The 4 Key Components of a Healthy Meal Plan
Most people admit to feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to developing a healthy meal plan. In fact, I would guess that’s the biggest reason why most people fail when it comes to a diet of any kind. There is no way that you can stick to the diet if it is too hard to follow or too complicated. And that’s where most diets lose you—there’s always a mile-long list of what you can eat and what’s forbidden. Or you have to count calories and carbs, which means you have to jot everything down in a book. Let’s be realistic—none of that is going to happen long-term when you are busy and always on the go.
You should divide your healthy meal plan into four segments If you incorporate each of these four blocks into your daily routine, at every meal and every snack, then you have mastered the Diet Solution Program. Sound too easy to be true? It’s no gimmick—just plain common sense that takes the guesswork out of eating right to lose weight. Here are the four components you should use with every meal:
As you were growing up, I bet your parents told you to “Eat your greens!” As with most of the things our parents tried to teach us, this healthy eating tip is absolutely true. You should incorporate a serving or two of veggies with every meal and every snack.
They will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. They also contain fiber, which will help keep you regular and also helps to keep you feeling satiated between meals.
Remember that foods like corn and peas are actually not vegetables, but legumes and grains. Limit your intake of those, and opt for vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale, celery, and peppers instead.
Did you know that organic coconut oil is actually a healthy fat?
You should absolutely eat fat with every meal, and I am including snacks in this as well. Healthy fats are MUFAs or PUFAs that give your body the kinds of essential fatty acids you need to thrive. Healthy fats can also help you feel satiated between meals, which is what helps you to stay on the straight and narrow with your healthy eating plan, resisting the urge to binge eat. Healthy fats include olive oil, organic butter, coconut oil, raw nuts, nut butters, and avocadoes.
Water should be your go-to beverage of choice while making the healthy eating switch. In fact, you should be drinking water not just with every meal, but between meals as well. The old adage about drinking 8 glasses of water per day is outdated. Instead, you should be aiming for half your body weight in ounces of water per day—more than that if you work out.
Why so much water? Studies show that most Americans are slightly dehydrated. Dehydration can actually register in the brain as hunger rather than thirst. Drinking enough water will keep your brain from telling your body that you feel hungry and keep you from eating more food than you should or need.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a big believer in the power of protein. That’s why it’s an essential building block of a healthy diet and should be included in every meal, even snacks. Protein provides your body with essential amino acids you need for neural and cognitive processes. In addition, it has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar, evening out those highs and lows that can cause you to eat everything in sight.
Not all proteins are created equal, though. I am a fan of whole organic eggs, all-natural cuts of meat, raw nuts, and nut butters. Stay away from fatty sources of protein, meats that contain nitrites or nitrates, and soy products. Those types of proteins can be detrimental to a healthy diet
Building the perfect meal is easy when you follow theDiet Solution Program. Simply build these four nutritional blocks into every meal and snack, and you should begin seeing results in no time at all!
A healthy eating plan triumps over dieting every time when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. Why? Because nutritious eating is a lifestyle change whereas dieting is short-lived. If you’re torn between going on a diet and following a healthy eating plan, here are some reasons to choose the latter.
A Healthy Eating Plan Helps You Learn About Nutrition
Losing weight is not just about looking good in a pair of jeans; it’s also about improving your overall health. Diets that suggest you drink only liquids or eliminate carbohydrates or fats are hogwash. Our bodies are fueled by the nutrients in the foods we eat. Any diet that requires you to eliminate some of the most important foods will ruin your health.
Poor nutritional health contributes to diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and other life altering health conditions. Most of the foods marketed by manufacturers as “healthy” aren’t healthy at all. Nope. Not even a little bit.
If you don’t know what to look for, it’s easy to believe that frozen dinners, nutritional shakes, snack bars and other processed foods are alright to eat. When you opt for a healthy eating plan instead of a “diet,” you learn to make every calorie count by choosing foods that give you the best nutritional bang for your efforts.
Diets are Restrictive, Time Consuming and Confusing
Measuring food, counting calories and reading labels are time-sucks you can do without. Healthy foods are low in calories so there’s no reason to measure (although you still need to eat sensibly), use charts or count calories. Seriously, who has time to do this stuff? I certainly don’t, and I’m guessing you don’t either.
This diet tells you to sip shakes all day. That diet tells you to do away with all fats. Another diet advises you to kick carbs to the curb. And finally, you’re roped into believing that eating frozen diet meals for the rest of your life is A-O-kay. Confusing, right? Unlike a traditional diet, there is nothing restrictive or perplexing about a healthy eating plan.
When you learn which foods are actually good for you, you can use them to create healthier versions of the foods you love. Take for instance the blueberry pancake recipe I sent out in one of my newsletters. Instead of using white flour or pancake mix, the recipe creator used rolled oats and a few other healthy ingredients.
Once you learn how make nutritious meals with the foods that make you weak in the knees, you will never feel restricted in what you can eat.
Can a diet produce long term results? They don’t stick around because they are just not realistic for long-term use. I mean c’mon. How long do you think you’ll be able to adhere to a juice only diet? Even if you do manage to shed a few pounds, more often than not, you’ll gain the weight back.
We won’t even discuss the nutritional deficiencies you may face when you follow diets that prohibit (or severely limit) carbohydrates, fats, and other essential foods. What is more precious than your health? Protect it at all costs. Following a healthy eating plan is the best way to enjoy permanent weight loss results without sacrificing your health.