“I just can’t eat what I used to!” everyone says. We all know that our metabolism slows down as we age. Biological changes certainly can contribute to weight gain. “The energy powerhouse cells in muscles get damaged with age,” Jonathan Wanagat, UCLA researcher. “That damage accumulates over time and, on top of that, the body’s ability to repair that damage also dwindles with aging,” the researcher explains in an NPR interview.
If you’re concerned about your weight, the first person you should go to is your doctor, especially if you’re dealing with medical conditions associated your weight gain. Your doctor can help you choose a diet meal plan or refer you to a Dietitian or nutritionist who can help you get back on track. There are numerous diet meal plans available to those who want to lose weight. Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised at how many options you have. Here are just some of the many diet meal plans that you could choose from:
Low Calorie Diet
For a low calorie diet, it is essential that you take in fewer calories than you use. Instead of eating only three times per day, plan your diet around 4-6 “mini meals” that allow you to graze throughout the day. For these mini meals you can eat low calorie snacks, like reduced-fat string cheese, low-calorie yogurt, or raw vegetables with low-calorie dip to tide you over. For your main meals, eat 3-4 ounces of lean meats or fish and high fiber foods. Enjoy fruit for dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Make sure to drink plenty of water and stay away from sugary sodas. There are low calorie meal plans available free online that you can use for a reference. These can be for various amounts of calories, for example: 1000, 1200, 1500 or an 1800 calorie diet meal plan.
Paleo Diet Meal Plan
This diet meal plan was named after the Paleolithic Period, when our ancestors ate namely meat, fowl, fish, and the leaves, roots, and fruits of plants. The Paleo diet meal plan requires you to eat plenty of fruits, particularly berries and melons. Keep in mind that you will be eating plenty of nutritious, fresh vegetables, as well. You should prioritize your protein intake, to ensure eating 4-8 oz. of lean protein for each meal, such as: chicken, lean beef, turkey, or seafood. Then add several servings of multicolored vegetables to your meals – consume them raw, steamed, or lightly cooked to retain the full nutritional value. Finally, include good fats from avocado, olive oil, or a handful of unsalted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias, or walnuts.
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
The Mediterranean diet meal plan is more of a lifestyle than a formal diet meal plan. The meals are meant to be eaten and savored with family and friends. To follow this diet, eat primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, eat whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Bread should be whole grain and eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. Good choices for nuts include walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios. Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month. Make sure the meat you do eat is lean and served in small portions. Eat poultry and fish at least twice a week. Be careful about the type of oil that you eat. Consume monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados, instead of saturated fats and trans fats.
Vegetarian Diet Meal Plan
Vegetarians, in general, eat very healthy foods. To lose weight on a vegetarian diet meal plan, eat foods high in essential nutrients and fiber. If you are eliminating dairy products, then substitute low fat soy, rice or almond milk for regular milk and try soy yogurt. Be sure to include foods that are enriched with vitamins and minerals normally provided by dairy products, such as calcium and vitamin D. Remember to drink lots of water with and in between meals to stay hydrated.
Abs Diet Meal Plan
If you’re looking to smooth out your abs, you may want to try the abs diet meal plan. If you are a woman, then aim to consume no more than 1400 to 1500 calories a day. Learn how to make various smoothies, especially power smoothies with protein. Eliminate all excess empty calories from your diet. Maintain a diet journal and an exercise journal to track your progress on the abs diet. A “clean diet” is typically recommended. The main concept behind the clean diet is that if you eat foods in their natural state, you will be much healthier. For example, eat fresh veggies, instead of ones that are processed or canned. Choose healthy fats like those that can be found in olive oil. Eat equal parts of protein and complex carbohydrates, pick whole grains over processed grains, eat lean meats, and don’t eat fried food. If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to rock-hard abs.
HCG Diet Meal Plan
The HCG diet is a very low calorie diet plan was developed by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone naturally produced by the placenta in pregnant woman. Simoens linked HCG to fat loss and recommended HCG injections in combination with a VLCD (very low calorie diet). The VLCD aspect of the HCG diet requires that followers consume only 500 calories a day with a diet that contains 200 grams of fat-free protein and a very small amount of starch. The first two days of the diet constitute the “loading phase.” There are no food restrictions and you are allowed to eat whatever you want. Then next is the “maintenance phase” with the 500 calorie per day limit. The strict protocol does not allow for breakfast, but then requires lunch and dinner to consist of 100grams of lean meat, one vegetable, one Melba toast and one fruit. The maintenance phase lasts between 26-40 days and requires daily injections that continue 3 days after the diet ends to avoid weight gain.
There are hundreds of diets out there, so there is definitely one that will fit all of your wants and needs. Visit a physician to dictate which diet meal plan is best for you. With a diet meal plan and some exercise, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, happy lifestyle.