How to Write a Nutrition Plan

Writing a nutrition plan can help you stick to your diet plan and make healthier eating choices. Planning meals and nutrition goals gives you a clear outline of your intentions and may dissuade you from reaching for sweets when you know you should opt for a salad. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet plan, particularly if you have a previously diagnosed medical condition or are trying to lose weight.

A journal next to a variety of fresh foods. (Image: schafar/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Figure out how many calories you need to eat each day to maintain your weight. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends multiplying your weight in pounds by 13 if you are a relatively inactive male, 15 if you are a moderately active male, 10 if you are a relatively inactive female and 12 if you are a moderately active female to determine how many calories you should consume each day. Write down your calorie goals as a start for your plan.

Step 2

Subtract calories from your daily allowance for maintaining weight if you are trying to lose weight. Since 3,500 calories equal a pound of fat, subtracting 500 calories per day from your maintenance level will result in about 1 pound of weight loss per week for most people.

Step 3

Determine how many grams of fat you should consume in a day by multiplying the number of total calories you should eat each day by 0.3. The result is how many calories should come from fat. Divide this result by nine to determine about how many grams of total fat you should aim for each day. Make a note of your total allowed fat grams for the day to remind you to choose low-fat foods.

Step 4

Aim to eat between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calories from protein. Write down healthy sources of protein you can include in your diet, such as beans, skinless poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products.

Step 5

Try to get between 45 and 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. Include choices for complex carbohydrates that fuel your body in your plan, such as whole grains and beans, while limiting simple carbs, like sugars.

Step 6

Write down healthy sources of fiber to incorporate in your nutrition plan, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole-grains. Women should consume 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Step 7

Limit your daily cholesterol to 300 milligrams or less and aim for no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. Write down these numbers so that you can track your daily progress by checking nutrition labels.

Step 8

Plan your meals in advance so that you know what you will eat the next day. Planning ahead can help you avoid making poor nutrition choices, like running out for fast food when you could have planned and packed a healthy lunch.

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