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Diet planning helps in resolving and preventing several medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, brittle bones, and hypertension. In this article, we would be exploring different types of diet planning along with templates you can use to quickly get started. 

What is a Diet Plan? 

A diet plan is the set of rules that you follow to achieve optimum weight control. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but in general, there are three main components: what foods and drinks you should eat, how much food you need each day, and when you should consume your meals. 

Typically, a diet plan is the first step in losing weight, and it should be paired with other physical activities that help you burn excess calories. More than planning the meals you eat, and when you eat them, a diet plan also includes a schedule for drinking water, eating fruits, and taking any vitamin supplements recommended by your nutritionist.

The best part about having a good diet plan is that it does not require too many calculations because most people already know which foods they should avoid and which ones they should include on their plates. 

Use For Free: Dietary Requirements Template

Importance of a Diet Plan 

There are several reasons why you should embrace a diet plan, even if you're not necessarily overweight. A good diet plan has several benefits that would help you live a healthier life. Let's discuss some of these benefits. 

1. A good diet plan would help you have a balanced intake of nutrients. By eating the proper meals, you can supply your body with the nutrients it needs for a better quality of life. 

2. It reduces body fat while preserving muscle mass.

When you lose weight through exercise alone, you will likely experience loss of lean tissue along with fat. This means that although you may look thinner, you could end up being weaker because you lost more muscle than fat. On the contrary, when you combine an effective diet plan with regular workouts, you'll see less fat gain without sacrificing strength. 

Use For Free: Caloric Calculator For Fat Loss Form Template

3. You won't feel hungry all the time.

When you supply your body with the nutrients it needs in the right quantities; you wouldn't feel hungry all the time. This would help you quit unhealthy habits like eating between meals. 

4. A good diet plan would help you prevent future weight gain. If you can stick to your diet plan, chances are you wouldn't;t need to worry about gaining extra pounds for a long time. 

5. Your health insurance premiums will go down

Eating the proper meals and exercising regularly helps you to maintain a healthier lifestyle. If you keep this up over time, you would have fewer visits to the hospital and pay lower medical bills. 

6. A diet plan helps reduce the risk factors associated with obesity, such as hypertension and diabetes. These conditions often lead to heart attacks and strokes. So, if you manage to stay away from those diseases, you'd save yourself from spending money on expensive medications and treatments. 

7. A good diet plan makes you happier. When you start feeling full after every meal, you tend to enjoy your food more. And since you love your food so much, you'll find it easier to resist junk food temptations like sweets and snacks. 

Try this out: Weight Loss Tracking Form Template

The Principles of Diet Planning 

To get the most out of your diet plan, you must design a practical eating and exercising regimen. It's best to book a consultation with a trained nutritionist or dietician to evaluate your current health habits and draw up a suitable plan you can follow. 

Dieticians often recommend the ABCDMV method for creating a healthy and practical eating regimen. Let's discuss these six(6) principles in detail. 

  • Adequacy (A) 

This means that your diet plan should cut across the six(6) nutrient classes that humans need to live a healthy life and perform activities optimally. The diet plan should contain foods that provide the body with energy and nutrients for optimal growth, repair worn-out body tissues, and overall maintenance. 

If your diet plan lacks one or more of these nutrients, you will experience fatigue, weakness, and your body will become more susceptible to diseases. 

  • Balance (B)

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a balanced diet contains grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products like milk or cheese. This means that every meal in your diet plan should have the proper servings from each of these food categories. 

Try this out: Dietary Assessment Questionnaire Template
  • Calorie Control (C)

More than knowing what you should be eating, the key to a healthy diet plan lies in knowing the quantity of food to consume in every meal served. The truth is if you finish the most nutritious meals in disproportionate amounts, you'd still end up with unhealthy eating habits. 

When deciding on your calorie intake, bear in mind that the amount of energy your body receives from the food needs to match how much bodily fuel you need to carry out your daily activities. If you consume fewer calories than required, it can lead to weaknesses and excessive weight loss. 

  • (Nutritional) Density (D)

In all, your goal should be to get the most amount of nutrients from consuming foods with the least amount of calories. For example, if you can get four out of six essential nutrients from consuming 150 calories, there's no need to opt for food that gives 1,000 calories and only two essential nutrients. 

