Weight loss meal plans

The key to a successful weight loss strategy is to be prepared. Making a commitment to change your eating habits and incorporate exercise into your daily routine is important, but without the proper preparation, you may find that all your commitments quickly turn instead into empty promises. You need to prepare your mind, prepare your exercise routine and prepare your weight loss meal plans in order to be successful.

How Many Calories Do You Need?
It’s not difficult to setup a meal plan that will result in weight loss. The first step is to find out how many calories you need each day in order to support a two pound per week weight loss. In general, a diet between 1200 and 1600 calories will spur weight loss- but you should consult with a physician and make sure this is a healthy range for you.

Be sure to also factor in exercise. Exercise that you do will burn additional calories and allow you to eat more. If you do exercise, be sure to add extra protein to your diet and extra snacks to keep your blood sugar up while exercising.

Allocating Your Calories
Once you’ve determined a safe amount of calories for you to consume and lose weight, it’s time to determine how to allocate them throughout your day. Using a 1500 calorie diet as an example, you might want to allocate 4oo calories toward breakfast, 500 toward lunch, 500 toward dinner and 100 throughout the day for snacks.

Try to put an even amount of calories in each meal throughout the day. If you eat 1,000 calories worth of food for breakfast, you may find yourself too hungry to stick to your diet by dinner time. It is important to leave some calories for snacking throughout the day. Snacking helps you to stay satisfied and keeps you from feeling deprived.

Planning Your Meals
Once you’ve decided how many calories to allot to each meal slot, it’s time to actually start planning your meals. The first step is to write down the things you enjoy eating and determine how many calories are in the recipes as you normally prepare them. You may find that you are able to eat the same meals you usually do, but in smaller portions. Your other option is to change the recipes to reduce the amount of calories in a serving. Make sure that your meal plan includes a variety of meals, ingredients, fruits and vegetables to keep you from getting bored.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the calories in your recipes:

  • When baking, try substituting applesauce for vegetable oil. To do this, use a 1 to 1 ratio. You’ll cut hundreds of calories and a lot of fat from each recipe.
  • Instead of eating chips with your sandwich at lunch, try flavored mini rice cakes. Mini rice cakes have half the calories of a serving of regular potato chips.
  • When marinating meat for dinner, be sure to measure just one serving of marinade. Drenching your chicken, pork or steak in marinade can add hundreds of uncounted calories into your day.
  • Drink 2% milk instead of whole milk. The taste is comparable and you’ll save about 40 calories per 8 ounce serving.
  • Be careful with condiments. Not only do condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard have calories, but they also have salt which can make you retain water.

Once you’ve developed your weight loss meal plan and have eaten from it for a few weeks, you’ll notice the weight falling off. Hopefully, you’ll find that your meal plan is easy to implement, maintain and stick to.

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Last updated on Jan 9th, 2010 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “Weight loss meal plans”

  1. Kate says:

    Some great tips, especially around preparation. Preparing your mind is one of the most important parts of any new diet change. Most people know how to lose weight; it’s putting it into practice that is the tricky part. Many people who are overweight don’t overeat or eat the wrong foods due to hunger or ignorance. They overeat for emotional reasons, such as comfort, protection, habit and boredom. If you’re hungry a good way to check is to ask yourself where you feel that hunger. If the feeling comes from your stomach, go ahead. If it’s above the neck, i.e. in your mouth or head, it’s likely to be emotional hunger – take a moment to check if it’s food you’re after or something else. Good luck!!

  2. Michael Page says:

    Some great tips and ideas. Food prep has always been a tough spot for most dieters. The more simple the foods are that we eat, the easier they are to prepare. Focusing on fruits, veggies, and other naturally grown foods are really what make dieting available for everyone.

    -Michael

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