Weight Loss Meals and Free Meal Plans
Here on our site we have different types of weight loss meals from which to choose. There are meal plans for those who are following an exercise program and meal plans for those who are not following an exercise program.
For those not following an exercise program, your best choice of meals are set out on the Fat Burning Foods page, Best Low Carb Diets page, and the Paleo Diet page.
You will find all those pages listed on our site map/index and on the navigation buttons. Those pages are excellent and will serve you well. They will enable you to lose weight and achieve lasting weight loss.
The meals on this page are suitable for those who are following a strength and fitness exercise program such as the one set out here on our website.
You will find the direct links to those pages listed on our site map index.
The focus of this page
Please focus on increasing your metabolic rate. Proper strength training increases lean muscle mass and that will increase your metabolic rate.
So will eating well!
There is no such thing as an ideal set of weight loss meals that will work effectively for promoting permanent weight loss in everyone. As always, the critical procedure is: Understand. Use. Modify. (Make "UUM" your new mantra!) Examine your results to modify what you are doing to lose weight.
It starts with understanding: How should you structure your weight loss meal plans so that you lose body fat?
There are two critical ideas here: the frequency of your weight loss meals and the macronutrient combination of those meals.
The frequency of weight loss meals
Eating small frequent meals that have good food selections is the best nutritional strategy for increasing your metabolic rate.
Enjoy a relatively low calorie meal about every three to five waking hours.
Suppose you are now on a 3X (three feedings daily) nutritional program, and each meal averages 800 calories. Switching to a 6X program in which each meal averages 400 calories would give you the same number of calories daily as you have been ingesting while ramping up your metabolism!
Without using anabolic steroids, adopting a 5X or 6X nutritional program [hereafter just '6X plan'] for weight loss meals is the only effective way to increase and sustain greater lean muscle mass.
This is why every serious bodybuilder or fitness athlete uses a 4X, 5X, or 6X plan for weight loss meals.
(The only exception we are aware of is Bill Pearl; however, he is genetically blessed, in his 70's, no longer competes, and formerly used anabolic steroids to increase his muscle mass.)
If you have difficulty sleeping, please avoid eating for several hours before bedtime.
If one is trying to increase lean muscle mass, it's not good to be "burning" muscle protein, which is why it's important to replenish one's supply of protein every few waking hours. Eating massive amounts of protein in one or two or three meals daily won't cure the problem; protein consumption must be spread out.
Do you think our Pleistocene ancestors had three set meal times? It's not as if they had clocks to synchronize their feedings! The common 3X plan is only as old as the Industrial Revolution; it is not the way we evolved to eat.
Some athletes eat a bit more frequently (for example, every two-and-one-half hours), and some eat a bit less frequently (for example, about every four hours). (Diabetics should not eat more frequently than every five hours.) Our bodies thrive on regular nutrition as well as regular exercise. Experiment and find out what frequency is optimific for you.
If one sleeps 8 hours daily and adopts a 6X plan for weight loss meals, in theory one should eat every 2.7 hours. Find a 5X or 6X plan of weight loss meals that fits your schedule. The range will be from 90 minutes to 4 hours.
Digesting food requires energy. Adopting a 6X plan for weight loss meals increases metabolic rate because of the thermic effect of foods. The thermic effect of foods varies. If, as it should, your food selections for meals include sufficient proteins, this will increase the thermic effect.
The foods with the lowest thermic effect are fats and simple carbohydrates, which elicit a thermic effect of only 3% of a meal's total calories. Complex carbohydrates elicit a 20% thermic effect. Proteins can elicit up to a 30% thermic effect! Ingesting sufficient protein is critical for achieving lasting weight loss.
Adopting a 6X plan for weight loss meals with good food choices keeps your energy supply high and steady throughout the day. It minimizes swings in blood sugar and insulin levels. It will help you consistently feel good.
By keeping your body's output of insulin at a moderate and steady level, it maximizes growth of muscle tissue and glycogen storage. Simultaneously, it prevents breakdown of muscle tissue by keeping your body in positive nitrogen balance.
Adopting a 6X plan like this for weight loss meals minimizes cravings and prevents food binges.
Furthermore, since you'll never go more than 180 waking minutes without food, it minimizes hunger. This is important because, if you eat when you are hungry, you'll tend to eat too much.
Adopting a 6X plan for weight loss meals also promotes more efficient utilization of all nutrients.
For these reasons, if you fail to adopt easting weight loss meals more frequently, it's likely that you'll fail to achieve lasting weight loss.
Weight loss meals combination
The goal is improved body composition, in other words, a better muscle-to-fat ratio. 'Combination' here denotes the macronutrient ratios of a meal. What is the best combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for improving body composition?
If a meal had 60% of its calories come from carbohydrates, 30% from proteins, and 10% from fats, this combination would be written as '60/30/10.' What is the best combination for you? What is the optimific balance of macronutrients for you? What's the best macronutrient ratio for you?
