Balanced Diet Chart: How to Plan a Proper Diet and Nutrition Chart to Smash Your Weight Loss Goals

It’s funny.

Most of us wish to live longer healthier lives yet we don’t bother to plan our day to day meals properly.

We take them based on each day’s appetite and cravings.

And the scariest part? We tend to repeat the same foods that add less value to our bodies just because they are a favorite.

I faced this issue too. In between our busy schedules and workloads, we ignore tracking diets and nutrient intakes. Big no-no.

It all changed for me when I sat down and prepared a balanced diet chart that helped me keep track of my calorie and nutrient intake.

The solution to your irregular eating habits is preparing a balanced diet chart that can help you plan what to eat, at what time, and in what proportion.

What is a Balanced Diet Chart?

This is a comprehensive daily diet chart that displays the type of foods you should eat on a particular day, at what time, and the exact proportions you should consume.

Just like you kept a study timetable during your school days to avoid mixing things, a diet chart helps you stick to a regimen that will keep you healthy.

But before we go further, there are two concepts we need to talk about- two topics that will help you understand how to craft your diet plans to lose weight.

They’re the difference between weight loss and fat loss, and the difference between maintenance calories and deficit calories.

I talked about these in epic detail in my guide on how to lose weight with an Indian diet coupled with exercise (so I suggest reading that one first before proceeding)

Fat Loss and Weight Loss

It’s all about muscles.

Your muscles are calorie burning machines. Simply maintaining your existing muscle mass will burn calories.

But when you starve your body of nutrients (food in general), it results in an overall loss in weight- including a loss in muscle mass.

That’s a big no-no. Because, let me reiterate- the more muscle you have, the more calories your body has to burn to maintain your muscles.

What you should be focusing on is fat loss i.e. decreasing the percentage of fat reserves your body has stored.

How?

Well, that brings us to our next important concept:

Maintenance calories and Deficit calories

This one is pretty straightforward.

Your body needs a certain number of calories to continue functioning at your present metabolic rate. In other words, the calorie intake required to stay the same- not gain or lose weight.

This is called your maintenance calorie limit.

And what if you decrease your calorie intake below this limit?

Well, you start losing weight.

These are called deficit calories.

So let’s put both these concepts together to formulate the only weight loss law you ever need to know.

You can forget what bogus dieticians and those TV commercials claim. Just keep this law in mind. Call it the YoursTrulyCare mantra of fat loss if you want to:

If you want to lose fat (in essense- weight) while staying healthy, you need to follow a balanced diet with deficit calories while ensuring that you do not lose muscle mass.

 

Now that we have clarity on those two concepts, let’s take a look at the daily calorie intake for men, women, and kids in order to come up with a perfectly balanced meal plan.

Daily calorie requirements for men and women and children

Calories refer to the amount of energy present in a drink or food.

With healthy meals, a man would need about 2,500kcal (10,500kj) per day to properly maintain his weight.

A woman would need a slightly reduced amount of 2,000kcal (8,400kj) per day.

This can vary depending upon the individual’s weight.

The values above vary depending on factors such as age, physical activity levels, metabolism rate, and other things.

For instance, teenagers and growing children have rapidly developing cells and therefore their daily calorie requirement is higher than that of adults.

On top of that, since they play a lot (heightened physical activity), they use energy quite faster and may need to replenish frequently.

Might be worth your time to take a look at this post and calculate your maintenance and deficit calories. You’ll need those numbers later in this guide.balanced diet chart

Hormones like thyroid and medications such as glucocorticoids tend to adjust the daily calorie intake as well.

Google up an online calculator and feed in your gender, age, weight, height, and other required metrics to get a rough estimate of your daily calorie intake.

Or just use the one below.

This table below shows a rough estimate of daily calorie intake in males, females, and children of various ages.

A sample balanced diet chart

Let me come clean before we go ahead; this is going to be a sample diet plan (evidence-based, though) and therefore something to emulate while preparing yours.

You are not supposed to follow this to the letter. You need to create your own. We’ll show you how.

All you need to know about creating a nutrition-packed well-balanced diet chart is the calories present in various foods.

Get the calorie chart of over 60,000 food items.

Using the above list, you can combine various foods you like to fashion a diet plan that is unique to you.

Here is the sample diet chart together with some general info to help you create your own.

Breakfast:

Considered the vital meal of the day, your breakfast needs to consist of three things; proteins (eggs, yogurt, egg whites, milk, and sprouts), carbs (wheat flakes, whole-grain bread, white oats, oatmeal), and nuts (figs, almond, apricots, walnuts).

This ensures you don’t get cravings for more calories for the rest of the day.

This is how your breakfast can look like: 1 cup of milk/green tea/coffee + vegetables and a bowl of sprouts or 1 cup of milk/green tea/coffee + an omelet sandwich.

