I Am Using Macro-Driven Meal Plans - Why is My Meal Plan Blank?

When setting up a Macro-driven Meal Plan in calendar meal planning, the planner takes into account your dietary restrictions as well as your desired macros.  In some instances, that can result in a blank meal plan when there are not enough recipes available to meet all of those requirements.

How the meal planner schedules recipes

The meal planner uses the recipes in your Recipe Box to create a meal plan based on the macros selected in your Settings. Once it removes the recipes that do not meet your dietary restrictions, it attempts to use the remaining recipes to create combinations that fit your macro goals.

Setting any of the macros for extremely high or low values may result in a lack of available recipes.

Why are the meal times blank?

The meal times could be blank if the meal planner is not able to combine the available recipes into a combination that fits your specified macro goals.  The following are some things to keep in mind when selecting the macros for your plan:


  • Many of our recipes use healthy cooking fats to prevent food from sticking while cooking, provide tons of flavor, and improve the texture of many foods. As such, a truly low fat diet may be more difficult to set up.


  • Since the meal planner uses processed foods in a limited manner, you may find that whole foods have more calories. While there is no minimum to what you can set the calories, going below 1200 calories per day will seldom result in a meal plan.


  • Due to the nature of vegetarian and pescatarian diets, the planner is seldom able to combine recipes that create a high protein diet for these diet types.

Special consideration for AIP:

  • Since the AIP diet type has so many food restrictions, the use of Macro-driven Meal Plans with this diet type is not recommended as it can be difficult to find combinations that work to meet specific macro requirements. 

Things you can do:

  • If your meal plan is blank, or it is not filled in with 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, it may be necessary to make some adjustments to your macros. This can take several iterations to determine which combination works best together and still gets you close to your goals.
  • You can also add contributors that fit your diet type to increase the number of recipes available.
  • Another option is to import recipes that fit your desired macros. This will increase the number of recipes in your Recipe Box that the meal planner can use to create a schedule for you.
  • You can also modify existing recipes to fit your desired macros. For example, you can reduce the amount of cooking fat used or make a substitute to any of the ingredients.

If you need assistance, please send us an email at support(at)realplans.com.

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