require no (or very little) preparation. Each meal or snack can be made quickly and a shopping list is provided at the end.

I pulled these snack lists together after a failed attempt to survive a week without protein bars. While I love protein bars and find them useful for staying on target with my nutrition goals, I can become over reliant on the convenience to the detriment of my whole food consumption.

These snack hack plans are for people, like me, who don’t spend all day Sunday meal prepping and struggle eating leftovers, but want to hit their macros or eat simply all week long.

If you struggle to meal prep, need ideas for healthy snacks, or want to avoid excessive snacking, this approach could make it easier for you to meet your nutrition goals or change a frustrating bad habit.

This edition features the canned green bean, which might sound like the worst thing ever, but this humble ingredient was single-handedly how I successfully navigated my first-ever weight loss cut.

The canned green bean offers two incredible benefits:

  • Convenience: It’s easy to have on hand, stands up well, even after you pour the can into a tupperware, and doesn’t require cooking.
  • Volume: A can fills an average bowl and typically has 14 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. You can eat the entire can in a meal without adding many calories, which mentally goes a long way for me.

Of course, you can prep some fresh green beans too, but if you don’t have time, or you miss your prep day, here is a fallback. The question is what can you actually make with it?

Green Beans with Tuna

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Tuna (1 packet)
  • Olive Oil (½ tablespoon)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

17C, 8F, 28P; 250 Calories

This meal helped me stick to my macros and lose weight even if I didn’t prep food for the week. I probably ate it 5 times a week for 3 months, which I realize is not great for nutritional variety, but it offered convenience, 60-second prep time, which makes it highly desirable. I get the Safe Catch tuna to reduce mercury risk.

Green Beans with Tuna, Eggs & Potatoes

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Egg (1)
  • Tuna (1 packet)
  • Potatoes (75g)
  • Olive Oil (½ tablespoon)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

27C, 13F, 36P; 365 Calories

Green Beans with Tomatoes & Mozzarella

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (10)
  • Mozzarella (28g)
  • Olive Oil (¼ tablespoon)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

25C, 9F, 10P; 210 Calories

Green Beans with Hard Boiled Eggs & Tomatoes

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Egg (1)
  • Egg Whites (2)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (10)
  • Olive Oil (½ tablespoon)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

25C, 12F, 19P; 276 Calories

Green Beans with Shredded Chicken

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Chicken (113 g raw weight. If using cooked weight, 100 g)
  • Olive Oil (½ tablespoon)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

17C, 9F, 28P; 250 Calories

Green Beans with Ham

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Deli Ham (112g)
  • Olive Oil (½ tablespoon)
  • Mustard (1 tablespoon)
  • Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

21C, 11F, 20P; 274 Calories

Green Beans with Beef & Tomato Sauce

  • Green Beans (1 can)
  • Ground Beef 90% (112g)
  • Tomato Sauce (125g)

20C, 11F, 28P; 300 Calories

Shopping List

Base

  • Canned Green Beans (7 cans)

Meats

  • Chicken Breast
  • Ground Beef 90%
  • Deli Ham

Produce

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

Dairy

  • Eggs
  • Mozzarella

Prepared / Canned Foods

  • Tuna, Safe Catch (several packets)
  • Tomato Sauce

Condiments

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Mustard