Whether it’s January or July, individuals can change their diet and exercise plan. If you do not already have an effective diet plan, now is the time to make one. Creating both proves key to success. Simply changing one’s diet won’t help, just as simply exercising won’t change things.
Individuals must combine a healthier, sensible effective diet with exercise to improve their health, change their body, lose weight, or add muscle.
Also, all diets are not created equal, and individuals need a plan customized for their current weight and height.
One person’s necessary, healthy daily caloric intake varies from the next, which means the breakdown of needed fat, protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients also vary.
5 Steps to Develop Effective Diet
Follow these steps to create an effective diet and exercise plan that works for you.
1. Define the Goal
Define the goal first. Would you like to lose fat, build muscle, lower cholesterol levels, just feel better? Each item requires a different diet plan.
This goal may change over time, which means you will need to change your plan when or if this happens.
A doctor may have told you to regulate your blood sugar for health reasons. This too requires a different diet. Your goal determines what type of exercise plan you’ll need as well.
You may even have a combined goal. Perhaps you’d like to lose weight and build muscle simultaneously. This goal is done in stages: first losing weight and then building muscle.
2. Include Exercise in The Plan
Yes, exercise must be included in an effective diet plan. Muscle building requires weight-bearing exercise, such as weight lifting, and toning requires a choice like isometrics or aerobics.
Overall weight loss needs an overall body and cardiovascular exercise like walking or running. Individuals can also use an option like tennis or squash that integrates upper body movements with running and jumping.
Simply choose an active form of exercise or sport and participate in it five to seven times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes each day.
Individuals who pick walking or running should buy a pedometer or download a pedometer app to track their daily steps and distance traveled.
3. Incorporate Favorite Foods
Individuals should incorporate their favorite foods into their new eating plan. The idea is not to cut out the foods they love the most, but to devise a way to eat them in moderation for a sustainable long-term diet.
Building in these favorite foods or comparable substitutes here and there helps individuals stick to the diet. Even if an individual had to switch to a diabetic diet, for instance, they would still be able to consume sugar-free candy in moderation.
Some brands make sugar-free versions of both hard candies and chocolate, so individuals really do not have to give anything up taste-wise.
Including favorites on a daily basis may require re-making the recipe to contain less fat or carbohydrates or more protein. It could also mean adjusting portion size.
4. Keep Moderation in Mind
Individuals can keep moderation in mind by learning appropriate portion sizes and adhering to them. For example, a single serving of lean meat or fish equals three to four ounces.
Most individuals are accustomed to the ten-ounce steaks on the menu at restaurants, but that’s two and a half times the amount they should eat at a meal. On the other hand, a serving of fresh fruit equals a whole cup, not the slice or two of apple individuals might snack on.
This means individuals can and should eat the whole banana or apple. However, dried fruit differs, as one serving of it is half a cup. A serving of vegetables means a cup, not a smattering. If its green and leafy, individuals can eat it to their heart’s content.
A single slice of bread or a half cup of cooked beans, corn kernels, pasta, peas, quinoa, or rice is one serving. An individual can eat three larger meals or five smaller meals or some other combination, but these need to equal the caloric intake for the individual’s intended goal.
5. Keep the Menu Balanced
It’s important for individuals to keep their menu balanced by including each of the food groups. Avoid diets that suggest eliminating any food group in its entirety.
Everyone needs protein, fats, and carbohydrates in their diet to some extent. It’s the specific choices and amounts of each that matter. Individuals should choose lean meat, nuts, and fish for protein, or tofu if they are vegetarian. Fats need to be healthy fats, such as olive oil or avocados in moderation.
Of course, it’s crucial to not forget the most vital component most dieters do: water. It should, frankly, be its own food group. An individual needs at least eight glasses or eight ounces of water per day.
This might seem like a lot, but if even drinking one glass with each meal and snack, it gets quite easy to do.
When working out, individuals should consider drinking the equivalent of two glasses of water (or more depending on the workout intensity).