So, as you plan your diet, take time to budget your calories and nutrients so you can eat less and get more nutrients from each meal. 

  • Moderation (M)

Many people see dieting as a form of punishment because it robs them of their favorite meals. This is far from the truth. You can still build in your favorite snacks, sweets, and candies into your diet plan, albeit in moderate quantities.

Eating these treats occasionally would have little or no effect on your health. So, go ahead and build some "cheat days" when you get to eat your pizza, burgers, and fried chicken into your diet plan. 

Inquire with this:  Food Allergy Form Template
  • Variety (V)

If your diet plan is bland, you will find it more challenging to stick with it. Remember, good nutrition doesn't have to be boring, so go ahead and spice up your diet plan with exciting but nutritious meals. 

Tips for Diet Planning

A good diet plan involves following certain principles. Here are some tips that would make sure you get started on the right foot: 

1. Start small

If you want to change something about your current lifestyle, then you must begin slowly. For example, instead of cutting out entire categories of food at once, try cutting back gradually. Instead of eliminating one or two desserts per week, eliminate just one dessert each month until you've eliminated three desserts.

2. Make changes easy

You don't have to go through an ordeal when making dietary changes. You could replace one snack item with another healthier option. Or you could swap a sugary drink for water. These simple swaps would help you avoid unnecessary stress while also helping you stick to your new eating routine.

3. Keep track of progress

It helps to keep track of your progress by keeping a journal recording everything you eat and drink. By doing so, you'll know exactly which areas of your diet require improvement. track-meal-plan

In addition, this practice would allow you to see whether you're consuming too many carbohydrates or not enough protein.

4. Stay motivated

It's essential to stay motivated throughout your dieting journey. An easy way to motivate yourself is to think about all the benefits you gain from sticking to your diet plan. Think about how great you feel after having eaten well.

Use for Free: Food Feedback Form Template

What is the Difference Between a Diet Plan and an Eating Plan? 

While a diet plan and an eating plan are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing.

An eating plan is simply a breakdown of what you intend to eat throughout the day. Here, you'd find a detailed analysis of your breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus any snacks and drinks. On the other hand, a diet plan contains a set of rules such as what you'll eat and how often you'll exercise to achieve optimum weight control. This means every diet plan incorporates an eating plan. 

Dieting Techniques for Weight Loss

  • The Dash Diet 

Developed by Dr. Barry Sears, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a healthy-eating plan that aims to prevent and/or treat hypertension. It comprises foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, legumes, low-fat dairy products, eggs, olive oil, herbs, spices, and healthy fats.

The Dash Diet includes five phases that last four weeks each. The first phase lasts for seven days, during which you consume only fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread. In the second phase, you can add milk and cheese to your daily menu. Afterward, you may include meat, fish, and egg whites.

Phase 3 allows you to enjoy unlimited amounts of fruit, vegetable juice, and whole-grain pasta. Finally, phase 4 consists of adding red wine, beer, and white rice.

  • The KETO Diet 

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that allows you to lose weight without counting calories. It is based on the belief that our bodies are designed to burn fat rather than carbs. So, people on keto diets reduce the intake of carbohydrate meals and replace them with proteins and fats. 

Keto diets work because it forces your body into burning stored fat instead of sugar.

As a result, you will experience rapid results within just two weeks. Some experts say that switching to keto diets will help you lose more weight in the first three to six months than some other diets. However, if you want to maintain these results, you need to continue following the keto diet indefinitely.

  • The Paleo Diet 

The paleo diet gets its name from foods similar to what paleolithic humans may have eaten about 10,000 years ago. It comprises foods that can be naturally obtained through hunting, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean meat. People who embrace paleo diets have reported improved glucose tolerance, better appetite management, and better blood pressure control. 

  • Intermittent Fasting 

Intermittent fasting involves going without food or drinking water for several hours at a time. During this period, you should drink plenty of fluids like coffee, tea, broth, etc. Something to note here is that intermittent fasting is not just a diet; it's an eating pattern. So, you should aim to change when you eat and not just what you eat. To get the most results, experts recommend intermittent fasting once per week.