(Let me repeat- the above plan is just an example, and it’s similar to what I need every morning based on my calorie goals. You’ll have to calculate your own)

Mid-morning

You don’t need to eat anything in the mid-morning but if your juice is running low, a single fruit of your choice is all you need.

Lunch

A mixture of high-fiber (carbs like barley, brown rice), proteins (fish, chicken, lean meat, cheese, pulses, cottage), and probiotics like buttermilk or yogurt are nutritious and potent enough to provide energy till dinner time.

Case in point: 2 chapati + a bowl of rice + a bowl of salad/soup + a cup of dal + a cup of vegetable + a cup of pulse vegetable

Or

2 cups of rice + a cup of raw veggies + 2-3 pieces of chicken or fish + a glass of buttermilk

Post lunch (usually after two hours)

A cup of green tea + a fruit or 6 almond nuts

Dinner

What’s the deal with dinner? The deal is to pick meals with a high satiation value.

Why?

Because they keep you fuller for longer and you won’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to nip on dinner remnants. Fill your bowl with a few carbs (few!), greens, and some proteins. Greens will provide vitamins for cell repair while proteins help with the regeneration process.

Here is an example of how your dinner plate can look:

A bowl of soup + 1 cup of curd + 1 cup vegetable + ½ cup rice + 1 chapati

Or

1 cup vegetable + a bowl of chicken soup + 2-3 pcs of fish or chicken + 1 cup rice

Bedtime

If you feel hungry before heading to bed, you can revitalize yourself with a cup of green tea and 2 almonds or a cup of milk.

Calorie ratings for common fruits, vegetables, dairy, poultry, and meat.

Use this table in order to know how much calories you are consuming; no more blind moves.

Get the calorie chart of over 60,000 food items.

 

 

Food Type Food Item Calories
Fruits    
  Apple 95
  Apricot (100g) 29
  Avocado 270
  Bananas 95
  Blackberries 25
  Blackcurrants 28
  Blueberries 30d
  Boysenberries 66
  Cranberries 15
  Coconut 351
  Cherimoya 115
  Dates 107
  Fig (50g) 43
  Grapefruit 48
  Grapes 60
  Kiwifruit 29
  Lemon 6
  Mango 107
  Melon 26
  Nectarine 60
  Orange 60
  Papaya 74
  Peach 36
  Pear 64
  Pineapple (2 rings) 41
  Plum (2) 34
  Raisins (50g) 136
  Raspberries (100g) 25
  Rhubarb (100g) 7
  Strawberries (100g) 27
  Tomato 22
  Watermelon (1 cup) 46
     
Food Type Food Item Calories
Vegetables    
  Alfalfa, sprouted 5
  Watercress (100g) 11
  Spinach (1 cup) 23.18
  Beetroot 30
  Bok Choy (1/2) 50
  Broccoli (1 cup) 40
  Brussels Sprouts 56
  Butternut squash 139
  Cabbage 31
  Carrots 30
  Cauliflower 28
  Celery (3 small stalks) 9
  Chard 32
  Corn (1 cup) 140
  Cucumbers (each) 30
  Eggplant (1 cup) 38
  Chickpeas (1 cup) 367
  Garlic (1 clove) 4
  Green beans (1 cup) 31
  Green pepper (1/5 pound) 16
  Kale (1 cup) 43
  Kidney beans 230
  Lentils 212
  Lettuce 7
  Lima beans (1 cup) 189
  Mushrooms 20
  Navy beans 224
  Okra (fried) 170
  Olives (10 large) 45
  Onions (1 cup) 65
  Peas (1 cup) 115
  Pickles (1 cup) 115
  Potatoes (fries) 130
  Rice (brown) 232
  Rice (white) 223
  Snow peas 70
  Spinach (1 cup) 46
  Tater Tots 150
  Turnip greens 29
  Zucchini 22

 

Food Type Food Item Calories
Meat, Poultry, and Dairy    
  Mutton (100g) 128
  Veal (100g) 94
  Venison (100g) 94
  Rabbit (100g) 121
  Lamb (100g) 178
French poultry (100g) 310
  Ground Beef 164
  Beef (steak) 229
  Pork Belly (x2) 300
  Pork Fillet (100g) 171
  Roast Chicken (100g) 99
  Chicken Breast (100g) 75
  Duck (100g) 192
  Goose (100g) 227
  Turkey (100g) 122
  Butter (100g) 734
  Cheddar Cheese (100g) 249
  Milk, semi-skimmed 50
  Milk, whole 67
  Yogurt, Low fat (100g) 97

 

How to Plan a Balanced Diet Chart for Men

Men are muscular and active and thus need properly balanced nutrition to stay active throughout the day.

If you are struggling to put up a good diet regimen, then you can follow the structure I’ve outlined below.

