It is impossible for you to attain goals without having a plan. Just saying that you want to make healthier eating choices is usually not enough to change your diet. Writing out a diet and wellness plan can help you stick to your determination to make healthier food choices.
Start by Analyzing Your Current Diet Versus Your Goals
To know where you are going, know where you are. Take a couple of days and write down everything that you eat and drink.
Take this information and compare it to what your diet goals are. For example, if one of your health goals is to lose weight, compare your average calorie intake with the number of calories you should consume to lose weight.
When evaluating your goals, you want to look at them long-term and short-term. Long-term goals could include:
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Lowering your cholesterol
- Attaining a healthy weight for your body type
Short-term goals to help you attain long-term goals could include:
- Replacing whole milk with skim milk or soy milk
- Reduce eating fast food to just once a week
- Only eat red meat two or three times a week
You may change your habits by setting and sticking to goals. Don’t change your diet overnight. Try making small changes gradually.
Create a Plan Based on Your Macro Levels and Special Needs
Macro-nutrients are food categories you need to create energy and engage in basic human functions. The three categories of macro-nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. When you learn how to calculate your macros, you will see the amount of energy you are consuming and will be able to compared that with the amount of energy you need to burn off. If you consume less energy than you burn, you will lose weight.
Many people have dietary restrictions because of allergies or an intolerance. If this is true in your case, having a nutrition plan takes on even greater urgency. For example, a gluten-free diet means excluding foods that contain the gluten protein.
On a gluten-free diet, you must avoid cereals, baked goods, certain sauces, and bread. You will need to plan how to build your diet around fruits and vegetables, non-gluten grains, eggs, meat, and fish. The extra work is worth it as it will prevent you from battling with bloating, fatigue, gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
Pre-Made Meals for Nutrition Planning
You may desperately want to plan out your meals but just do not have the time. Do not despair. There are many companies out there that will deliver pre-made meals based on your dietary needs.
These meals include quality ingredients, including tender meats, vegetables, and fruit. The benefit of using these services is that there’s no cooking or cleanup. You know that every meal you eat has been prepared to meet your dietary needs.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Writing what you eat is like having a weeks’ worth of food laid out in front of you. It starts with your grocery list. After examining your dietary needs, limit yourself to buying only the items that work with your nutrition plan.
Manually write everything you eat. There are apps, like Fitness Pal, that are designed to track your intake. The great thing about using these apps is that they automate the process. If you are eating certain meals every day, you can automatically input the entire meal as opposed to recording things item per item. These apps will also monitor your exercise, especially if they are linked to a smart watch or a fitness tracker.
If you do not write down your dietary plan, you don’t have a plan. You have an idea or a dream. However, by tracking the food you eat, portion sizes, and other notes about your exercise and frame of mind, you increase the chances of being able to successfully meet your fitness goals.