Balanced Diet Plan For Weight Loss

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Balanced Diet Plan For Weight Loss – A balanced diet is one of the fundamental principles of weight loss and weight management, consistently recommended by nutritionists. This diet features a healthy and varied meal plan, making sure that you get a good mix of nutrients from fruit, vegetables and protein-rich foods such as fish or meat. The important thing to remember when aiming for a balanced diet is that it should be tailored specifically to your needs based on your health, age, gender and personal taste preferences.

Healthy and Balanced Meal Plan Ideas

Why Nutrition is Important for a Healthy and Balanced Diet

A healthy, balanced diet looks different for each person, as nutrition needs vary based on gender, height, weight, activity level, and many more factors. When thinking about what is “healthy” and “balanced” for you, there are many considerations. Think about taste preferences, nutrition needs, cooking ability, medical conditions, budget, and more.

Planning a daily menu isn’t difficult as long as each meal and snack has some protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and a little bit of fat.1 You may want to plan approximately 100 to 250 calories for each snack and 300 to 600 calories per meal; however, you may need more or less depending on your hunger levels and energy needs.

HOW TO MAINTAIN A BALANCED DIET

How to maintain a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is a diet that contains differing kinds of foods in certain quantities and proportions so that the requirement for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and alternative nutrients is adequate and a small provision is reserved for additional nutrients to endure the short length of leanness. In addition, a balanced diet ought to offer bioactive phytochemicals like dietary fiber, antioxidants and nutraceuticals that have positive health advantages. A balanced diet should offer around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins and 20-25% of total calories from fat.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF A BALANCED DIET

  • Healthy eating increases energy, improves the way your body functions, strengthens your immune system and prevents weight gain. The other major benefits are:
  • Meets your nutritional need. A varied, balanced diet provides the nutrients you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
  • Prevent and treat certain diseases. Healthful eating can prevent the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It is also helpful in treating diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Following a special diet can reduce symptoms, and may help you better manage an illness or condition.
  • Feel energetic and manage your weight. A healthy diet will assist you to feel higher, provide you with more energy, and help you fight stress.
  • Food is the mainstay of many social and cultural events. Apart from nutrition properties, it helps facilitate connections between individuals.

HERE ARE SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY EATING

  • The most important rule of healthy eating is not skipping any meal. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate. Normal eating includes 3 major meals and 2 snacks between meals. Also, Never skip breakfast. It is the foremost vital meal of the day.
  • Learn simple ways to prepare food. Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean complicated eating. Keep meal preparation easy, eat more raw foods such as salads, fruits and vegetable juices, and focus on the pleasure of eating healthy food rather than the calories.
  • It is important to stop when you feel full. This will help you maintain your weight to an extent. This also will help you remain alert and feeling your best.
  • Drink lots of water. Keep a bottle of water near you while working, watching TV, etc.
  • Variety of foods should be used in the menu. No single food has all the nutrients.
  • To improve the cereal and pulse protein quality, a minimum ratio of cereal protein to pulse protein should be 4:1. In terms of the grains, it will be eight parts of cereals and one part of pulses.
  • Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Keep a supply of healthy snacks to hand. This will stop you from eating an unhealthy snack when hungry.
  • Remove all visible fat from food before you cook it – take the skin off chicken and trim the white fat off any meat.
  • Limit stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar.
  • Limit the number of times you eat out to once a week. Take your own packed lunch to work.
  • Only eat things you like the taste of – find what works for you and don’t force yourself to eat things just because they’re good for you.

HEALTHY COOKING TIPS

With today’s fast life, cooking a meal in the traditional style is extinct. People mostly opt for eating less healthy fast foods, ready to eat meal packets, etc. To make a healthy meal, the most important thing is to cook it at your home, rather than opting for outside cooked food. Explore healthy ways to add variety to your meals as repetition can cause boredom. Infuse your diet with the excitement and good taste you crave for. Here are a few suggestions for cooking healthily.

Having to choose healthy food does not mean you need to give up on your favorites. Think of how you can turn your favorites into a healthy option. For instance:

  • Decrease the meat and add more vegetables to your dishes.
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of refined flour when you bake.
  • Blot your fried foods to take off the extra oil.
  • Use low-fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise
  • Add cut fruits to your curd, rather than having flavored yogurt
  • Try to skim milk instead of a normal one.
  • Use non-stick cookware to reduce the need for oil to cook.
  • Microwave or steam your vegetables rather than boiling to avoid loss of nutrients.
  • Fats in your foods should be maintained a minimum.
  • Choose lean meats and skim dairy products. Fats are good in the form of nuts, seeds, fish, olives when they are accompanied by other nutrients. Some amount of fats while cooking is good as to help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
  • If you wish to use oil, try cooking sprays or apply oil with a pastry brush. Cook in liquids (such as vegetable stock, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water) instead of oil. Use low-fat yogurt, low-fat soymilk evaporated skim milk or cornstarch as a thickener instead of cream.
  • Choose to scrub the vegetables than peel as there are many nutrients in the skin. When you have to boil the vegetables, retain the vitamin-rich water and use it as a stock in another preparation.
  • Switch to a reduced salt wholemeal or wholegrain bread.
  • For sandwiches, limit your use of spreads high in saturated fat like butter and cream cheese; replace with scrapings of spread or alternative nut spreads or low-fat cheese spreads or avocado. Choose reduced-fat ingredients like low-fat cheese or salad dressing.
  • Add a lot of vegetables to your sandwich to make it healthier.

