Weight Loss Diet Simplified: Make Your Own Diet Plan Or Chart
Clinical Nutrition • • minute to read • By INFS, INFS Faculty
Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for optimal health and wellbeing. Excess weight can cause a variety of health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and joint pain. That’s why if you care about your health, it is a good idea to follow a weight loss diet.
But there’s a challenge with losing weight: deciding which diet plan is the best. There are so many diet plans on the internet that claim they’re the best plan for weight loss. But many diets are too difficult to follow. They either tell you to stop eating your favourite foods or severely restrict your food intake.
It’s no wonder so many people find it difficult to lose weight. But that’s not true anymore!
This article looks at the concept of dieting for weight loss and also some popular diet plans. We’ll also be answering the age-old question: is there REALLY a best diet plan for weight loss? Or is there a better approach to dieting that is easy to follow and gives you the results you want? We will also discuss the importance of exercise and lifestyle changes for weight loss success.
By the end of this article, you will have a pretty good idea about which weight loss diet is best for you.
The Perfect Weight Loss Diet: Myth or Fiction?
The idea of a “perfect” weight loss diet has been around for a long time. Countless fad diets and weight loss products claim that they know the secret to effortless weight loss. However, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to weight loss.
What works for one person may not work for someone else. Something that works for you today may not work for you tomorrow.
Before we look at weight loss diets and find the perfect one for you, let’s address some popular myths about dieting.
Myths and Misconceptions about Weight Loss Diets
Weight loss diets are a popular topic, and as a result, many myths and misconceptions have emerged. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about weight loss diets:
Myth: All calories are created equal.
Fact: The quality of the calories you consume is also important. Nutrient-dense, whole foods are more beneficial for weight loss and overall health than processed, high-sugar foods.
Myth: Carbs are bad for weight loss.
Fact: Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body, and can be part of a healthy weight loss diet. However, it’s better to choose whole grain, high-fibre carbs instead of refined and processed carbs.
Myth: Low-fat diets are the best for weight loss.
Fact: Fats play an important role in your overall health. It’s important to focus on healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Low-fat diets can sometimes be high in sugar and processed foods.
Myth: Fad diets are effective for long-term weight loss.
Fact: Fad diets may result in short-term weight loss, but they are often difficult to maintain and can be unhealthy. A sustainable, balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods is more effective for long-term weight loss.
Myth: You have to cut out entire food groups to lose weight.
Fact: Cutting out entire food groups can be detrimental to health and can make weight loss more challenging. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from all food groups can be effective for weight loss.
Now, let’s come to the most important question: which is the perfect weight loss diet plan?
So, Is There A Perfect Diet For Weight Loss?
We have a saying at FITTR: “The perfect diet is one that you can follow for life!”
Some people can easily follow low carb diets such as Keto Diet for a long time.
However, others might prefer including carbohydrates such as rice and dal in their daily meals.
Ultimately, you need to find a diet that you can follow without making too many changes in your lifestyle. Such a diet is sustainable, enjoyable and will give you results because you will be consistent.
At FITTR, we recommend a simple diet strategy: select the foods you want to eat, and simply create a calorie deficit.
We call this technique “Quantified Nutrition”.
What Is Quantified Nutrition?
Quantified Nutrition simply means eating foods in the right quantities so that you create a sustainable calorie deficit. Start doing this consistently, and you will lose weight.
To understand this concept, consider this – ‘Nutrition’ means feeding the body the right foods. So, ‘Quantified Nutrition’ means consuming these foods in the right quantity as well.
How Does Quantified Nutrition Work?
The best part about Quantified Nutrition is that you don’t need to follow a specific diet. As long as you create a calorie deficit, you can eat all your favourite foods. Just count the calories, increase your activity levels and create a calorie deficit – you will lose weight.
And you can easily make your own weight loss diet plan or chart once you understand some basic concepts.
Basic Principles of Weight Loss
There are many factors that can impact your ability to lose weight, including your age, sex, genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.
While there is no perfect weight loss diet, there are certain principles that can help you achieve your weight loss goals. These include:
- eating a balanced diet that is rich in whole foods
- reducing your intake of processed foods and added sugars
- and increasing your physical activity level.
It’s also important to remember that maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term journey. You will experience ups and downs, but with commitment and determination, you can reach your goals.
