Custom diet plan to lose weight is a great solution for those who are looking to follow a strict diet, but it could be quite challenging for beginners. This is why we’ve decided to create this guide that will help you construct your own custom diet plan, regardless of your goal weight or body composition.
The healthiest diet is one that’s catered to your specific goals, lifestyle and eating habits. Make sure you’re losing weight fast with a diet that works for your specific needs.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CUSTOM WEIGHT LOSS MEAL PLANS
In the United States, a survey shows that 51% of Americans want to lose weight with exercise and changes to their diets. However, many people do not realize that dieting is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Because everyone has a different body, it is important that we learn how to create customized diet plans that work best for our own bodies.
Do you want to learn more about creating custom weight loss meal plans that will give you sustained energy throughout your daily activities? Keep reading this article to learn how you can create your own weight loss plan.
Avoid Calorie Counting
One of the first things that you should keep in mind when you are creating a custom diet plan for yourself is to avoid calorie counting. While this practice may provide more structure for your diet, it can also result in incomplete nutrition.
Instead of focusing on fueling your body with the important vitamins and minerals it needs, you may be eating low-calorie foods that have little nutritional value.
Calorie counting can also lead to restrictive dieting and unhealthy dieting behaviors.
Find Nutrient-Dense Foods
Something else that you always need to include in your diet plans is nutrient-dense foods. These are the foods that will give you your daily intake of vitamins and minerals and include fruits, vegetables, and more.
Some of the best nutrient-dense foods include spinach, eggs, nuts, greek yogurt, and even salmon. Eating these foods regularly, whether included in your meals or as snacks, will ensure that you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy!
Stick to an Eating Schedule
When people diet, they mainly focus on what they eat.
However, it is just as important to focus on when you eat as well. In fact, most people do not do well on only 3 meals a day. Instead, it is best to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism engaged throughout the entire day. These can include snacks, meals, and more.
It is also important that you eat a high-protein breakfast. Skipping breakfast may actually lead to weight gain and it can slow your metabolism down.
Finally, make sure you eat a filling dinner. By doing this, you will prevent yourself from snacking at night. Eating late meals or late-night snacks is especially bad for weight loss.
In fact, studies have shown that eating late at night may lead your body to store those calories as fat. When you eat during the late afternoon, you will be able to burn those calories as energy instead.
Find a Meal Prep Method That Fits Your Routine
When people struggle with meal prep and meal planning, it is often because they do not have a good routine. They may feel like they need to make all of their meals at the beginning of their week and stick to other people’s schedules.
However, when you find a meal prep method that fits your routine, it will make it much easier. For example, you may find it easier to make each of your meals the night before you want to eat them, rather than cooking it in one big batch.
Another way that you can make meal prep easier is by always grocery shopping with a list. Think of the recipes that you want to make for the week and only buy what you need for those recipes.
Eat Foods You Actually Like
Most people think of dieting as eating only fruits and vegetables. When you don’t like many vegetables, it can make dieting frustrating and even more difficult. One way to make your custom diet plan even better is to eat food that you actually like.
Make a list of the nutrient-dense foods that you like and try to incorporate them into your meals throughout the week. Then, you can try out new foods as well without forcing yourself to eat meals that you hate.
Variety Is Best
When meal planning, variety is always best. When you do not have enough recipes to cycle through, you will likely get tired of your diet plan and may quit prematurely.
Instead, have a list of several healthy recipes that you can choose from each night. Rather than eating the same meal every day, you can find easy ways to switch it up and make your meals more unique.
It is also important that you don’t cut out certain food groups. When you restrict your diet in this way, it can make it easier to binge on these foods later. One thing you can do is have everything you want in moderation.
Dessert isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By eating small amounts of it to satisfy your cravings, you will be less likely to create bad eating habits.s
Remember to Plan For Snacks
Finally, it is vital that you plan for snacks as well, not just your meals. If you find that you are always wanting to snack throughout the day, it can be easy to eat something quick and easy. However, these things typically do not provide the best nutrients.
Instead, you can plan ahead for the snacks that you will eat every day and even schedule times to eat them. You can include different types of nuts, sliced fruit, protein bars, and more.
By having these prepared, you will be less likely to choose the less healthy alternatives for snacking.
Learn More About Weight Loss Meal Plans and Fitness
Fitness is a very personalized journey, whether you are trying to lose weight or simply trying to feel healthier. Because of this, it is important to realize that not all dieting plans will work the same. By creating customized weight loss meal plans, you can find the best ways to fuel your unique body.
How to Build a Meal Plan Based on Your Weight Goals
Meal plans are essential to any healthy diet, although sometimes it can be hard to know just how to plan balanced meals every day. But don’t worry, we’ve got you.
Herbalife Nutrition dietitians have created easy and effective meal plans that have built-in calorie counts and additional tools to help you plan your meals. They are designed to provide you with the protein your body needs every day to function at its best.
Just follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Meal Plan Selection Tool
No two people are alike, and everyone’s protein and calorie needs vary. So how do you know which meal plan is right for you? Start with the Meal Plan Selection Tool. The charts will help you determine the suggested meal plan for you, and your plan is designed to match your individual needs for protein and calories.
