Looking good and being healthy has always been a top priority for many. Going to the gym, following the latest exercise trends, and sticking to a diet is a daily struggle. However, if you start slow and plan ahead your meals, it will give you a boost in energy to keep up with your exercise routine. There are many different diets out there to choose from whether you’re looking for weight loss, building muscle mass, lowering your cholesterol or if you just have specific dietary restrictions like being gluten intolerant. Below are some diet ideas that may interest you along with their ideal meal plans.
The High Protein Diet
Carnivores rejoice! This diet is for you and your endless love for meat-eating. The Carnivore Style diet caters to those looking to lose weight or build muscle mass. Basically, you eat any type of meat that contains protein and healthy fat by sticking to three strict meals a day. After the first few weeks, your metabolism will rewire itself to not get its main energy from glucose, but will fuel your body with the protein (any type of meat) and fat (butter, cream, cheese) you’re getting. This is ideal for gym goers. To get an idea of what your meal plan should be in 4 weeks of gradually, avoiding other food groups till you’re eating only meat and fat, you need to be able to eat the following and alternate between the types of protein.
Breakfast: Grilled ground beef patty with cheese
Lunch: Roasted salmon with butter
Dinner: Grilled porterhouse steak
The Low-Carb Diet
The low-carb diet is probably one of the most popular diets to follow as it restricts carbs, saturated fats and sugar. It has shown great success in weight loss and helped in treating cholesterol. Basically, you’re allowed to eat any type of protein that isn’t fried, some fruits and vegetables and non-gluten grains and you avoid sugar, wheat and highly processed foods. Below is an example of what your daily meal plan should look like:
Breakfast: Omelet with veggies
Lunch: Salad with any protein of your choice OR plain yogurt with fresh fruit OR a fruit smoothie
Dinner: Steak OR Grilled chicken with roasted veggies
Two snack options: a piece of fruit, veggie sticks, a handful of nuts, hard-boiled eggs, or yogurt.
The Mediterranean Diet
This diet is based on traditional foods natives used to eat in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece. Many studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet reduces the risks for heart-disease, type 2 diabetes and increases weight loss. Many people follow this diet for its flexibility within the food groups; all you have to avoid is junk food, processed meat, sugary beverages, and refined wheat or grains. Basically, eat fresh food as it’s meant to be eaten and your meal plan will look like this:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins or blueberries
Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with cheese and vegetables
Dinner: Salmon (or any type of fish, two days a week) with brown rice and vegetables
The Gluten Free Diet
Gluten can be found in wheat, barley and rye and unfortunately cause discomfort to many people. Gluten intolerance is more than just a fad; many celiac disease sufferers, those with gluten sensitive digestive systems, or those with a wheat allergy struggle with eating right due to the amount of gluten many products have. Gluten doesn’t only exist on bread and pasta, but also in baked goods, snacks like chips or processed popcorn, and some sauces like soy sauce. It’s best to stick to fruits, vegetables, starch, grains and flour variations to truly reduce digestive system issues. A meal plan will look like this:
Breakfast: Vegetable frittata OR Oatmeal with fruits
Lunch: Quinoa salad with vegetables OR Tuna salad
Dinner: Roasted chicken (or any protein) with rice, veggies or lentil soup.
Your body is a temple
As old as this saying is, it’s still true. Treat your body as the valuable instrument, it was made to be. Diets are only boring if you allow them to be, there is a ton of healthy food options out there will satisfy your cravings without feeling miserable. We only have one life, so living it healthily is optimum to truly enjoy our days.