Now the work begins! These next steps require lots of thought, planning, preparation and some simple math. Once you get the hang of this, it’ll be something as easy as getting the coffee pot ready!
So the next step is to determine the proper amount of macro nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) your body needs to achieve your goals. Most folks that I work with are simply looking to lose a few pounds and gain a little lean muscle mass in the process to maintain a nicer shape. But remember…..you also have to create this type of NEED for your body to properly utilize these calories and macro nutrients! That means along with a balanced meal plan, a proper ratio of resistance training and cardio several days a week!
So let’s use a basic balanced nutrition plan designed for an average female for an example. Again, this is only an example to get you started – you will most likely need to add calories and adjust the macronutrients as you go!
The body uses carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle growth and regeneration. Based on the goals, each macro nutrient category (protein, carb, fat) should be pretty balanced. We’ll begin with 1700 calories. 35% of those calories will be made up of protein, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fats. Each meal will contain approximately 25-30 grams of protein, 20-30 grams of carbs and 3-15 grams of fat. (Gentlemen, I recommend beginning at 2400-2600 calories with the same macro ratios)
Now we just need to choose the healthy, lean, fresh, unprocessed, “clean” foods that will be included in your daily nutrition intake. I opt for lean fresh meats (not frozen if possible) such as chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, egg whites, and lean red meat. For carbohydrates, I normally choose steel cut oats/old fashioned oats, brown rice, basmati or jasmine rice, sweet potato, regular potato, quinoa, couscous, legumes and fresh/steamed vegetables. Whole wheat/high fiber breads, tortillas and pasta are also great choices!
I strongly recommend using the “1:1” filter on my recipe page! This means that the protein and carbohydrate ratio are nearly equal. I also recommend using the “low carb” filter to choose recipes that allow you to add and adjust the types of carbs you prefer.
I’ve created a sample menu plan. Notice the balance of protein, carb and calories each meal….and how everything is balanced at the end of the day. This will help keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing, as well as keep your hunger from getting out of control.
Before you head to the grocery store, you will also need these for your meal preparation:
30-36 same-sized meal prep containers
6 snack-sized ziplock bags
Crockpot (with disposable liner for easy cleanup) or large stockpot
12″ non-stick skillet
(2) 9×13 baking pans – use disposable aluminum for easy clean-up12 cup muffin pan or 8×8 cake pan