7-Day Sample Menu

This one-week meal plan was designed for a person who needs about 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day and has no dietary restrictions. Your daily calorie goal may vary. Learn what it is below, then make tweaks to the plan to fit your specific needs. Consider working with a registered dietitian or speaking with a health care provider to assess and plan for your dietary needs more accurately.

Each day includes three meals and three snacks and has a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You’ll also get plenty of fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

It’s OK to swap out similar menu items, but keep cooking methods in mind. Replacing a sirloin steak with grilled chicken is fine, for instance, but replacing it with chicken-fried steak isn’t going to work because of the breading changes the fat, carb and sodium counts—and the calories. Finally, you can adjust your calorie intake by eliminating snacks if you want to lose weight or eating larger snacks if you want to gain weight.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • One grapefruit
  • Two poached eggs (or fried in a non-stick pan)
  • One slice 100% whole wheat toast

Macronutrients: approximately 327 calories, 18 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Snack

  • One banana
  • One cup plain yogurt with one tablespoon honey

Macronutrients: 324 calories, 14 grams protein, 62 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Lunch

  • Six ounces grilled chicken breast
  • Large garden salad (three cups mixed greens with one cup cherry tomatoes, one-quarter avocado, topped with two tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette)

Macronutrients: 396 calories, 41 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup (about 10) baby carrots
  • Three tablespoons hummus
  • One-half piece of pita bread

Macronutrients: 192 calories, 7 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat

Dinner

  • One cup steamed broccoli
  • One cup of brown rice
  • Halibut (four-ounce portion)

Macronutrients: 399 calories, 34 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Snack

  • Two pitted medjool dates
  • One ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 302 calories, 3 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,940 calories, 117 grams protein, 258 grams carbohydrates, 55 grams fat

Note that beverages are not included in this meal plan. Individual fluid needs vary based on age, sex, activity level, and medical history. For optimal hydration, experts generally recommend drinking approximately 11.5 cups of water per day for women and 15.5 cups of water per day for men2. When adding beverages to your meal plan, consider their calorie count. Aim to reduce or eliminate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and opt for water when possible.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • One whole-wheat English muffin with two tablespoons peanut butter
  • One orange

Macronutrients: 391 calories with 14 grams protein, 52 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Snack

  • One 7-ounce container 2% plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries

Macronutrients: 188 calories, 20 grams protein, 19grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Lunch

  • Turkey sandwich (six ounces of turkey breast meat, large tomato slice, green lettuce, 1/4 avocado, and 2 teaspoons honey mustard on two slices of whole wheat bread)

Macronutrients: 540 calories, 59 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup (about 30) grapes

Macronutrients: 100 calories, 1 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fat

Dinner

  • Five-ounce sirloin steak
  • One roasted sweet potato
  • One cup cooked spinach (made with two teaspoons olive oil)
  • One cup green beans

Macronutrients: 612 calories, 48 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup plain popcorn
  • One ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: Approximately 214 calories, 2.9 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,045 calories, 145 grams protein, 188 grams carbohydrates, 85 grams fat

Day 3

Breakfast

  • Overnight Oats (one mashed banana, two tablespoons chia seeds, one half cup oats, one cup almond milk, one teaspoon cinnamon)

Macronutrients: approximately 431 calories with 12 grams protein, 73 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat

Snack

  • One fresh pear
  • One ounce (22) almonds

Macronutrients: 271 calories, 7 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Lunch

  • One slice whole wheat bread
  • One half avocado, mashed
  • One fried egg
  • One medium apple

Macronutrients: 408 calories, 13 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • Three tablespoons hummus
  • One cup baby carrots
  • One cup cherry tomatoes

Macronutrients: 140 calories, 6 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat

Dinner

  • Five-ounce turkey burger
  • One whole wheat english muffin
  • One slice tomato, two leaves lettuce, one slice onion
  • Two tablespoons ketchup

Macronutrients: 531 calories, 43 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup of ice cream
  • One cup fresh raspberries

Macronutrients: 337 calories, 6 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,118 calories, 86 grams protein, 259 grams carbohydrates, 93 grams fat

Day 4

Breakfast

  • Two slices 100% whole wheat toast with two tablespoons peanut butter
  • One banana

Macronutrients: approximately 454 calories with 16 grams protein, 62 grams carbohydrates, and 18 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup grapes
  • One ounce (14) walnuts

Macronutrients: 290 calories, 5 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams fat

