One of the most common questions I get is how to plan a diet, whether it’s to lose fat, gain muscle, or for a specific medical condition. Creating a personalized meal plan is actually pretty simple, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know to do it yourself.
Step 1: Determine your caloric needs
A simple and cheap (but less accurate) method of determining caloric needs is an online “calorie calculator”. Some results are a bit high and some are a bit low, so we recommend using the average from three different sites.
A more accurate way to determine caloric needs is body composition or body fat testing. I prefer the Bod Pod body fat test because it’s fast, simple, accurate, inexpensive, and requires no water submersion or fat pinching.
Step 2: Determine your macronutrient needs
Once you’ve determined your caloric needs, the next step is to figure out how much carbohydrate, fat, and protein you need to eat. For optimal testosterone production, we recommend a 40:30:30 ratio; that is, 40% of your calories from carbs, 30% from fat, and 30% from protein. For example…
If your daily caloric requirement is 2,000 calories, you would eat:
Carbs: 800 calories or 200 grams
Fat: 600 calories or 66 grams
Protein: 600 calories or 150 grams
You do not need to meet these numbers exactly, but the daily average over a week should be very close.
Step 3: Eat
Fulfill your macronutrient needs with whole foods. Carbs should come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Protein should come from meat, cheese, eggs, and whey or hypoallergenic protein powders. Fat should come from nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oil, whole eggs, butter (not margarine), avocados, and fatty fish and/or fish oil. A 1:1:1 ratio of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats is ideal; eating a wide variety of foods and supplementing with fish oil should be enough to achieve this ratio without monotonous calculations.
If this process seems overwhelming, or you if you have food allergies, food sensitivities, or a medical condition that can make meal planning difficult, you could always skip these steps and hire professional help. You can contact Human Health Specialists at (480) 883-7240 and one of their nutritionists will be glad to create a custom meal plan for just for you.
Give these steps a try, and if you find yourself lost or confused give HHS a call.