In the United States, a survey shows that 51% of Americans want to lose weight through exercise and diet changes. However, many people don’t realize that dieting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Because everyone’s body is different, it’s important that we learn how to create a custom weight loss plan that works best for our bodies.
Would you like to learn more about creating a customized weight loss meal plan that will give you sustained energy for your daily activities? Keep reading this article to learn how to create your own weight loss plan.
Step One: Avoid Calorie Counting Diet Plans
A typical diet plan sets a daily calorie goal. Dieters are expected to keep their consumption within a certain range and their daily meals contain all the vital nutrients their bodies need to thrive. However, this basic belief causes many dieters to face failure before they even begin. We recommend a very different approach to calorie counting.
A typical diet plan sets a daily calorie goal. Dieters are expected to keep their consumption within a certain range, with each meal containing all the vital nutrients their bodies need to thrive. However, this basic belief has caused many dieters to face failure before they even begin. We recommend a very different approach to calorie counting.
Step Two: Find Nutrient-Dense Foods
Other things that you always need to include in your diet plan are nutrient dense foods. These foods will allow you to get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, including fruits and vegetables.
Some of the best nutrient-dense foods include spinach, eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, and even salmon. Eating these foods regularly, either included in your meals or as snacks, will ensure that you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy!
Step Three: Calculate Your Macros
Dieting isn’t just about how much you eat. You also need to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to grow muscle, melt fat and maintain high energy levels. Macronutrients are the essential components your body uses to accomplish these tasks. These essential nutrients also represent the bulk of your caloric intake. The three main categories of macronutrients are:
- Carbohydrates. Simple and complex sugar chains are broken down in the body to provide fuel for the muscles.
- Fats. Excess calories are stored in fat cells to provide emergency energy when fast-burning carbohydrates are not available. Fat is also an important element in many hormones and brain functions.
- Proteins. These powerful macronutrients provide sustainable energy and materials for repair and growth of tissues throughout the body.
Balancing these macronutrients gives you the best chance of building the body you want without feeling deprived or exhausted. A general rule of thumb recommends that you divide your caloric intake into 35% healthy fats, 40% protein and 25% carbohydrates.
Step Four: Eat Foods You Actually Like
Most people think that dieting means eating only fruits and vegetables. When you don’t like a lot of vegetables, it can make dieting frustrating and even more difficult. One way to make your customized eating plan better is to eat foods you really like.
Make a list of the nutrient-dense foods you like and try to incorporate them into your meals throughout the week. Then, you can also try new foods without forcing yourself to eat the ones you hate.
Step Five:Variety Is Best
Variety is always best when it comes to meal planning. When you don’t have enough recipes to cycle through, you’re likely to get bored with your meal plan and may give up too soon.
Instead, have a list of several healthy recipes that you can choose from each night. Instead of eating the same meal every day, you can find easy ways to change it up and make your meals more unique.
It’s also important that you don’t cut out certain food groups. When you restrict your diet in this way, it can make you more likely to binge on those foods later. One thing you can do is eat everything you want in moderation.
Dessert doesn’t have to be a bad thing. By eating small amounts of it to satisfy your cravings, you will be less likely to develop bad eating habits.
Step Six: Remember to Plan For Snacks
It is vital that you plan snacks as well, not just your meals. If you find that you’re always craving snacks throughout the day, it may be easy to eat something quick and easy. However, these things usually don’t provide the best nutrients.
Instead, you can plan ahead for the snacks you’ll eat each day, and even schedule the times you’ll eat them. You can include different types of nuts, fruit slices, protein bars, and much more.
By preparing these things, you will be less likely to choose less healthy alternatives to snacking.
Step Seven: Stock up on Recipes
Now that you know what you can eat, start collecting a variety of recipes that feature the foods you listed. Pay attention to the preparation instructions. The way you cook your food can have a big impact on macronutrient content.
Having a large selection of recipes in your weight loss diet plan is important because it keeps you from getting bored. Losing interest in daily menus is the main reason why many dieters don’t reach their goals. Variety ensures that you are always looking forward to your next serving. Online recipes are a great way to store your recipes.
With enough research, you can customize your recipe collection to suit your preferences. Are you a lover of sweet breads and pastries? Find low-calorie versions of your favorite baked goods. Are sauces a necessary part of your daily meals? Find homemade versions of the condiments you use most often. Does the idea of giving up fried foods make you nervous? Look for recipes that use your oven to simulate the crunch you crave without the extra fat content.
For those of you who live on the go, compile a list of your most frequented restaurants. Ask the staff for the nutritional information on their menus. Use this data to create a list of choices that fit your dietary budget.
Step Eight: Stick to an Eating Schedule
When people diet, they are primarily concerned with what they eat.
However, it is just as important to focus on the timing of your diet. The truth is, most people don’t do well by eating only three meals a day. Instead, it’s best to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism engaged throughout the day. These can include snacks, regular meals, and more.
It is also important that you eat a high-protein breakfast. Skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain and can slow down your metabolism.
Finally, make sure you eat a full dinner. By doing this, you will prevent yourself from snacking in the evening. Eating dinner or late-night snacking is especially bad for weight loss.
In fact, studies have shown that eating late at night may cause your body to store those calories as fat. When you eat late in the evening, you will be able to burn those calories as energy.
Step Nine: Track, Analyze and Track
Use a food diary to keep track of your meal plans. This can create a record that allows you to revisit your eating habits and analyze the effectiveness of your plan. Make adjustments as necessary to keep yourself on track to your goal weight. Don’t be afraid to change things if a particular diet plan isn’t providing the desired results.