Lunch

  • Tuna wrap with one wheat flour tortilla, one-half can water-packed tuna (drained), one tablespoon mayonnaise, lettuce, and sliced tomato
  • One half sliced avocado

Macronutrients: 496 calories, 27 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 132grams fat

Snack

  • One cup cottage cheese (1-percent fat)
  • One half cup blueberries

Macronutrients: 205 calories, 29 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fat

Dinner

  • One and a half cups whole wheat pasta
  • One cup tomato sauce
  • Small garden salad (one cup mixed greens with one half cup cherry tomatoes topped with one tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette)

Macronutrients: 472 calories, 18 grams protein, 91 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Snack

  • One apple


Macronutrients: 95 calories, 0.5 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 0.3 grams fat

Daily Totals: 2,012 calories, 96 grams protein, 255 grams carbohydrates, 80 grams fat

Day 5

Breakfast

  • One whole wheat bagel
  • Three tablespoons cream cheese

Macronutrients: approximately 441 calories with 15 grams protein, 59 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup baby carrots
  • One cup cauliflower pieces
  • Two tablespoons ranch dressing

Macronutrients: 191 calories, 3 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams fat

Lunch

  • Veggie burger
  • Whole grain bun
  • One slice cheddar cheese
  • One sliced apple

Macronutrients: 573 calories, 25 grams protein, 62 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams fat

Snack

  • One banana
  • Two tablespoons peanut butter

Macronutrients: 293 calories, 8 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Dinner

  • Four ounces trout filet
  • One cup steamed green beans
  • One cup brown rice
  • One small garden salad with one tablespoon salad dressing

Macronutrients: 526 calories, 38 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Snack

  • One fresh peach

Macronutrients: 68 calories, 2 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 0.4 grams fat)

Daily Totals: 2,092 calories, 90 grams protein, 249 grams carbohydrates, 88 grams fat

Day 6

Breakfast

  • One (7-ounce) container of 2% Greek yogurt
  • One banana
  • One hard-boiled egg

Macronutrients: approximately 323calories with 27 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, and 9 grams fat

Snack

  • Ten whole wheat pretzel twists
  • Three tablespoons hummus

Macronutrients: 305 calories, 10 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Lunch

  • One whole wheat tortilla
  • Four ounces turkey
  • One slice cheddar cheese
  • One cup mixed greens
  • One tablespoon honey mustard

Macronutrients: 531 calories, 43 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams fat

Snack

  • One-half ounce (11) almonds
  • One fresh peach

Macronutrients: 153 calories, 5 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Dinner

  • Five ounces pork loin
  • Small garden salad with one tablespoon vinaigrette
  • One medium baked sweet potato
  • Five asparagus spears

Macronutrients: 440 calories, 42 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Snack

  • One medium chocolate chip cookie
  • One cup sliced strawberries

Macronutrients: 201 calories, 3 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,952 calories, 130 grams protein, 198 grams carbohydrates, 75 grams fat

Day 7

Breakfast

  • One cup cooked oatmeal
  • One-half cup blueberries
  • One-half cup non-fat milk
  • Two tablespoons almond butter

Macronutrients: 439 calories, 17 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • One (7-ounce) container 2% Greek yogurt
  • One sliced apple

Macronutrients: 241 calories, 20 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Lunch

  • Six-ounce baked chicken breast
  • Large garden salad with tomatoes and onions and two tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • One baked sweet potato

Macronutrients: 708 calories, 45 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 40 grams fat

Snack

  • One cup raw broccoli florets
  • One cup baby carrots
  • Three tablespoons hummus

Macronutrients: 168 calories, 8 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Dinner

  • Four-ounce serving of baked or grilled salmon
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • One cup brown rice

Macronutrients: 468 calories, 31 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Snack

  • One peach

(Macronutrients: 68 calories, 2 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fat)

Daily Totals: 2,093 calories, 124 grams protein, 218 grams carbohydrates, 86 grams fat

How to Meal Plan for a Healthy, Balanced Diet

  • Eating breakfast will help you start your day with plenty of energy. Choose protein and fiber for your breakfast.
  • A mid-morning snack is totally optional. If you eat a larger breakfast, you may not feel hungry until lunchtime. However, if you’re feeling a bit hungry and lunch is still two or three hours away, a light mid-morning snack provide satiety.
  • Lunch is often something you eat at work or school, so it’s a great time to pack a sandwich or leftovers that you can heat and eat. 
  • A mid-afternoon snack is also optional. Prioritize protein, healthy fat, and fiber to keep you going until dinnertime.
  • Dinner can sometimes feel like a feat to cook and prep, but it can be very simple, For an easy trick, mentally divide your plate into four quarters. One-quarter is for your meat or protein source, one-quarter is for a complex carbohydrate, and the last two quarters are for green and colorful vegetables or a green salad.
  • A complex carbohydrate-rich evening snack may help you sleep. Avoid snacking on high sugar items before bedtime.

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