There’s an old saying, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is especially true when it comes to dieting. Developing your own personal diet roadmap will not only keep you on track, but help you successfully navigate any bumps along the way.
The first step in shedding the pounds is calculating your daily calorie requirements. Use fitwatch for a quick and free analysis. Simply punch in your weight, height and daily activity levels and voila! This number will serve as your daily calorie target.
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Next, complete a 7 day food diary to determine how many calories you’re consuming per day. This will give you a start-point from which you’ll be able to deduct calories to meet your target.
That’s the hard stuff outta they way. Next, it’s time determine where you’re going to get these calories from. Depending on your current diet, you may need to make a complete overhaul, or simply add in a few changes.
Protein: Things like chicken, fish, whey, nuts, eggs and legumes are your weight loss allies. Aim to get 35% of your daily calories from this food group.
Smart carbs: Wholegrains, legumes & starchy vegetables like carrots, pumpkin and beans are fantastic for satiety and long-lasting energy. Aim to get 25% of your daily calories from this food group.
Good fats: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Aim to get 10% of your daily calories from this food group.
Plants: Mostly non-starchy veggies with a little fruit. Things like strawberries, apples, oranges and tomatoes will satisfy your sweet-tooth while broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus pack a nutrient-packed punch. Aim to get 30% of your daily calories from this food group.
Drink water as your main drink to stay hydrated. Have a glass of water with your meals and on average try to have a glass every 2hrs, or so. Water is kilojoule-free, so feel free to enjoy whenever you feel parched. You can also enjoy tea and coffee, with milk if desired, but without sugar. Veggie-based smoothies make fantastic additions to your daily diet plan to boost your nutrient and plant intake. Soft drinks and juice are out – you don’t need those extra kilojoules.
Finally, we need to be able to monitor your progress in a tangible way. Listening to your body and feelings of wellbeing are great, but they are subjective. A waist measurement and recording your weight on a scale are both quick, easy and reliable. However, it’s important to remember that your weight is not just a measure of body fat changes, it can be affected by fluid retention, when you last ate and changes to your lean muscle mass, so don’t stress over normal fluctuations. As long as you’re seeing gradual, but incremental decreases, you’re good to go.
That just about wraps it up…good luck!