As a rule of thumb, you lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you expend. You can do this in two ways; reduce your calorie “input” or / and increase your calorie “output”. Making and implementing a suitable weight loss meal plan can help reduce your calorie “input”. Likewise, increasing your calorie output can be achieved by increasing your physical activity or adopting some good exercise plan.
Some of you might say, “When we know much about low-calorie diet and can select from the long list of foods by ourselves, why do we need to make a plan any way? The answer is three-fold. Firstly, proper use of a weight loss food or meal plan provides a known number of calories each day, keeping you aware of what, when and how much to eat. Secondly, it reduces the underestimation of calorie intake that occurs when you follow a self-selected diet of traditional foods. Thirdly, it makes you disciplined on your own, giving you a reason to control your dietary habits effectively.
While making your meal plan to lose weight, you should consider the following tips:
Choose A Healthy Food Combination: Your meal plan should be an example of a balanced diet, essentially representing the major food groups of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. It should also include dairy products, fish, meat and poultry. It is best if you avoid deep-fried foods (fast foods) and reduce the sugar and fat intake.
Look For RDAs: Those who want to lose weight are advised to follow a low-calorie diet of 1200-1600 calories per day. According to the latest recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults, 45% to 65% of this diet should come from carbohydrates; 20% to 35% from fat; and 10% to 35% from protein. You should include the type and quantity of each food group in your meal plan accordingly, determining how many calories you should be eating daily. You can also break it down into what percentage of calories will come from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Observe For Meal Gaps: You should limit your daily food consumption to frequent small meals instead of a fewer large meals. A difference of three hours between two meals is mostly recommended, constructing 4 to 5 small meals each day. While you can skip a large lunch, never skip a breakfast.
Maintain Eating Consistency: Studies show that those who are consistent about their meals are more likely to keep their weight off. Therefore, be consistent and try to eat the same way on weekdays and weekends.
Be Flexible: Consistency does not stop you from eating whatever you like. However, moderation is important. Just look for the calorie amount and you can always include your favorite food in the plan.
Keep A Weight Loss Food Diary: Keeping a food diary (manual or digital) will help you measure your progress and will indicate whether or not you are meeting meet your goals. It will make you more disciplined and will surely improve the chances of your desired success.
Consult An Expert: While not mandatory for everyone, consulting a doctor or a nutritionist will give you a definite, well-calculated insight for making an optimal weight loss meal plan for yourself.
All in all, serving as educational tools, weight loss meal plans help people to stay focused on their diet, helping them track their progress. Therefore, if you make one for yourself and stick to your goals, you will be able to measure your success on regular basis and maximize your chances of successful weight loss.