Choosing to dedicate yourself to a healthy eating program is a huge commitment. Even if you have been been exercising regularly, there is a reason that people say that beach bodies are made in the kitchen.
Exercise alone can’t begin to bring the changes that a healthy diet can.
This four-week plan can guide your food intake and make weight-loss simple. Following the guide as prescribed will bring about the most dramatic changes but everyone is different so using it as a guide to fit your own personal taste and lifestyle will still make a difference.
If takeout has been your go-to recently, this plan is for you! Processed food and high sugar treats do not serve your body well for long. You may not feel hunger for the moment but your body is most likely craving the nutrients that fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein can provide. Planning your diet around these healthy foods can help you to shed fat, leaving you leaner and able to maintain muscle tone.
The best eating plans leave you feeling satisfied. Fiber rich choices fill you up while giving you the energy you need to complete your day to day activities (including workouts).
This four-week program provides you with around 1800 energy supplying calories a day. This should be the sufficient amount to help you lose the flab and feel fit.
One concern with starting any weight-loss program is whether or not there will be enough protein to maintain muscle. If you are just starting a lifting routine, you may see some gains in muscle tone. However, making significant muscle size changes is not the major goal of this program.
The fat loss that you experience with this eating program should be such that your existing muscle tone improves in appearance.
You may notice that consumption of carbohydrates before a workout improves performance. This is because your body needs the energy that those nutrients provide.
Strategically ingesting this fuel(known as glycogen) keeps your body from using up muscle tissue when exercising. You should feel stronger and able to exercise longer and more intensely. This may result in more dramatic weight loss and an overall increase in energy.
Sugar drinks and shakes may give you energy for a moment, but following this plan will help you maintain the energy without the unnecessary sugar rush and following crash.
Four Week Meal Plan Sample
Breakfast: Wake Up Smoothie – combine 24g whey protein, 280ml skimmed milk, 100g strawberries and a banana until smooth
Snack: 115g low-fat yogurt with blueberries and drizzle of honey.
Lunch: Grilled chicken (1 chicken breast about the size of deck of cards) salad sandwich with whole wheat bread.
Snack: 100g low-fat cottage cheese and pineapple.
Dinner: 110g tuna steak with stir-fried broccoli, white mushrooms, fresh cut green beans, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and 1 tsp oil; 70g brown rice.
Snack: 240ml skimmed milk.
Daily total: 1,820 calories, 130g protein, 225g carbs, 33g fat
Breakfast: Smoothie – blend 24g whey protein, 300ml skimmed milk, 100g blueberries and a banana.
Snack: 2 Tbsp hummus with 6 baby carrots, 1/2 red bell pepper cut into strips
Lunch: Tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread; 200ml skimmed milk.
Snack: Mixed nuts, dried cranberries, raisins (no sugar added)
Dinner: 100g chicken, crumbled bacon and avocado (1/2) salad.
Snack: 1 gala apple with 2tbsp natural peanut butter.
Daily total: 1,802 calories, 131g protein, 219g carbs, 37g fat
Breakfast: 42g steel cut or old fashioned oats paired with 280ml skimmed milk and 1/2 tsp honey; 200ml no sugar added apple juice.
Snack: 10 radishes with balsamic vinaigrette.
Lunch: 90g sardines on 1 slice of wholewheat toast.
Snack: 100g low-fat cottage cheese and pineapple.
Dinner: 120g fillet steak with spinach and 2 grilled tomatoes.
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk.
Daily total: 1,821 calories, 135g protein, 222g carbs, 32g fat
Breakfast: 2-egg omelette with sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
Smoothie: 24g whey protein, 1 medium apple, 50g blueberries, 50g blackberries and a banana with water. Blend until smooth.
Lunch: 1 can of tuna with beetroot; 1 low-fat carton of yogurt.
Snack: 240ml skimmed milk.
Dinner: Tuna niçoise salad (100g tuna, mixed green salad leaves, a handful of plum tomatoes, a red bell pepper cut into strips and 4 roasted new potatoes).
Snack: 100g cottage cheese; handful of red or green grapes.
Daily total: 1,835 calories, 136g protein, 229g carbs, 33g fat
Breakfast: 40g oats with 280ml skimmed milk and 1/2 tsp honey; 200ml apple juice.
Snack: 90g mackerel on 1 slice of whole wheat toast.
Lunch: 1 apple; chicken salad sandwich with low fat mayo on whole wheat bread.