Steps for Drawing Up Your Diet Plan 

  1. Determine the number of calories your body needs. Generally, the more active you are, the more calories you need with every meal.
  2. Have a clear idea of what a healthy diet is, and what it should compose of. 
  3. If you are overweight, decide how much weight you want to lose and the timeframe for weight loss
  4. Calculate how many macro-nutrients you need to provide your body with enough energy for its daily tasks. 
  5. Find foods that can supply your body with the nutrients and calories it needs. 
  6. Draw up recipes for your meals. 
  7. Set an eating schedule
  8. Use a food diary to keep track of your diet plan, and make adjustments as needed. 

Examples of Diet Plans

There are lots of different types of diet plans available today. Here is an example from VeryWell Fit

Today's meal plan contains about 2,250 calories, with 55% of those calories coming from carbohydrates, 20% from fat, and 25% from protein. It also has about 34 grams of fiber.

Breakfast

  • One grapefruit
  • Two poached eggs (or fried in a non-stick pan)
  • Two slices of whole-grain toast with one pat of butter each
  • One cup low-fat milk
  • One cup of black coffee or herbal tea

(Macronutrients: Approximately 555 calories with 27 grams protein, 63 grams carbohydrates, and 23 grams fat)

Snack

  • One banana
  • One cup plain yogurt with two tablespoons honey
  • Glass of water

(Macronutrients: 360 calories, 14 grams protein, 78 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat)

Lunch

  • Chicken breast (6-ounce portion), baked or roasted (not breaded or fried)
  • Large garden salad with tomato and onion with one cup croutons, topped with one tablespoon oil and vinegar (or salad dressing)
  • Glass of water 

(Macronutrients: 425 calories, 44 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams of fat)

Snack

  • One cup carrot slices
  • Three tablespoons hummus
  • One-half piece of pita bread
  • A glass of water or herbal tea

(Macronutrients: 157 calories, 6 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat)

Dinner

  • One cup steamed broccoli
  • One cup of brown rice
  • Halibut (four-ounce portion)
  • Small garden salad with one cup spinach leaves, tomato, and onion topped with two tablespoons oil and vinegar or salad dressing
  • One glass of white wine (regular or dealcoholized)
  • Sparkling water with lemon or lime slice

(Macronutrients: 646 calories, 42 grams protein, 77 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat)

Snack

  • One cup blueberries
  • Two tablespoons whipped cream (the real stuff—whip your own or buy in a can)
  • Glass of water

(Macronutrients: Approximately 100 calories, 1 gram protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat)

Free Diet Plan Templates 

Looking to build your diet plan from scratch? Here are a few templates to help you get started on the right foot.

1. Formplus Macros Calories Diet Plan 

Use this template to learn more about the health habits of individuals, to help you draw up a well-fit diet plan.

You can embed this form on your website or share it via email with your patients. 

2. Microsoft Weekly Meal Planner

3. Canva Customizable Meal Planner Menu

4. Livecraft Printable Weekly Meal Planners

5. 101Planners Printable Meal Plan Template

Five (5) Diet Planning Tools 

1. Formplus 

With Formplus, you can create customizable diet plans for individual use or for your patients. As a dietician, you can create a diet plan on Formplus and share it with your patients via email invitation. Formplus has several features like mobile forms, conditional logic, teams and collaboration, that can help you collect data easily. 

2. SuperTracker 

SuperTracker is the United States Department of Agriculture interactive website that helps you to plan, analyze and track your diet including exercises and other physical activities. 

3. Lose It!

Lose It! app allows you to track what you’re eating, connect with other dieters and stay motivated. It integrates with mobile fitness trackers to help you stay updated with your physical routines. 

4. Emeals 

Emeals is a mobile meal planning system that helps you to plan your weekly meals, get healthy recipes, and plan your shopping. You can try this app for free for 14 days. 

5. Lark 

Lark is a mobile app (Apple, Android) that tracks your activity, eating, and sleep data from sensors in your smartphone. The purpose of the app is to drive you to make healthy lifestyle changes. 

Conclusion

Diet planning is key to not just weight loss, but wellbeing and longevity. So if you want to vastly improve your fitness and general health indices, subscribe to diet planning today

Create a Meal Plan with Formplus




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