There are so many different kinds of diets out there that promise instant, quick, and easy weight loss. There’s the Paleo diet, Low-carb diet, the Dukan Diet, the Atkins, and so much more. Every year there’s a new trending diet that’s splattered all over your social media pages. It’s mostly about the fad. And what about us? To us, it’s all a bunch of trial and error. These diets are so specific and limited that most people give up within a month of starting. It’s not because of you, though. The problem is not because you don’t have enough dedication or enough motivation. It’s because most of these diets are restrictive. Weight loss is not supposed to leave you feeling tired, depressed, or having all sorts of cravings! If you’re dreaming about food in your sleep, you have to know that something isn’t right. So, why not create a diet that works for you? A custom diet plan. Your own custom diet plan for sustained long-term weight loss. It’s not as difficult as the media has you believing. Of course, advice from a professional specialist is always welcome! But, there are still healthy ways to create a custom diet plan without jeopardizing your physical and mental well-being. On the contrary, when your diet is catered to your body, your terms, and your life, you will never feel better! So, say goodbye to failed diets, and say hello to a long life of health, confidence, and productivity!
Introduction to Your Custom Diet Plan
So, here’s the thing, a proper diet plan that promises long-term sustainable weight loss can not be FAST, can not happen in 3 DAYS, and it most certainly can not be EFFORTLESS. Any diet that has these words in its name is a big no-no. We aren’t saying that your custom diet plan has to be time-consuming, nor would you have to spend countless hours in the gym. What we’re saying is, weight loss takes a little bit of time and a little bit of effort. You have to be patient, and most importantly, you have to be kind to yourself. These types of diets are crash diets – you either quit, or your results will be short-termed. No one wants that. A custom diet plan should become a lifestyle that you adopt and a journey you embrace. So, here’s how you can create your journey! Your own custom diet plan.
Your Custom Diet Plan At Your Service!
The way to create your own custom diet plan is simple, straightforward, and all on your terms. You are the master of your own life, how you plan to live it and what you want to do with it. So, your custom diet plan shouldn’t be any different. These steps are a mere guide for you to follow, but the actual plan is up to you. Get yourself a pen and paper – doing it old-school, and start taking notes. Free up a little bit of your time, sit down, and start planning your future. You have to consider each and every one of these steps and see how you can incorporate them into your day to day life. A lifestyle change shouldn’t disrupt your daily schedule. It won’t matter if you have the busiest of schedules! That’s the beauty of a custom diet plan. You change the diet to fit your life; you don’t change your life to fit your diet. When you realize what it takes, you won’t be Googling any more weight loss diets after today. So, let us begin!
Determine Your Eating Schedule
The first thing you have to do is write out your weekly schedule, Monday through Sunday. Write out your day from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed. Be sure to be specific with exact timings throughout the day. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of how your day goes by. Once you have the schedule written out, think about your day. When do you have time to sit down and have an actual meal? How often do you get hungry during the day? The most consistent part of a proper custom diet plan is specifying how many times you’re going to eat during the day. The most suitable choice five times a day; at the same time every day.
Why is this important? Well, the thing is, our bodies are well-oiled machines. The way you want them to react is under your control. So, the time that you eat is crucial because it affects your metabolism cycle. Here’s the thing about metabolism, when you starve yourself, your blood sugar drops, and your body starts a process that breaks down your muscles, not your fat. It goes to survival mode! That’s why most diets leave you craving pasta and bread – your body needs the carbs.
So, let’s say your custom diet plan consists of five meals a day – no more, no less.
Count Your Macros
Do NOT be intimidated. We’re going to break this down nice and easy. Beginning with defining macros. Macronutrients are the building blocks of the human body that help keep it up and running. They’re divided into three main categories: Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Basic high school level biology lesson!
Carbs include everything related to sugars, all kinds of starches, and fibers. They’re the macronutrients that get broken down for energy. They are also the macronutrient that your body stores as glycogen when they aren’t immediately used as energy. We all love our carbs, but sadly, they’re the ones that bring in the highest calorie intake because of how accessible they are. You can find carbs in grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, and pasta – everything we like the most!
Carbs have about four calories per gram.