The Meal Plan Selection Tool will guide you to the recommended Meal Plan A, B, C or D, based on your gender, weight and height
Step 2: Meal Plans A, B, C and D
Each meal plan has three options:
- Daily nutrition (or weight maintenance)
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Choose the option within the plan that best suits your personal goals. You can download the Meal Plan Chart here.
The Meal Plan Chart shows you what a typical day will look like, with recommended meals, snacks and shakes to choose from each day. Meal Plans are created by choosing items from the following categories:
- Balanced Meals (25 grams protein, 400 calories or 40 grams protein, 600 calories)
- Protein Snacks (10-30 grams protein, 150-300 calories)
- Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shakes (20-30 g protein, 250-300 calories)
Daily Nutrition (Weight Maintenance)
When coupled with an appropriate exercise program, this option replaces one meal per day (typically breakfast) with a shake.
This option promotes weight and fat loss when coupled with an appropriate exercise program and replaces two meals per day (typically lunch and dinner) with a shake.
Using this option, get more protein and calories by supplementing a healthy diet with up to three Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 shakes per day. When coupled with an appropriate exercise program, gain healthy weight (as lean body mass).
Step 3: Meal Builder Tool
The Meal Builder tool is a simple, step-by-step approach to putting together healthy meals. Meals are made up of foods from five categories: Protein, Vegetables, Healthy Carbohydrates, Healthy Fats, and Seasonings.
Depending on your Meal Plan, you will create meals that have either approximately 25 grams of protein and 400 calories, or 40 grams of protein and 600 calories. Using the Meal Builder, you can select the exact foods you need to create your healthy, balanced meals.
- There are two Meal Builders: one that incorporates meat and one that is vegetarian. Choose the meal builder that works for you.
- Choose the column that corresponds to the meal you are going to build (25 grams of protein and 400 calories, or 40 grams of protein and 600 calories)
- Select the amounts of food that are listed in each food group and combine items in a variety of ways to create healthy, balanced meals.
An Example Meal Plan: 1500 Calories
If you’re looking for inspiration, here is an example of a 1500 Calorie Weight Loss Plan (Plan C, Weight Loss option).
The meal plan calls for the following:
- Breakfast: Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake (about 30g Protein, 300 calories)
- Mid-morning Snack: about 10g Protein, 150 Calories
- Lunch: Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake (about 30g Protein, 300 calories)
- Mid-afternoon Snack: about 10g Protein, 150 Calories
- Dinner: about 40g Protein, 600 Calories
Using the tools to help you plan, here is what a typical day might look like:
Breakfast: Green Dream Kiwi Protein Shake
2 scoops Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake Mix, French Vanilla
2 scoops Herbalife Nutrition Protein Drink Mix, Vanilla
1 cup water
1 ripe kiwifruit, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 handful baby spinach leaves
½ cup mango chunks
4-6 fresh mint leaves or ½ tsp dried mint
3-5 ice cubes
Combine ingredients in a blender and mix well.
Protein: 27 grams
Mid-Morning Snack: Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bar Deluxe, Citrus Lemon
Lunch: Banana Bonbon Chiller Protein Shake
2 scoops Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake Mix, Dutch Chocolate
2 tbsp Herbalife Nutrition Personalized Protein Powder
1 cup non-fat milk
3-5 ice cubes
Combine ingredients in a blender and mix well.
Mid-Afternoon Snack: (See alternative snack ideas)
2 ounces sliced turkey breast
4 medium-sized whole grain crackers
Protein: 18 grams
Dinner (Non-Vegetarian): Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
5 ounces grilled chicken breast (Protein)
2 cups grilled onions and peppers (Cooked Vegetable)
½ cup black beans (Healthy Carbohydrate)
½ small avocado (Healthy Fat)
Prepared salsa (Seasoning)
mixed greens, any amount (Raw Vegetable)
2 corn tortillas (Healthy Carbohydrate)
Toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl and enjoy!
Calories: about 600
6 Steps to Creating a Customized Diet Plan for Weight Loss
Achieving meaningful and long-lasting weight loss requires a thoughtful eating plan. Your body needs the right balance of nutrition and calories for sustained energy through workouts and daily activities. Maintaining that balance is the key to losing fat and keeping it off over time.
A successful diet plan for weight loss combines the vitamins and minerals your body needs to build muscle and maintain energy in one convenient and delicious menu. Follow these steps to design a diet plan for weight loss that’s specifically structured to support your lifestyle, goals, and habits.
STEP ONE: AVOID CALORIE COUNTING DIET PLANS
Typical diet plans set a daily calorie goal. Dieters are expected to keep their consumption within a certain range each day with meals that contain all the vital nutrients their bodies need to thrive. However, this foundational belief sets many dieters up for failure before they even begin. We recommend a vastly different approach to calorie counting.
Why is a daily count the wrong way to approach nutritional intake?
- Every food has a different calorie content. Unless you eat almost the same thing every day, it gets difficult to keep track of how much you’re consuming without laborious tracking.
