Last night, Carl and I sat down with his mom, Elaine, to hash out a diet and exercise plan for her to lose about 50 pounds. She's been reading the Body for Life book for the past couple of weeks, gearing herself up for a healthy lifestyle change.
Here are her goals:
1. Lose 50 pounds.
2. Increase her metabolism - right now it's slow because she doesn't eat regular meals/snacks.
3. Eat a healthier diet.
4. Gain energy, strength, and stamina so she can enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking on the lake, playing with her granddog - Vlad, and taking long walks.
We started with a meal plan. Using the Body for Life formulas, we calculated:
- Her current, daily caloric intake, which is maintaining her current weight.
- Her daily, caloric intake, needed to lose 50 lbs over a reasonable amount of time, eating a healthy diet
- The % of carbs, protein, and fat she could/would need to ingest per day to reach her goal weight
Based on her new daily caloric goal of 1750 calories, we decided that she should have 6 meals per day. Three main meals, and 3 small snacks. We really need to train her body to eat regularly, and burn calories on a regular basis throughout the day - increasing her metabolism over time. Ideally, she will eat the following schedule:
Overall, her diet is going to be low in fat, high in protein, and include a moderate amount of carbs - concentrating on whole grains. She can have one "cheat day" per week if she wants to incorporate it into her plan, AND if she can commit to going back on her diet the very next day. Sometimes it's just easier for some people to stick to the plan seven days a week. The first "cheat day" you allow yourself, could set you up for not going back on your diet.
To help her further, we developed a sample meal plan that she can use everyday, and/or change it up a bit if she needs or wants to as long as she is sticking to:
- 1750 calories per day
- Carbs/Protein/Fat % - 55%-30%-15% per day
This is a DIET plan. Right now, she needs to focus on losing weight to reach her goal weight. After she reaches her goal, and her metabolism is faster, we can change her plan to be a MAINTENANCE plan. We will probably increase her caloric intake per day, and adjust her carb/protein/fat percentages.
Carl created a DIET PLAN spreadsheet using her calculations, and the sample meal plan that we put together. The spreadsheet will help her by:
- Giving her a plan to follow, and making meal planning simpler.
- Allow her to plug in stats for each food item she eats, visibly tracking everything along the way
- Allowing for adjustments to the plan; she can plug in an alternate food if needed
We took in a few considerations when meal planning:
- That she has a busy lifestyle, and needed portable snacks
- What she likes to eat, what she can prepare easily
- What's available where she shops for groceries
We also encouraged her to throw out or give away all the foods in her cupboards and fridge not related to her diet plan. No temptations.
Here is what the diet plan spreadsheet looked like: Elaine's Diet Plan
Next up was to put together an exercise plan for her. She decided that she would workout in the morning, before heading to work. We put together a cardio and light strength training plan for her incorporating her Wii Fit, walking, using her hand weights, a fitness ball, and her own body resistance. She has two "rest" days worked into the plan. We marked pages in her Body for Life book that described the strength training exercises she is to do, and included the page numbers on her exercise plan spreadsheet.
Here is what the exercise spreadsheet looked like: Elaine's Exercise Plan
We all plan to meet in 3 weeks time to review how Elaine's plan is going, and see if we need to tweek anything. This is the first time Carl and I have put together an exercise/diet plan for someone. We had our difference of course, but it really showed us how much knowledge we both have gained over the years in relation to healthy eating and fitness!
We wish Elaine good luck with her plan!