Fats! Fats aren’t as scary as the media has us believing – although they do carry the highest calorie content among the macronutrients. But, fats are essential for hormone production, nutrient absorption, and maintaining your body temperature. So, you can’t cut fat out of your life. And besides, any diet that suggests your cut out any food group or macronutrient out of your life is a diet you should not follow. All macronutrients play a part, and you have to provide your body with them all – in specific amounts! You can find fats in oils, butter, margarine, avocado, nuts, types of meat, and fish.
Fats have about nine calories per gram.
Onto our muscle food, proteins! Proteins are the building blocks of amino acids, and they help boost your immune functions. They fuel your muscles, maintain muscle mass, and promote muscle growth. You can find protein in eggs, fish, chicken, meat, lentils, and even tofu. There are lots of non-meat protein alternatives, so it doesn’t have to be animal-based – contrary to popular belief.
Proteins have about four calories per gram.
Here’s the recommended math equation for weight-maintenance:
Carb intake anywhere between 40 – 60% of your daily calories.
Fats intake anywhere between 25 – 35% of your daily calories.
Protein intake anywhere between 15 – 25% of your daily calories.
How to Count Your Macros?
So, counting macros might seem like it takes too much effort. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that it’s actually pretty simple math. You just have to find out the perfect balance that works for your custom diet plan, and you’re set!
You’ll first start by knowing how many calories you need to get you through the day with good energy. You do that with two things: Your resting energy expenditure (REE) and your non-resting energy expenditure (NREE). This refers to how much energy you burn off while doing absolutely nothing instead of being in motion or digestion. Put together, you get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) – that’s how much you burn day-to-day!
Here’s the equation:
For Men: TDEE = 10 x weight (in kg) + 6.25 x height (in cm) – 5 x age (in years) + 5 x activity factor
For Women: TDEE = 10 x weight (in kg) + 6.25 x height (in cm) – 5 x age (in years) – 161 x activity factor
Sedentary: x 1.2 (couch potato)
Lightly active: x 1.375 (low-impact exercise less than three times a week)
Moderately active: x 1.55 (medium-impact exercise 3-5 times a week)
Very active: x 1.725 (workout daily)
Extra active: x 1.9 (high-impact exercise once or twice a day)
Your daily intake should always be less than your TDEE if you want to lose weight, so keep that in mind!
Use the percentages we mentioned before to choose the best macronutrient breakdown that works for you. It all depends on your end goal and objectives – in this case, it’s the weight loss. Focus on what your body needs. You can try a baseline of 30% carbs, 30% fat, and 40% protein for weight loss purposes – adjust as necessary! But always stay within reasonable percentages. Keep in mind that protein makes you feel full for a longer time during the day and take more energy to burn off.
You can log the food you eat throughout the day on an app, your notes, or even go old school and write them down in a journal – whatever works for you. Create a consistent habit of doing so, and soon enough, you will start seeing results. This habit will also create a sense of productivity and motivation. Invest in a food scale to properly understand the portions you eat. You would be surprised how much more we eat just by eyeballing that big serving spoon. Of course, the more you do this, the more natural you become! BUT, keep in mind that you don’t have to go all crazy and fret too much about this. Be forgiving.
Collect Some Recipes
Most of the time that people give up their diet is because they don’t have time to prepare food and end up getting takeout. And although the occasional takeout never hurts anyone, a proper diet does need a little bit of planning and dedication. So, to remove any possible excuses when it comes to preparing your own food, we’re going to collect some recipes. The cool thing about a custom diet plan is that you’re the one who chooses what goes into it – including the recipes.
The first part of collecting recipes for weight loss is sitting down and thinking about all the foods that you love and all the foods that you hate. Write them down, and then start with the research! Just make sure that all the recipes that you choose contain a little bit of every macronutrient! This way, your main meals will include everything you need to keep you full and energized throughout the day! You can eat anything and everything you want – as long as it fits in your macros! That’s the beauty of a custom diet plan – it isn’t restricting, limiting, or controlling. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to eat, as long as it fits. So, look up some easy recipes, check out what you’re missing in your pantry, and get ready to start cooking.
Don’t worry if you’re not much of a cook! Even if you aren’t much acquainted with your oven, you can still make it work. This might be your chance to learn something new! There are so many recipes out there that are beginner-friendly, one-pot, or even ones that are less than 30 minutes away from your dining table. There is no place for excuses in a custom diet plan. When you already know what your options are, it takes out the guesswork. Have enough recipes to last you through the whole month, or recipes for every other week. It all depends on YOU. How often do you like to switch it up? Do you mind eating the same thing for two, three, or four days straight? The number of recipes you collect depends on your answers!
