Planning Your Diet Plan
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FRIDAY, May 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The first rule of diet success is to make changes you can stick with for the long term. And that means scheduling — not skipping — meals and snacks. This keeps you feeling satisfied and helps you say no to tempting high-fat foods.
You might do best on a plan with many small meals throughout the day. Or maybe a schedule of three meals, two small snacks and a low-calorie dessert would work better for you. People often find that mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks help them stick to a diet.
For a small-meal schedule, you might plan out five 200- to 250-calorie meals for 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. For a three-meal/two-snack schedule, you could schedule breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack and then dinner with dessert. Schedule snacks for about two hours after breakfast and lunch.
Once you decide on a schedule, plan out your meals and snacks. Using a diet diary can help keep you on track. Pick and choose from lean protein, low- or no-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and some heart-healthy fats.
Snacks can be a great way to get more fruits and vegetables into your day.
Great veggie snacks include:
- Bell pepper strips.
- Baby carrots.
- Pea pods.
For fruit snacks, consider:
- Small apples or pears.
- A cup of melon chunks or berries.
- A dozen red or green grapes.
A diet-friendly dessert of frozen yogurt and berries after dinner will keep you from missing high-calorie pies and cakes.
But what about calories? In general, aim for 1,000 to 1,200 a day if you’re a woman, 1,200 to 1,600 if you’re a man.
Bottom line: It might take some time to find the right eating schedule for your lifestyle, but nailing this first step will help you lose weight and keep it off.
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