How to Plan for weight Loss – Part Two
Hi and welcome to Part Two of How to Plan for Weight Loss. In Part One we looked at how to develop your initial goal plan, in part two it is time to learn how to ‘Make Your Own Nutrition Plan.’
Calories, Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein
Before proceeding too much further, I will give a brief overview of the macro-nutrients.
First though, you should understand the meaning of the term Calories…
What is a Calorie?
Putting it simply, calories refer to the ‘measure’ of energy contained within the foods and drinks we consume.
A lot of foods are now recognized by their level, or value rating, on the Glycemic Index (GI), which is an indicator of the metabolic rate of the energy in that particular food.
A high GI signifies a fast burning fuel i.e. 80+ and a GI of -55 relates to foods containing a longer lasting source of energy.
Most food labels now use the term kilo-joules (kj) instead of calories (cal).
To find out how many calories you are consuming, divide total kilo-joules by 4.184
4.184 kj = 1 cal
The equation can be simplified by rounding up to 4.2 which works well for most, depends upon personal requirements around precision.
An example of the relative difference –
1000/4.184 = 239 cal
1000/4.2 = 238 cal
With the surging interest in health and fitness over the last decade, many magazines and other forms of media have flooded our minds with ‘information’ on the now infamous Macro’s.
So, looking at each in turn…
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel choice and are broken down by the body into sugars or ‘glucose’.
High GI foods;
such as white bread, pastries, biscuits and processed cereals are broken down faster and provide a short term spike in our body’s blood sugar and energy needs.
Low GI foods;
such as legumes, brown rice, oats and natural bran’s are broken down over a longer period and provide a longer lasting fuel source for our bodies and help keep blood sugar levels stable.
The three most notable types of fat are:
Each of these fats are broken down and utilized differently by the body.
are notably the most beneficial for our bodies and are more readily used up during physical exercise. These include the Omega-3 oils found in fish and Flax-seed.
are also among the ‘good fats’ – in moderation – and are found in foods such as avocados, seeds/grains and nuts like almonds, cashews and peanuts.
on the other hand, are the ones that are more likely to go into and remain in the fat cells of the body. This isn’t to say, however, that some saturated fats don’t play an important part in our total health plan.
Proteins are the main building blocks for our body tissue and lean muscle mass.
Each gram of protein we consume provides approximately 4 calories of fuel.
Protein sources are found in animal products i.e. meat, eggs, milk, seafood.
Plant proteins are also an excellent source i.e. legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, pulses, fruits, soy.
Vegetarians and vegans are able to get their required essential amino acids on a plant based diet.
Our bodies are reliant on protein for all areas of growth and development.
Along with water, protein is the major molecular structure of every cell in our body. Muscle development, healthy immune system and healthy blood cells along with hair, nails and skin condition are all reliant on protein.
Makes you want to get some, hey?
Make Your Own Nutrition Plan
Okay, now that we know a bit more about the elements that will go into selecting the foods to have in a good nutrition plan, it’s time to start putting it all together.
Eating for Weightloss:
It helps a lot by putting together a list of the healthy lifestyle foods and, for this purpose, especially those that are beneficial in reaching your weight loss goals.
I’ll help you out by listing some here, though it is not an exhaustive list – rather, a good starting point:
Healthy Foods for Weight Loss
- Skinless Chicken Breast
- Lean Beef Mince (5% fat)
- Trimmed Bacon
- Trimmed Steak
- Water-packed Tuna
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- White Beans
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Sweet Potato
- Basically any Green Leafy Vegetable i.e. Kale, Spinach, Sylva Beet, Lettuces etc
- Colorful vegetables such as – Carrots, Capsicum,
- Blue Berries
Nuts, Seeds, Grains and Legumes:
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Brown Rice
- Pearl Barley
- Wholemeal Bread
- Wholemeal Pasta
- Cheese – especially Goat Cheese, Feta, Cottage
- Low-Fat Milk (be wary though as often low-fat dairy products contain sweeteners and ‘bulking’ agents)
- Whole Milk – in moderation
- Natural Greek Yogurt (Avoid ‘Greek style yogurts’)
Other Great Products:
- Hot Peppers (chilli, cayenne)
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate (75%+ Cacao)
- Red Wine
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Organic tofu
Foods to Keep Away from:
- So called ‘Diet’ foods
- Snack Bars
- Most processed and refined foods
- White flour
- All Soda’s including ‘Diet’ or ‘Zero’
- Empty ‘Fast Carb’ Foods
That provides quite a list to get you going, though as I said, certainly not a complete one.
