Designing A Meal Plan

TSquared Lab, 25 Nov 2021
Food & Nutrition

The human body is a temple, and thus rightfully so, it requires a fusion and synthesis of nourishment and nutrients alongside physical and mental therapy.

The ultimate culmination of these constituents is a top-notch body with a healthy and happy soul. But what if I told you physical therapy and working out is not the only solution to that?

What Is The Need For A Meal Plan?

Physical and Mental Training with a scientific approach can help evolve the body into a better harbour of strength and fitness. But to create a viable solution focusing on an all-embracing recovery and transformation can only be determined via a proper meal plan

Essentials Of A Meal Plan

There are 6 factors in the creation of an efficient meal plan. These elements choose to react to one another almost within an indirect relationship. The following list has been curated in descending order of importance, but every fraction renders importance so, let’s take a look through the levels.

6 Levels Of A Meal Plan

Level 1

Energy balance

Level 2

Adherence

Level 3

Macronutrients

Level 4

Micronutrients

Level 5

Nutrient timings

Level 6

Supplements

Now that we have established what these essentials are, let’s look at these in-depth.

1. Level One: Energy Balance

Now, the term Energy Hemostasis or Energy Balance should be fairly known to you with an element of nostalgia from school biology classes. It is defined as the net amount of energy one has daily. Hence, when you have a net positive, you have an energy surplus and a net deficit indicates an energy deficit.

Clients usually are looking at being in an energy deficit to lose weight in two ways. Increasing in TDEE or decreasing in food consumption.

TDEE, like our bodily units, comprises various components such as BMR, NEAT, EAT, and TEF. Before you start sweating it with these short forms, we assure you that the meaning of them is much simpler. Hence, let’s clarify and dig a little deeper.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

BMR is the number of calories the human body needs in its most basal or completely unconscious state. Hence we are talking about life-sustaining activities like breathing, heartbeats, and brain functioning,

Therefore distinguished as crucial for existence. RMR, on the other hand, refers to Resting Metabolic Rate, which may seem to be interchangeable with BMR. But in this case, RMR also transforms based on external factors.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis(NEAT)

NEAT refers to the number of calories burned doing light engagements, which do not classify as exercising. Thus, activities like walking, fidgeting, standing will signify the NEAT aspect of your energy consumption.

How Can You Improve Your NEAT Daily?

  1. Walk as much as you possibly can.
  2. Take the stairs instead of the lift.
  3. Do your daily chores yourself.
  4. Choose an active lifestyle over a sedentary one.
 

Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT)

 

EAT is the number of calories you are burning from training or working out.

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

 

TEF is the number of calories you are burning just by eating. From masticating using your saliva to digesting and breaking down food particles and assimilating the nutrients.

Let’s find out which ones are significant in terms of understanding energy balance.

TDEE Components

Acquired Amount out of TDEE

BMR

30-70%

NEAT

20-40%

EAT

20-60%

TEF

5-10%

General population VS Athletes

These two examples are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to fitness

Energy Consumption

General Population

Athletes

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate

60%- 900 kcal (low muscle mass)

30%-1200 kcal (more muscle mass)

NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

30%-450 Kcal (overweight but a little)

10%-400kcal (lighter but more active generally)

EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

EAT 5% – 75kcal (runs once a week)

2000kcal (trains 4 hours a day)

DIT

5% – 75kcal (low protein intake)

400kcal (eats a lot of calories and high protein intake)

Total Calories Burned

1500 kcal

4000 kcal

TEF is the number of calories you expend from consuming calories, but it is messy with protein which has a higher TEF % than carbohydrates and fats. Whole foods have a higher TEF than processed foods. With everything in mind, take note that it is pointless to focus too much on the precision of TEF. More protein and more unprocessed foods will do the trick.

For Instance, in the above table, there is a difference of above 2000 kcal with regards to the general populace and athletes. Hence, meal planning asserts its importance in situations like these. Thus, the client has a better calculation of calories consumed and shed.

