Do you want to know exactly what you should eat so you can burn fat and build muscle without going through an overly restrictive diet plan? If you are looking for the right ways to build muscle and lose weight every week while enjoying your meal, then you have landed on the right page! No matter what your dietary preferences or life goals, planning your daily meals can help a lot and this post will show you how.
What if everything you have been told about “proper” dieting is wrong and will only make you feel miserable? What if cheat meals where actually one of the best ways to keep you on track? What if having a low-carb diet doesn’t help you burn fats, but adding more fat cells to your thighs, butts and hips? Do you want to enjoy your meals without having to count calories all the time?
Just imagine enjoying your delicious and favorite meals every day. You do not hear your stomach growl and there is no need to go through starvation mode. You get to increase your energy levels and be more productive while you lose more fats week by week. These things can be your reality as long as you know the trick, which will be revealed on this article.
Meal Planning Myths That Hold Back Your Goals
Before we start, let us check some meal planning myths that won’t help you achieve your desired weight and healthy body.
1. The Key to Get and Stay Lean is Clean Eating
Clean eating can help you reduce the amount of toxins present in your body. Yes, it is essential for overall health and long life. However, foods do not directly cause weight gain or weight loss. Healthy fats are not the saviors and sugar is not always the enemy.
To understand this statement, it is important to learn the concept of “energy balance.” This is the relationship between the amount of energy you consume and the amount of fuel your body actually burns. When you eat less energy than you use, you are experiencing “calorie deficit” or “negative energy balance.” Of course, this will lead to weight loss as you are using all the calories you ate.
On the other hand, when you eat more energy than you burn, you are in “calorie surplus” or “positive energy balance.” Even if you always eat “clean” but you do not burn those calories, it will result in weight gain.
2. The Best Way to Lose Fat Is Through A Low-Carb Diet
Many people turned to low-fat dieting for years, but that did not stop us from gaining weight. One of the latest trends today is the low-carb diet. It has been said that carbohydrates is responsible for gain weight and reducing your intake of this nutrient allows you to have a long, healthy life. Unless you are diabetic or not physically active, there is no reason to reduce your consumption of carbohydrates.
The truth is that eating foods rich in carbohydrates is a healthy option for you even if your goal is to lose weight. While there are some studies proving that a low-carb diet can help you lose weight (1), it does not significantly impact fat loss.
According to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, low-calorie diets results in significant weight loss regardless of which macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) they emphasize (2).
As long as you are in negative balance or calorie deficit, you can enjoy eating those carbs that you love. Low-carb dieting robs you of energy and makes you feel cranky, which greatly affects your workout performances.
3. You Will Gain Weight by Eating Certain Foods
You have probably heard many people say that eating certain foods can either help you lose or gain weight. Keep in mind that foods do not magically clog your hormones or transform into body fats. What they do is supply your body macronutrients and calories. Like what we have mentioned in the previous myth, it is “calorie surplus” that makes you gain weight.
There is no need to avoid certain foods just because people say they will make you fat. Sugar and certain foods won’t result in weight gain unless you consume more than your body burns. You can still enjoy your favorite foods in a smart way – eat less energy than you burn. As long as you are burning more than you are eating, you will experience weight loss.
4. All Calories Are the Same
Most of us think that a calorie is a calorie and they are all the same. However, this statement may lead us off track in our goal to build strength and muscle. In some way, calorie is a calorie. But when it comes to removing only body fat while building muscles, it is important to eat right amounts of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats).
Like what we have mentioned, carbs are not the enemy. These help you perform better in your exercises and extensive workouts. It also helps you build lean muscle and elevate your mood. Protein is also important to preserve lean muscle mass. In addition to making you feel satiated for longer periods of time, it also helps in reducing belly fat.
Create a Meal Plan That Supports Your Lifestyle
As you already know, weight loss or gain occurs when there is a disparity in the energy balance, which is the relationship between the energy you obtained from foods and the energy you burned through physical activities. Depending on your daily routine, it is important to take less energy than you burn if your goal is to lose weight.
Once you understand the energy balance, the next step in creating an effective custom meal plan is grasping macronutrient balance.
The three primary macronutrients are carbohydrate, protein, and fat. These are a class of chemical compounds that provide us energy. Many diet plans are based on wise distributions of these elements in ratios. For example, a 2000-calorie diet could consist of 800 calories of carbs, 800 calories of protein and 400 calories of fats. This is called tracking or counting macros (3).
There are also other things that you need to consider to gain muscle and not fat and lose fat and not muscle.
- When you eat too much fat, you will have to compensate by reducing carbohydrate and/or protein consumption.
- When you eat too little carbohydrate, you will have difficulty building muscle.
- When you eat too little protein, you will always have trouble gaining and preserving muscle.
To lose fat and gain muscle with ease, it is vital to get your macronutrient balance in proper ratios.
Many of us do not bother tracking or counting all the foods we eat. People would rather follow simple rules of what they can and should not eat. While eating nutritious foods is important to keep all organs functioning properly, grasping energy and macronutrient balance is also vital for overall health.
Foods that are considered good for weight loss are those high in volume (to make you feel satiated) but low in calories. These foods include whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables. These are also high in essential nutrients your body needs to function properly.
Foods that may contribute to weight gain are those low in volume (does not make you feel full) and high in calories. These foods include whole fat dairy products, low-fiber fruits, bacon, oils, butter, candies and caloric beverages.
Custom Meal Plan for Muscle Building and Fat Loss
The key to lose fat is by maintaining a negative energy balance or calorie deficit (20 to 25%). You need to burn those calories that you ate. Depending on your daily physical activities, set the amount of calories that you only want to consume and burn to prevent fat gain. When it comes to building muscles, you may eat a bit more. The small calorie surplus lets your body maximize muscle growth as efficiently as possible.
The best way to achieve your goals is by having a custom meal plan that:
- Is easy to follow so you can get desirable results.
- Fits your schedule, workout plan and budget.
- Does not include foods you are allergic to or dislike.
- Incorporates your favorite foods and not just bland meals every day.
- Is custom-made specifically for you.
- Provides well-balanced and nutrient-rich meals that keep both your body and mind fit and healthy.
Where can you get something like that without having to spend a lot for a personal nutritionist? It is a lot easier to access than you think. If you are looking for the easiest way to diet, we are offering custom meal plans that can help you lose weight, build muscle, eat better and even save money. We create every plan from scratch and we work with any dietary and budgetary needs.
We’d love to make you a custom meal plan designed to meet your dietary preferences and goals. No more trial and error, frustrating results or jumping from one fad diet to another. We can work with you to create a tailor-made meal plan that fits you perfectly.
1. A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12761364
2. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25007189
3. List of Macronutrients. Viewed at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_macronutrients
Steven has researched over 500 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. He has also worked with nutritionists specializing in weight loss while coaching people on how to transform their physiques and live healthy lives.