You want to lose weight, build muscle or firm up your body? A nutrition plan can help you on the way to your destination.
How to create your own nutrition plan
In this article:
- Who needs a nutrition plan at all?
- How do I create an individual nutrition plan?
- What is my daily calorie requirement?
- What is the optimal nutrient distribution?
- Which foods are part of a good nutrition plan?
- Which recipes are suitable for my nutrition plan?
- Should I also consume protein powder?
- Conclusion: the effort is worth it
Who needs a nutrition plan at all?
A nutrition plan is interesting for all those who work towards a very specific goal (Hello Dream Body!) And do not want to leave anything to chance. Because an individual nutrition plan can optimally support you on the way there whether you want to lose weight and/or build muscle mass. Because with sport alone, you will not reach your goal, because the diet plays a crucial role in the success of your project. A nutritional plan will help you structure your eating habits and integrate healthy eating habits into your daily routine.
Those who put together their own diet plan can tailor it to their individual needs and preferences. In order to be able to create a plan for yourself, however, you must first deal with the subject of healthy (sports) nutrition in advance. Do not worry, that’s really fun, promise! A little calculation is also there you have to go through.
But with your new knowledge, you can make changes yourself at any time and adapt the recipes according to your wishes.
How do I create my own nutrition plan?
You have defined your goal? Wonderful, then it can continue now with the calculation of your calorie needs. To reach your goal, your calorie balance at the end of the day must be either negative or positive. What does that mean exactly?
A) Diet plan for losing weight
For your body to say goodbye to bacon pads & Co., you need to burn more energy daily than you absorb. After all, whoever consumes more calories than he actually consumes a day will automatically increase, logically. That means you have to maintain a negative energy balance and burn more calories than you consume. Therefore, the special feature of a diet plan for losing weight is mainly in the total calorie amount: With a daily calorie deficit of 200 to a maximum of 500 kcal, you will lose weight long-term and sustainably.
B) Nutrition plan for muscle building
Also, the nutritional plan for muscle building, especially the total amount of energy is crucial, but in this case, the “positive”, that is: you lead to more energy than you consume. But will not you be fat? Yes, in theory, and without sport already. But if you want to build muscle, you have to do sport (strength training) and without a calorie increase your body will not be able to build up new muscle substance. A calorie surplus of 300 to 500 kcal is therefore ideal for building muscle.
What is my daily calorie requirement?
Now you know if your energy balance needs to be positive or negative to reach your goal. But how high is your individual energy requirement, which you can use to either pack or subtract calories? This is exactly what you are missing before you can really start compiling your diet. Your individual calorie consumption depends on your basic and performance turnover.
The basal metabolic rate indicates how many calories your body uses at rest to maintain vital body functions.
He is different for each person (depending on age, gender, etc.).
You have to take into account the sport you made and all your activities are included in the calculation.
Just use a good calorie calculator app to help you.
You are female, 25 years old and weigh 75 kilos with a height of 1.70 m. You do a lot of sports and have an office job.
Our example person has a calorie requirement of 2059 kcal per day with a base conversion of 1564 kcal.
The optimal Calorie needed to build muscle would now be about 300 to 500 kcal above your basal metabolic rate.
On the other hand, if you want to lose weight in the first place, you are aiming for about the middle of the basal metabolic rate and the total calorie requirement, in this case about 1800 kcal (negative energy balance).
If you want to keep your weight later, you eat as much as the (new) total calorie requirement it says.
Warning: If you eat in the long run so little that the basal metabolic rate is covered just that brings the whole metabolism confused and the yo-yo effect is already pre-programmed, as soon as you eat again “normal” after this hunger phase. That’s why crash diets, where you usually take too few calories, no long-term success.
What is the optimal nutritional distribution of my diet plan?
Our food basically consists of 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Before we explain how they should optimally fit into your diet plan, let’s refresh your baseline knowledge:
1. The stuff of which the muscles need: protein
Proteins are the basic building blocks of the body and are used to repair damaged or to build new cell structures including the construction of new muscle tissue. But it is also helpful when losing weight, as protein saturates long and prevents cravings. In order for the body to be able to utilize the protein from the food, it must first be broken down into its components the amino acids in the digestive tract.