Yes! You guessed it. The next part of creating a custom diet plan is to meal prep. We know that meal prepping seems like the kind of thing people who have their life completely together usually do. But, it isn’t as hard as it appears on social media or on your favorite Youtuber’s channel! Meal prepping is pretty simple, primarily after you already collect a few recipes to start on. A while back, meal prepping became a food trend that took over everyone’s social media pages, with pretty storage containers filled with colorful Instagram-worthy food! It doesn’t actually have to be that way. Meal-prepping is meant to be a way for you to save time during the week, ensure you have nutritious food, and keep you away from resorting to store-bought takeout! It helps you eat healthier while adopting better habits. Basically, when you meal prep, you make food in advance for the coming week so that you don’t actually have to cook during. This ultimately gives you more time to do other things, and you won’t have to think about what to eat each day. When you meal prep, you pick one recipe and increase the servings. It’s like cooking for a big family when you’re only feeding one or two people. You essentially cook a great recipe, portion it out into storage containers, and freeze the meal. Then, during the week, you just take out one of the containers, thaw or defrost it, and then heat it up. And that’s it, you’ve got your meal ready!
Another form of meal prep is preparing ingredients for recipes that you will cook throughout the week. Not all meal prep has to be actual cooking – although that does save time. But, if you’re a person who prefers to have their meal completely fresh, ingredient prep is the way to go. You prepare all the ingredients that need to be chopped, diced, or sliced beforehand, place them in containers, and pop them in the fridge. This way, all you have to do is cook them. You can even do this with your meat-based proteins. Just portion them out before putting them in the freezer for when it’s time to use them. So, you’ve got your meal planned and prepped! What’s your excuse now? All thanks to a custom diet plan, you get to eat the food you like every day and still lose weight – in a healthy and sustained way! Your body will be fueled and ready to take on the day. If you want to get even more motivated, get some pretty reusable food containers! Always reusable, though, we love our planet!
We should also point out that water should be a HUGE part of your daily meals. You honestly really do have to get at least 8 cups of water in during the day. It isn’t just a bunch of talk. Water helps with the breakdown of food and digestion. It helps with your skin and overall health. And no, coffee doesn’t count. So, here’s a tip you can use to get in your water. Put an alarm! Space out a cup of water every two hours; it won’t seem like much anymore. You can also get a cute jug and drink it throughout the day. Just make sure you STAY HYDRATED!
Set a Sleeping Schedule
Okay, so let’s be honest. We ALL don’t get enough sleep. And, although we always say that we really want to try (cue our new year’s resolution), we never seem to make it work. And that’s because we never create an actual sleeping schedule. Did you know that it’s pretty hard to lose weight if you don’t get enough sleep? It’s already stressful enough to not have a good amount of sleep! Setting a sleep schedule is one of the easiest ways to kickstart your weight-loss journey. It’s so simple, and yet we don’t actually do that often. The key to a sleeping schedule is to be consistent! You have to pick a bedtime and pick the time when you have to wake up. And the thing is, you have to STICK to them! You need to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to wind up your inner clock. Not only will you fall asleep much better and more comfortable at night, but you will wake up feeling like a better person. You definitely won’t wake up feeling like you hate life – we’ve all been there!
BUT, again, we have to stress that you should be kind to yourself. Do not expect yourself to instantly wake up every day at 5 AM right off the bat. If you do get to do that, that’s pretty amazing. But, if you can’t, that’s perfectly okay! You have to take baby steps and make small changes. You can try to go to sleep five to 15 minutes earlier every day until you’re at your sleeping goal! This way, your body will have a better chance at adjusting, and you won’t slip up. Another thing that definitely helps is to open up your blinds! Embrace the sunlight! We are human beings who are built to react to natural sunlight. If it’s the sun that’s waking you up in the morning, your body will feel much better. You hate your alarm clock for a reason – it’s annoying!
You should also lay back on all the electropollution before going to sleep. Yes, we’re talking about your phone. A lot of people use their phones to unwind in bed at the end of a long day. And although that sounds very appealing, it actually hinders your attempts at falling asleep. You know that feeling when you’re trying to fall asleep, but your mind is wide awake? Well, that’s probably because of all the buzz around you. Turn off your TV, put away your phone, and maybe grab a book! Your Instagram can wait!
