I’ve been keeping very busy this week working on nutrition plans and improving my DHPT Nutrition Calculator.
I decided to write up an sample diet to show people how you can use the calculator, and I wanted to keep it to fairly ordinary meal choices that shouldn’t present a massive change in lifestyle for most people. Of course this is only an example and it won’t be perfect for everyone, but it should serve as a starting point or at least a good tutorial on how to use my Nutrition Calculator.
To the right of your screen you should the daily statistics page of my nutrition calculator. As you can see, in this example we have a female client aged 25 years, standing 165cm tall and currently weighing in at 65kg. Based on these statistics the Nutrition Calculator has determined that the client has a Body Mass Index score of 23.88, which is right at the top of the healthy weight range for this client. So we assume the client would like lose just a few kilos and shape up a little bit, so we choose “weight loss (-10% calories)” on the Goal box – this is a new feature I added this week. The client is training up to 3 times a week so we set the activity level accordingly.
Based on these settings the Calculator determines the client’s maintenance level of calories (ie to maintain current weight) to be 1920 calories, and sets the target calories to 1728 in accordance with the goal we specified earlier; ie “maintenance calories – 10%”. The target levels for protein, carbohydrate and fats are determined with an arbitrary ratio of 40% calories coming from protein and 30% each from carbohydrate and fats. Different people will get better results for different ratios of macronutrients but in my opinion this is a good ratio to start out with, and individuals can fine tune later as may be necessary.
Below the target calories and macronutrients table is the actual total calories consumed based on the meals entered on the previous screens, which we will look at next. You can see by the charts at the bottom of the screen that we have quite a well balanced result that is high in protein, with a good amount of carbohydrates and slightly less fats. So we have not quite arrived at a perfect 40:30:30 ratio but it is quite close and with the majority of calories coming from protein, and the least amount for fats.
Moving on to the actual meal choices, lets start at the beginning with breakfast. This is a pretty simple choice of a bowl of cereal and with a cup of milk poured over it. Pretty easy, right? Of course I’m choosing a nutritious “adult” cereal, not a sugar loaded one with cartoon characters on the box that’s borderline candy. This is not really a lot of calories so it’s odds on you’ll be hungry again by morning tea time so I’ve put in two eggs and two slices of toast with some avocado for mid-morning. Avocados are a really good source of “good” fats and perfect to use as a spread on your sandwiches.
Also you’ve gotta eat some fruit so I’ve put in an apple, pear and banana as well, but you’ll notice I’ve set the “serves” to zero because you’re probably just going to eat one piece of fruit (not all three) and also it will throw off the pie charts and make it look like we’re getting too much sugars. This might be a little controversial but personally I do not count fruits towards total daily calories because I refuse to believe anyone ever got fat from eating too much fruit! Also apples and pears are a great source of dietary fibre which is very important so get stuck into them! You can see in the pie charts we have a decent amount of protein, and slightly higher fats due to the avocado and egg yokes. You could use 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg if this really bothers you but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Lots of carbs as well for energy, you need this.
On to lunch time. This one’s pretty simple too, 1/2 a cup of rice and a 1/4 of a chicken – but make sure the chicken is skinless! I’ve put in a 1/4 of an avocado again to add some healthy fats to this meal. Assuming you get hungry again and want something at afternoon tea time I’ve suggested either a ham n cheese sandwich, or if you prefer you could have a tin of tuna in spring water – notice I’ve specified zero serves of the tuna in this chart, you can swap things in and out like this and see what difference it makes to the charts.
So assuming you have the rice, chicken and avocado for lunch and then follow up with the ham & cheese sandwich at afternoon tea, you’re looking at around 700 calories in total for both meals. A large serve of chips or french fries ALONE is probably around 700 calories but with virtually no nutritional value so you can see that this is a much better plan. The pie charts show we are getting a huge amount of protein compared to carbs and fats from these two meals.
On to dinner and this time I wanted something that’s probably fairly stock standard for most people, so I went with steak and chips, plus salad.
The way I make chips is to cut up a potato, stick it in the microwave in water for about 3 and a half minutes, and then put them under the grill until they’re nicely browned and crispy. Sometimes I’ll use some tumeric to make them extra tasty. Because we’re not deep frying them, they’re not going to totally blow your nutrition plan although it does go against my “nothing white at night” policy and really you’d be better off with some steamed vegetables if we want to really be strict.
Including a tub of yogurt for supper we are only coming in at 416 calories for the evening, again with a massive amount of protein and not very much fat at all.
Well, for all you meat eaters out there I think this is pretty good meal plan, where you get to eat 6 meals a day including supper and not go hungry throughout the day. Depending on your current weight, height and activity levels you may need to either reduce or increase to achieve your goals, but hopefully I have given you a good starting point.
Vegetarians, stay tuned because I will be doing a vegetarian meal plan very soon.