Animal protein (eg from eggs) can be used by the body particularly well since the amino acid structure resembles the body’s own protein and can, therefore, be optimally utilized.
But vegetable protein suppliers such as nuts or legumes are top.
You should take in daily between 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight whether you want to build muscle or lose weight. If you want to specifically build muscle, you can also increase the amount and increase it to 1.5 to a maximum of 2 grams per day.
Small calculation example: A woman weighing 70 kilos is allowed to consume 56 to 140 grams of protein daily.
So that your body optimally the protein can use it, he needs liquid. Preferably water – and at least 2, better 2 to 4 liters daily.
2. Carbohydrates bring energy for training
Carbohydrates are the most important fuel of our body because they provide us with energy. But our carbohydrate stores are small and limited and excess carbs simply convert the body into fat. But that does not mean that you should delete carbohydrates from your diet. It is important that you take the right carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, you should switch to low carb, which means reduce carbohydrate intake to around 100 to 150 grams a day. If you want to build muscle, you need more carbs than energy suppliers for your workout. No matter what your goal is: it always depends on what kind of carbohydrates you eat because there are “good” and “bad”.
The “bad guys” are stuck in sweets or white flour, for example, and can be used quickly by the body. The disadvantage: The blood sugar level increases rapidly, but drops off quickly in the next moment. Due to the short-term persistence of satiety, subsequent power losses and food cravings result.
The good carbs are in whole grains, vegetables or legumes. In addition, these foods provide vitamins, minerals or fiber.
3. Fat does not make you fat
Fat has long ceased to be the “fatiguing villain” but an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. It is important to understand that food and body fat are not the same thing: body fat is the body of the excess carb.
Dietary fats are absorbed through food, with a distinction being made between saturated (bad) and unsaturated (good) fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids lurk for example in chips, fries and finished products keep your fingers away from this unhealthy stuff! By contrast, unsaturated fats should not be left out of a healthy diet: avocados, vegetable oils, nuts, and salmon are good fat suppliers.
But you should not take more than 60 to 80 grams of fat daily.
The nutrient distribution when losing weight look like:
- 20 to 30 percent carbohydrates
- 25 to 30 percent proteins
- 30 to 35 percent fat
If you want to build muscle, you must (must) eat more carbohydrates, therefore the following macronutrient distribution results:
- 30 to 40 percent carbohydrates
- 25 to 30 percent proteins
- 25 to 30 percent fat
Do you want to build mass? Then increase the carbohydrate content to 55 to 60 percent and lower the fat percentage down to 15 to 20 percent.
To convert the percentages to grams, the different calorie amounts of each nutrient need to be considered. 1 gram of protein and 1 carbohydrate each deliver 4 kcal, 1 gram of fat, however, 9 kcal. In other words: 1 kcal contains 0.25 g of protein or carbohydrates and 0.11 g of fat. Sounds complicated, but it is not. Important are the values 0.25 and 0.11, Because with those you can now make the percentages grams.
Example: You may eat 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of fat per day. At an exemplary calorie requirement of 1800 kcal per day, this is 720 kcal due to carbohydrates, 540 kcal due to protein and 540 kcal due to fat. How many grams is this? Quite simply: multiply the respective percentages by the factors 0.25 and 0.11 respectively. This results in the following gram data: 180 grams of carbohydrates, 135 grams of protein and about 60 grams of fat.
Which foods are part of a good nutrition plan?
After the basic knowledge has been understood, the practical part is now: The right food selection in your nutrition plan. Regardless of nutrient distribution, you should always rely on a mix of high-quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Protein-rich foods should end up on your plate daily and preferably with every meal. Protein is not only important for building the muscles, but it also promotes the ability to regenerate and nourishes the metabolism properly.
Choose high-protein foods with a high biological value. This value indicates how well the body can use the protein absorbed from the food to convert it into the body’s own protein.
