How to create your own diet plan?

Create your own diet plan for both weight gain or weight loss.

Hey! at the end of this post, I’m sure that you will be able to build your diet plan easily, it may be for gaining muscle or to lose fat.

There are more prescribed diet plans or a few fitness gurus selling it over the internet which will be working for the short term, eventually, it won’t be effective. The best diet is the one that works for you, so start creating your own diet plan.

Before personalizing your own diet plan, you need to know about a few things listed below.

Calories
Maintenance Calories
Caloric Deficit / Surplus

  • Calories 
    A calorie is a unit of energy, it’s like how many calories you get from the food you eat or drink. Every food that we eat is converted as energy and stored in our body for later use, which we represent that energy as calories.
    E.g.: One medium-size apple provides you with about 95 calories.

  • Maintenance Calories 
    Whether gaining or losing weight knowing about calorie maintenance is important. The energy that is needed to perform your daily activities like muscle/cell growth, walking, sleeping, digestion, etc. The energy spent by your body to do all these basic day-to-day activities is called daily maintenance calories or total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
    Note: If you’re consuming your maintenance calorie in the exact numbers you won’t gain or lose from your current weight.

  • Caloric Deficit 
    When your energy intake is lesser than your daily energy expenditure i.e. maintenance calories. Here, you’re creating a calories deficit. For the remaining calories, the body will try to get the stored energy from the muscles or fat tissues to fulfill your maintenance calories. It’s easier to eat 300 few calories each day than to burn that calorie through exercise.
    E.g.: Assume your Maintenance calorie is 2000/day. To attain caloric deficit, you should consume less than the maintenance, 1700/day. The remaining 300 calories will be taken from your muscles/fat tissues.

  • Caloric Surplus 
    When you’re consuming more calories than you burn for the day then you’re in a caloric surplus. Whereas the surplus calorie will help you to gain more weight.
    E.g.: Assume your Maintenance calorie is 2000/day. To attain caloric surplus, you should consume more than the maintenance, 2300/day, the excess 300 calories will be stored in your body.

Once you’re clear on the above concepts, you can control your weight gain as well in losing your excess fat. Now, you’ve to find your maintenance calories which depend on various aspects like body weight, height, body type, age, activity levels, etc.

How to calculate your maintenance calories ?

Maintenance-Calorie = BMR * Physical Activity Ratio

To find your Maintenance calories, we need to calculate your BMR first.

What’s BMR ?

Basal Metabolic rate is the number of calories (energy) your body burns when you’re at rest which means you are not doing any work and lay in bed all day. Use the below formula to calculate the BMR of your body type.

Men: BMR = 10 x weight in kg+ 6.25 x height in cm – 5 x age in years + 5
Women: BMR = 10 x weight in kg + 6.25 x height in cm – 5 x age in years – 161
Mifflin St. Jeor equation for calculating BMR

Then find your physical activity level from this table

Physical Activity Level
Activity RatioDescription 
Sedentary1.55No exercise or physical work
Lightly active1.85Light exercise or active job of 8+ hrs
Moderately active2.2 Active job + 1 hr of exercise daily
Extremely active2.4Physical job or  hardcore exercise daily

Example:

I’m going to calculate BMR for me here with the above formula,

Weight = 77 cm Height = 188 cm Age = 25 years
BMR = 1077 + 6.25188 – 5*25 +5 My BMR is 1132

Activity Ratio = Moderately Active = 2.2
Maintenance calorie = BMR * Physical activity level ratio =1132* 2.2 = 2490

My Maintenance calories will be 2490 for my body type.

Now, we know how to find our maintenance calories, with that in hand if you want to gain weight you have to increase 300-500 calories per day to put yourself in a caloric surplus and like the same if you want to lose your body weight you have to decrease 300-500 calories per day from your maintenance calorie which will result in your body calorie deficit.

Once you got your maintenance calories you need to prefer the number of meals you like to have in a day and divide your calories accordingly.

For Example, I’d like to have 4 meals a day and my total of 2490 maintenance calories will be split for the 4 meals. At the end of my day, it should be 2490 calories neither less nor more.

When you’re good at splitting the calories for the day, now you must start to track your macro-nutrients within your maintenance calories to attain your dream physique.

Understanding about Macros

Macronutrients are components of food that you eat from which body gets its energy to maintain your body and its system.

  • Carbohydrates Simple and complex carbs break down to form glucose in the body to provide instant energy or stored in muscles/liver as glycogen for later use.

  • Fats – These are called dietary fats. You need fat in your body to maintain the body temperature, help hormone production, also the excess calories are stored in fat tissues to provide energy when the glycogen stored in muscles is depleted.

  • Proteins They are made up of amino acids which help to build muscles, repair muscle tissues after injury. We need 20 amino acids and there are 9 essential amino acids which means our body can’t produce them we need to take them from the high protein foods.

Above three are the macro nutrients. Cutting out any one of these macros will put you in nutrient deficiency.

You must decide your ideal ratio of macro nutrients. I’d like to have in between 45-65% of carbs, 10-20 % of fats, 20-35% of proteins. The macro nutrient ratio will defer from one person to another based on their goals like fat loss, muscle building or just to stay fit.

Here’s an example of how to calculate macro nutrients

Carbs contain 4 calories/gram
Proteins contain 4 calories/gram
Fats contain 9 calories/gram

My Maintenance calorie is 2490 calories

I’m going to multiply my macros ratio with my maintenance calories

1.Carbs – 50% = 2490 * 0.5 = 1245 calories
Total grams of carbs = 1245/4 = 311.25 grams

2.Fats – 15% = 2490 * 0.15 = 373.5 calories
Total grams of fats = 373.5/9 = 41.5 grams

3.Proteins – 35% = 2490 * 0.35 = 871.5 calories
Total grams of proteins = 871.5/4 = 217.87 grams

So, my daily intake would be 311.25 grams of carbs, 41.5 grams of fats, and 217.87 grams of proteins,

With this, I must split the macros accordingly with the number of meals that I’m going to have in a day.

Takeaways

  1. It’s easy to eat an extra calorie with junk foods, sugar, or plenty of carbohydrates in your meal. So, always have a healthy meal with all the macronutrients on your plate – Carbs, Fat & Protein in the right proportion to attain your goal, whatever it may be weight loss or weight gain.

  2. In fitness, all the numbers you’ve on the paper are just a ballpark for you to have a possible fitness goal. You can’t reach the exact number all the time and it’s also hard, so try to be around the destination number to get the best version out of yourself.

  3. Your goal may be muscle gain or fat loss, you’ve to be perfect in both the kitchen and gym to reach your goal.

Hope this post will help you to plan your own diet plan in your fitness journey.

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