2. Level 2 – Adherence

Adherence level is how compliant a client is to their meal plan. Some of the factors that affect adherence are:

  • Cues
  • Stress
  • Micronutrients
  • Appetite
  • Palatability

If they have hyper palatability in their taste bud, consuming a lot of high fat and carbohydrate-rich food may be seen. Reducing their reliance on such food by going single macronutrient food is a good start. We have to remember that if your diet does not appease your palate, you will probably not eat it daily. Hence try and find out healthy versions of your favorite food.

Cues

It is important to understand what cues are triggering a response from you in terms of food. Cues can be from our five senses. Sight, taste, smell, hear and touch. Hence, it may lead to craving leads, response leads, or even rewards.

For example, I hear (cue) a food advertisement, I want (craving) something sweet. So, I will go (response) to the cabinet and eat a box of cereal (reward).

Solution: Elimination Of Cues

  1. Do not switch on the tv when you are busy
  2. Change your response – When you want something sweet, do something that is rewarding such as stretch yourself and thinks of positive thoughts
  3. You can not change cravings and rewards but you can change your cues (environment) and response (action). Your routine and habits are what you want to make out of it. Hence, if you are aware of your habits, you can change your routine and you can change your life.

Stress

People that are black and white in thinking of personality that goes from 0 to 100 are prone to binge eating from stress. If your client has such a personality, helping him/her be aware of their behavior when they are stressed out is a good start. Manage how they can reduce their stress such as basking under the sunlight, sleeping earlier, reducing junk lights. etc

Micronutrients

Lacking minerals and vitamins cause cravings and less satiety. That is why empty calories such as carbohydrates are not as filling as protein (animal protein) and fat (animal fats). Even though carbohydrates can hold water, it seems to not be able to fill up the stomach for most people. Adding zero-calorie electrolytes to their water can help with cravings.

Appetite

Appetite is psychological to physiological. It is rare to do with how much you have eaten because your body would not die from not eating for even a week especially if you are overweight. Appetite can be induced from social, trauma, hormonal to name a few.

Hormonally, Ghrelin stimulates appetite and Leptin suppresses appetite. Leptin level increases as it is stored in fat cells and it helps to lose weight. Lack of sleep can lead to leptin resistance and increase cravings. (Also not sleeping means more time to eat)

However, Ghrelin is released from the stomach that increases appetite and reduces fat loss. Obese people are usually higher on ghrelin, and leptin resistance. Sleep-deprived people have elevated levels of ghrelin hormones as well and tend to eat more than what they consciously take note of.

Socially, appetite can be triggered by their work environment, friends, advertisements. Basically, exposure to hyper-palatable food in our modern climate increased our appetite. Friends that pressure and put food around us.

Trauma, if you suffered a traumatic experience and used junk food as a reward. You are almost guaranteed to be fat. If you were a kid and fed really well, you had to diet down as a result. You will grow up with a terrible relationship with food, you wouldn’t want to go on a diet and you can’t seem to stop eating whenever you are stressed.

Solution

  1. Reduce body inflammation
  2. Reduce social and environmental cues
  3. Tactics on reducing calories around days you eat more
  4. Manage perceived stress
  5. Form new relationship with food
  6. Forgive yourself

To sum it up, Adherence is psychological and physiological. You cannot fix everything but you can make one thing better each time.

3. Level Three: Macronutrients

A human body has units of energy embedded within its building blocks. Now, these structures need to be replenished with new sources of energy from time to time. This is where Macro-Nutrients such as Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats come in.

As attested by several organisations and according to present-day norms there are different opinions regarding the intake of macronutrients. Hence the below table specifies the consumption percentages that need to be accounted for on a daily level.

