Now that you’ve decided that you want to lose weight, making a meal plan beforehand can help you succeed in it.
Creating a meal plan can make your approach to the weight-loss goal a lot easier. Besides, a specific meal plan for weight loss helps improve your overall nutrition and avoid diet pitfalls.
Meal planning is easier than you think. In a few easy steps, you can create a meal plan that will work for you.
# Determine how many calories you need: First step to meal planning is deciding on your goal weight. It is about the calories you need to maintain. One of the easy ways of determining the number is body mass index (BMI). On the other hand, you can stick to the approximate minimum number of calories human body needs per day (According to the National Institutes of Health, the minimum calorie intake per day for adult women is 1,200 calories and for adult men it is 1,500.) Add a few more calories to it, based on your activity level.
# Plan out meals: This step is all about planning your meals and sticking to it. Meal plan encompasses breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to two snacks in between meals. Eating more is counterproductive; therefore, you must eat in small portions.
- Ensure that your breakfast includes some carbohydrates for energy. This becomes more important if you are combining your diet with an exercise regimen.
- Any complete protein can work well in the morning. Ideally, whole wheat choices should be a part of the first meal of the day. Or, include an omelette in your breakfast.
- Breakfast also needs to include calcium; strong bones support strong muscles.
- Have a small glass of skimmed milk or three to four spoons of yoghurt.
- Nuts make for a good burst of energy, another excellent food choice to start the day with.
- Include a protein choice for lunch.
- Chicken breast, tuna fish or a tofu burger, along with some fruits.
- A mixed vegetable salad with shredded cheese for lunch is one way you can swap high-calorie with empty-calorie foods.
- Have a lighter meal for dinner since you don’t need to use up all the calories. It is better if it is a protein choice (a light whole wheat option, some fruit and a salad).
Snacks in between meals
- Keeping healthy snacks on hand will help you with your weight loss goals.
- Figure out if you have provided for enough servings of each food group. Look over your plan for the day and make sure you have snacks that will help you do it.
- There are several healthy snacking options; these include sliced tomato, banana, nuts, strawberries, cheese snacks, raspberries, frozen peas, corn, oatmeal, soy products, milk products and more.
- When you have snacking options with you, you are more likely to avoid the temptations of unhealthy foods or foods that don’t contribute to your goal.