Is your diet holding you back from slimming down? If so, click here to learn how to create a simple yet effective meal plan for weight loss.
Losing weight shouldn’t be about skipping meals or being hungry constantly. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
In fact, cutting too many calories may have the opposite effect you’re trying to achieve. Your body might compensate by slowing down your metabolism (how fast it converts food into energy). That might lead to a “rebound” effect after you’ve completed a low-calorie diet, causing you to add the weight back on.
The right approach is to develop a meal plan to delivers all of the nutrition you need, without compromising your calorie-burning ability. Your snacks can be healthier and help you towards your goal. Here are some ideas to lose weight the healthy way – with a proper meal plan for weight loss.
How Many Calories Does a Person Need Daily?
As noted, cutting too many calories isn’t a good strategy when it comes to weight loss meal plans. A moderately active woman requires about 2,000 calories per day, while a moderately active man needs about 2,800. These numbers reflect the number of calories needed daily to maintain your current weight.
If you’re looking to slim down, then a reduction of 500 calories per day will result in a loss of about one pound per week. The rule of thumb is to avoid losing more than two pounds per week. This can be achieved by eating foods that are lower in calories but packed with more nutrients. It can also be achieved by adding the right calorie-burning activities to your exercise regimen.
You will want to consult a doctor or dietician to determine how much weight you should lose (if any) and the healthiest way to approach it.
Curb Your Cravings
One of the biggest challenges to staying on target during a diet is managing your hunger. Consuming sugars and starches (otherwise known as carbohydrates) won’t actually fill you up, but instead, make you crave even more.
The idea is that if you remove the fuel source from carbs, then your body will start to burn fat as an alternative. Carbohydrates are also linked to higher sodium in the body which retains water that can lead to bloating.
Try some of these less sugary and more nutritious food combinations for each meal in your weight loss meal plans:
They say this is the most important meal of the day, and there could be some truth to that, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. Eating a sufficient breakfast can help you feel more satisfied and less likely to overcompensate later in the day.
Suggestion 1: Breakfast foods to try when you’re just starting out include oatmeal with fresh fruit, along with tea and coffee with some non-fat milk if that’s your preference. If you’re still hungry after that, try eating a couple of oranges and even some grilled vegetables or fresh fruit in a corn tortilla. You can also add salsa that’s low in sodium for extra flavor.
Suggestion 2: Try a smoothie made from banana, mango, avocado, and kale along with low-fat yogurt and non-fat milk, along with an apple or some nuts as a snack to hold you over until lunch.
Suggestion 3: If you’re looking specifically limit calorie intake to 1,500 per day, try a breakfast that consists of a slice of wholegrain toast with almond butter, a hard boiled egg, an orange, and a coffee or tea with no additives.
Before your meal plan kicks off, make a pot of veggie soup that contains chopped onions, celery, and carrots. Add in diced tomatoes, garlic and chicken stock.
Suggestion 1: For lunch during the first couple of days, you can indulge in two cups of vegetable soup that you prepared ahead of time.
Suggestion 2: White bean soup with garlic and low-sodium chicken broth is also an option, along with a mixed green salad that contains chopped vegetables or even fruit.
Suggestion 3: For those on a 1500-calorie per day plan, opt for a sandwich made from two slices of whole-grain bread, a couple of ounces of sliced roast beef, and a slice of Swiss cheese.
Suggestion 1: This is an opportunity to mix it up with some lean proteins such as a small portion of baked salmon, along with some sides of steamed broccoli and carrots. It’s also okay to flavor it up a bit by adding some teriyaki or sweet chili sauce.
Suggestion 2: This also has salmon as the main star, but this variation calls for a baked potato with a bit of fat-free sour cream and green onions or chives to flavor. Add a salad that contains a variety of seasonal produce and even some red wine vinegar to give the mix some more kick.
Suggestion 3: Again for those sticking to 1,500 calories, you could try a chicken breast fillet with a bit of salsa in place of the salmon. Pair it with cooked black beans and a whole wheat dinner roll with a tad of butter. This option also allows for a small glass of white wine!
Staying on Track With Your Meal Plan For Weight Loss
Getting past the initial cravings for sweet things might be a bit of an obstacle, but you can easily love the taste of lower-fat and non-sugary foods that deliver everything you need with fewer calories.
By switching out fatty red meats (which have actually been linked to certain types of cancers) for leaner choices like fish and chicken, you can help create a meal plan for weight loss without giving up flavor.
Try variations of the above suggestions for the first seven days, and then maybe let yourself indulge in a “cheater” meal at the end. But don’t stop there; be sure to continue with your meal plan until you reach your target weight loss.
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