If you’re just starting a weight loss journey, then you already know how important a specific diet plan can be to your success. But putting together a diet can be daunting and confusing — luckily, there are a few basic concepts that can help guide you, and that make it easier to make a daily diet. Here are 7 smart steps (or tips) to making a daily diet.
1. Do the Math
The first step in making a daily diet is to figure out how many calories you need to consume to lose weight. It’s really a simple math problem: if you want to lose weight, the calories you consume have to be less than the calories you burn. To figure out how many calories you ought to be eating, use the free, customizable tools at myplate.gov.
2. Start with the Meals
The next step in making a daily diet is to plan for all of your meals, including the three we’re most familiar with: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s important not to skip any of these meals, and in fact, to actually add two more small meals, currently known as “snacks.”
3. Add Snacks
As I just mentioned, a daily diet ought to include five small meals — breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Including all five of these small meals ensures you’re not hungry throughout the day (which makes you less likely to eat something you shouldn’t) and it keeps your metabolism rocking. Now let’s talk about what you ought to include, and delete, to make a daily diet plan.
4. Try for 5
If those five small meals sound like prime junk food opportunities, think again. Most of those small meals are actually just the right way to sneak in the five servings of fresh fruits and veggies the USDA recommends. Fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, and natural energy-boosting sugars. They make excellent treats and snacks and side-dishes for your bigger meals.
5. Drink up!
Did you know that often when you’re feeling snacky, you’re actually just thirsty? So the next step in making a daily diet is to include your drinks, mostly water. Be sure to sip throughout the day (from your adorable and incredibly hip reusable water bottle), especially in the half-hour before you eat a meal or snack. You’ll be well-hydrated and less likely to over-eat.
6. Count the Other Drinks
A girl can’t live on water alone, so feel free to add other drinks to your diet plan as well. Might I suggest low-fat or skim milk, all-natural mixed fruit juices, and all-natural unsweetened iced tea? They’re low in calories and contain the nutrients that make them much better options that chemical-laden diet soda. The key, of course, is to choose fruit juices and iced teas that do NOT contain added sugars or high fructose corn syrup.
7. Shop for It!
The best diet plan in the world is pure worthless if you don’t actually have the things on hand to make it happen, so the last step in making a daily diet is to shop for it! Make a list, check it twice, then shop for all of the items you’ll need for the week for all five meals, plus drinks. You’ll notice something while you’re shopping, too — all of the items you’ll need are located in the outside edges of the grocery store, while the junk food you have no use for is hidden in the inner aisles. Who knew?
Now that you’ve seen these 7 simple steps for making a diet plan, does it seem less daunting, more do-able? None of these steps is impossible or even difficult, so there’s no excuse for not starting right now, today! Which of these steps might be hardest for you? Or is there another idea, tip, or step you can share? Do tell!
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