Imagine that the best diet in the world allowed you to eat all of your favourite foods and still lose weight.
Forget trendy diets and expensive diet foods and toss out the idea that diets are all about denial and restriction. A diet plan should suit your lifestyle, be realistic, and tailored to you as an individual.
Almost any plan with a calorie deficit will allow you to lose weight, although most are not sustainable in the long term if they do not take account of your food preferences, lifestyle and available time.
What Makes a Good Diet Plan?
A good diet plan for weight loss should be effective for the long term and should take a number of factors into account.
- Include foods that you enjoy eating
- Fit into your lifestyle so that you can stick to it easily.
- Be customizable as no diet fits everyone
- Allow for more food (and treats if needed) by taking exercise into account.
- Be varied. No food should be banned.
How To Plan Healthy Eating
Gone are the days of nibbling on a carrot or eating vats of cabbage soup. The more effective approach to eating healthily means that we are positively encouraged to eat a wide variety of food, including favourites.
As well as helping to lose weight, a healthy diet can boost energy, keep the immune system strong and improve skin, nails and hair.
Diet Plan Basics
Have at least 3 meals a day and include snacks and treats if you want to. Stay fuller for longer by including food from the four main food groups and limit fatty, sugary, salty and highly processed foods. Try to aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what a portion is, so as a guide, you could choose 1 out of each of the following groups.
(Eat these with every meal. They also make great snacks)
- 2 slices of bread
- A tennis ball sized serving of pasta, potato, rice, noodles or couscous
- A bowl of porridge
- Around 40g breakfast cereal
(Eat at least 5 portions every day)
- A piece of fruit (apple, banana, pear)
- 2 small fruits (satsumas, plums)
- Small glass of fruit juice
- Cereal bowl of salad
- 3 heaped tbsp vegetables
(Eat 2 or 3 portions a day)
- 200ml milk
- Small pot yoghurt
- Matchbox sized piece of cheese
Meat, fish, alternative protein sources
(Eat 2 portions a day)
- A piece of meat the size of a deck of cards
- 1-2 eggs
- 3 heaped tbsp beans
- A handful of nuts/seeds
Fatty or sugary foods
(Eat only small amounts)
- A small packet of sweets
- A small bar of chocolate
- A small piece of cake
- A couple of biscuits
- A level tbsp mayo, dressing or oil
- Small packet of crisps