Eggs set the gold standard at 100. But milk and dairy products such as cheese, as well as fish and seafood and lean meats (turkey, chicken) are ideal. As a fat supplier, you can use various vegetable oils. In addition, nuts, seeds, and avocados can also be used to create delicious, healthy recipes for your nutritional plan.
An overview of healthy foods for your nutrition plan, we have put together here for you:
Chicken breast; Turkey breast; Beef; Cottage cheese; Low-fat quark; Salmon; Natural yogurt; Shrimp; Quinoa; Tofu; Tuna; Tilapia; Coral lenses
Natural Rice; Whole wheat pasta; Whole grain bread; Oatmeal; Sweet potatoes; Lenses; Chickpeas; White beans; Quinoa; Potatoes; Peas
Rapeseed oil; Linseed oil; Olive oil; Coconut oil; Walnuts; Peanuts; Salmon; Sesame; Peanuts; Pecan nuts; Coconut; Almond; Nut
Which recipes are suitable for my nutrition plan?
There are plenty of recipes for your self-made meal plan, for example in cookbooks, blogs or on Pinterest you just have to gather them together, because there is no “patent prescription”.
Anything that tastes good, is full and does not break the calorie account is allowed. Do you need a little inspiration? Then take a look at our Free ebook The Ketogenic Diet.
Here are slimming formulas and recipes for building muscle. You can filter by ingredients, by recipe type (eg breakfast, snack, etc.) or by certain properties, such as low carb, gluten- or lactose-free. To help you keep track of your calories, there are many helpful apps.
Here are 3 suggestions on how an example day might look in your individual nutrition plan:
Variant A) Diet plan for losing weight:
Breakfast: Raspberry Smoothie Bowl (404 kcal)
Lunch: Chicken on Spinach Feta Bed (563 kcal)
Dinner: Cauliflower Rice with Mushrooms (420 kcal)
Total calories (excluding snacks): 1565 kcal
Variant B) Nutrition plan for muscle building:
Breakfast: Porridge with banana and walnuts (560 kcal)
Lunch: Pork tenderloin with sweet potato and green beans (741 kcal)
Dinner: Tomato and mozzarella omelet (485 kcal)
Total calories (excluding snacks): 1786 kcal
With a variety of snacks and snacks, you can now top up the missing calories to meet your calculated calorie needs. An example: Your calorie balance is 1700 calories, with the 3 main meals you take up 1450 kcal still 250 kcal you can “snicker” allowed. Here you will find permitted snacks for in between including calories per serving.
Should I also consume protein powder?
Especially when you want to build muscle, it is not always easy to meet your protein needs. Protein powder or protein shakes are then a good choice. They are also quickly prepared and convenient to transport. Another advantage: protein shakes provide your body with the protein in the purest form, so unwanted accompanying substances such as cholesterol and purines (from meat). This also protects your calorie balance. You can also use protein powder to lose weight, as it is well known that protein saturates for a long time, especially if you rely on the right protein:
Whey (whey protein) is the best choice when it comes to building muscle. It gets into the blood very quickly and is thus directly available to the body. Since it is important for your muscles to be nourished as soon as possible after exercise, a shake with whey protein is especially useful when drinking after strength training.
Casein is the predominant ingredient in milk protein – Whey or whey accounts for the remaining 20 percent. But unlike Whey, casein is absorbed more slowly by the body and does not get into the blood that quickly. Sounds like a disadvantage, but it is not, because it gives your body over a longer period of up to 8 hours building blocks for the construction and repair of tissue available. Casein also lasts for a long time, making casein shakes an ideal companion to losing weight.
Conclusion: The effort is worth it
Now that you know the nutritional basics, you know what your goal is and what your energy needs are: then you are now well equipped to make your own nutritional plan.
A little bit of calculating is there, but you’ll see, it’s worth it in the end. With a nutrition plan you are on the safe side and reach your destination even faster, you will see. If you prefer to make it easy, you can also download our free ebook Ketogenic diet for weight loss here, and is also for vegetarian.
Everyone else has fun and success in creating your first own nutrition plan.