Eating Healthy: A 24-Hour Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Over the course of a day, it’s easy to consume far more calories than you probably should. Planning out a daily meal plan is one of the best ways to get organized, focused and to improve efficiency when it comes to eating healthy. Over the course of a 24-hour period, breakfast, lunch and dinner should consist of well-balanced food choices low in sugar, salt and within your daily calorie range.

The Facts on Healthy Eating

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 report on nutrition suggests that healthiest diet plans are ones that include low-calorie, nutritionally-dense food choices. This includes foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat. A well-designed diet plan needs to focus on your daily calorie needs. For adult women, this may fall anywhere from 1,000 to 2,400 calories while men typically need 1,600 to 3,000 calories during a 24-hour period, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Considerations

It’s important to first determine exactly how many calories you should be consuming each day before determining your dietary plan. The easiest way to find this information out for free is by using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s online tool called MyPyramid. This tool will calculate your body’s daily caloric needs based on your age, gender, body type and daily physical activity levels. Once you’ve determined your ideal calorie range, you can divide that number up equally between each meal of the day.

Breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal because your body needs an energy boost after a long slumber. This meal should focus on whole wheat foods that are rich in carbohydrates as well as protein-rich foods and drinks. A sample breakfast plan for a 1,600 calorie-a-day weight loss plan would include a slice of whole wheat bread with jelly, shredded wheat cereal with milk, a small glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee with a dash of milk – this equates to about 400 to 500 calories, according to the Dept. of HHS.

Lunch

Lunch is a great time to recharge your batteries, but it should be a light, low-calorie meal. The Dept. of HHS offers a sample lunch menu based on a 1,600 calorie diet plan. It includes a roast beef sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and low-calorie mayonnaise. This meal – which totals about 400 calories — also includes and apple and water to drink. A chicken salad with low-calorie dressing would also work well in place of the sandwich.

Dinner

Dinner needs to be a satisfying meal consisting of a lean protein source, vegetables and whole grains. A sample dinner menu the Dept. of HHS suggests includes a three-oz. piece of salmon as the main course. Also included in this 500 to 600 calorie meal is a baked potato, green beans, carrots, dinner roll, ice milk for dessert and tea/water to drink. A couple hours after dinner, you can have a low-calorie snack, such as popcorn, to help curb those midnight cravings. This 24-hour meal plan would equate to about 1,600 calories.

Warning

You should never begin a new diet plan without first consulting your doctor, dietician or nutritionist beforehand. They will be able to help you develop a healthy eating schedule designed specifically for you based upon your age, gender, body type, body weight, metabolism and food preferences. Eating too few calories can be as dangerous as over-eating, so it’s important to find out your ideal calorie range.

Photo Credit: stock.xchange

One Response to Eating Healthy: A 24-Hour Meal Plan for Weight Loss
  1. Candace Louissant

    Really nice layout and excellent content , hardly anything else we need : D.

Leave a Reply