To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. No matter how much exercise you get, calories need to be reduced for you to have success. Following a good diet plan is your key to success but how do you design your own low calorie diet plan? Here are 5 steps for customizing your personal low calorie diet plan.
1. Figure your daily calorie consumption to lose weight – Before you begin with a diet, you must first figure out how many calories you will need to lose weight. A good goal to aim for is 1 to 2 pounds per week with no starvation or crash dieting. Design your plan around healthy foods that you like. Most women with inactive lifestyles burn about 2000 calories per day while the average man burns 2500 calories per day. To lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you will need to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 to 700 calories. Caloric intake for women will range between 1200 to 1400 calories. Men should consume between 1600 to 1900 calories per day. This is roughly a 30% to 40% calorie reduction that will burn fat and get the weight off without you feeling deprived.
2. Write down healthy foods that you eat on a regular basis – By seeing on paper the foods that you like to eat, you will have an easier time developing your diet plan. First let’s talk about the foods that you should avoid or greatly reduce. Foods that spike your sugar level will cause your body to secrete excess insulin. Too much insulin makes it difficult for your body to burn fat. Insulin is necessary to convert glucose to energy. Foods that spike sugar level tend to be sugary desserts, starchy foods like white potatoes, white rice and white flour products that include bread, pasta and crackers.
Instead of starchy foods, eat plenty of vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables that are low in sugar and high in nutrients. A lean meat combined with one or two vegetables is ideal. For lunch, you can add vegetables and lean meat to a can of soup to make a low calorie, low fat meal. Beans, whole grain, brown rice, nuts (restrict to 1 serving) are foods you can add to your diet. Avoid fruits that are high in sugar like banana and watermelon and stick to lower sugar fruits such as oranges, tangerines, berries and kiwis.
3. Write down five small meals per day- After reviewing your list of healthy foods you are now ready to write down your diet plan which will consist of five small meals each day. Organize the foods you wrote down in the previous step into an easy to follow diet plan. Keep your meal plan simple with foods that are easy to prepare. Use Tupperware to store foods that you will take to work. Advance planning is the key to successful weight loss. Arrange your diet plan on paper for each day of the week. Start with breakfast and then a small snack several hours later. Include lunch with a mid day snack and then dinner. Now you have five small meals.
4. Buy an inexpensive calorie counter – You will need to know the calorie value of the foods that you placed in your meal plan so you can stay within your calorie limit. A calorie counter book will help you attach a calorie value next to each food that you have chosen in your meal plan.
5. Review your plan for sensibility – Your plan should include five small meals per day with each food item having a calorie value. Now ask yourself, can you live with this and will this plan be easy for you to follow. Most of your preparation should be at home where you can place some of your meals in a Tupperware bowl to carry to work for convenience.
You have just design your own personal diet plan. A plan that includes foods that you like on a schedule that’s familiar. If you followed all five steps, your plan will be within your calorie limitation and sensible to follow. Most people fail at dieting because they have no plan. You will always need to make corrections to your plan to make it better. The more you learn about yourself and your eating habits, the better you can improve your plan.