How to lose excess weight: Healthy Diet Plan Summer 2020

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.

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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.

We asked nutritionist Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT for her three top tips to help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, plus how the recipes from our latest Healthy Diet Plan can help you achieve your goal.

Three tips for healthy weight loss

1. Eat a healthy breakfast

Breakfast egg wraps filled with mushrooms and tomatoes

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. Sign up to our free Healthy Diet Plan to get the recipe for our healthy omelette wrap recipe, along with other filling breakfasts, including fruity scones and a creamy bircher.

2. Eat mindfully

A woman looking in the fridge and deciding what to eat

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

Paneer jalfrezi curry served on brown rice in lunch boxes

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, such as the delicious meatballs from our Healthy Diet Plan. Choosing a meal full of strong flavours, such as spices, combined with beans, pulses and vegetables, may help satisfy carb cravings.

Enjoyed this? Get more health tips...

Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plan for Summer 2020
How to lose weight and keep it off
6 things you should consider before starting a diet

All health content on 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.

Comments, questions and tips

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Phil Smith's picture
Phil Smith
9th Jan, 2019
I agree with Nicky, breakfast being the most important meal of the day sounds like a breakfast cereal makers slogan! Don't bother if you're not hungry. I think that avoiding processed food is the main rule, that way you avoid the excessive sugar and chemicals associated with most low-fat (processed) "healthy" foods. Thirty years ago low-fat high carb was the food advice given to combat the obese epidemic. That advice has made matters worse, obesity and diabetes continue to rise at an even faster rate and no one seemed to be asking why.
Nicky Whitaker's picture
Nicky Whitaker
8th Jan, 2018
I think your first recommendation of eating breakfast is possibly wrong. See "Breakfast is a dangerous meal" by Terence Kealey, published 2016 and based on good data/evidence.
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