Spotlight on diet plan
How can we firmly implement our new eating habits? Amongst all the options, following a nutrition plan is a good way of getting back on track. If you have clear objectives, the nutrition plan is a popular method as it encourages improved diet quality. It is especially popular when the objective is a gain in muscle mass or weight loss.
So, what does this mean?
The nutrition plan comes in different forms. It could be in the form of a prepared menu, in other words, the planning of weekly recipes : breakfasts, lunches, dinners and between meal snacks. This plan is useful because it gives you balanced meal ideas, whatever your objective. Did you know that, as a Nautilus Plus member or Ultime Fit fitness platform subscriber, you have access to several weekly menu options based on your caloric profile and your objectives?
Example of a meal plan (French only) – menu form – click below ⇓
The healhty-eating plate method is a simple, visual guide that allows you to eat balanced meals whether you’re eating in, eating out, or packing a lunch box. To maintain good health, vegetables should make up half of your plate, proteins should take up ¼ of your plate, and grain products (starch) must complete the other ¼ (at each meal). If you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass, the proportions may be different and specifically adapted to your level of physical activity. Between meal snacks will also be considered, but the portions will differ from one objective to another.
Example of a meal plan (French only) – plate method – click below ⇓
You can also have a nutrition plan based on food groups. This method consists of the optimal distribution of foods (starches, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, solid fats, added sugars) throughout the day to ensure a good energy level, good digestion and a feeling of satiety. It involves understanding food interchangeability or substitution, which is why a « food equivalent » guide often accompanies this type of plan. For example, a serving of starch may be equivalent to a regular slice of bread, but also equivalent to 1/3 cup of white rice. The portion guide is convenient as it allows you to eat the food of your choice within a certain group, making it a flexible tool for meals with friends, family, dining out, etc.
Finally, a nutrtion plan can be extremely strict. This one uses the same model as the option above, but imposes a certain type of food, in a fixed amount at each meal which makes it, unlike the other, a tool with very little wiggle room.
The purpose of a nutrition plan
As briefly mentioned above, nutrition plans are useful as they encourage improved diet quality and can help instill healthier eating habits. They are also convenient for people who have little time to think about weekly meals. Having a plan or a menu can also give you ideas on how to add some variety.
However, there are also some drawbacks. A plan may be too restrictive for some. And just as your workouts must be changed periodically in order for you to progress, the same can be said about nutrition plans. Finally, despite the fact that a nutrition plan is good for the short-term, it does not supply the tools needed to learn to eat well throughout the year.
Take the holiday season for example. It is quite the feat to make it safely through the abundance of a Christmas meal. It can be quite difficult to pull off and cause a fair amount of stress.
This is why, in addition to a personalized plan based on your profile, existing habits, the family you need to cook for, etc., a nutritionist will make sure to follow-up and supply the tools you need to better understand your nutrition needs. For example, you will learn how to nourish your body while respecting hunger and satiety signals. (could come in handy this holiday season!)
To help you get off on the right foot, before booking an appointment with a nutritionist, here are two structured nutrition plans that can be helpful; the 1-day diet plan at 1,700 calories (French only) and the 1-day diet plan following the healthy-eating plate method (French only)!