Every body is built differently, whether it’s because of body shape, our day-to-day habits, or even genetics. This is why there is no single recommended diet plan ideal for everyone on the planet. In fact, a literature review published in the Comprehensive Foodomics Journal claims that people are even more likely to stick to their diet plan if it’s the most efficient way to help them achieve their goals, like lose weight or alleviate chronic disease symptoms.
But how do you start creating a personalized diet plan? Here are some tips:
Determine Your Goals
As detailed above, the best way to motivate yourself to follow a diet plan is to ensure that it’s written down with a goal in mind. For example, is it to lose weight? Increase your metabolism? Lower your blood sugar levels? Your goal will also determine the foods that you need to eat, regulate, or even avoid altogether.
Calculate Your Macros
Macros, or macronutrients, are the components in food that your body uses to maintain its structure and systems. It has three types:
- Dietary fats. Not to be mistaken for trans fat (the one found in abundance within concentrated sweets and fried foods), dietary fat like omega-3 is responsible for normalizing hormones. They’re found in practically every ingredient in varying amounts.
- Carbohydrates. These are your body’s energy sources. They’re found in starch and fiber.
- Protein. This meat macro keeps your muscles and organs healthy.
Your diet goal needs careful calculation when considering these three macros. For instance, a bodybuilder would eat more food that is rich in protein and carbohydrates, while someone who wants to improve their heart health might need to eat food that contains a lot of dietary fat. However, there’s a minimum intake requirement for all three macros to keep your body healthy. The macro ratio is different per body type, but you can use a macro tracking app and calculator to help. Alternatively, you can also consult a diet professional, leading us to our next point.
Consult a Professional
If you want to be extra careful about the effectiveness of your diet plan, it helps to approach a professional and ask them for dietary recommendations. However, it’s important to note that dieticians and nutritionists are in very high demand at the moment, with the field growing 8% every year, which is faster than the average job market. This has caused universities to modify healthcare courses to include a number of online dietary programs across practically every field imaginable. For example, general practitioners can join online weight management classes to broaden their knowledge on the subject. Meanwhile, registered nurses can take an online BSN program and specialize in a certain field including nutrition. The program even covers relevant industry trends, like personalized nutrition, to help graduates become more capable of providing informed advice.
These healthcare professionals are easily accessible via telehealth apps like Lemonaid and MDLIVE too, so you don’t have to leave your home to get a consultation.
Compute The Calories Your Exercises Burn
How active is your lifestyle? The answer will affect the minimum and maximum number of calories you should consume every day. People who regularly participate in high-intensity exercises, for instance, need to consume more calories, while those with sedentary lifestyles should control their food intake. In general, the total burned calories can be computed using the following equation:
Duration of physical activity in minutes x (MET x 3.5 x your weight in kg) / 200
The metabolic equivalent (MET) is the energy that your body uses when it’s participating in an activity. Most activities have MET values attached to them, like 1.3 METs for standing and 4.5 for swimming. You can find MET lists on fitness resource websites like topendsports.com.
There are many factors to take into consideration when creating a personalized diet, from your goals to your level of physical activity. This is why planning is important before you get started.
For more food guides and health tips, take a look at the other posts on our blog.
Article specially written for masonparkmedical.com By Callie Glisson