How to Create a Perfect Menu for Healthy Weight Loss
Heading into a new year, millions of us want to find a simple meal plan to lose weight - but haven't a clue where to start.
If that sounds familiar, don't panic, and definitely don't sign up for an expensive weight loss foods package without reading our advice!
The issue with weight loss, and any nutrition plan, is that the best option for one person might not be for the next, so it's essential to evaluate what you're trying to achieve and prioritise health alongside any aspirations to reduce your waistline.
Today the Best10 team runs through our top tips to choose weight loss foods that will help you hit your goals and construct a simple meal plan to lose weight - that works.
Setting Your Weight Loss Targets
Before we mention a single food item, meal delivery plan or diet app, let's talk about YOU!
Everybody has a different physiology, fitness level and health conditions, so never (ever!) commit to months of meal plans, exercise regimes or classes if you're not confident it aligns with what you need.
Weight loss is way more than the calories you consume - think about:
- Realistic timescales without setting yourself up to fail.
- Accountability - are you dieting with a friend, or do you need a weight loss meal plan with a group chat to help you through any stumbling blocks?
- Mental health - you need to be in a good place to embark on an ambitious lifestyle change, so if you're anticipating (or experiencing) upheaval, can you cope with the added pressure of trying to transform your body?
- Exercise - can you work out, and perhaps more importantly, do you want to? A massively restricted calorie intake is not compatible with sudden increases in your workout regime and is a fast track way to injury and burnout.
We get that it all sounds a bit negative, but it isn't!
The only way to achieve long-term, healthy, and sustainable weight loss is to create a foundation for success and head into your journey with conviction, support, and an awareness of what it takes to smash those goals.
Creating Sustainable Weight Loss Menus
Now, we'll talk about food. It's a hugely emotional issue for so many people, and eliminating everything that brings you joy is not an option - regardless of what the social media ads say!
It's also crucial we point out what we all know but sometimes would prefer to ignore.
Supplements can be useful ways to ensure we're getting all those essential nutrients. Still, they are not any substitute for a balanced approach to eating and exercise - and no quick-fix solution replaces a great health lifestyle (but they'll make a tidy dent in your bank balance!).
Again, the best weight loss menu for you must align with your lifestyle:
- Do you have time to cook and prepare fresh meals every day?
- Are you cooking for kids and family members as well as yourself?
- Do you need lunch you can take to work with you on the go?
- What sort of weekly or monthly grocery budget do you need to stick to?
- Are you looking for a comprehensive meal package, a nutrition guide to cook from, or to replace a few meals a week with a healthier choice?
Recommended Read: Complete Keto Diet Food List: What You Can & Can't Eat
Each of these options is perfectly viable, but it's important to think through how a new weight loss menu will incorporate into your daily life and choose something that isn't going to become impossible when you're spinning plates during a busy week.
There are weight loss apps, which give you a shopping list, recipes, and inspiration to make healthier choices, one step at a time.
Meal kits are perfect if you want to cook for your family and don't have the time (or energy!) to slog around the supermarket picking up fresh veggies every couple of days.
Delivery services can provide fully prepared meals, ready portioned, to stick in the microwave and keep clear of the temptation to dial up your favourite pizza delivery place!
Choosing the right and the best diet plan solution for you will mean you stick at it with minimal effort and won't find it hard to stay committed once your New Years' resolutions have become old news.
Making Great Menu Choices
Finally, we'd advise you to keep incorporating just a little of the naughty stuff, even if it sounds counterproductive.
We know that fresh veggies, high protein (eggs, chicken, turkey or tofu, for example) and lower carbs are a mainstay in weight loss menus, but a life of steamed chicken and broccoli isn't enjoyable.
Building in snacks you love, having small amounts of your favourite treats and relaxing into a diet that's, say, 80% healthy and 20% cheeky will mean you make huge changes to your overall lifestyle while ensuring you don't lose the love of delicious foods!
For more information about some of the best weight loss menus out there, visit Best10 for independent reviews, pricing information, and a sneak peek at the dishes on offer.