Eating well is a big part of any sustainable weight loss journey. While eating too much can lead to excessive weight gain, not eating enough, or not eating the right things in the right quantity can lead to hunger pangs, deficiencies, and demotivation.
What is a good diet plan?
- Make sure that you hit the minimum calorie requirement. For most people, this is about 1200 calories per day, but it can go up or down, depending on your current weight and weight loss goal.
- Make sure that you get all the macronutrients and the micronutrients that your body needs to function normally.
- Make sure that it is filling and does not leave you hungry and craving for food.
- Allows you to lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.
How to plan a good diet?
1: A basis for the diet plan is the number of calories you will be allowed to eat per day, and the breakdown of calorie intake. Calculate this first before you start writing out the diet plan
2: Include supplements like multi-vitamins, calcium etc. when you plan your diet. However, it is important to consult your doctor before taking these. A doctor can guide you well, and make sure that there is no harm in taking the supplements.
3: Cut out sugar from your diet completely. An occasional treat like a dessert or a chocolate is fine if you do not overindulge. However, carbonated drinks and juices with a lot of sugar should be eliminated from the diet.
Sugar is a very simple form of carbohydrate, and one of the first things that get converted and stored in the body as fat, if taken in excessive amounts. Therefore, eliminating it completely from the diet will automatically kickstart your weight loss by not adding any excess weight.
4: Include fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, cereals and healthy fats like nuts and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, as per the macronutrients that your diet will allow you.
5: Plan your meals well in advance. While planning your diet, it is prudent to make grocery shopping lists and collect recipes that you will be using. This planning will help you stick to your goals and diet, without being tempted to give up and load on junk.
6: Include food rich in soluble fibre. It makes you feel full and satisfied and reduces your craving for junk food. Examples include green vegetables, oats, quinoa, millets, lentils etc.
7: Every meal should be a balanced one, and include one source of protein, one fat and one carbohydrate, in addition to being rich in micronutrients.
8: Your diet should be planned in a way such that it allows small meals every 2 hours. This will keep the hunger pangs away and keep the metabolism high, besides eliminating problems like hyper-acidity and gas formation.
9: It is beneficial, though not compulsory, to have days where you would fast with an intake of about 500 calories, mostly through vegetables. This will help in detoxifying the digestive system and increase your metabolic rate.
10: Include spices such as turmeric, chillies, cinnamon, cloves etc. into your diet. The easiest way to do this would be to add them into recipes. Spices boost your metabolic rate and help in cleansing the body.
11: Drink plenty of water. A well-functioning kidney and liver can give a boost to your metabolic rate and help make your diet more effective.
12: Cut down on caffeine to prevent your body from being over-stimulated and avoid stomach issues.