The idea of a “perfect” weight loss diet is a myth. Stop looking for quick fixes such as a “7 Day Diet Plan For Weight Loss”. Instead, make sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you achieve your weight loss goals over time.
Basic Principle #1: Calories
What Are Calories?
Calories are simply a unit of measurement used to quantify the amount of energy in food and drinks. Our bodies need this energy to function. Without this energy, simple things like breathing, circulating blood, and digesting food would not be possible.
Are All Calories Equal?
No, the quality of the food you eat is also very important. For example, a 100-calorie snack of vegetables will provide more nutrients and be more filling than a 100-calorie snack of candy. Therefore, it’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Do Different Foods Contain Different Calories?
Broadly speaking, food is divided into macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are the nutrients that are needed in large quantities and provide the body with energy. The three main macronutrients are:
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body. They are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and sugars. Each gram of carbohydrates provides us with 4 calories of energy.
- Proteins: Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, including muscles, organs, and bones. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, beans, and dairy products. Each gram of proteins provides us with 4 calories of energy.
- Fats: Fats are needed for proper brain function, hormone production, and insulation of body organs. Good sources of fats include oils, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Each gram of fats provides us with 9 calories of energy.
Micronutrients, on the other hand, are the nutrients that are needed in smaller quantities and are essential for proper body function. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, which are found in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These are not a significant source of calories or energy.
Basic Principle #2: Metabolism
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the process by which the body converts the food we eat into energy. It involves a series of chemical reactions that occur within our cells, which are responsible for the breakdown of macronutrients viz. carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
The rate at which our body burns calories and performs metabolic functions is known as the metabolic rate. The metabolic rate can be influenced by several factors, including genetics, age, sex, body composition, and hormone levels.
BMR & TDEE
BMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest. This is the amount of energy you need to support basic body functions such as breathing, blood circulation, and organ function. BMR is influenced by several factors such as age, sex, height, weight, and body composition.
When you know your BMR, you can determine the minimum number of calories you need to consume in a day.
TDEE is the total number of calories your body burns in a day from every single physical activity. This includes exercise and other activities such as walking, standing, and even fidgeting. To calculate TDEE, simply add your BMR to the number of calories you burn through physical activity.
TDEE = BMR + Calories Burned During Exercise + NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis i.e calories burned from activities other than exercise) + TEF (Thermic Effect of Food i.e the calories required to digest or metabolise different foods)
Once you know your TDEE, you can determine how many calories you need to consume to maintain, gain or lose weight.
FITTR has made it very easy to calculate your BMR and TDEE. Visit this link and add a few simple details, and you will get both numbers. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, use the Body Fat Calculator first and then use the BMR Calculator.
Basic Principle #3: Energy Balance
One thing is clear: weight loss is the result of balancing your calorie requirements and activity levels.
If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. This is a state of Calorie Deficit.
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. This is a state of Calorie Surplus.
If you consume the same amount of calories as the calories you burn, you will neither lose weight nor gain weight. In other words, you are consuming Maintenance Calories.
What Is An Optimal Calorie Deficit For Losing Weight?
A moderate calorie deficit of 200-300 calories per day is generally recommended for safe and sustainable weight loss, especially for beginners. However, make sure you never go below your BMR, as this can slow down your metabolism and negatively impact your health.
For instance, if your BMR is 1500 and TDEE is 1900, then you can consume 1900 – 200 i.e. 1700 calories. You should never consume fewer than 1500 calories as your body requires at least that much energy to function properly.
Components of a Balanced Weight Loss Diet
A balanced weight loss diet should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods plus a calorie deficit to promote weight loss.
Some of the key components of a balanced weight loss diet include:
- Protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, including muscles, and can help keep you feeling full for longer. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, lentils, tofu, and Greek yogurt.
- Fibre: Fibre can help keep you feeling full and satisfied, and also promotes healthy digestion. Good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats are important for brain function, hormone production, and insulation of body organs. However, it’s important to consume healthy fats in moderation, as they are high in calories. Good sources include olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish,
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide the body with energy, and should come from nutrient-dense sources such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed and refined carbohydrates should be limited.
- Vitamins and minerals: Include a variety of fruits and vegetables so that you get all essential vitamins and minerals.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water and limit your intake of added sugars and processed foods.
