How to lose excess weight: Healthy Diet Plan January 2018

    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.

    The BBC Good Food Healthy Diet Plan logo

    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 given the all-clear to change your diet, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is the best way to reach and maintain a suitable BMI.

    Our Healthy Diet Plans are a great way to make sure that you are 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 allowing for steady and controlled weight-loss. Sign up today to receive your free online access to the plan.

    We asked nutritional therapist Kerry Torrens 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

    An omelette in a frying pan served with tomatoes

    Start the day well – studies suggest those that start the day with a satisfying breakfast are less likely to make poor food choices later on. An egg-based breakfast is an excellent choice; nutrient-dense and a source of protein, eggs help keep you fuller for longer which means you may be less likely to snack later on. Sign up to our free Healthy Diet Plan to get the recipe for our healthy, herby omelette and other filling breakfasts, including super-satisfying porridge and nutrient-dense muesli.

    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 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 night-time cravings

    A bowl of Mexican pasta with sweetcorn, peppers, onion and avocado

    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 spicy Mexican-inspired pasta dish from our Healthy Diet Plan. Choosing a meal full of strong flavours, such as spices, combined with some naturally sweet ingredients, like sweetcorn or butternut squash, can help satisfy carb cravings.

    Enjoyed this? Get more health tips...

    Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plan for January 2018
    How to lose weight and keep it off
    6 things you should consider before starting a diet
    All our free Healthy Diet Plans

    All health content from BBC Good Food 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 health care 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 health care provider.

    Comments, questions and tips

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    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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