How much water should I drink a day?
The Australian dietary guidelines recommend aiming for 2.6 litres per day for men (approx.10 cups) and 2.1 litres per day for women (8 cups). But as everyone differs in size and daily energy expenditure, there is no one size fits all! Aim for around those numbers but listen to your body and drink to thirst.
How much coffee can I drink a day?
Again, like a lot of nutrition advice, there is no one size fits all for this. First of all, we recommend you avoid adding sugar or other sweetener to your coffee. Most nutrition experts suggest trying to follow the two before 2 rule. No more than two cups of strong coffee per day and before 2pm allowing your body 8 hours to completely metabolise it before you go to sleep. It’s also a good idea to try to take a day or two off coffee every once and a while to ensure you’re not relying on it too much!
My meal plan lists 'mixed vegetables'. What vegetables can I eat?
You may notice some vegetables are not listed in the vegetable column - this is due to their starchy or high fat nature. These include sweet potato, white potato, corn and avocado, so other than these, you can choose any vegetables you like! We recommend trying to incorporate as many different vegetables as you can into your diet - try to make your meals as colourful as possible. Also, there is no limit on the consumption of green leafy vegetables.
My meal plan includes carbohydrates like cereals, grains and fruit. I thought these foods contributed to weight gain?
Weight gain is a result of an imbalance in energy - too much energy in and not enough out. There are many claims that carbohydrate foods or sugar alone cause weight gain, but this is simply NOT the case. Yes, some cereals, grains and fruits are energy rich or naturally high in sugar (fructose) however, they are also incredibly nutrient dense and are a key part of a well-balanced diet. They contain many key vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that strengthen the immune system, protect the body from disease as well as play a role in many other processes and chemical reactions in the body that keep us healthy!
My meal plan lists 'low fat' dairy products. When they remove fat don't they replace it with sugar?
While it is true that some brands add sugar to their low-fat products, they are in the minority and this is more often the case with sweet products - things like flavoured milk and fruit flavoured yoghurt. The low-fat products in your meal plan are plain, unflavoured products like natural yoghurt, plain cow’s milk and cottage cheese. If you compare the nutrition label of full fat milk compared to low fat milk, you will notice that the difference in sugar is only miniscule - as little as 0.1g, however the full fat products contains significantly more saturated fat than the low-fat product.
What brands of protein powder do you recommend?
First of all, if your meal plan lists protein powder as an option, remember it is just that, an option! If you don’t like protein powder or don’t want to include it in your diet, don’t! All meal plan contains a number of other high protein alternatives.
If you do decide to consume protein powder at breakfast or snack times, before you buy a tub take a look at the ingredients list. When it comes to products like this, usually the fewer ingredients the better. The most nutrient rich options list a protein concentrate first, and include just 2 or 3 additives to improve flavour and texture.
A few of our favourite brands include:
- Ezy Protein
- Tony Sfeirs and
- Healthy Chef Purely Delicious
I’m full, do I need to eat all the food on my meal plan?
NO! When you sit down to a meal, aim to eat until you’re 80% full. While these meal plans have been tailored to your weight and energy needs, everyone is different! Everyone metabolises food differently. Two people of the same height, weight and activity level may still differ in their energy needs so listen to your body and do what works for you.
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