A Dieting Plan Can Help You Lose Weight Faster

A good diet plan should cover all the major food classes — fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins. It should also provide healthy fats, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

It should also be practical for people who eat out frequently. If you eat a lot of meals at restaurants, you could reduce your calories by asking for salad dressing on the side and choosing fish and chicken.

Know Your Calories

Many people can maintain a healthy weight without counting calories, but for others, knowing their daily caloric intake is crucial. While calorie calculators can give you a general idea of your needs, a registered dietitian can offer more individualized guidance.

For most people, the first step is to cut out high-calorie foods. For example, start by skipping one high-calorie item each day (a morning latte, soda at lunch or an evening bowl of ice cream).

Then, focus on portion sizes. Eating food from a plate or bowl is a great way to be more mindful of the amount you are eating, and it will help you avoid overeating. Finally, check the nutrition facts panel on food labels to learn how many calories are in each serving. There are also a number of smartphone applications that make it easy to track and monitor your calories. A few of the most popular include CalorieKing, MyFitnessPal and Noom.

Make Simple Swaps

Food swaps can help you make smarter choices to eat better and lose weight faster. A number of foods can be swapped with healthier options that will still taste great but cut back on calories and boost nutrients.

For example, replacing a cup of heavy cream with evaporated skim milk cuts the fat and calories in half without losing flavor or texture. Using two egg whites instead of a whole egg in baked recipes or casseroles reduces calories and fat while adding protein to the dish.

Adding more fiber-rich veggies like carrots or zucchini to salads is another simple swap that will help you stay full and burn more calories. Swapping sour cream with Greek yogurt is not only lower in calories but it also adds healthy probiotics to your diet. If you love ice cream, use frozen bananas to make one-ingredient “ice cream.” These swaps will help you suppress hunger and adhere to your dieting goals.