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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You

How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You
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Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be so successful in finding a diet that works for them? Meanwhile, you find it hard to stick to any one diet — Atkins, Paleo, Keto, vegan, vegetarian, high-carb, low carb, and, my goodness the list goes on and on…

If you can relate to that, then you are in the right place! I am here to show you not only which weight-loss meal plans work better, but also how to make those diets work for you!

I am going to take you through the steps that will guarantee you long-term success in finding a diet that is effective for you!

Step 1: Know Your Body

“I don’t get they lost all that weight with that diet? I’ve tried it and it didn’t work?”

Have you ever said a phrase similar to that? If so, you’re not alone. Each person is different, which also means that every person out there will have a slightly different plan for what works for them.

If you are going to find success in this endeavor, then you need to understand YOUR specific needs. Each person is different, and there are countless obstacles that could be making it hard for you to lose weight like blood sugar imbalance, food intolerance, etc.

The great news is that no one knows your body as well as you do! So, yes, you might hear about an amazing high fruit diet, but only you know whether that would harm you or help you in the long run.

Here are some cues that can help guide you along to which diet might help you best:

Do you Get super anxious or jittery after eating high carb meals? Do you crave sugar or starches? Do you have blood sugar imbalances?

For you, eating a low amount of starchy or sugary carbs might be the best options! You could try a diet like a Paleo or a Blood Sugar Balancing Plan to see if they work for you!

Do you find your stomach constantly in knots, have a high PH, and can’t tolerate meat well?

Consider going plant-based! The high amount of vegetables could balance your body and reduce inflammation!

Do you always crave processed foods? Do you find it hard to eat a balanced diet because of your cravings?

Your body might need to reset and get used to eating whole and nutritious foods! Maybe you could give the Whole 30 a shot!

Do you struggle with food sensitivities? Does your digestion make it hard for you to lose weight?

An elimination diet or the virgin diet could be just what you need to discover what sensitivities are your pitfalls.

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Whatever your unique conditions, you likely already know what really does or doesn’t work for you. Go with a diet that fits your needs.

Step 2: Power Up!

Now that you have some idea as far as the basic diet, there are some guidelines I’ll go over with you. No matter what diet you choose, there are some rules that you can follow to ensure your success!

Even the best diet can be foiled if you don’t know the nutrition basics necessary to turn your body into a fat torching machine!

Eat Clean

Have you ever fallen for the idea that filling your pantry with “diet” foods or “low fat” foods would make the difference necessary for weight loss? Trust me! You are not alone!

Today, most people have falsely believed the marketing lies that the “missing ingredient” for weight loss comes in a package. That is sadly far from the truth.

Keeping an eye on calorie intake or sticking by the rules of a diet plan is great! But even the best of diets can be sabotaged by junk food under the guise of being “healthy”.

These foods lead to people subbing their regular cokes for diet cokes and make diet cakes. They eat low-fat yogurt laden with sugar and chemicals. They chow down on processed protein bars. And all the while they wonder why they can’t stick to their diets or lose the weight. These poor people have merely fallen victim to all the diet marketing plaguing our states.

The problem is that what we really need is pure whole foods! Even though some foods might be low-calorie, if they are not whole and natural foods, then your body likely still won’t respond very well to them. Make a point of filling your plate with lean protein and piles of veggies!

Doing this will give your body the actual nutrients that your body is craving. This attacks the problem at the root source of weight gain by helping your body work well and shed extra weight on its own. Over time, your boosted metabolism will help do most of the work for you.

Eat Lots of Green Veggies

Thought that there are diets out there that will keep me from having to eat veggies? Hey, your mom told you to finish that spinach for a reason! Your body needs the rich amount of nutrients that veggies offer no matter what diet you are on!

Most successful diets out there have on thing in common:

They always encourage filling up on greens.

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Greens are low calorie and nutrient dense. They fill you up and help you feel like you ate a lot more than you actually did. They clean you out and balance your blood sugar.

I could really go on and on about them. But there’s also one aspect that many people overlook:

Greens have a very high alkalizing effect on the body.

