This process is very simple, and once you have created your first meals, changing or adjusting them in the future will be a breeze!
Using this system you will also create the perfect size portions for effective weight loss every time!
THE FIRST STEP
Your first step when using the meal planner is to choose the amount of meals that you will be eating when you start your program. The best place to start is eating four average size meals per day, every four hours.
Once you get used to eating this way, and see the results this meal frequency produces, you will also continue to use this approach to maintain your ideal weight.
From my experience this is the ultimate balance between frequency and meal size. Very frequent, small size meals are not for everyone, and I do not recommend going down this path.
The most meals that I recommend to consume is five per day, every 3.5 hours. This is for people who have very high daily calorie intakes of 3500 calories or more.
For everyone else, eating four meals per day, is definitely the easiest and most balanced approach, when it comes to losing and maintaining your weight.
In the section on meal frequency I explained why frequent meals are so important for everyone that wants to create and then maintain a lean, healthy body for life!
THE SECOND STEP
Once you have chosen the amount of meals that you will be consuming on a daily basis, your next step is to do your daily maintenance calorie intakecalculations.
Calorie intake is the most important element of weight loss! The reason for this is simple: weight gain is the result of consuming more calories than your body can burn.
So in order to lose unwanted body fat, you have to know how many caloriesyour body can burn during the day to function properly and to make sure that you consume this amount of calories on a daily basis.
By doing this you will be able to maintain your current weight, and even lose weight little by little. The reason for the weight loss will be explained in the next step.
THE THIRD STEP
The next step when using the meal planner, is to take your chosen daily calorie intake calculation and your personal nutrient ratios and using these numbers calculate how many of your daily calories will come from carbohydrates, protein and dietary fat.
One of the most important elements of long term weight loss is to create your daily meals using natural complex carbohydrates and lean protein.
These two nutrients have the highest thermic effect, meaning that 15% to 30% of the calories that come from this food get burned up during the digestion and utilization process.
This means that by consuming this food, there is a calorie deficit that is created, and your body has to make up for this calorie deficit by using your body fat as an energy source.
When you eat this way on a regular basis, you will lose weight. This will happen slowly, but with time this adds up to many pounds of burned unwanted body fat!
CALCULATING DAILY CALORIES AND NUTRIENT RATIOS
In this meal planner example I am using a calorie intake of 2000 calories per day with a 50-30-20 nutrient ratio.
-Carbs…..1000 calories…250 grams…50% of total calories
-Protein….600 calories…150 grams…30% of your total calories
-Fat………400 calories…44,5 grams..20% of your total calories
The next step is to divide these numbers by the amount of meals that you will be eating during the day, which in this example will be four.
-Carbs……250 calories…62.5 grams
-Protein….150 calories…37.5 grams
-Fat………100 calories…11 grams
This means that every one of your meals will be 500 calories, and should have about 63 grams of natural complex carbohydrates, 38 grams of lean protein and 11 grams of good dietary fat.
To calculate your meals you will have to know the values of the food you are choosing.
To find an explanation about how to count calories you can read this section. There you will also find links to sites that have free calorie counters online.
Another option is to acquire a book with food counts, and use it for calculating your daily meals.
The better ones list the calories, protein, fat and carbohydrate values of the most popular food groups.
THE FOURTH STEP
The next major step when using the meal planner is to choose the carbohydrates, protein and dietary fat that you will use to make your meals.
When you start creating your meals, first choose your complex starchy and fibrous carbohydrates from the weight loss food sections that I have created especially for this purpose.
The next step in the meal planner is to choose a fruit (simple carbohydrate) if you like eating them. The best time to eat fruits is in the morning, so that the complex carbs, protein and dietary fat, slow down the absorption of the glucose into your bloodtream.
After this choose your lean protein from the weight loss food list. You can also use low fat and non fat dairy products as your protein source.
But make sure to calculate the grams of carbohydrates and dietary fat in these foods.
Your last step will be to add some good dietary fat to your menu. The best way to do this is to calculate the dietary fat in your first three meals and if there is not enough, than add more in your fourth meal to meet your requirements.
Consuming salmon three times per week is also a really good idea, since it provides plenty of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
Another option is to use flaxseed oil, which has the highest amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
Most people are not getting enough of the omega-3 Essential fatty acids on a daily, and are overconsuming the omega-6 essential fatty acids, so flaxseed oil and fish like salmon can help you balance out your EFA ratios.
WEIGHING AND MEASURING YOUR FOOD
Weighing and measuring everything using a weight scale and measuring cups, is a must for your meal planner portions to be exact.
Some food is simple to count since it comes with the serving weight on the package.
Some simple advice on measuring are, rice and pastas are measured after cooking. Oatmeal and cereals are measured dry and uncooked.
Weighing your meats before cooking is also a good idea, since the fluids leak out during cooking, resulting in a lighter cooked weight.
Make sure every meal that you create is very close to the planned calorie amount in your chart.
Consuming more calories than you should, will always compromise your results–when they are added up over weeks and months!
Once you are good at using the meal planner, all of your future menus will be easy to make!
The measuring and weighing is very important, especially in the beginning of your program. With time you will learn to make the perfect portions just by looking at them.