No single ratio works best for everyone. There is no best combination, no one ratio that suits all.
Here's how to proceed.
(1) Measure your percentage of body fat. (As we explain elsewhere here at lasting-weight-loss.com, this can be done quickly in the privacy of your home with inexpensive plastic caliphers.)
(2) Adopt a baseline 4X, 5X, or 6X plan.
(3) Use measurements to monitor the results of using that plan and modify it as necessary.
Establishing the combination of macronutrients that works best for you is fundamental. It will give you 80% of the results you want. Get the fundamentals mastered before worrying about the other 20%,. Don't worry: We help you with those elements also.
For help, see our Overcoming Obstacles page, listed on our site map index.
This is a moderate plan. It'll work for males or females. Think of 10/40/50 as being the best ratio, on average, for each of the six feedings as well as for the whole day. If you have learned from experience of a better combination for you, by all means use that instead.
Just avoid extreme plans; the one you want is one that will work well for life. This plan is just to get started; you'll be modifying it as you measure the consequences of adopting it.
For most people, grams of carbs consumed daily are more important than calories. We recommend, except on your cheat day (if any), that you consume no more than 25 grams of carbs daily. Get slightly more than one-third of your daily calories from natural sources of proteins and the rest from natural sources of fats.
(Don't worry: unless you consume too many carbs, dietary fat won't make you fat. It's the natural way to eat.)
If you think in terms of calories: A gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories. A gram of proteins is 4 calories. A gram of fats is 9 calories.
Want an alternative baseline plan? In their book Nutrient Timing, Ivy and Portman recommend 41 to 48% carbs, 19 to 26% proteins, and 33% fats.
The book is helpful because it provides a practical way to take advantage of an often neglected nutritional fact, namely, "that the metabolic action of a particular nutrient is highly dependent on when it is consumed."
Getting 40% or more of their calories from carbs is fine for serious athletes. However, even if you follow the exercise program recommended at this website (namely, 2 strength training workouts weekly and 2 or 3 intense fitness workouts weekly), that may be far too many carbs for weight loss.
What should you do?
Cutting calories to a starvation level (below 2000 daily) is not the way to go.
Instead, cut your carbs and make up that loss of calories with additional proteins and fats from natural sources. If you eat sufficient proteins and fats from natural sources every few hours, you will automatically minimize or eliminate both hunger and food cravings.
Before you begin, measure your body fat and measure it weekly from now on. Assuming that you are doing the strength and fitness training, adjust your 6X plan accordingly.
If your percentage of body fat is not decreasing by ¼% to 1/2% weekly, make an adjustment. A 15/40/45 plan can work well for lasting weight loss.
What combination did our hunter-gatherer ancestors consume? Nobody knows. Furthermore, especially with respect to fats, it varied in different locations. Under reasonable assumptions, it was probably about 19 to 35 percent of calories from proteins, 28 to 58 percent from fats, and 22 to 40 percent from unprocessed carbohydrates.
These ratios are averages. It is not only not important to stick to them exactly each day, it's also usually better for fat loss to average them.
While keeping the total calories about the same, for example, you might use different ratios on different days that just average out on your noncheat days.
Some bodybuilders have found that staggering macronutrient percentages in this way is very effective for fat loss. It's a bother to do this, but it might be very effective for you. Why not try it for a month?
Similarly, why not try staggering carb intake? Minimize carb intake after noon.
Similarly, try alternating low, medium, and high carb days. For example, keep carb intake low four days of the week, medium for two days, and high on your cheat day. Of course, the reference here is to your macronutrient percentages, so 'high' here just means 'high for you.'
For most people, having one or two meals on a weekly cheat day can be very helpful. It's not just a psychological break.
After about a week of low carb dieting, the level of the hormone leptin in your blood decreases to about half of normal. This signals your body that you are starving and, in response, your metabolic rate and fat burning rate drop.
To avoid the starvation response, all that is necessary is one cheat day weekly. That will replenish your leptin level and permit continue fat burning. However, even on your cheat day, stop eating when your hunger disappears. Do not continue to eat until you feel full or stuffed.
So, try a cheat day and see if it works for you. (Since leptin and insulin levels rise and fall together, a cheat day is counter-productive for diabetics. This is a reason why you should always check with your physician before making significant changes to your eating or exercise plan.) The key is to monitor your results weekly and tweak your program until you are getting the results you want.
To understand the whole program, if you have not yet read the diet pages listed at the top of this page, plus our Exercise section, and the Psychology section [listed on the navigation buttons], please do so.
The big picture will then become clear.
The other sections of the website may help you to make effective adjustments. Once you understand how to do that, all that is required is doing it.
Our psychology pages may help immensely with respect to implementing it.
Highly recommended books for weight loss
If you want to gain more control to improve your weight loss and eating habits, the following books are highly recommended.
Another of our pages to help you further
Use the link at below to visit our '15 Fat Burning Foods' page to increase your knowledge further.
The above graphic is one example of Fat Burning Foods.