The key to maintaining a healthy body weight is not found in a magic pill or a diet book. It is a simple mathematical equation: calories consumed must equal calories burned.

To find your healthy weight, ask yourself: When do I feel my best, my most energetic, youthful, and able? This is your optimal body weight; it has nothing to do with peer groups or other influences.

The “healthy” part of the healthy weight equation is a little more complicated. This involves choosing the right foods and activity levels to achieve your optimal body weight. For example, if we chose all of our calories from carbohydrates, forgoing the other two macronutrients, proteins and fats, we would lack nutrition.

A macronutrient balance–an appropriate distribution of calories from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins consumed in several meals throughout the day–is necessary for healthy weight management.

A sound diet focuses on healthy weight and includes a variety of foods eaten every three to four hours over four to six meals. Your diet plan should include meals of high-fibre carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and low-fat proteins.

For weight loss, choose more carbohydrates early in the day and, once your optimal weight is reached, reduce carbohydrates, and choose foods higher in protein and healthy fats.

It is not necessary to spend hours planning your meals. Simply ensure that you include an appropriate balance of nutrients throughout the day–not necessarily at the same times.

Try these sample diet plans and protein options to help you achieve an equality of calories in to calories out—and enjoy the benefits of this simple mathematical equation.

Why Add Protein Powders to Your Diet?

  • Protein-rich foods can help create a macronutrient balance for weight management.
  • Protein helps curb your appetite by slowing the transport of nutrients through the gut and signalling satiety to the brain.
  • Protein builds lean muscle mass, increasing your metabolism, strength, and well-being.
  • Protein powders are aconvenient way to add more protein to your diet and offer the advantages of easy consumption, variety, and affordability.
  • Protein powders are available from a variety of sources including hemp, rice, soy, pea, whey, and casein.

Vegetarian Diet Sample Plan

  • breakfast oatmeal with soy milkand blueberries
  • snack toast, peanut butter, andone banana
  • lunch mixed green saladwith almonds
  • snack hemp protein shake blended with organic apple juice
  • dinner stir-fried in-season vegetables such as onion, garlic, carrots, green, red, or yellow peppers, broccoli, and snow peas, served over brown rice
  • snack hemp protein shake blended with ice, water, and frozen strawberries

About the Author

Jennifer Walker, BScNutr, has worked in the health industry for 15 years in product development and research, and as a writer.