The meal hack series is a list of snacks or small meals you can make from one base ingredient. No advanced preparation required. I decided to make these lists for myself after a failed attempt to survive a week without protein bars.

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.

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.

Each mini meal can be made quickly and a shopping list is provided at the end. You don’t need to prepare ingredients in advance.

For each snack, I aimed for a macro ratio close enough to one of my favorite protein bars, PureFit Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. The macro count is based on the Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffin. This lighter version of the original is the perfect canvas for snack making if you’re in a cutting, or otherwise restrictive, phase.

You can swap the light English muffin with the original or, a personal favorite, Food for Life’s Sprouted Whole Grain English Muffin.

Macro counts provided are based on the Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain muffin, but even the heartier sprouted grain option only adds three grams of protein and five grams of carbs, no additional fat, per muffin (both sides).

English Muffin with Chicken & Pepper Jack

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Shredded Chicken Breast (56g)
  • Pepper Jack Cheese (1 slice)

28C, 8F, 20P; 230 Calories

English Muffin Chicken Pizza

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Pizza Sauce, Mutti (60g)
  • Shredded Chicken Breast (56g)
  • Provolone, Sargento Ultra Thin (2 slices)

31C, 9F, 22P; 255 Calories

English Muffin Chicken, Goat Cheese & Tomato

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Shredded Chicken Breast (56g)
  • Goat Cheese, Chavrie, Original (40g)
  • Tomato (2 slices)

29C, 6F, 18P; 206 Calories

English Muffin with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes & Cucumber

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Goat Cheese, Chavrie, Original (40g)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (10)
  • Cucumber (70g)

36C, 5F, 9P; 190 Calories

English Muffin with Tuna & Egg

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Tuna, Starkist (1 pouch)
  • Egg (1 large)

27C, 7F, 28P; 250 Calories

English Muffin with Tuna Salad

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Tuna, Starkist (1 pouch)
  • Light Mayo (15g)
  • Dill Relish (15g)

28C, 5F, 22P; 215 Calories

English Muffin with Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips & Greek Yogurt

  • English Muffin, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain (1)
  • Peanut Butter (8g)
  • Chocolate Chips, Nestle Toll House (14g)
  • Fage 0% (85g)

40C, 9F, 15P; 262 Calories

*Mix it all together and dip your English muffin. It’s weird but good.

Shopping List

Base

  • English Muffins (2-3 packs to survive the week)

Meat

  • Chicken Breast

Produce

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber

Dairy

  • Pepper Jack
  • Provolone
  • Goat Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fage Greek Yogurt (0%)

Prepared / Canned Foods

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Tuna
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Peanut Butter

Condiments

  • Light Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Dill Relish