How To Meal Plan

/How To Meal Plan
How To Meal Plan

Hoe maak ik een voedingsschema?

In order to train effectively to grow muscle or to get a tight body, getting the right nutrition is very important. This applies to both the quantity and quality of food and drink: how much do you eat or drink and what do you eat or drink exactly? Discover here how to create a perfectly fitting personal diet plan.

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A proper diet plan differs per person. What the right dietary pattern for a person is depends on gender, age, daily activity and one’s fat percentage. Furthermore, everyone should pay attention to quantity and quality of food. Quantity means giving attention to the relationship between macronutrients. Quality means that you need to extract nutrients from varied and fresh products.

Four steps
You need to know your daily calorie requirement for a proper diet plan. This way you know how many macronutrients you need to get in order to be able to grow your muscles. Creating a personal diet plan consists of four steps:

  1. Formulate a goal: what do you want to achieve?
  2. Calculate your fat-free mass
  3. Calculate your energy requirement
  4. Set up a diet plan: what fits your body?
  5. Evaluate: does your schedule have the desired effect?

Step 1: formulate a goal

It is important to know for yourself what exactly you want to achieve and in what time frame (how many weeks/months). To train for a tight body, you’ll need to choose between one of these options:

  • You want to lose as much fat as possible, keeping as many muscles as possible
  • You want to grow as many muscles as possible and gain as little fat as possible

Burning fat and growing muscles at the same time is physically impossible: therefore, you should choose one of two options as a goal. To lose weight, you need to have a negative energy balance, to grow muscle you need the opposite – then you need a positive energy balance. For example, a realistic goal for a two month training period looks like this: I want to keep my muscle mass at the same level (a slight increase is allowed) but reduce my fat percentage by about 4%. Keep in mind, the closer you get to your goals, the more difficult it will be. Where your fat percentage may decrease by 2% in the first month, it will probably take longer for you to go down another 2% of fat percentage.

Step 2: calculate your energy requirement

The key to calculating your energy requirement is: how many proteins, carbohydrates and fats should your diet plan contain? This depends on your fat percentage. To measure this correctly, it is advisable to use a skinfold meter. You can do this at home yourself, or have a professional do it at the gym or a dietician’s practice.

Fat percentage calculator 

This calculator uses the “Hodgdon en Beckett” formula.

It’s better to use the skinfold method.

Maintenance of your body is an important point here. Maintenance is the amount of calories your body needs to stay on weight. This is how it works: if you go below your maintenance level (the so-called cutting), you focus on reducing your fat percentage. However, if you go above your maintenance level (bulking) then your main goal is to gain muscle mass.

Women are generally advised to eat 2,5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, 4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and 1 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight. To be able to keep track of this, these macronutrients can be converted into calories. One gram of protein equals 4 kcal, one gram of carbohydrate is also 4 kcal and one gram of fat equals 9 kcal. To burn fat, you should eat 200-500 fewer calories than the actual daily amount that suits your weight. Suppose you weigh 70 kilos. Then you need 175 grams of protein a day, 280 grams of carbohydrates and 70 grams of fat. That comes to 700 kcal from proteins, 1120 kcal from carbohydrates and 630 from fats; which amounts to a total of 2450 kcal. If you want to burn fat, you need to adjust your eating pattern so that you get 1950-2250 kcal a day. If you want to grow muscle, you should start with 2650 – 2950 kcal per day.

Step 3: Set up a nutrition schedule

When compiling a nutritional schedule, it is necessary to know how many calories you want to eat a day and monitor the proportions between the macronutrients.

With this link, you can fill in how many calories you eat per meal and which macronutrients you get (proteins, carbohydrates or fats). On average, you should get 40% of the calories from protein, 30% from carbohydrates and 30% from fat before training. Because this differs from person to person, you can adjust it in this calculator. That way you can see how many calories you’re allowed to get per meal.

Here are some tips on which macronutrients you’ll find in what foods:

Proteins

  • Skinny meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts, cereal, legumes
  • Cottage cheese

Carbs

Slow carb sources:

  • Full grain pasta/whole wheat  bread
  • Brown rice
  • Vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal

Fast carb sources:

  • Fruit

Fats

  • Fatty fish
  • Avocado
  • Seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts

It is recommended to eat five to six meals a day and to extract the macronutrients from varied foods. In any event, try to eat something every three hours.

Step 4: evaluate your diet plan

Do not expect your first plan to be ideal. At six to eight weeks it is useful to review and, if necessary, adjust your schedule. Whether it fits your body depends on your metabolism and this can fluctuate. Do not change your schedule very dramatically immediately, but start with the changes step by step. Consult with a professional like a dietician or personal trainer

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