Researchers at Louisiana State University have concluded that a low calorie diet can lower your insulin levels, reduce your core body temperature, and reverse signs of aging. However, those same researchers urge people to avoid going overboard when it comes to restricting calories. Consuming less food and using low calorie meal plans can undoubtedly be beneficial to your health. However, you should set realistic and healthy expectations for yourself.
If you regularly eat around 2000 calories a day, switching to a 500 calorie a day meal plan won’t be healthy or realistic. On the other hand, switching to a 1500 calorie meal plan wouldn’t be detrimental to your health or particularly difficult for you to do, especially if you were armed with the right strategies.
Strategies to Help You Switch to Low Calorie Meal Plans
- Pay Attention to Portions: If you’ve made the decision to change your diet and adopt healthy low calorie meal plans, you’re going to have to change the way you eat and what you eat. First and foremost, you should adjust your food portions. The plates we eat off of are simply too large, and their large size often tricks us into eating more than we should. After all, we’ve been trained from childhood to clean our plates. Try eating off salad plates instead of dinner plates. Many dieters find this to be a successful strategy.
- Customize: Your low calorie meal plans don’t have to be the same as everyone else’s, particularly if you aren’t trying to adhere to any particular diet like the Paleo Diet or HCG diet. If your primary goal is to reduce your caloric intake, you should plan your meals based on what you like. You may want to make a list of all the low calorie foods you normally enjoy eating and include those in your healthy meal plans. Some low calorie foods you could include in your meal plans, for instance, are apples, grapefruits, legumes, black beans, turkey, spinach, low-fast yogurt, oranges, brown rice, and fish.
- Use Online Tools: Online tools can help you plan out your meals and count the calories you consume. Your goal should be to calculate all the calories you plan to consume each day as a part of your overall meal planning efforts. You should also keep track of how many calories you actually take in versus how many you plan to take in. This can give you an idea of whether or not you need to adjust your eating habits or meal plans to take in fewer actual calories.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking water throughout the day will help curb your appetite. And drinking one or two glasses before each meal has been proven to reduce food intake. When you reduce your caloric intake, hunger is going to be your biggest hurdle. Drinking more water will help you overcome that hurdle. Additionally, choosing to drink water as opposed to sodas and juice will help reduce how many empty calories you take in. If you drink diet soda, it’s still a good idea to switch over to water, if possible. Certain additives in diet soda are actually thought to increase your appetite.
- Don’t Forget to Snack: Plan to eat two or three snacks a day, and bring those snacks with you to work or wherever you go throughout the day. Some ideal snacks are baby carrots, apple slices, grapes, and whole-wheat pita bread with hummus. If you start to feel hungry before a meal, eat one of the 100 or 150-calorie snacks you’ve prepared. Eating snacks throughout the day will help prevent overeating at meals and keep your blood sugar levels stable. One of the most difficult parts of conforming to a low calorie diet is practicing portion control. Since snacking throughout the day helps prevent overeating at meals, you should consider snacking a part of your overall portion control efforts.
So, practice portion control, plan out your customized meals, drink enough water, and snack to avoid overeating. Remember that you are in control of your nutrition, and you have the power to succeed at eating a low calorie diet!