Macro-Nutrient

Consumption in Percentage

Carbohydrate

45-65% of calories

Protein

10-35% of calories

Fats

20-35% of calories

4. Level Four: Micro-Nutrients

In literal terms, if macronutrients are needed in a larger quantity, then micronutrients serve a similar purpose, but their portions remain perfectly miniature. But before we indicate the consumption rate with the aid of a chart, let us discuss the contents of micro-nutrients. There are two micronutrients that one needs to focus upon:

1. Vitamins

The several forms of vitamins aid specifically in their arenas. However, together they focus on the following purpose:

  • Reinforce the Immune System
  • Nourish the Bones
  • Heals the Cuts and Scrapes
  • Helps Build Energy

2. Minerals

Similar to vitamins, minerals have a designated role within the human body. They help in the following ways:

  • Aids in the formation of enzymes and hormones.
  • Helps in the evolution and growth of the human body.

Hence, proper proportions of Macro and MicroNutrients are required by the Human Body to maintain:

  • A balanced diet
  • Create an immunity structure
  • Create a sufficient energy supply
  • Aid in digestion and metabolism

Lastly, an individual requires a balanced meal plan that would be incomplete without these nutrients. Hence, do not neglect these nutrients while focusing on muscle mass.

5. Level Five: Nutrient Timings

In practical terms, nutrient timing is a diverse topic that requires further research to be done. However, as attested by Medical Professionals and Dieticians, Nutrient Timing is defined particularly as a tactical time period for food consumption. Now you may ask why is that necessary in terms of meal planning?

Well in terms of all the macro and micro-nutrients that you are consuming, nutrient timings actually aid in amplifying the positive outcome.

For Instance: As opined by Medical Professionals, intensive workout sessions and physical therapy should always be followed by a diet strictly consisting of carbohydrates and proteins.

This is because:

  • Carbohydrates help replenish the energy sources that are exhausted after training.
  • Protein helps build and de-strain the muscles and ligaments of the body.

Why Is Nutrient Timing Important?

Nutrient Time is a rather efficient solution to crush several norms while creating solutions. The following causes will give an insight:

  • Increases Consistency of Diet
  • Increases Hydration
  • Helps control fat and muscle mass
  • Replenishes the Body as and when necessary.

6. Level Six- Supplements

As you may have seen in Gyms, supplements are additional constituents that make one’s diet a little better and more nutritious. Regarding meal planning, health supplements can act as the quintessential nutrient that was otherwise absent in your diet.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can, in general, look like a meticulous routine with its macro and micronutrient measuring, timings, etc. But the reality is quite simple. Thus, we hope to bring our discoveries with their scientific tinge to you.

If you want to find out more about what it means to take on a sustainable approach to creating new eating habits and get world-class training. Feel free to book a free consultation with our professionals.

Walk on this Journey of Understanding and get educated starting with a practical approach to your nutrition and training. Curate unique flavor bombs and gourmet refreshments in the form of weekly meal plans, healthy recipes and get started on getting your dreambody transformation

Conclusion

Leading a healthy lifestyle can, in general, look like a meticulous routine with its macro and micronutrient measuring, timings, etc. But the reality is quite simple. Thus, we hope to bring our discoveries with their scientific tinge to you.

If you want to find out more about what it means to take on a sustainable approach to creating new eating habits and get world-class training. Feel free to book a free consultation with our professionals.

Walk on this Journey of Understanding and get educated starting with a practical approach to your nutrition and training. Curate unique flavor bombs and gourmet refreshments in the form of weekly meal plans, healthy recipes and get started on getting your dream body transformation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Why is Energy Balance important in a meal plan?

A. Energy Balance is the net amount of energy one has daily. When you have a net positive, you have an energy surplus and a net deficit indicates an energy deficit and it is very effective to measure the energy balance if someone is looking to loose weight.

Q. What are the three life sustaining activities included in BMR? 

A. BMR is the number of calories the human body needs in its most basal or completely unconscious state. Hence, the three life-sustaining activities are breathing, heartbeats, and brain functioning.

Q. Is leading a healthy lifestyle challenging to maintain?

A. Leading a healthy lifestyle can, in general, look like a meticulous routine with its macro and micronutrient measuring, timings, etc. But the reality is quite simple, all it requires is to take a proper sustainable approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

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