You should also make sure that you don’t drink any caffeinated drinks right before bed. That might sound like a given, but you would be surprised how many things could contain caffeine! So, make sure that even your relaxing cup of tea doesn’t contain caffeine. You have to make sure your body is entirely ready to fall asleep. You shouldn’t even plan your last meal anywhere near your sleeping time so that even your stomach has a chance to rest.
Pick Types of Workouts You Enjoy!
This isn’t an absolute must, but it is a suggestion that will definitely speed up the whole process, make YOU feel better, and your body will become much more substantial. We are definitely not suggesting you hit up the gym for two hours a day. But, it’s okay if you do as long as you enjoy doing it. The thing about working out is that it doesn’t have to make you feel like you’re dying, or you don’t want to ever do it again. You have to feel really good about yourself when you’re done! So, in this custom diet plan, you have to pick a type of workout that you enjoy. You can go for a jog every day around the block, or you could go hiking! You can go on a sunset ride on your bike or just go for a swim. You can choose to do an at-home workout for 30 minutes, and it will still be enough! You just have to do something to get your body moving a little and burn off a few calories. The idea behind this is that you’ll gain muscles, and muscles are the key to burning fat. Your custom diet plan doesn’t have to be full-on cardio UNLESS you choose it to be!
But, you have to keep in mind that there is no such thing as spot-reducing exercises. So, any workout that promises to burn off that little bit of belly fat or anything that targets one part of your body is a probable sham. Your muscles work together to burn off fat, and that’s how weight loss happens. Together and collectively! Just be patient, and keep moving. That’s the only way you’ll ever see results. Your custom diet plan should revolve entirely around the things you enjoy the most in your life. Don’t force yourself to be a part of something you don’t like because odds are you’ll quit halfway through.
Analyze, Adjust, Resume
This entire article sounds like reasons why a custom diet plan is absolutely amazing. Well, that’s because it truly is. The final part of designing a custom diet plan is to analyze, adjust, and resume. It’s all about how your body reacts and responses to the preliminary custom diet plan that you created. Give yourself a timeframe, like a month, for example, and weigh and take your measurements at the beginning of the month. Use this as a guideline at the end of the month to measure your performance and how you’re doing with your current diet plan. A healthy weight loss should be around two to four kilograms per month. That might not seem like much, but trust us when we say it is. This way, you don’t overwhelm your body with a rapid weight loss. You also don’t jeopardize your health or lose nutrition. You don’t want to reach the end of the month with iron deficiency or anything else. So, do not be discouraged by the numbers – besides, you are the judge. You’re the one who will see the difference. You should also account for muscle gain. So, if you’re on a consistent workout schedule, you’ll probably gain some muscle mass, which is awesome! Muscle mass means more fat burn! The number on the scale shouldn’t be your driver; your own mental health, physical strength, and self-love are all that matters.
If by the end of the month you feel like something isn’t working as you want it to, go back to the drawing board! Revise what you’ve got, tweak a few numbers, and try again. You always have a new month! This might seem like a lengthy process, but it’s guaranteed to give results either way. You want to maintain your health, regardless of how fast or slow your progress. It’s all progress at the end of the day. Make sure you’re always eating enough to keep up your energy! Just never give up on yourself, be kind to yourself, and keep going. You are the only one in control in a custom diet plan.
The Custom Diet Plan Mantra
We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but we have to stress this point again and again. The whole point of a custom diet plan is to create a diet that respects you as a human being. A custom diet plan that doesn’t leave you feeling depressed, frustrated, or tired. You have to know that your health is the only thing that matters in any type of diet. This article helps you create a custom diet plan for a healthy lifestyle so you can enjoy life to the fullest. When you have good physical health, you’ll ultimately have good mental health. When your mental health is doing well, your quality of life instantly takes a turn for the better. With proper health and a good custom diet plan, your immunity will be strong and capable of withstanding whatever comes your way! Your skin, your hair, and your gut will all thank you.
Just remember, we are all beautiful. If you have the ability to take this chance and turn your life around, then you are blessed! So, never feel discouraged, and begin your journey! Who said being your life’s own health guru is difficult? It definitely isn’t with a custom diet plan.