Breakfast

The best way to jump-start your metabolism into action is through a protein-filled meal. That means your plate should have either an egg, some vegetables and sprout salad, lean ham, salmon, or low-fat dairy products.

Eggs outdo most proteins due to their ability to provide energy for a prolonged duration. If you have enough time, then treat your body to a frittata or omelet.

If you are craving for some spicy foods, try a fruit bowl with some nuts and seeds. Gym-going males must stick to a protein-rich diet to help with muscle repair and rebuilding.

Mid-morning snack

If you had a heavy breakfast, you can skip a mid-morning snack.

However, since the ideal way to eat is to do so in smaller amounts, a mid-morning meal like an avocado toast with turkey slices and peanut butter and banana toast might help to power you until lunchtime.  

Lunchtime

A plate with an appropriate amount of protein and carbohydrates is recommended during lunchtime.

The options you can consider are rice (with chicken, dal, paneer, fish, boiled veggies, or plenty of salads), whole grain bread (with baked beans), or a sandwich topped with either pork or lean beef.

Feel free to choose any other snack that guarantees better energy levels.

Dinner

Your dinner bowl should not look as fancy as the one for lunch since your body is about to head into a resting period.

A combination of carbs, essential fats, and proteins should be enough to keep your body going while in slumberland.

Your plate can have a serving of wholemeal pasta, quinoa, or brown rice, some vegetables or salad, and proteins from fish or meat and a dressing of rapeseed oil. I can hear you thinking: “but this doesn’t include the foods I eat” yes of course!

There is a shitstorm of dinner foods out there and it’s impossible to cover all of them in these few pages. However, a simple search of dinner recipes via search engines can help you prepare your own unique diet plan.

For the ladies in the house, your diet plan is next up so start smiling.

How to Plan a Balanced Diet Chart for Women

Women are wired differently and that is why their metabolic needs vary from that of men.

Take this for instance; men don’t need more iron but women do since they lose a lot of blood each month due to menstrual cycles.

Breakfast

Just like for men, women too need a protein-rich breakfast to reboot their metabolism.

2-3 scrambled eggs, a whole grain toast, and any fruit with sprout salad can be a good way to start your long day ahead.

You can replace scrambled eggs with either lean ham, low-fat dairy products, or salmon. An omelet or frittata can be ideal – only if you have the time to make it.

Whatever you do, do not skip breakfast as this can cause blood sugar spikes resulting in hunger pangs that make you go after improper foods.

Mid-morning snack

If you are one of those folks who eat in small chunks to manage your blood sugar level, then you qualify for a mid-morning snack.

Some of the options to pick from include oatcakes spread or biscuits with almond nut, or peanut butter and a banana.

Lunch

A carb-rich meal with a good proportion of lean protein will provide sufficient energy to last you till dinner time.

Here’s what you can fill your plate with:

an open rye-bread sandwich topped with either chicken or salmon and plenty of salad.

Other options are whole grain toast with baked beans, roti with chicken or fish and of course, plenty of colorful vegetables.

Bedtime

If you feel like refilling your stomach before hitting the sheets, a glass of milk (low fat) with a small portion of Elaichi (cardamom) should be all you need.

Do not go back to the kitchen for a bowl of proteins, carbs, and fats… and I repeat, do not.

We all hail from different sections of the world so I know some of the foods listed here can’t be found easily.

However, that should not deter you from eating well. If quinoa is not found in your region then replace it with something with a similar amount of calories to avoid messing up your daily food chart.

Google up more healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to come up with an exhaustive balanced diet chart.

Get the calorie chart of over 60,000 food items.

Why a balanced diet is important

In simple words, they give you everything your body needs while making sure that you don’t gain weight.

And if you’re trying to shed some pounds, calculate your maintenance calories, set a calorie goal with a deficit, and then prepare your balanced diet chart.

The bottom line

I know it’s hard to keep track of everything I just talked about.

Here’s a recap:

  • Take about 5 to 6 small meals a day.
  • The protein level should be at least 25-30%
  • And only 10-15% should be fats ( combine both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Do not skip breakfast
  • Don’t go to sleep right after eating, period.
  • Avoid fruits after 6 pm
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercising is healthy. Build muscle mass to lose fat mass.
  • Munch on a protein snack before bed
  • Supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes
  • Fill only 75% of your stomach
  • East slowly. It helps.
  • Get enough rest (minimum 7 hours)

Also, the point of coming up with a balanced diet chart is to help you eat healthy foods on a regular basis, and not frequent just your favorite ones.

So you need to strive to stick to the routine and make sure all the foods on your menu are available every day so there are no compromises.

The best way to avoid tampering with your chart is having it on your phone so you can pick everything you need for the day on your way home from work.

And as I always say, the key is to cultivate healthy eating habits folks 🙂


 

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