So you’ve decided you want to lose weight or maybe you want to gain weight but you want to do it in a planned healthy way. What better way than to plan out your meals with a meal plan, but where do you start?
Here’s my top tips.
1. Work Out How Many Calories You Need:
Now if you’ve not been tracking your own diet already you’ll need to be using a calorie calculator to work out a rough idea of what your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is. Here it the calculator I most often use http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html. This calculator also shows what to add / subtract to lose or gain weight. For further help working this out here is a link to an earlier post I wrote on the subject https://www.facebook.com/notes/fit-able-fitness/so-where-do-i-starthow-to-determine-your-daily-calorie-intake/772062519618445. You should now have a calorie figure that is your expected TDEE minus calories to lose the require weight (usually worked out at 500 kcals per day for a 1lb loss – it really isn’t as simple as this but it’s a good starting point). My calories are set at 2530kcals per day.
2. Work Out Your Macros:
For me, our bodies need protein and fats but can live without carbs so I always start with Protein. Using my figures I go 40% protein as I wanted 200g plus of protein in my diet per day and with fats and carbs I’m less fussed so split them equalling 30% each. This is how we then work out our macros weights to use.
Protein: We’ll start with Protein. We take my total calories, 2530, and multiply this by the 0.4 (for 40%), this gives me 1012. I want 1012kcals per day in protein. We then divide 1012 by 4 (the calories in a 1g of protein) = 253g. So my aim is 253g of protein.
Fat: 2530 x 0.3 (as I only want 30%) = 759kcals. 759 / 9 (the calories in 1g of fat) = 84g of fat.
Carbs: 2530 x 0.3 = 759kcals. 759 / 4 (the calories in 1g of carbohydrate) = 190g of carbs.
Now we have the grams of each I require for my diary. Protein 253g, Fat 84g, Carbs 190g. Total 2530kcals.
3. Create Your Meals:
Now it’s a simple case of deciding how many meals you wish to have per day (snacks count as meals!!) and split the above grams between them.
1. Use An App:
Using an app takes all the hard work out of working it all.
I’ve always used http://myfitnesspal.com to workout my meals. It does mean working your own meals out though.
If you’re struggling for ideas try something like https://www.eatthismuch.com/ (use the code: M1CT for a 14 day free trial and if you decide to upgrade your account from the free version you’ll get 25% off) where you can enter what you like / dislike and workout your calories / macros and it will help create a meal plan with full recipes for you.
2. Make it easy:
Too many complicated, albeit it lovely looking meals, and it’s unlikely that you will stick to the meal plan. Quick easy meals that you can throw together quickly or better still have prepared in advance.
As always post any questions and I will do my best to answer them. Check out our other posts here.
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