Many people feel that following calorie count and putting together a day-to-day menu can be difficult. It really is not. Once you have calculated your calories, meal planning can be easy.
Take your percentage of macronutrients and total calories and do a percentage breakdown for your own use. Most calculations are based on a 2000 calorie recommendation, even though these may vary, depending on your age, sex, and physical activity level. Your total calories are probably less, as with an athlete with high calorie expenditures.
Tips for easy menu set-up:
Try to create small but frequent meals that work with your schedule. Most of us would do better with more frequent meals. Include snacks in this mix, but small nutritious snacks that are in the range of 200 calories, while meals are usually 300 calories or more.
From here, you can arrange your meals to be in the right portions for you, for example, more protein and fewer carbohydrates. But, stick with it. The person that maintains their weight for years, is the person that eats the same amount of food all of the time in the same proportions. For weight loss, just drop the calories of unnecessary/unhealthy items.
Other things to remember…
- Make half of your grains whole
- Vary your veggies
- Focus on your fruits
- Consume calcium-rich foods
- Go lean with the protein
With all dietary solutions, just remember that it must be perfect for YOU (not someone else) to use now and in the future.
Nothing short term will work. And please, avoid something you have cut out of a magazine that someone else has put together. Your own choices will be the best for you, as menu choices are highly personal.
For further assistance on your calorie calculations and menu selections, please contact me directly or just leave a comment!Schedule a Nutrition Consultation
By Rita Larsen, RDN; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor