Though men need to consume more daily calories than women per day, finding healthy, flavorful food for the man in your life can be a challenge. A full day's worth of healthy meals, includes breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Portion control is important in any meal plan, because overeating healthy foods can contribute to weight gain. The key to a balanced men's meal plan is frequent consumption of smaller meals and choosing the right kind of food.
Breakfast is essential to revving up energy for the rest of the day. Healthy choices include a bowl of cooked oatmeal with honey instead of sugar for sweetening, or two pieces of whole-grain toast with reduced-calorie butter, margarine or a teaspoon of jam. You can also hard-boil two eggs with a side of toast, scramble three egg whites with mushrooms and onions, or make an omelet with a side of turkey bacon or lean ham. For cereal lovers, whole-grain choices are best, because they are lower in sugar and loaded with fiber. A cup of green or black tea, or black coffee is a nice way to top off a meal.
Healthy snacks restore energy between meals, and help prevent overeating at lunch and dinner time. Pack healthy treats for the man in your life, such as an apple or some dried fruit, and a handful of almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios, which are loaded with antioxidants and "good" fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol, which is a major cause of heart disease. Other good snack choices include a bowl of cottage cheese and carrot sticks with a low-calorie dip.
For lunch, make portions that are no bigger than the size of a man's fist. For example, a baked chicken or turkey breast with a small mixed-green salad sprinkled with a low-calorie dressing is a healthy choice. Another option is a turkey or lean roast beef sandwich with tomatoes and butter lettuce, layered on whole-wheat bread or stuffed inside a whole-wheat pita. Mustard and horseradish sauce are low-fat condiments that work well, but you can also use a teaspoon of light mayonnaise. A cup of low-fat plain yogurt or a granola bar with reduced sugar are sensible dessert choices.
Though dinner will likely include slightly larger portions than what the man in your life ate for lunch, strive to keep meat and fish portions to 6 oz. or smaller. A lean cut of steak, such as sirloin or flank, broiled or grilled on the barbecue, is rich in protein. Serve it with a baked potato or for something different, substitute a sweet potato, which tastes like a dessert, but is loaded with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin A and fiber. You can also broil a salmon steak and serve it with brown or wild rice and a side of broccoli or green beans.
- "Men's Health"; Meal Plan; Christopher Mohr, PhD; Jan. 29, 2007
- Mayo Clinic: Nuts and Your Heart; Eating Nuts for Heart Health; February 2011
- "Good Housekeeping"; The Meal Plan That Has It All for Men; Delia A. Hammock
- The Meal Plan Site: Meal Plan for an Average Male
- The World's Healthiest Foods: Sweet Potatoes