When it comes to losing weight, you need to plan your meals . In this way, it will be possible to determine, although somewhat inaccurately, the calories that are ingested throughout the day. Ideally, they should be less than what is spent, even if there is an estimate with a certain margin of error.
There are certain patterns that can help you when planning your diet. For this reason, we are going to tell you below how to design a menu to achieve the goal of improving body composition. Do not forget, however, that the best option is always to go to a professional, especially if you have some type of concomitant pathology.
To lose weight, one of the best dietary protocols out there is intermittent fasting. According to research published in the journal Clinical nutrition ESPEN , fasting has a positive effect on the loss of fat tissue and on the lipid profile.
The best intermittent fasting protocol that can be established is 16: 8, due to its simplicity and the adherence it generates. In this sense, it is advisable to skip breakfast, since in this way the circadian cycles of hormonal production are respected.
The methodology has been shown to have a positive impact on health. The body is worse prepared first thing in the morning to receive certain nutrients than after noon.
To know more: Does intermittent fasting help prevent disease?
The first meal of the day
With intermittent fasting, food would begin to be ingested from 1:00 p.m. The first meal must be complete from the nutritional point of view, so it must contain carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
It should be noted that the latter are essential to ensure muscle function, according to a study published in Nutrients . With the contribution of amino acids, a flow of raw material is ensured to the tissues that will help them to regenerate and repair possible cell damage.
With the aim of reducing anxiety and ensuring an adequate supply of energy substrates, it is possible to plan meals by placing a snack in the afternoon. This has to prioritize fats and proteins over carbohydrates. In the event that these appear, it is essential that they be complex.
Thus, pastries, sweets and ultra- processed products are to be avoided . These tend to contain unhealthy simple sugars and trans fats . Instead, it would be more helpful to introduce fresh foods such as fruits, dairy, and some quality cereals, such as oatmeal.
You may also be interested in: 5 consequences of excess ultra-processed
The last meal of the day should complete the protein needs , since it is during sleep when the processes of recovery of lean mass take place. It is essential that foods that contain proteins of high biological value appear , that is, of animal origin.
At the same time, it is necessary to ensure an adequate supply of micronutrients and antioxidants from vegetables. Perhaps the most studied today are the phytonutrients (flavonoids, carotenes, sulfuraphanes), with the ability to block free radicals from human metabolism.
When planning meals, pay special attention to the chosen preparations and the ingredients that make them up. A fundamental advice is to avoid the intake of ultra-processed products , as we have already mentioned. In addition, it is essential that foods of plant origin appear at each meal .
On the other hand, it is advisable to avoid frying and coating food, as well as cooking using high temperatures. These culinary techniques generate toxic waste products, such as acrylamide, which have been shown to be harmful to the body. According to a study published in the journal Cancer science , the intake of this substance increases the risk of developing some types of cancer.
Remember that the best option to get a healthy diet is to visit a specialist. However, planning your meals well will significantly increase your chances of success.
In this sense, if you want to lose weight, you must take into account the advice that we have offered you. First, consider the possibility of introducing an intermittent fasting protocol .
On the other hand, remember the need to include vegetables in all meals , as well as to prioritize fresh foods over ultra-processed ones. Lastly, don’t forget that a 3-meal model is more than enough to ensure dietary requirements are met.
Bear in mind that an excess of fat mass is associated with a greater risk of developing pathologies in the medium and long term, so the idea will always be to achieve an optimal state of body composition. The essential help, in addition to diet, lies in physical exercise and activity that counteracts sedentary lifestyle.