So you want to create a meal plan to lose weight? Losing weight can take a lot of effort. You need to balance new eating habits with exercise. On the other hand, if you don’t reach a balance, it can be time-consuming, frustrating, and confusing. To help you develop a meal plan to lose weight, check out the following tips.
Some Tips To Remember When Creating A Meal Plan To Lose Weight
In this article:
- Understand Your Body
- Don’t Skip Breakfast
- Plan a Healthy Lunch
- Snack on Fruit and Vegetables
- Create a List of Healthy Store-Bought Snacks
- Get Creative With Dinner
Understand Your Body
Before creating a meal plan to lose weight, you need to understand your own body. Do you lead an active life? Or do you spend most of your days at the office in front of your computer? If you plan to count calories then you need to know how much you actually need to properly function for the entire day. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) could be totally different from someone else’s. So don’t base your diet on what another person deemed effective.
Another thing you need to understand is the quality of food you’ll fill your daily caloric needs. For example, if you need 1,000 calories a day, eating the same caloric value of candies won’t give you the same macronutrients as 1,000 calories worth of meat, vegetables, and bread.
Macronutrients are chemical components we consume to give us the energy we need to function every day. They are primarily made up of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Generally, 30% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 30% fat is the ideal macronutrient ratio to follow when you’re trying to lose weight.
With that, here are some tips you can follow to create a meal plan to lose weight more effectively.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re focused on weight loss. If you skip breakfast, your blood sugar drops, and your body thinks it’s starving. Then, to conserve energy, it reduces your metabolism.
To keep your metabolism high, you need to start the day with some healthy fare.
- Try a smoothie — When foods are blended, your body gets more nutrients from the food, and smoothies are extremely versatile. Grab your blender and throw in some low-fat milk, a banana, spinach, oatmeal flax seed, and honey to sweeten. If you’re on a low-carb diet, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Fill the blender with strawberries, almonds, and a pinch of cinnamon. If you’re trying to increase your protein intake, add some protein powder to your favorite smoothie ingredients.
- Breakfast Sandwich — If you prefer to have a meal, start with an English muffin. Then, add turkey bacon and some greens, and eat an orange on the side. When you’re developing a meal plan to lose weight, remember that it’s always better to have fruit rather than fruit juices. Fruits have more fiber, and it’s more filling than juice so you tend to consume fewer calories.
Adding protein to your meal in the morning helps you feel fuller. In turn, it will help you resist temptations to gorge on snacks throughout the day. Consuming fiber also has the same effect.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your approach to breakfast around your specific health concerns. For instance, if you have celiac disease, you can’t have toast, muffins, or doughnuts for breakfast, but you can have a lot of other tasty treats. Try yogurt topped with homemade granola, an egg frittata with your favorite vegetables or lean meats, or sweet potato hash with a side of turkey bacon.
Plan a Healthy Lunch
When you’re on a diet, lunch can be one of the hardest meals. People are often out of the house at lunchtime, and that means you have to plan ahead. Try packing one of these lunches:
- Salad in a Jar — On the weekend, fill jars with your favorite salad ingredients. Then, on the weekdays, you just need to open the fridge, grab a jar, and go. Always put the dressing or olive oil on the bottom. Then, add crisp vegetables, followed by soft vegetables, and delicate ingredients such as cheese or hard-boiled eggs. Put the greens at the very top, and when you’re ready to eat, just shake the jar or toss the ingredients in a bowl.
- Bento Box — Inspired by Japanese culture, a bento box is a tray with separate parts that traditionally hold noodles, fish or meat, and some cooked vegetables. But, you can put any healthy snacks in your box. The separate compartments mean that you don’t have to worry about ingredients getting soggy. Fill your box with raw vegetables, lean meats, garbanzo beans, or even leftovers from dinner.
- Bowls — You can pack a honey walnut salad, a protein-packed chickpea salad, vegetable soup, fried rice, couscous with vegetables, naked burritos, or countless other healthy lunches in a bowl. Make it the night before, and easily tote it to work in a soft-sided cooler.
Snack on Fruit and Vegetables
It can be really hard to stick to a diet plan if you can’t do any snacking. So that you’re not tempted to grab a bag of cookies or hit the vending machine, stock your home with fruit and vegetables, and remember to pack some when you leave the house as well.
In one study, researchers compared women who were on diets that let them eat unlimited amounts of fruit and vegetables with women who were just on low-fat diets. They found that the women who could snack on fruits and vegetables actually lost 23% more weight.
Create a List of Healthy Store-Bought Snacks
When you have a busy life, it can be tempting to go through the fast food drive-through and grab some food. To prevent that from happening, take some time to research places where you can get healthy snacks. Try these ideas:
- Starbucks: Protein Artisan Snack Plate
- Chick-fil-A: Grilled Market Salad
- Wendy’s: Grilled Chicken Wraps or Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad
- Subway: Veggie Delight Sandwich With Whole Grain Bread
- Jamba Juice: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Dunkin’ Donuts: Egg White Veggie Flatbread
Ask your favorite restaurant what healthy foods they have available. Most restaurants have the nutritional information for their food so you can easily see if something works with your weight loss goals. At most places, you can ask for substitutions as necessary.
Get Creative With Dinner
When you’re on a diet, it can be easy to focus on what you can’t have, but for success, it helps to take a gratitude-based approach. Instead of thinking about the food you can’t have, be grateful that you have the opportunity to try new things. Working on changing your mindset can help a lot. To get creative with dinner, check out some of these ideas:
- Homemade Lentil Soup With a Whole Grain Bread Roll and Olive Oil
- Salmon Sushi With Brown Rice, Carrots, Avocado, and Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Peppers, Red Onion, and Edamame Sauteed in Olive Oil
- Chicken Breast With Diced Vegetables Served With Farro or Quinoa
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Tofu Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread With Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and a Splash of Sriracha
- Lean Steak Wrapped in Lettuce With a Side Salad
- Fish Tacos With Black Bean Salsa
- Arugula and Walnut Salad With Gnocchi
When you’re on a meal plan to lose weight, there are so many foods you can eat, and you can use this opportunity to try new things or explore foods from other cultures. At Evertrain, we believe that weight loss should be healthy (and fun). To help you meet your goals and supplement your diet plan, we offer a variety of quality supplements that are clean and effective. To learn more, contact us directly.
What food do you want to add to your meal plan to lose weight? Share your own diet plan here!
UP NEXT: Meal Prep Basics For Beginners