Next to exercise, following a low-calorie meal plan is essential when trying to lose weight. This is also one of the hardest things for most people because they often don’t do it right, or do it to the extreme, leaving them feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Diet meal plans do not have to be boring or complicated. There are a lot of resources out there with recipes full of satisfying and delicious meals that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
The first step is to create a meal plan that is right for you and the needs of your body. Your low-calorie meal plan should be created in direct relation to the number of calories you burn each day. One pound of weight is equal to 3,500 calories. So a typical low-calorie meal is 500 calories fewer than a person burns on a normal day, leading them to lose 1 pound per week.
The next step in adopting a new diet meal plan is to adopt a portion-control attitude. The plates we eat off these days are way larger than the portions that we should actually be eating. Were you told as a little kid that you couldn’t leave the table until your plate was clean? This attitude has been carried with us through to adult-hood causing us to overeat at most meals because portion sizes have continued to increase. The easiest way to start doing this is to trade your dinner plate in for a salad plate. This will help you immediately start eating smaller portions.
It is also important when following a low-calorie meal plan that you drink plenty of water. Drinking water frequently throughout the day will help curb your appetite and also help you reduce your food intake during mealtime. Your body also needs water and too often people get their water needs from things like soda or sweetened drinks, which are often high in calories and sugar and can sabotage your healthy eating habits very quickly.
Frequent snacking is also something that should be incorporated into your healthy meal plans. Plan for at least two to three snacks each day. Eating snacks throughout the day helps keep your metabolism up, thereby burning more calories throughout the day. It also helps you stay full, preventing you from overeating during meal time. It is important to practice portion control during snack and the best way to do that is to bag your own portions that morning, so when you reach for you snack you already have the correct portion ready, thus you can’t mindlessly eat a whole bag of something – even if it is healthy. Keep your snacks between 100-150 calories each. Almonds are a great snack option because they carry with them a lot of fiber and protein, so you don’t have to eat very many to feel full. Apples are another great option as they are full of fiber.
There are a lot of resources out there that you can use to create your own diet meal plan that will not only help you lose weight, but will help you feel full and satisfied. EatingWell.com has a huge assortment of diet plans divided into different calorie categories, different food types, or for certain time frames. There are so many resources out there, making it much easier to follow a diet plan and helping you prepare a variety of foods so that you don’t get bored and stray from your diet.
You do not have to feel like you are depriving yourself while following a new diet meal plan. You do not have to stick to just one type of diet, but can mix up your recipes and food choices to help bring more variety into your diet. It also important that you allow yourself at least one cheat meal each week. While this may seem contrary to most diet advice, most people have found that when they allow themselves one, controlled cheat meal each week, they are better able to stick to their meal plan in the long run. The trick is to choose one meal to cheat on, instead of full day.
Following a healthy meal plan is a great way to jumpstart a new weight loss program, and a vital way to help keep weight off in the long term. There are so many options and resources available to you now, which makes following a meal plan much easier to do.