If you have been eating diets high in fast food and fries, then your body is likely very acidic. This leads to less energy, more sickness, and more weight gain. Eating lots of greens could help rebalance your body and stop weight gain in its tracks!

If you grew up on fast food, eating greens is probably the last thing on your plate that you want to eat. That’s where you need to retrain your palate. Your brain has been convinced that sugar and saturated fat will bring you energy. When you realize that those foods are actually the source of exhaustion, you can then begin to convince your mind that the real source of energy lies in the power of vegetables.

Start by subbing veggies for some carbs or mixing greens into your meals. Follow this link for more great ideas to retrain your palate!

Don’t Fall for Fads

If you have been tracking so far, there is one thing I’ll mention that you probably saw coming:

Be on guard for fad diets.

The best diets work by getting your metabolism humming on its own, not by cutting extreme calories!

If any diets seem to offer miracle results, then be careful. The fact of the matter is, long-term weight loss is a very steady process. Consistency is key.

What can be a fad diet?

  • If it promises instant weight loss
  • If you can’t sustain it long-term
  • If you never stop being tired on it (the right diets might make you tired at first while your body is re-balancing, but long-term you will find your energy multiply).
  • If it completely ignores vital nutrients
  • If people who go on it seem to always fall off and gain more weight after they do

Step 3: Boost Your Metabolism

Now that you have pinned down the type of diet that you believe would make your body feel the best, it’s time to show you how to get your metabolism fired up!

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No matter what diet you choose, if you don’t know the basics of how to balance blood sugar and keep your fat burning machine fueled, then you will have a difficult time losing the weight.

We are about to go over how to tune up your machine and keep those fires burning.

Manage your Protein

Protein is a power tool because it optimizes fat burning and boost your metabolism. Another important aspect of protein is the fact that it is absorbed slowly giving your body a steady boost of nutrients.

No matter what diet you choose, it will be a bust if you are not ensuring proper protein intake (vegetarians can get protein through eggs, tofu, bean and rice, and quinoa).

The daily recommended intake for protein is 10-35% of your calories. Too little will make you lose muscle and will destroy your metabolism. Too high protein could result in kidney problems.

Of course, muscle is built out of amino acids, and they are found in protein. So the amount that you workout will definitely determine how much protein you will need!

Here are the basic guidelines to help you figure out your protein needs:

If you’re Sedentary:

  • Find 36% of your body weight; That’s how much protein in grams you will need!
  • Example: If I weighed 150 then I would need 54 grams of protein a day.

If you’re an endurance trainer:

  • Find 70% of your body weight; That’s how much protein in grams you will need!
  • Example: If I weighed 150 then I would need 105 grams of protein a day.

If you are a Heavy Lifter/Body Builder

  • Find 90-100% of your body weight. That’s how much protein in grams you will need!
  • Example: If I weighed 150 then I would need 135-150 grams of protein a day.
  • Make sure you are adding protein to every meal for the best results!

Time Your Meals

Did you know that skipping meals can actually make you gain weight? That means the very thing you do to try to lose weight might actually be doing the opposite for you!

The problem with skipping meals is that it can crash your metabolism and lead to bingeing later on. Why would you want to set yourself up for that hardship? No fun!

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The right diet should not be about depriving you from food. Rather, it should be about filling your body with the right nutrient dense foods.

Diets that are extremely low calorie long-term, that encourage drinking only liquids, or make you ravenously hungry are not the best options for a sustainable life-change.

If you really want to boost your fat-burning abilities then set certain time frames for eating and focusing on eating every 3-4 hours within that time frame. This method (a form of intermittent fasting) will keep you from going hungry when you shouldn’t eat, but will keep your metabolism humming during times when you need the extra energy.[1]

Know the Basics of Blood-Sugar Balance

What if I told you that Blood sugar balance could be what is sabotaging you from achieving your dream body?!

“What?” You ask, “That’s not true. I’m the one sabotaging it. I always crave sweets. I binge on food at night. I just feel so tired and cranky a few hours after eating and I just dive straight for the cookie bin.”