Tools Required To Start Your Weight Loss Journey
We’ve already seen how you can calculate your BMR and TDEE using the BMR Calculator and Body Fat Calculator.
This would have given you an idea of how many calories you need to consume in order to lose weight.
Now, let’s look at some other tools which can help you.
How To Use It: Once you’ve decided your daily calories, open the Macro Calculator. Add your desired calories and select your diet of choice.
This calculator will help you decide your macros i.e. how many grams of proteins, carbohydrates and fats you need to include in your weight loss diet plan.
Benefits of Using Macro Calculator:
- You can select your favourite foods.
- You can decide how much of a calorie deficit you want to create.
- You know exactly what quantities of each macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) you need to consume.
- You can either select your own macros or pick one of the 5 diet options (Low Carb, High Carb, Moderate Carb, Zone Diet, Keto Diet). The tool will automatically tell you your macros.
How To Use It: In the previous steps, you found your ideal daily calories and your personal macros.
Now, head over to the Diet Tool, and start selecting the foods you want to include in your weight loss diet plan.
We’ve divided the diet chart into four meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Dinner. This is just a guideline, you can even have fewer meals or more than four meals a day if you want.
The Diet Tool uses the Food Database and gives you the exact calories and macros breakdown. This makes creating your weight loss diet plan very easy.
Click the “Add” button and the food item will get added to your diet chart.
Benefits Of Using Diet Tool:
- You don’t need to calculate anything! The tool does everything for you. You need to simply select and add the food items of your choice.
- You can track your Target calories and macros.
- You can also track how many calories you have consumed in a day by simply hitting the “tick” symbol
- You can even find substitute foods with similar calories and macros. For example, if you usually have rice for lunch but want to switch to wheat flour, just replace the rice with wheat flour. The diet tool will help you find the correct quantities of wheat flour that fit into your daily calories and macros.
Simple Diet Charts for Weight Loss (Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian)
To help you get started, here are a few sample weight loss diet plans
Sample Plan #1: 1500 Calories Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Plan
Sample Plan #2: 1500 Calories Non Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Plan
Points To Keep in Mind When Following A Diet Plan for Weight Loss
There are several points to keep in mind when following a weight loss diet plan, especially if you have specific health conditions. Here are some precautions for individuals with common health conditions:
- PCOS/PCOD: Individuals with PCOS/PCOD may have insulin resistance, which can make weight loss more challenging. A diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats can be helpful. It’s also important to maintain a consistent exercise routine and manage stress levels.
- Thyroid issues: Thyroid hormones play a key role in metabolism, and individuals with thyroid issues may have a slower metabolic rate. Eating a balanced diet that includes nutrient-dense foods can help support thyroid function. It’s also important to consume enough iodine, which is essential for thyroid health.
- Diabetes: It’s important to monitor your carbohydrate intake. Choose foods that have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Eating a balanced diet that includes protein, fibre, healthy fats, and whole grains can help manage blood sugar levels.
- Hypertension: A diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium, such as the DASH diet, can be helpful. It’s also important to limit alcohol and caffeine consumption and maintain a healthy weight.
Always consider any underlying health conditions and make adjustments as needed. Eat a balanced diet that includes nutrient-dense foods and limit processed and high-sugar foods. Consultation with a healthcare professional and registered dietitian may be helpful for those with specific health concerns.
Why Exercise is Important When Following a Weight Loss Diet
Exercise is an important component of a weight loss diet for several reasons.
- Exercise helps to increase the number of calories you burn, which can aid in weight loss.
- Regular exercise can help build muscle mass. This can increase your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories even at rest.
- Exercise can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
There are many types of exercises and workouts that can be effective for weight loss, including:
- Cardiovascular exercise: Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can help to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.
- Resistance training: Resistance training, such as weight lifting, can help to build muscle mass and increase metabolic rate.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest. This type of workout can be effective for burning calories and improving cardiovascular health.
Tips for beginners:
- Starting slowly and gradually increasing intensity and duration.
- Choosing activities you enjoy to make exercise more enjoyable.
- Scheduling workouts at a consistent time each day to establish a routine.
- Tracking progress to stay motivated.
Check out this detailed article on creating your beginner’s exercise plan. When you sign up on FITTR, we also give you a free workout plan to help you get started.