Snack: 1 medium banana.
Dinner: 120g barbecue chicken kebab with peppers and 70g brown rice.
Snack: 100g cottage cheese; apple.
Daily total: 1,808 calories, 133g protein, 219g carbs, 34g fat
Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites on 2 slices of whole wheat toast; 1 grapefruit cut in half.
Snack: 140g raw baby carrots and 2 tbsp hummus.
Lunch: Tuna sandwich on wholewheat bread; 1 medium pear.
Snack: Mixed nuts and no sugar added fruit bar.
Dinner: 100g grilled salmon with steamed green beans, asparagus and 70g brown or wild rice.
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp natural peanut butter.
Daily total: 1,828 calories, 133g protein, 224g carbs, 36g fat
Breakfast: Smoothie – blend 24g any flavor whey protein, 280ml skimmed milk, 100g strawberries and a half a banana.
Snack: 1 medium gala apple with 2tbsp natural peanut butter.
Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with 1 slice of bacon; 100g raw baby carrots
Snack: 180ml skimmed milk; 1 apple
Dinner: 125g fillet steak with 1 small baked sweet potato, spinach salad and 1 grilled tomato.
Daily total: 1,840 calories, 140g protein, 228g carbs, 39g fat
You may have noticed that this plan is for one week. The trick is to mix and match meals so that you don’t get bored. If you don’t care for one type of fish, swap it for another choice of lean protein. Same goes with the veggies. As long as you are consuming similar foods, it should not drastically effect your weight loss. Or, if you like to keep it simple, follow the plan as-is for the full four weeks.
Self-sabotaging yourself by substituting nutrient-rich foods with sugar-laden, processed foods will not give you the results you desire. By making good choices on a continual basis, you will form healthy habits that will serve you well in your weight loss goal. This doesn’t mean you can never treat yourself again. After you have established your healthy eating habits, you may wish to introduce a “cheat” meal once in awhile. This may be a special occasion meal out or celebratory treat with your family. As long as you are able to get back on track immediately, this should not derail your success.
Healthy Choice Snacks Between Meals
Choosing healthy snacks can be your saving grace when establishing a weight loss routine. The right snacks satisfy hunger while providing energy to get through the day.
They should be low in sugar and help take the edge off hunger until it is meal time. These delicious choices are perfect for keeping hunger and excess at bay.
Veggies and Hummus
The crisp, satisfying crunch of crudite will keep your stomach from growling and fill nutritional gaps. Try celery, carrots, and peppers dipped in chickpea hummus for a quick, healthy snack.
An Apple a Day
A juicy apple pairs wonderfully with a tablespoon or two of almond, cashew or peanut butter. Pick your favorite consistency but stick with natural, low sugar nut butters.
If a chewy texture is what you are craving, beef or turkey jerky may be helpful in curbing your appetite. Choose recipes with no added sugar.
Packed with protein as well as the “good” bacteria to aid digestion, this yummy yogurt seems like a powerhouse treat.
The avocado is a great choice of fat and flavor. Make your own healthy version by adding chopped tomato, a squirt of lime, a dash or coriander with a mashed ripe avocado. Dip bell pepper strips to keep flavor up and carbs low.
3 Additional Tips to Boost Weight Loss
Tip 1: Reduce your intake of starchy carbs
Carbohydrate rich foods such as rice, pasta, and bread are starchy and can lead to weight gain if you overindulge. Your needs body glycogen to maintain energy and burn fat. However, excess glycogen is stored as fat in the body and can make weight loss difficult. Choose lower carb foods whenever possible.
Tip 2: Avoid relying on vitamin supplements
Food is fuel and you should be able to consume the right amount of vitamins through your diet. You may choose to add supplements to assist you in your fat loss goals, but they are not magical capsules that allow you to “cheat” on your eating plan.
Tip 3: Sugary treats are not your friend
Soda and coffee drinks packed with sweetener will likely leave you unsatisfied and sluggish. Choose water, tea, or other (sugar-free) beverages. If you have a sweet tooth, try eating a piece of fruit instead with the added benefit of fiber.
This weight loss plan keeps it simple and can give you energy to maintain an exercise routine to go along with your healthy eating menu. Follow the tips and tricks to feel and look your best an and keep your weight loss on track. Consistency is most important and results can be significant with fidelity to the plan. If you make a mistake, don’t give up. Double your efforts to make good choices and in four weeks you should be looking and feeling leaner than ever before.
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