Every profession has certain trade secrets.
As a nutritionist, the complicated math and science of menu planning is the ace up my professional sleeve. And today, I am decoding all the mystery shrouding calories and nutrients.
Yes, I am spilling the beans, cereals, fruits, veggies, nuts, and eggs that go into chalking out a diet plan. My motive is that I want you to become a smart eater. I want you to choose a diet that is perfect for you; a diet that caters to your health goals.
And trust me, it’s not the rocket science it is made to be. Whether you want to follow a detox, a low-carb or a weight loss diet, I am going to simplify the diet jargon. Because diet plans should be as easy as eating eggs for healthy hair, drinking milk for strong bones or snacking on nuts for a radiant skin.
So without any delay, let’s plunge into the fascinating world of nutrients, calories and meal planning.
Nutrients are the molecules present in food which are vital for good health, disease prevention and growth. These nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are the macronutrients you need in large amounts for energy, tissue repair, immunity, protect your organs and absorb other nutrients among its myriad roles. On the other hand, vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. They are required in small quantities for your body to carry all its functions properly.
Macronutrients provide you calories i.e. energy to perform all your day-to-day activities. How many calories you must consume depends on your age, height, weight, gender and physical activity.
Now that you have understood the theoretical aspects, let’s understand how I apply these concepts while designing a meal plan.
Firstly, I choose the right macronutrient proportion for you. It could be a 62-16-22 or a 60-20-20 carb-protein-fat ratio. Once I choose the ratio, I distribute calories among five-seven meals. This ratio depends on your eating habits, previous diet programs, schedule, and health goals.
In my opinion, a balanced diet or a balanced diet with high proteins gets the best results always. It nourishes you with all the nutrients and can be followed in the long run. I recommend a high protein balanced diet only for people who are into heavy workouts.
Sometimes, I may have a client who has lost ten kilos of weight and is stuck up on the same weight for more than a month. So, I’ll put the client on a two-three-day detox or a low-carb plan for a week to kick-start the weight loss. And once the weighing scale gets rolling, we are back to a balanced diet.
People with medical issues like diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, PCOD or cholesterol need a different meal plan.
Remember the most important aspect of any successful diet is that it should be easy-to-follow. It shouldn’t become a reason why you give up on your favourite foods or you have to cook separate dishes. It’s a lifestyle modification that allows you to eat everything in moderation and nourishes you. That’s why stick to a balanced diet – it can be followed always!
Now when I sit down to plan meals, I look at what different food groups will cover the macro and micronutrients. If you see a diet plan that says upma + milk + sprouts for breakfast, then in my head, I am thinking grains with dairy and legumes. Now that’s simple, isn’t it?
Let’s look at a few more examples:
- Peanuts and chana = nuts + legumes
- A mix veg paratha with curd = veggie + grains + dairy
- Omelette roll = eggs + grains
- Rajma rice and kachumber salad= legume + grains + veggies
- Smoothie/milkshake = dairy + fruit
A super important tip: For all breakfast, lunch, and dinner, always eat a complete protein meal. Whether it’s grains + legumes, grains + dairy, legumes + dairy, play around with different combinations to pack in a powerful punch of taste, variety, and nutrition.
And along with the diet plan, I suggest keeping a tab on alcohol, sleeping before midnight and exercise – even if it’s a 20-minute walk. By simple tweaks, you will feel lighter, brighter and happier!
I am sure by now, you’ve understood how simple it is to pick the right diet.
But if you are still confused, I have a solution that’s easy and effective: the bon happetee app. This app uses the power of nutrition and analytics and offers you a customized diet that will help you achieve your health goal. Whether it’s weight loss, detox, diabetes or low-carb, the app will play the perfect diet guru offering you lots of nutritional mumbo-jumbo – be it food recommendations, reminders for meals and water or setting daily targets.
Meal planning can never get simpler than this. So, hurry up and choose the diet that’s designed exclusively for you – DOWNLOAD HERE
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.