General Weight Loss Diet Tips and Lifestyle Changes to Maintain Weight
A balanced weight loss diet and regular exercise is one part of the equation. In addition, there are several tips and lifestyle changes that can help you maintain your weight loss:
- Practise mindful eating: Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues and eating slowly to fully enjoy your food. This can help prevent overeating and promote a healthy relationship with food.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, which can make weight loss more challenging. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage stress: Stress can lead to emotional eating and hinder weight loss efforts. Practice stress-management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help you feel full and prevent overeating. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Avoid sugary drinks: Sugary drinks such as soda and juice can be high in calories and lead to weight gain. Choose water, herbal tea, or unsweetened drinks instead.
- Monitor portion sizes: Even healthy foods can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. Use portion control techniques such as measuring serving sizes or using smaller plates.
- Practice healthy habits consistently: Consistency is key for maintaining weight loss. Incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine and stick with them.
Follow these general tips and you will be able to lose weight and improve your overall health.
FAQs About Weight Loss
What is a weight loss diet?
A weight loss diet is designed to help you lose weight. This is done by creating a calorie deficit through healthy food choices and portion control.
How many calories should I eat in a day to lose weight?
This depends on several factors, including your age, sex, weight, and physical activity level. A safe and sustainable calorie deficit for weight loss is typically around 200-300 calories per day.
Can I still eat my favourite foods on a weight loss diet?
Yes, you can, but it’s important to practice moderation and portion control.
How long does it take to see results on a weight loss diet?
This varies depending on individual factors such as starting weight, diet, and exercise routine. However, a safe and sustainable weight loss rate is generally 1-2 pounds per week.
What are some healthy snacks I can have on a weight loss diet?
Some healthy snacks for a weight loss diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and air-popped popcorn.
Should I count macros or calories for weight loss?
Both counting macros and counting calories can be effective for weight loss, depending on individual preferences and goals. Counting macros involves tracking the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats consumed, while counting calories involves tracking overall calorie intake.
Can I drink alcohol on a weight loss diet?
Alcohol can be high in calories and may hinder weight loss efforts. It’s best to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether.
Is it necessary to exercise on a weight loss diet?
Exercise can aid in weight loss efforts by burning calories and building muscle mass, so this something you should do.
Should I avoid carbohydrates on a weight loss diet?
Carbohydrates can be part of a healthy weight loss diet. It’s important to choose complex, high-fibre carbohydrates instead of refined and processed carbs.
Can I still eat out at restaurants on a weight loss diet?
Yes, you can. The key is to make healthy choices and practice portion control.
Is it safe to follow a weight loss diet while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Yes, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, as calorie and nutrient needs may be different during these times.
How can I stay motivated on a weight loss diet?
Setting achievable goals, tracking progress, and rewarding yourself can help you stay motivated on a weight loss diet.
What should I do if I hit a weight loss plateau?
Try changing up your exercise routine or adjusting your calorie intake to break through the plateau.
Are there any supplements that can help with weight loss?
Some supplements may help with weight loss, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.
Can I still lose weight without following a strict diet?
Yes, making healthy food choices and practicing portion control can help you lose weight without following a strict diet.
How often should I weigh myself on a weight loss diet?
It’s best to weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day to track progress. Also, remember that weight is just a number. Avoid becoming obsessive about daily fluctuations. Look at other signals such as clothes fit, inch loss, energy levels, etc.
How can I prevent loose skin after weight loss?
Gradual weight loss, strength training, and staying hydrated can help prevent loose skin after weight loss.
Can a weight loss diet help with other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure?
A weight loss diet can be beneficial for managing other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional and registered dietitian to develop a plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
Should I consult with a healthcare professional before starting a weight loss diet?
It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or coach before starting a weight loss diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
How can I transition from a weight loss diet to a maintenance diet?
You can transition by gradually increasing calorie intake and finding a sustainable balance between healthy food choices and portion control. A registered dietitian or coach can provide guidance and support during this transition.
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- American Heart Association. Healthy Eating Plan. Accessed May 1, 2023. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/healthy-eating-plan
- American Council on Exercise. The Role of Exercise in Weight Management. Accessed May 1, 2023. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/3577/the-role-of-exercise-in-weight-management
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. Accessed May 1, 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/physical-activity-healthy-weight
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