Q:

How do you develop meal plans for weight loss?

A:

Quick Answer

To develop meal plans for weight loss, start with a weight loss goal, and calculate your daily caloric intake, suggest Nutrition.gov. Use the USDA's body mass index calculator to determine how many calories to consume daily to maintain your current weight.

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Full Answer

When you find a daily calorie count that maintains your current weight, subtract about 500 calories from this number to lose 1 pound per week, explains Nutrition.gov. Stick to this number of calories when creating the final meal plan. Include meals that are low in fat. Exercise regularly, and eat regular meals throughout the day to maintain weight loss and overall health.

Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to calculate a customized meal plan based on your age, sex, weight, height and level of physical activity, states USDA.

To design a diet for weight loss, WebMD suggests calculating how many meals you want to eat every day. Divide your maximum number of daily calories into these meals to determine how much food to include in each meal. Choose foods that are high in protein and fiber. Research which foods in each food group contain the lowest calories, and use these foods in your final meal plan.

Hold about 100 calories per day for snacks or desserts, warns WebMD. This prevents expending your daily calorie goals on less nutritional food. When eating at restaurants, look for the calorie counts on each menu item to determine whether the meal meets your caloric requirements for the day.

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