A nutrition plan can be the best thing you can do for your well-being. It is also not as complicated as some diets might make it seem. The key is to be prepared and stay consistent with what you put into your body every day. Follow these steps for building a nutrition plan and be amazed at how your body will transform.
Define Your Goals
The first step when you are creating a nutrition plan is to define your goals. Deciding where you want to end up is the foundation of getting the body you want and will help you to define your nutrition plan. A plan that allows you to lose weight will look different than the one you employ to pack on some pounds. Have a clear idea of what you want, and that will inform how your nutrition plan will take shape.
See A Dietician
When you are making a big lifestyle change like overhauling the way you eat, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional. In this case, you should see a dietician to get an idea of how to achieve your goals and remain healthy while doing so.
Figure Out Your Caloric Intake
Once you have a goal in mind and have spoken with a dietician, you will then want to take advantage of a caloric intake calculator. Your caloric intake is the key when you are building a nutrition plan. Your target caloric intake depends on your current, weight, and several lifestyle factors, as well as your ultimate goal. If you want to lose weight, you will be consuming fewer calories, and if you want to weight, you will be consuming more.
Clear Out Your Kitchen
You now have an idea of how many calories you need to eat each, which moves us to our next step. Go to your kitchen, and get rid of any unhealthy foods. You are essentially making way for your new lifestyle. However, don’t throw out food that isn’t yours. When you are going on a nutrition plan, you still need to respect the space of others and learn to have self-restraint, or else you won’t learn how to adapt.
Plan Your Meals Out
Now that you need to buy some more food, plan out your meals for the week. Planning is the key to success and should revolve around the calories you need to consume. You also need to make sure you are avoiding empty calories—those with no nutritional calories—at all costs.
Include Plenty of Vegetables
The first thing that should be on your grocery list is plenty of vegetables. It can be tricky to buy greens because they can go bad fast, so cook accordingly. The majority of your plate should be full of vegetables, so stick with green beans, asparagus, baby spinach, and lettuce for salads. The great thing about vegetables is that they are so low in calories and so high in nutrients that you don’t need to be conservative.
Be Smart with Your Carbs
You are getting plenty of nutrients with vegetables, so now you should find out what carbohydrates to eat. Some restrictive diets might tell you to stay away from carbohydrates, but carbs do give you lots of energy. Pasta and white bread may not be the best options, but there are plenty of healthy alternatives. Brown rice, quinoa, oats, apples, sweet potatoes, and more are great carbohydrates that are full of nutrition.
Find Different Sources of Protein
Your meals should also include protein because it will help you build muscle and lose fat, which is important whether you are looking to gain weight or lose it. With protein, a go-to for most people is chicken, but you want to find other options to fit your lifestyle as well, such as fish, eggs, beef, lentils. Protein is also incredibly necessary because it will help you feel fuller, especially if you are in a caloric deficit.
Go to the Grocery Store
When you go to the grocery store, go with a plan, and know what you’re looking for. A good rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter and mostly leave the aisles alone since the perimeter is where most of the nutritious foods will be. This will not only help you find what you need, but it will also make what could be a hectic trip to the grocery store far more efficient.
Find Healthy Beverages
Keep beverages in mind as you shop. The best option by far when sticking to a nutrition plan is to simply drink water, but you might also need some coffee for the mornings. Be wary about what you put in your coffee, and consider tea for some healthy options full of nutritional value.
Cook for Several Meals
After returning home from the grocery store, start to think about when you plan to cook it all. The sooner, the better, since a lot of the foods might go bad quickly. To stick with a nutrition plan, you will want to cook more than one meal at a time to make it more convenient for your future self—heating up leftovers is much easier than cooking every meal fresh. Some nutritional plans might call for to eat more meals than you are used to, so be ready for that ahead of time. Also, be wary of expiration dates, and if you have meat that you don’t plan on cooking for the week, freeze it until the time is right.
Weigh Your Food Out
Once you have plenty of cooked food ready to go, this is where meal prep containers come in handy. The last step for building a nutrition plan is to divide and conquer. Divide up your protein, veggies, and carbs into future meals by using a food scale; this gives you control over portions and ensures that you are getting enough nutrients your body needs for each meal.
It’s also important that you reinforce this nutrition plan with a regular exercise routine, and the best way to do that is with a home gym. If you are in the market for exercise equipment, visit a Precor Home Fitness store near you or check out their selection online.