Your diet is one of the most important parts of your health as a human being. This is something we all know and accept, but sometimes it’s hard to find one that flows seamlessly with the rest of our lives.
As a Nutrition Coach, one of the problems that a lot of people complain to me about is the effort that is involved in eating healthy and losing weight through dietary changes. They don’t want to spend 6 hours a week planning, shopping, finding substitutes, and then preparing food.
And I totally get it.
There are 101 other things to do in the day and the last thing you need to worry about is how you’re going to stay healthy on top of it.
Health is a top priority, however, and that’s why using the HBF Blueprint can help you to set and implement your personal eating plan. If you have current health issues, budget constraints, and a busy schedule, all of these things are taken into consideration instead of using a one size fits all approach.
What is the HBF Blueprint?
This is the method that I have created and used for the past few months to create a sustainable diet that I enjoy. HBF stands for:
- Health Goal
- Food Preferences
There are many things that I could have added to this blueprint but that would have made it too complicated and restrictive. It would end up like most other diets out there- tried and tossed after a few days or weeks.
There are some strong emotions that some people attach to the word ‘diet’. For that reason, I really wanted to change the name of this blog from Daily Diet Dish to something else. However, the ‘diet’ used in this blog’s name doesn’t refer to restrictions and self-inflicted misery in the name of health or weight loss.
I use the word diet to encompass the eating habits and main foods that form the core of our personal nutrition. That’s it.
Here are the key things to consider when creating a personal diet plan:
1- What health problems, if any, are you trying to tackle?
2- How many meals do you want to eat every day? How many of those meals will you actually prepare from scratch? (some meals could be from dining out, lunch at work, etc)
3- Do you have dietary preferences? (Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Paleo, Keto, etc)
4- How much time do you have to shop and cook?
5- Do you cook for yourself or for others?
6- Do you need treats to feel satisfied?
7- Do you exercise and how can this affect your dietary needs?
How To Use HBF For Your Diet
You can start using HBF right now by first making a commitment to improving your health. This commitment will help you to embrace any changes that you have to make so that you can heal your body and your mindset around food.
As stated earlier, HBF stands for Health Goals, Budget, and Food Preferences. Let’s get into how you can use each element to create your ideal diet.
1. Health Goals
If you are improving your current diet for health reasons, this is the first thing to consider. Maybe you’re trying to:
- lose weight
- heal inflammation
- manage hormones
- heal gut issues
- control cravings
- or simply eat healthier.
Trying to achieve these goals will take some intention and planning.
There are some specific foods that you should consume more and other foods that you should avoid completely. There are other foods that you can have occasionally. All of that will be considered here.
This is the second thing to consider when creating your customized diet.
Take into consideration the amount of money that you can spend on food, and if your diet needs to be highly specialized, you can consider increasing your budget if you have the means. You can also see how you can save money by eating out less, meal prepping, or other options.
Another reason why budgeting is included is that you can create or purchase a meal plan that meets your needs. You can see what ingredients are used frequently and then buy in bulk. This will help to reduce time spent in the grocery store and save you money in the long run.
You’ll also determine how much you have for weekly fresh produce. Fresh produce is an integral part of your healthy diet. You can either go to the farmer’s market or purchase directly from Amazon Fresh to save time.
Dining out or getting lunch at work could also be included in your budget.
3. Food Preferences
Now, this is something that will cause a lot of us to stop following traditional restrictive diets. Personally, I prefer to eat a variety of plant-based foods and stay away from manufactured food substitutes, including those branded ‘low fat’, ‘low carb’ etc.
If you’re like this and just prefer a certain type of food, be it frozen foods, fresh foods, meal prepping, etc, this is where the customization comes into effect.
You need to take a look at your lifestyle and the foods that you eat most frequently. If you follow a Standard American Diet, there will be room for improvement but you can still enjoy your spaghetti and brownies. Just not every day. Well, not if you want to see improvements in your health.
In essence, look at your lifestyle including the meals you have to prepare, the foods you like/dislike, and the time you have to prepare it.
Design Your Diet Plan
After thinking about the HBF strategies that apply to you, create some basic diet principles for yourself.
This includes the standard day-to-day diet rules that you follow to ensure that you are getting the right amount of nutrients. Here are some ideas:
- Setting a daily calorie/carb figure
- Eating 3 meals per day
- Will you be implementing intermittent fasting?
After this, you can create a meal plan that you love with recipes that are easy to make on a weekly basis. If you’re doing low carb or keto, I recommend the Try Low Carb Cookbooks.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, the Oh She Glows cookbook is amazing too.
There are so many options available, you could even do a vegetarian keto diet if you’re trying to lose weight but stick to a plant-based diet.
Putting It All Together
Creating a custom diet plan can be difficult if you’re doing it for the first time. However, taking some time to consider all of these elements can help you to create something that you can love and look forward to.
As human beings, our health and our time are really the two resources that we have. We also directly control them for the most part. If you’ve slacked off on either of them, you can make the choice right now to change it.
Using basic nutrition principles plus the HBF strategy, I want you to take 15 minutes to see how you can create a diet plan that will suit your needs.
What’s your health story going to be?