How to lose excess weight: Healthy Diet Plan
Want to lose weight in a healthy way while still eating delicious food? Discover how BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plans can help you achieve your goal.
Maintaining a healthy weight is key for good health, but it can be hard to know how best to change your diet to achieve your goal.
It's always worth visiting your GP to check whether you need to lose weight, and if you do, what a healthy weight range is for you. They can also check for any underlying medical conditions that may be causing excess weight gain. Once you're given the all-clear to change your diet, eating a balanced diet with plenty of wholegrains, vegetables and fruit is the best way to reach and maintain a suitable BMI.
Our Healthy Diet Plan is a great way to make sure you’re getting optimum nutrition while allowing you to lose excess weight. The calories you need on a daily basis vary depending on your age, height, weight, sex and activity levels. There are numerous calculators you can use online to determine your optimum calorie intake, but we’ve based our daily menu plans on no more than 1,500 calories. For the average female, who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall that allows for steady and controlled weight loss. If you haven't already, sign up today to receive free online access to the plan.
Three tips for healthy weight loss
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
Start the day well – studies suggest that people who start the day with a protein-rich, satisfying breakfast are less likely to make poor food choices later on and may potentially reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Breakfast is also a great opportunity to get in some key nutrients, to really start your day off well. A good choice would be porridge, with milk and fresh fruit - it gives you fibre, protein, calcium and vitamins, all of which are important for supporting health and weight loss.
Sign up to our free Healthy Diet Plan to discover some filling breakfast recipes, like our budget porridge with apple and raisins.
2. Eat mindfully
Get in touch with your hunger levels and think carefully about what your body is telling you. If you're craving something sweet, are you really hungry or are you actually bored, stressed, tired or emotional? Trying to address these other needs can help you to feel better without eating when you're not really hungry. Depending on what your body needs, you might try distracting yourself with a fun or relaxing activity, having a quick nap, enjoying a relaxing bath, or calling a friend for a chat. If you really are hungry, eating a healthy snack should tide you over until your next meal. Take a look at our balanced snack and sweet treat suggestions.
3. Curb nighttime cravings
If you’re prone to overeating in the evening, you’re not alone. Many people eat a large proportion of their daily calorie intake once they've settled down on the sofa, and if you're aiming to lose excess weight, this can hinder your efforts. Be prepared and plan to eat a satisfying, balanced dinner that you know you will enjoy. Choosing a meal full of strong flavours, such as spices, combined with beans, pulses and vegetables, may help satisfy carb cravings – discover delicious options from our Healthy Diet Plan. If you know you’ll definitely want a little something sweet after dinner, portion yourself a small amount to have soon after your meal, then set yourself a cut-off time to stop eating. This is a good way to stop mindless snacking continuing throughout the evening, which can lead to excess calories being consumed.
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This article was updated on 20 December 2022.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any Healthy Diet Plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our terms and conditions for more information.
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