The most effective weight-loss method may vary depending on the person. Some people do best with personal trainers and going to the gym every single day to create a caloric deficit and in turn loose weight. However, if you correlate workouts with weight loss it becomes a less enjoyable activity. The gym is for muscular growth and development and nutrition is for fat loss. This way if you skip a day from the gym there is not a sense of guilt, because, hey! Your nutrition is under control and you are still losing fat regardless! So you can go to the gym another day to work on muscular development! Meal planning works by incorporating a tactic known as a “calorie deficit.” The program cuts down your caloric intake while still ensuring that you’re getting all the nutrition that your body needs to function. Meal planning can help you lose weight, but it has other benefits, too. For example, this program also helps you cut down on time spent preparing your food. If you have limited time to hit up the gym but a determination to shed fat, meal planning is critical. Most people go into a caloric deficit (which is great for fat loss) but what they fail to understand is our bodies are built to store onto as much fat as possible for survival. When in a caloric deficit for extended amounts of time our bodies naturally plateau and slow down our metabolism in order to preserve our fat reserves. At this point, most people will deficit even further in order to lose fat which in turn has the opposite effect and will, in turn, cause your body to go into further distress and hold onto even MORE fat. At this point, we need to increase calories for a short period so our bodies understand they are not being starved and as a result, our metabolism speeds up. Shortly after you can drop back into a caloric deficit with a functional metabolism. In this article, we will delve deeper into why meal planning is one of the best weight loss methods and how it can help you achieve your weight goal.
An Overview of Calorie Deficits
A calorie deficit is an aspect of most weight loss methods. According to Helen West, registered dietician and writer at Healthline, the concept behind the caloric deficit model is relatively straightforward: “Eat fewer calories than you burn.” A calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight because a person who eats more calories than they burn stores those extra calories as fat. As the extra calories build up, so does the fat. It becomes more visible as time passes because the body stores this fat stored in the hips, belly, and thighs. However, as mentioned above, bodies become resistant. And it is CRUCIAL to cycle back and forth between more and fewer calories to preserve metabolic health. The stored fat equates to stored energy. As a person goes on a calorie deficit to lose weight, the body uses the stored energy instead of the energy taken in from eating. When the body burns the stored energy, it burns fat and sheds weight. If you burn precisely the amount of calories you take in per day, the calories stored as the fat will remain stagnant. If you take in more calories than you burn, more and more calories will store as fat. Therefore, a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss. Again, with periods of cycling back to restore metabolic resistance.
How Do I Know What My Perfect Calorie Deficit Is?
The perfect calorie deficit depends on the person. However, research estimates that to lose 1 pound of fat per week, a shortage of 3500 calories per week is necessary. The equation follows the principle of “Wishnofsky’s Rule.” Achieving this deficit can seem like an arduous task, but this is only a deficit of 500 calories per day. Although this is a baseline for people to use when starting a new weight loss program, it’s vital to consult with a weight loss specialist or nutritionist to determine your perfect calorie deficit as everybody is different and reacts in completely different ways at different times. It is your nutritionist job to continually be changing and altering intake to combat (out-trick) our body’s natural desire to sit at a higher body fat percentage.
How Do I Create a Calorie Deficit?
Creating a calorie deficit is difficult at first because it’s hard to take something you’ve been doing every day for your entire life and change it. It takes a combination of factors:
- Portion control – This will reduce the intake of calories for every meal
- Exercise – the more you exercise, the more energy your body requires. If you haven’t ingested enough calories to fulfill the body’s demand, your body will turn to burn fat.
- Changing your relationship with food – one of the best weight loss methods is meal planning because it makes you a master of caloric amounts and the calories in each food.
- And understanding that your body will become resistant to losing weight if your calories are lower than they should be for extended amounts of time. Your caloric deficit number MAY be higher than you actually think! It is important to consult with a nutritionist to find that exact number.
How Meal Planning Can Help With Calorie Deficits?
Meal planning is the act of taking time to plan foods for the week in advance. The method allows you to plan out your calorie deficit in advance without the pressure of making instant decisions for food. Most weight loss programs include meal planning. The reason is that meal planning is a simple way to hold yourself accountable and not exceed your caloric limit for the week. You can plan your weekly meals and do all the calorie calculations yourself. However, more and more people are turning toward weight loss meal plans like Heroine Fitness because of the myriad benefits these plans offer and the POWER of metabolic resets it provides. Wouldn’t it be amazing to lose weight on a higher caloric number than the one you were GAINING weight on? Benefits of weight loss meal programs include:
- Convenience – The program does the planning for the user, including calculating the caloric quantities of each meal and planning meals for the entire week or month.
- Mental and emotional guidance and personal access to your nutritionist.
- Custom nutrition packages – These weight loss meal plans account for how much you already eat per day, what percent of your food is within each food group, and the “healthiness” of your current diet.
- Targeted weight loss goals – These plans take into account how much weight you desire to lose and create a custom meal plan that creates that essential caloric deficit while restoring hormonal balance and a healthy relationship with your body.
How Does a Meal Plan Work?
Meal plans will differ based on the person, but the process of creating one is generally similar across all platforms:
- Most meal plans will start by evaluating your current diet and exercise regimen.
- The program will determine your current weight and your goal weight.
- A nutritionist will create a custom meal plan based on your calorie and nutrition needs. And the level of metabolic resistance you bring to the table and RESTORE this resistance.
You can monitor the meal plan’s efficacy and request any changes or revisions accordingly. If something isn’t working out, you can easily modify it because weight loss meal plans are flexible and everybody is 100% different and requires specialty plans.
How to Identify a Good Meal Plan?
Weight loss meal plans shouldn’t sacrifice nutrition for the sake of eating fewer calories per day. Food choices are instrumental in helping you meet nutrient needs and lose weight safely. A good weight loss program that involves meal planning will follow two general guidelines:
- Limit processed food and added sugar
- Increase the amount of water-dense and fiber-dense foods
- Understand that calorie deficits are emotionally taxing and provide support to guide you through your journey.
Limits on Processed Food and Added Sugar Are Essential for a Good Meal Plan
These foods are typically known as “junk food.” They’re often delicious but high in calories and low in nutritional value. Foods such as pizza, potato chips, and microwave meals are convenient but not the best choice health-wise. A good meal plan cuts out these foods but also addresses the fact that we are human and it’s impossible to follow a program 365 days a year. As long as your general overall trend is in the direction you want to be going slip-ups are INEVITABLE and this is OK.
Including Water and Fiber-Dense Foods Will Help You Feel Full Faster and Longer
The human body is 60% water, which is why water intake is vital. Foods (mostly processed ones) are often dried out and do not contain much water, but pack on the sugar, sodium, and calories. Foods that are rich in water and fiber will help you maintain your water levels and help you feel full longer and faster, as well as aid in digestion.
How Can Heroine Fitness Help My Meal Planning Journey?
Heroine Fitness helps men and women lose weight healthily, through custom weight loss meal plans in combination with emotional support. Having an expert help with a weight loss program not only holds you accountable but makes it easier to focus on your progress and love yourself through the process. If this sounds like the perfect program for you, join today!