Healthy Eating Plan. A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
Sample Diet Plan (To modify based on lifestyle/workout timings):
07:15 am: Breakfast/Snack (within 20mins of waking up)
09:00 am: Breakfast/Tea (no sugar)
11:00 am: Snack
01:00 pm: Lunch
03:00 pm: Tea (no sugar)
05:00 pm: Snack
07:30 pm: Snack / dinner
09:30 pm: Optional light dinner / snack
Do not overeat!
Replace snack with pre/post workout meal depending on an exercise routine.
Breakfast – Most important meal, never skip. Eat within 20mins of waking up. All homemade breakfast items are good options. Try to avoid coffee, and never have coffee first thing in the morning – it reduces your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Snack – Options are:
- handful nuts
- coconut water+malai
- milk products like yoghurt / lassi(no sugar) / cheese slice etc
- carrots with a light dip (preferably hung curd dip)
- handful cereal
- whole wheat toast with butter
- half dosa/idli/sandwich
Lunch – Limited portion of good home cooked food. Should always include carbs(brown rice/chapatti) & veggies. 1 piece of non-veg is good too.
Pre-workout meal – Liquid meal close to the event than a solid meal, because of liquid digests faster. During the workout, food should be digested & should not be hungry. Pre-workout meal can be one of the following depending on the time of workout:
- Solid meal (like Lunch) – 4hrs before workout
- A snack – 1 to 2hrs before workout (Fruits / Bread / Plain Pasta / Yogurt / Cereal with milk)
- Fluid – less than 1 hour before (Fruit Smoothie / Juice)
Never workout on an empty stomach!
No – meat, donuts, fries, chips, cakes etc before workout
Yes – Good carbs + Proteins
Tip – Good carbs like brown rice are much healthier than Bad carbs like white rice / white bread. Bad carbs are good only immediately after workout for instant sugar.
Some pre-workout meal options (Carb-more + Protein-less):
- Wholegrain crackers + almond/peanut butter
- 1 apple + 12 almonds
- Berries + whey protein shake
- Berries + a piece of string cheese
- Cup of grapes + 4 small slices chicken
- Small bowl of cereal(oatmeal) + milk
- Whole wheat bread + cottage cheese/paneer
- Dried fruits + ½ cup nuts
- 4 Wholegrain crackers + cheese & tomato
- Berries + yogurt
- Toast + peanut butter/honey/cheese
- Smoothie – Fruit + milk
- Orange / Banana / Apple / Pear / Plum
- Veg or Chicken Soup
- 1 hardboiled egg
- Idli + Sambar
- Light Sandwich
Post-workout meal – Never skip this meal – very important within 10-20minutes(or at least 45mins) of workout to recover lost nutrients & build strength, reducing muscle damage. The 10minute window after workout is the best time to eat!!
Yes – Proteins + Carbs + Healthy Fats
Good option – Meal like Rice + Dal
Best & Must “Protein” Source – Whey Protein (Digests faster than solid food, so quickly available to the body)
“Bad Carbs” like white potatoes, white rice, corn flakes, white bread are better post-workout than “Good Carbs” like oatmeal, brown rice etc as they provide instant sugar.
Some post-workout meal options (Protein-more + Carb-less):
- Whey Protein Powder(1 scoop of 30gms & 200ml water) + 2 banana or an apple
- 4-5 egg whites + boiled potato
- Whey Protein + White bread sandwich
- Any fruit (Best time to have fruit)
- Chicken + White rice
- Almond/peanut butter + toast
- Tuna + crackers
- Cereal + skim milk
- Egg white + spinach omelette
- Fruit smoothie / juice (Best & only time to drink fruit juice is after workout. At all other times, it is better to eat fruit than turn it into a juice with extra sugar!)
- Protein + Carb drink – post workout food drink
- Whey Protein + berries/oatmeal/spoonful peanut butter
- Fish + spinach + sweet potato
Other points to keep in mind:
- Fruits are best eaten as a meal/snack themselves. Avoid eating immediately after lunch/dinner
- Stop sugar, sugar from fruits is all the sugar you need. Avoid sweets, restrict to not more than once a week
- Avoid dessert, deep-fried, processed, junk food & packaged drinks
- Avoid caffeine or start with limiting to a half cup a day. The 1tsp sugar in coffee is more than the sugar you need a day
- Drink lots of water – 8glasses/day approx. Stay hydrated.
- Have small snacks including your regular meals every 2-3hours throughout the day
- Don’t overeat, keep your meals small
- Keep your dinner light; never go to bed on a full stomach. It leads to disturbed sleep and bloated stomach the next day.
- Include greens in all your major meals
- Chicken/Paneer is a good option for lunch. Fish is a good option for dinner.