What if I told you that is not your fault? It’s very likely that it could actually be your body screaming that it’s off balance.

With our modern “SAD” diet (that stands for standard american diet in case you were wondering) people are finding that keeping their blood sugar stable is become more and more difficult. Insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar, can determine the difference between success or utter failure on your weight-loss endeavors. And our modern world has our insulin all out of whack!

Luckily, there are ways to take care of this — by combining your meals properly:[2]

The Bottom Line

Are you excited to start creating the body you’ve always dreamed of?

By working with your body, eating whole fresh foods, keeping portions in control, and managing your blood sugar to boost metabolism, you will be amazed to see your body seamlessly following your efforts!

Remember, weight loss is a journey. There will be times when you fail and that is okay! Like anything in life, from your family or your career, perseverance and consistency will get you where you want to be! Stay the course and be okay with steady progression.

If you know your body and what works for you, fill up on nutrients and whole foods, ensure you are balancing your blood sugar balance, and make sure that what you are doing is sustainable long-term then you will see some amazing results!

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You’ve got this! Be excited, I’m right here rooting for you and here to help!

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

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Katelyn Delaney

Owner of Revifi -- Fitness Training & Life Coaching

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Published on July 14, 2021

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)
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We’ve all had late-night cravings. Those times when you would lie in bed but your mind is on the fridge. You try to fight it, but you find out that you can’t. Food—you want food—to chew and to drink and to swallow. It usually goes this way: after much hesitation, you would get off your bed and walk over to the kitchen where you would stand for seconds and maybe even minutes contemplating a lot of things.

You have heard about it—read about it, too—the famous “eating late at night isn’t good for you.” You know well about how eating late at night can cause you stress and make you gain weight. But you just want to eat—and eat you must.

But what must you eat? What are your best and most healthy options? Here are the 13 best foods to eat at night.

1. Turkey

If you aren’t a vegetarian, then you most probably love turkey. It is not only very tasty and delicious, but it is quite nutritious, too. Turkey contains a lot of protein. As little as 28 grams of turkey already contains eight grams of protein.[1]

It also contains some amount of vitamins and a nutritive compound called selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in ensuring the thyroid gland functions properly.

Turkey passes as one of the best foods to eat at night because the protein tryptophan, which it contains in a considerable amount, is believed to promote tiredness and thus, sleepiness.[2]

2. Fish

Another great choice for non-vegetarians is fish, especially fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are considered healthy choices because they contain a considerable amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body regulate its calcium levels and is good for your kidneys, parathyroid glands, skin, etc.

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Fatty fishes also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of healthy fatty acids that can serve as anti-inflammatory agents and are good for the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to be able to increase the amount of serotonin produced by the nervous system, and thus, make sleep feel better.[3] This means that fishes would not keep you awake! You don’t have to roll from side to side trying to fall asleep after eating them.

Fishes also contain nutritive oils that are good for your body and skin.

3. White Rice

White rice is just rice that has no bran germ—that is, both bran and germ have to be removed as a result of processing from brown rice to make it white rice. This removal of bran and germ causes white rice to contain lower fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants when compared with brown rice. However, white rice still contains a commendable amount of nutrients such as thiamine, folate, and manganese and so is great as a late-night meal.

White rice has a high Glycemic Index. (GI). A food’s glycemic index is simply the measure of the rate at which that food increases the body’s sugar level. Taking in foods with a GI index, such as rice, can improve the quality of one’s sleep. This is as long as one takes these foods one hour before sleep. If you plan to sleep by 7 p.m, then it is a good idea to eat white rice by 6.p.m.[4]

4. Bananas

Finally, Something for vegetarians. A fruit! Bananas not only taste good, but they are also rich in the compounds potassium and tryptophan, making them one of the best foods to eat at night.

Tryptophan, as earlier stated, is an essential protein that plays a role in relaxation. Some bananas before meals can improve the quality of your sleep. Plus, they contain vitamins and are rich in antioxidants. They also contain compounds that are capable of making bowel movements easier.

5. Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers, crackers being a source of carbohydrates and cheese a source of tryptophan, can help balance the body’s sugar level. When you take cheese and crackers together, more tryptophan is made available to your brain.[5] The sugar in cheese feeds your brain, and tryptophan helps with the production of melatonin.

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This means that there would be more serotonin and melatonin production in your nervous system when you take cheese and crackers together. Serotonin improves the quality of a person’s sleep.

6. Warm Cereals

Cereals are great sources of fiber. Ones like oats also contain an impressive amount of melatonin, which improves sleep.

Before bed, a hot bowl of cereal and maybe even whole grains are a good choice. They do not contain a lot of calories and would most likely not keep you awake.

7. Yoghurt

Yogurt tastes good, and kids and adults love them. They are also a rich source of calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral to the body. It is necessary for the growth of bone and teeth, and skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles need it for muscular contractions to happen.

Your body also needs calcium to produce melatonin from tryptophan. If calcium levels are low, there will be a reduced rate of production of melatonin—and thus, low quality sleep. Yogurt also contains casein. Casein is believed to reduce early morning hunger.

Unsweetened yogurt is a great snack and one of the best foods to eat at night.

8. Eggs

Eggs are great sources of protein and don’t contain many calories. As a late-night snack, eggs are a great pick. They are easy to cook and can go along with many different kinds of snacks.

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Eggs also contain tryptophan, which—as you must now already know—can improve the quality of one’s sleep.

9. Protein-Pineapple Smoothie

As you may have noticed, most of the snacks and foods on this list of best foods to eat at night are protein-rich foods. Protein-rich meals taken around bedtime can boost muscle repair. They can also combat age-related muscle mass loss especially in people who frequently exercise.

As a late-night snack, you can blend some pineapple pieces into milk. Milk is a great source of the protein tryptophan from which the body produces melatonin. Pineapples do not contain a lot of calories and might not prove a threat to your body’s normal digestive functions. Pineapples can also boost your body’s serotonin levels.[6]

10. Tart Cherries

Juices made from tart cherries are great alongside other snacks, such as crackers and cheese. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory effects. Even though in small quantities, tart cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin. They also contain procyanidin B-2, which is believed to keep stable the essential amino acid tryptophan.[7]

Tart Cherries have low calories, too. This means that they are not too heavy and do not pose the threat of fat deposition, and they would not keep you awake.

11. Honey

Honey harvested from bees is nutritious and does not contain a lot of calories. It is known to be capable of increasing the production of melatonin in one’s body.[8]

It also contains healthy sugars, such as fructose and glucose, and can have a healthy effect on your body’s sugar level. Honey is one of the best food to eat late at night.

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12. Popcorn

When it isn’t swathed in sugar and milk and other fatty stuff, popcorn presents as a great late-night snack. Popcorn is a low-calorie snack and contains a rich amount of fiber.[9] High-fiber grains are believed to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Also, popcorn contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants believed to improve circulation and in general, health.

13. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

French fries are amazing. They taste so good. Do you like french fries? Then baked sweet potato fries are a great pick you might want to consider.

As a late-night snack, you can very well bake sweet potatoes instead of frying them. They are easier to prepare when baked and do not contain so much fat. Sweet potatoes contain a good quantity of fiber and vitamins.[10]They also contain some great amounts of protein.

Final Thoughts

When next you have the craving for a late-night meal, you should know that not all meals are great when eaten at night. Some are about right, and others could contribute to excessive weight gain, heart diseases, digestive disorders, and other health issues.

Have you ever woken up with swollen eye bags, felt nauseous, or had malaise after a late-night meal? Then it’s possible the meal was not a great pick.

When choosing the best meals and snacks to eat at night, you should choose meals that contain low calories—not more than 200 calories—and have high protein content. Proteins like tryptophan enhance the quality of sleep. Some of these foods include eggs, turkey, cheese, bananas, yogurt, juices, etc.

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Remember, eating healthy is a great way to remain healthy.

More Healthy Snacks Options

Featured photo credit: K15 Photos via unsplash.com

Reference

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