7 DAY DIET: How to Make Your Own Meal Plan

So you’re committed to working out. Whether you just joined our Boot Camp program or you are training on your own – you’re dedicated to getting results. What about your diet? (sound of car skidding to a stop here)

Yes, I said “Diet”. When I speak of diet, I’m not talking about a fad, a quick fix, or a miserable period of time you starve yourself in order to lose weight. I’m referring to managing your calories and nutrition.

Excuses, Excuses
Do you know how many excuses I hear when I ask someone if they know how many calories they eat? First they tell me HOW GREAT they eat. Then they tell me WHAT they eat. Then they tell me how HARD they work in the gym. They’re doing everything they can BUT counting calories – and most people don’t know where to start.

Weight loss isn’t about how healthy you eat, what you eat, or how hard you work in the gym. Although all those things are awesome, weight loss is determined by how many calories you are eating PERIOD. If you aren’t losing weight the way you are eating now, then you are eating too many calories – plain and simple.

How Bad Do You Want It?
Working out is hard, but it’s the easy part when it comes to weight loss. You can’t rely on exercise alone for weight loss. Although exercise is awesome, exercise makes you hungrier so many people just replace the calories burned exercising by eating more – and they don’t even know they’re doing it. It’s similar to getting a raise and ending up just as broke as before. You can’t say where the money went, but it’s gone. Unless you BUDGET those calories, you can’t count on everything just magically balancing out like you want it to.

1 Day Commitment

Give me just one day to journal you regular eating habits. You can’t really know what to fix, if you don’t know what’s wrong. Write down everything you eat normally all day long, without modifying portions or foods. Write down exact measurements, including sauces, dressing, drinks, toppings, vitamins, coffee creamer, etc. Using a calorie counter or google, tally your calories for the day, taking a mental note whether this is truly a normal day or not.

Analyze Your Results:
1. Was was your total calories? (most diets are 1200-1500 calories for women, 1500-1800 for men)

2. Where you are getting most of your calories from (carbs, fats, protein). 
3. How many grams of protein are you getting? Most people are very low in protein.
4. How often did you eat? Eating 5-6 times a day boosts your metabolism.
5. Look for high-calorie mistakes.Was it food choice or portions? 

Getting Started: Your 7 Day Commitment

So you want a meal plan? Of course you do! I’ll give you a meal plan if you will give me 7 days to prove you really want this.  Anyone can count calories for 7 days. Right? Listen, if you TRULY want to get results, you must quit avoiding the inevitable. You may have gotten by with reducing portions, cutting fat, or limiting carbs in the past, but it’s time to take it up a notch. The only way to get guaranteed results is to have accurate information. NOTE: Weigh yourself on an empty stomach on Day 1 and Day 8. Dedicate the next 7 days to managing calories.

10 Quick Start Tips To Calorie Management:
1. Sign up for a free online calorie counter or phone app like LoseIt, MyFitnessPal or FitDay.
2. Before you eat ANYTHING, look it up first. 
3. Aim to keep meals between 300-400 calories each and snacks 100-150 calories.
4. Eat 5-6 snacks and meals per day.
5. Try to get .5 – 1.0 grams of protein per pound of ideal bodyweight a day.*
6. Eat whole foods (meat, vegetables, etc instead of casseroles, etc.) Keep it simple by eating simple.
7. No guessing. Everything must be measured or weighed. We always underestimate portions. 
8. Don’t eat at any restaurant that doesn’t offer nutritional information.
9. Eat prepackaged meals & snacks, if necessary, to simplify things at first.
10. Be honest. If you ate something you shouldn’t have, input it anyway. You need to see it in black & white.

Your New Meal Plans
At the end of your 7-day commitment, look at the days you felt, and ate, your best. Use these days as templates for the next 7 days. YOU just started your own meal plan! (I promised you a meal plan didn’t I? Yes, I’m sneaky like that!) Most of us are creatures of habit and eat the same thing often. Are you ready to do this for another 7 days? The longer you manage your calories, the more meal plans you will have to choose from the easier it will get!

*PROTEIN: If you are working out, a woman who wants to be 130lbs would shoot for 65-130gms a day. I personally prefer to eat 75% to 100% my body weight in protein, which would be 97.5gms to 130gms). Using that formula, a 180lb man would shoot for 135-180gms of protein a day. 

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on January 16, 2012, in Diet & Nutrition Tips, PFOODIE, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Absolute rubbish, this kind of advice is making the problem worse, much worse. Calories have very little to do with it, exercise has even less…Our advice? Eat More and Exercise Less for easy weight loss and optimal health.

  2. I have an almost 17 year old daughter that has recently begun to excersise and make better food choices in order to lose a little weight. (and “get abs” lol )
    Do the same rules apply for her age as far as the protein percentages, or I guess what I need to know is should she be getting 33/33/33?
    Thank you 🙂

  1. Pingback: CARBS: Eat Them or Avoid Them? « pFIT blog

  2. Pingback: Beginner’s Guide to PFITness | pFIT blog

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