- From spending time out with friends to going on vacation, there are a number of times when dieters simply can’t maintain a strict daily count without sacrificing enjoyment of social situations.
- To short-circuit temptation, many diet plans call for a “cheat day” that allows the dieter to eat whatever they want without counting the calories. It is possible to stick to a daily restrictive calorie count and still not lose weight due to overindulging one day a week.
- Daily calorie counts tend to encourage undereating. Dieters try to stay under their limits to preserve caloric deficits. Over time, too many missed calories negatively impact weight loss efforts.
Instead of setting yourself to a set number of calories per day, we recommend you develop a diet plan that covers your nutritional necessities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This approach is exceptionally helpful in a weight loss program as it helps with your energy levels, is less restrictive, and allows you the freedom to enjoy what you want but in moderation. Determining your nutritional needs is different for every person based on their age, weight, activity levels, and other medical needs. Setting these nutritional goals or guidelines gives you the flexibility to eat a variety of different foods to reach your weight loss goals. These nutritional goals focus on your intake levels of: protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Keeping these key factors balanced for what your body needs is a more successful approach for weight loss than calories counting.
STEP TWO: CALCULATE YOUR MACROS
Dieting isn’t just about how much you eat. You also need to ensure that you’re giving your body what it needs to grow muscle, melt fat, and keep your energy high. Macronutrients are the basic building blocks your body uses to accomplish these tasks. These fundamental nutrients also represent the bulk of your caloric intake. The three main categories for macros are:
- Carbohydrates. Simple and complex sugar chains break down in the body to provide fuel for muscles.
- Fats. Excess calories are stored in fat cells to provide emergency energy when fast-burning carbs aren’t available. Fat is an essential element in many hormonal and brain functions as well.
- Proteins. These powerhouse macros provide sustainable energy and material used to repair and grow tissues throughout the body.
Balancing these macronutrients gives you the best chance of building the body you want without feeling deprived or exhausted. The general rule of thumb suggests that you divide your calorie intake into 35% healthy fat, 40% protein, and 25% carbohydrates. For a more personalized ratio, use an online calculator to determine your best mix.
STEP THREE: FIND FOODS THAT FIT
Once you know how much you need to eat, spend some time finding foods that fit into your new lifestyle. An effective diet plan for weight loss must include foods that you’ll actually eat. If you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to your plan.
However, it’s also important to put some effort into trying new menu options. Many dieters come to weight loss programs because of a limited diet that is high in empty calories. Adding more nutritional options to your daily menu is an essential step to creating a long-term eating plan.
Start by making a list of the foods and ingredients that you love the most. Once your diet begins, aim to add one or two new fruits, vegetables, or grain selections each week to your list. It’s helpful to also include data on the macronutrient content of each item, as this will help you decide how much of each of these ingredients you can enjoy in each meal.
STEP FOUR: STOCK UP ON RECIPES
Now that you know what you can eat, start collecting a variety of recipes that feature your listed foods. Pay attention to preparation instructions. The way you cook your food has a big effect on macronutrient content.
A large recipe selection is important in your diet plan for weight loss because it keeps you from getting bored. Losing interest in daily menus is the main reason many dieters don’t reach their goals. Variety ensures that you’ll always look forward to your next serving. An online recipe book is a great way to store your recipes.
With enough research, you can tailor your recipe collection to fit your preferences. Are you a lover of sweetbreads and pastries? Find low-calorie versions of your favorite baked goods. Are sauces a necessary part of your daily dining experience? Look for homemade versions of your most frequently used condiments. Does the idea of giving up fried foods make you nervous? Look for recipes that use your oven to simulate the crunchiness you crave without the additional fat content.
For those who live life on-the-go, compile a list of your most frequented restaurants. Ask the staff for nutritional information on their menu items. Use that data to create a list of selections that fit within your dietary budget.
STEP FIVE: SET AN EATING SCHEDULE
When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Our bodies go through cycles each day that affect our ability to metabolize stomach contents. Also, existing medical conditions or differences in body functions can change the way you process meals.
For many, a diet plan for weight loss that follows the traditional 3 meals a day paradigm doesn’t work. This is especially true for those who are aggressively cutting back their daily calorie intake. Try spacing your meals and snacks roughly 3 hours apart. This keeps you from getting too hungry and running for unhealthy options to fill your belly. Here are some other guidelines to help you build the perfect diet plan for weight loss.
- Eat a filling dinner to avoid late night snacking.
- Consume a high-protein breakfast within an hour of waking up.
- Stick to your scheduled meal plan.
If you have diabetes or other glucose conditions that are impacted by your eating habits, see your doctor for help building a schedule that helps maintain the proper blood sugar levels.
STEP SIX: TRACK, ANALYZE, AND ADJUST
Use a food diary to keep track of your meal plan. This creates a record that allows you to revisit your eating habits and analyze the effectiveness of your plan. Make adjustments when needed to keep yourself on track to your goal weight. Don’t be afraid to change things up if a certain dietary plan isn’t providing the desired results.