A Guide To Designing Your Own Diet Plan

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Happy Now! I have saved you your thousands that you had to spend on a nutritionist’s appointment. Hahaha! Now snap back into reality, don’t start imagining yourself as the Americas next top model just yet. If you were to learn all about diet in just one article, everyone would have been a nutritionist. This article might seem like a nutritionist’s nightmare but it’s not. They all know that you can not become a nutritionist overnight and you will have to book an appointment, eventually. But learning to make your own diet plan can help you in the long run.

With the market inundated with all sorts of nutrition fads and scams offering overnight weight loss, you must find yourself confused in what to believe and what to block. The only solution to this is to gain enough knowledge so you can differentiate between fad and fact. Being a nutritionist I know for a fact that nothing can undermine the importance of intricately designed tailormade nutrition plans. But learning the basics can help you follow a nutritionist’s prescription well.

Qualities of a Good Diet Plan

A good diet plan should have the following characteristics:

  • It should be affordable with conveniently available food items.
  • It should be easy to follow and should support all your medical needs.
  • There should be enough scientific evidence that supports the positive effects of the food you add to it.
  • Incorporates healthy habits and make you follow these for the rest of your life.
  • Has garnered enough positive reviews from people who have tried it.

Steps In Designing A Diet Plan

Don’t take this as a guide to design your own plan, but rather a scale to measure the quality of a prescribed diet plan.

1. Determine Your Caloric Requirement

For eating mindfully the basic requirement is to know what your caloric requirement is? This will guide you on what and how much to eat. Depending upon the purpose of your diet plan, you will have to allow yourself calories accordingly. Several factors determine your caloric need. These are:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Activity level

An average adult needs 2000 calories roughly and those who are very active may need up to 2200 calories per day. If anyone wants to lose one pound of their weight in a week they have to cut 500-750 calories from their diet. Also, men can eat more than without gaining weight. The same goes for different individuals. For some, it is easier to gain or lose weight and for some it can test their limits.

2. Know the Components of a Healthy Diet

Knowing the composition of a well-balanced diet is a prerequisite to eat healthfully. A good diet has the right proportion of carbs, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein.

Your diet should contain all the macronutrients in the right quantities. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are the major nutrients in your diet. Depending upon the type of diet you want to follow and the results you are expecting, the ratio of these nutrients can be altered. The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR) are 45–65% of your daily calories from carbs, 20–35% from fats, and 10–35% from protein.

3. Do Not Cut Any Nutrient Or Food Group

People, when decide to go on a diet often cut out a certain macronutrient or a food group from their diet. Some completely avoid fat and some prohibit carbs, but the key to a healthy diet is not to cut out any food. Unless you are on a special diet like the keto diet.

Protein is the building block of muscles. You will need to get 10-35% of daily calories from protein-rich food. These include eggs, legumes, fish, poultry, meats, milk, nuts, etc.

Fats have a bad name and are often associated with fat deposits in the body. However, there are good fats as well that is an essential requirement of your body. Fats should constitute less than 30% of your diet. Fats are important for several functions in the body such as maintaining body temperature and fighting fatigue. Sources of good fats include :

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean
  • Nuts
  • Sesame

Stay away from processed trans fats and animal fats. These cause heart diseases and diabetes.

4. Cut Back On Some Ingredients

Although it is important to not cut back on any food group, cutting back or limiting certain ingredients is important. The two ingredients, you should limit right now are sugar and salt. Both are a threat to your healthy diet. Whether you are seeking to gain weight or losing it, you should immediately cut back on these two.

An excess of salt can put pressure on your heart causing high blood pressure and fluid retention in the body. Your daily requirement of sodium is less than 2300mg. Similarly, unnecessary use of sugar is also a culprit leading to a litany of diseases and disorders. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables plus avoiding prepackages and ready-to-eat meals is a good way to avoid dumping excess and unnecessary salt and sugar in your system.

5. Research Well about Diet Plans

This should be the first, the last, and the complimentary step with every other step.

Most diet plans you can see on the web are vetted by dieticians, health experts, and other such professionals. Point is to understand the science behind these and apply that logic to the diet you follow in everyday life. Know that only following a workable diet plan that meets your needs is a way of losing or gaining weight.

Reminding you again that no self-made diet plan or weight loss effort can come near to what a nutritionist can do for you. So if you really want to go on a diet, consult a nutritionist now.

Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with top nutritionists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online appointment booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.

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Hiba Batool

Hiba Batool

She is a nutrition graduate from Kinnaird College, Lahore. She is a nutritionist by profession. Her interests lie in medical research and writing. She masters in all topics related to nutrition and health.

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