This 28-day diet plan incorporates healthful eating habits slowly, moderately and over the course of one month. In this way, this plan may be used by individuals who wish to maintain a healthy body weight indefinitely, establish healthy eating habits or create a long-term plan for weight loss.
Significance and Warning
In "Weight Loss - Six Strategies For Success," MayoClinic.com states that individuals who make slow, moderate changes to create a healthful diet will have more success with maintaining or losing weight than those who make rapid, radical diet changes. The 28-day diet plan's significance is its length, in that you have a month to make changes to your eating habits and establish a long-term plan for success. As with any diet plan, consult a physician before starting.
Days 1 to 7
According to The Diet Forum website in "Conquering Unhealthy Eating Habits," unhealthy eating choices often originate from being unaware that you are making those choices. The goal of these seven days is, thus, to become aware of your good and bad eating habits. This week, keep a food log of everything you eat, where you obtained the food and the time of day you ate it. At the end of each day, compare your log with the habits listed in "Conquering Unhealthy Eating Habits." Place a check mark next to any food consumed via an unhealthy eating habit.
Days 8 to 14
During the first week of this 28-day diet plan, you identified your good and bad eating habits. The goal of the next seven days is to remove a few of the unhealthy eating habits that you became aware of last week. For example, did you rely on fast food for a few lunches last week? If so, make your own lunch every day this week. Or, did you forget to eat breakfast more than once last week, a risky eating habit, according to "The New York Times" in the article "The Risks and Rewards of Skipping Meals," published on Dec. 26, 2007? Make certain that you eat three meals a day every day this week.
Days 15 to 21
For days 15 through 21 of this 28-day diet plan, your only goal is to eat healthfully all week. The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports website, in "10 Tips to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for You," has a number of tips for eating healthfully that include smart snacking. By carrying a number of healthy snacks with you each day, for example, you'll have the right kinds of food accessible when you become hungry. Also, consider making healthy eating fun by getting together with a group of friends or family to prepare and eat a healthy meal.
Days 22 to 28
Habits take a bit of time to establish, so days 22 through 28 of this 28-day diet plan have the same goal as last week. The goal of this fourth week is to maintain your healthy eating choices. It might be helpful to look back on last week and determine if there were any days, meals, or eating situations that were the most challenging for healthful eating. If so, then you have a good target to focus on this week.