Putting it Together
So…you really want your daily nutrition plan to involve a range of whole-foods and vegetables.
Ideally, each meal should contain a good amount of Protein along with controlled amounts of quality fats and complex (low GI) carbohydrates.
How Many Calories for Weight Loss?
In order to lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories each day than we ‘burn’. You have probably heard the term ‘Calories in verses Calories out’.
The basic consensus for weight loss is:
Women – 1200 Cal per day (3 meals at 300 cal and snacks combining to 300 cal)
Men – 1800 Cal per day (3 meals at 450 cal and snacks combining to 450 cal)
With this said, of course everyone is different and so we need to work out a few things first in order to personalize things.
First, you will need to establish how much weight you want to lose.
If you have been through How to Plan for Weight Loss – Part 1 , you will already have a clearly set out plan incorporating your current weight, goal weight and strategies to get there.
Then, you’ll want to workout your current Body Mass Index (BMI). This gives an indication where your current weight puts you in relation to what is considered the ‘healthy weight range’.
BMI = Weight (kg) divided by (Height (m) x Height (m))
BMI = Weight (lbs)/(Height (in) x Height (in)) x 703
Therefore, if you weigh 75kg and your height is 1.68 m you would calculate your BMI as follows:
BMI = 75 / (1.68 x 1.68)
BMI = 26.8
Basically, a BMI of 18.5 – 25 is considered a healthy weight range. A number above 25 may suggest overweight, while above 30 indicates possible obesity.
The BMI calculation does not take into consideration lean muscle mass and bone density. Therefore, someone who has a good amount of muscle mass may register as obese even though they may not be carrying too much excess body fat.
*Example of a 1200 Calorie/Day Meal Plan*
Smoothie: 100g mixed berries, 1 small egg, ½ med banana, 75g natural Greek yogurt, ½ tbsp honey (278.5 cal)
Morning Tea –
1 tbsp natural peanut butter on celery sticks (124 cal)
Salad: 1 cup baby spinach, 2 x cubes feta cheese, 3 x cherry tomatoes, 4 x stuffed green olives, 2 x rings raw red onion, water-packed Tuna 100g drained, (253 cal)
Afternoon Tea –
½ pink grapefruit, 10 raw almonds (107 cal)
1 cup steamed kale, 1 cup steamed broccoli, ½ cup steamed carrot, 1/3 cup cooked brown rice, 4oz skinless chicken breast (310 cal)
100g low-fat cottage cheese with celery sticks (72 cal)
Before Bed –
Drink: 1 tbsp honey, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, hot water (55.5 cal)
As you can see by the above meal plan, you can incorporate quite a variety of foods and flavors with consistent meals and still bring it in at 1200 calories.
=>Become a Calorie Counter <=
It may appear daunting, and a lot of hassle at first, however almost all foods contain nutrition labels which clearly identify:
- kj/cal per serving
For other foods like fruits and vegetables, there are tools you can use to calculate calories and nutrients.
- Make a list of Healthy Lifestyle foods you like, as well as foods you would like to try.
- Make a list of meals you can create with these foods – use your imagination.
- Plan your meals for the week
- Before shopping – make your list of Healthy Lifestyle foods and Stick to it.
- Avoid the isles you do not need to venture down i.e. chips, soft-drinks, snacks, packaged frozen foods etc.
- Never shop on an empty tummy
- Be proud of yourself when you leave the shops ‘mission completed’
- Have your meals for the day pre-made for convenience
Well…there you go.
It is not hard to make your own nutrition plan. All that is required is the desire to learn and succeed.
Really, it is a process of becoming accountable – to you.
In this article, I have given you a good foundation for understanding the elements of healthy eating. Living a Healthy Lifestyle is all about learning and applying what we learn in order to enjoy a better and longer quality of life.
Please, if you have any questions or relevant information you would like to share, leave a comment in the box below. Alternatively, you may contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
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To move straight on to the next post, Click Here => How to Plan for Weight Loss – Part 3 <= where the fun really starts…this is where we get into creating your own exercise program.
Here’s to a Healthy You!
– Rich Far
Contact : email@example.com
Thank you for reading How to Plan for Weight Loss – Part 2
– Make Your Own Nutrition Plan