In order to lose weight effectively, you need to combine regular exercise with eating healthy foods. In any diet meal plan, it is important to do the following:
- Drink plenty of water in order to stimulate the metabolism and keep hydrated.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, both during meal times and in between meals when you are feeling peckish or after a workout.
- Treat yourself every week to a meal out or a dessert or a chocolate bar, otherwise it becomes hard to stick to the diet.
The body requires between 1800 to 2500 calories per day to maintain its weight, depending on the person’s age, gender, height, weight and level of fitness. To lose weight at a sensible rate, the average person needs to reduce his calorie intake by about 500 calories (kcal) per day below his current energy requirements.
How much you eat (the size of the portions) will depend on how many calories you need to cut down on, which can be calculated here. You can also use a product called The Portion Place® which helps you to keep within the guideline portions for losing weight. You should check with a dietician before changing any part of your diet, or introducing any new food to your meals.
Below are some ideas for what your meal plans should look like.
Diet Plan 1
Breakfast: Porridge with a little bit of fruit jam to taste
Lunch: Chicken fillet, whole grain brown rice and peas
Snack: Sliced apples sprinkled with some cinnamon
Supper: Whole wheat pasta with lean minced beef with tomatoes and tomato sauce
Diet Plan 2
Breakfast: Muesli with dried fruits and nuts and semi-skimmed milk
Lunch: Steamed salmon and broccoli, with boiled potatoes
Snack: Chopped up cucumber, celery and carrots with a little bit of guacamole or chickpea dip.
Supper: Egg or cheese quiche
Diet Plan 3
Breakfast: Bran flakes with bananas or strawberries or blueberries and semi-skimmed milk
Lunch: Egg and tuna salad with whole grain couscous or bulgar wheat or quinoa
Snack: Mango with a bit of lime juice
Supper: Pea and ham soup, one or two slices of whole wheat or rye bread on the side
Tips for a Healthy Diet
The key to making the diet interesting for you is the way the food is prepared – cooked, seasoned and spiced. Whether you make your own food or you buy it, make sure that that the salt content is minimal. Intake of salt should not exceed 0.035 ounces (6 grams) per day. Swapping fried foods for baked, boiled or steamed is a good way of reducing calories in a meal. Avoid drinks with added sugar. When eating starchy foods like pasta or bread make sure that you buy whole grain instead of processed wheat products.