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Executing a Meal Plan

Executing a Meal Plan

As we are approaching the end of 2021, we are getting closer and closer to the famous New Year’s Resolutions!

One of the most common resolutions year after year is weight loss! While getting a gym membership and becoming more physically active certainly aids in weight loss, nutrition, or what you are consuming daily, is the main component here.

We’ve all heard the saying “80% of abs are made in the kitchen”. Let me tell you a few key pieces of information to help you kick off this goal.

Meal Planning

The term “meal planning” can be used lightly in the sense of just coming up with a week’s worth of dinners, or it could be used more specifically in terms of following a rigid plan on what to eat and when each day.

In the nutrition world, a meal plan is designed specifically for an individual’s needs. Usually, a Registered Dietitian or a Nutritionist will meet with you, ask you some questions about your lifestyle, and take some standard measurements, including height and weight.

Once all of this information is gathered, they will use a formula to determine your daily caloric needs. They will also subtract a certain number of calories from this number to create what is called a deficit, which will yield weight loss.

Some professionals will simply provide you with a caloric intake recommendation for your goals and teach you how to track your daily intake and send you off on your own.

Detailed Meal Plan

Another approach is to provide a “meal plan”. These meal plans are usually extremely detailed and will tell you exactly what to eat and how much.

For those who are advanced or want extremely specific results, the caloric amounts to be consumed will be further broken down into macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) and you will consume a certain amount of each macronutrient to make up the total caloric intake for the day. Either approach is effective, and it is simple expending more calories than you consume.

 

A good start is to aim to consume 500 fewer calories per day than your recommended daily intake, or more scientifically put, your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

For example, if someone’s BMR is 2,200 calories, they should consume no more than 1,700 calories per day if they are trying to lose weight. Consuming 500 calories less than your BMR for 5 days yields about one pound of fat loss per week.

Slow and steady is the way to go here to ensure you aren’t lacking energy or essential nutrients and it is easier to keep this weight off long term.

Consume Balanced Meals and Snacks

Caloric deficits can lead to a slippery slope. The key is to be consuming balanced meals and snacks.

Each meal consumed should consist of all three macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) as each one assists the body with specific processes and needs.

There are very few situations that require extremely low daily caloric consumption. Most people need at least 1,200-1,400 calories per day. You should never be consuming less than this. Your body needs these calories just to stay alive, and even more, if you are an avid exerciser.

If you are looking for someone to help you with your weight loss goals and would like a customized meal plan, consider meeting with a Registered Dietitian or finding a credible nutrition coach!

Let’s reach our goals and aim for a healthier 2022!

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