The ‘Diet Plan’ is a plan that includes the amount of food you need to eat per day, given to you by your nutritionist or dietitian. It also tells you the most suitable foods to get, their quantities and the best time to eat. A ‘Diet Plan’ is made after considering the foods that are suitable for you, their quantities, as well as the foods you like and dislike, the convenient times to eat, your lifestyle, etc. In addition, your nutritionist or dietitian will give you the advice you need for an active life. With this plan, your diet and exercise can help you lose weight, control diabetes, control kidney disease, and other non-communicable diseases, as well as control them.

Planning a weight reduction diet plan

  1. First, calculate the BMR of the person
  2. Then, calculate the grams of carbohydrate, protein, and fat required in the diet.
    • Carbohydrates = 55% from total energy
    • Protein = 15% from total energy
    • Fat= 30% from total energy
  3. Then figure out the amount of carbohydrate-containing food groups in your diet according to the following order.
    • Milk
    • Pulses
    • Fruits
    • Vegetable
    • Sugars
  4. Add all the carbohydrates you have used so far for milk pulses, fruit, veggies, and sugar. (Use the exchange list below to determine the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in each food group. Subtract from total grams of carbohydrate need, the total amount of starch in food.
  5. Add the amount of protein you have used so far for milk, pulses, fruit, veggies. Subtract from total grams of protein, the number of proteins in fish/meat/egg in grams.
  6. Add the grams of fat you have used so far for milk, pulses, fruit, veggie, and coconut/ oil used for cooking. Subtract from total grams of fat need, the total grams of fat in foods.
  7. Finally, the total calorie from each food group should be equal to the total calorie requirement of the person.

What is the food exchange list?

This is a list of food items. Each item on this list in the portion listed can be interchanged with any other food item on the same list. An exchange equals to a portion. Each list is a group of measured or weighed foods of approximately the same nutritional value. Within each food list, one exchange approximately equals to another in calories, carbohydrate, protein and fat.

The food exchange list is originally developed for diabetics.

Following is the food exchange list that is used to make diet plans.

Food GroupNumber of servingsUnit ExchangeCarbohydrates (g)Proteins(g)Fats(g)Energy(Kcal)
Full cream
Low Fat
0101 glass (240mL),25g of milk powder(can be differ with the product) 12
Non Starchy Starchy
01½ cup  05
Sugar011 tea spoon520
Pulses/legumes011/2cup12- 1505 – 060-180
Cereals011/2cup15 – 18021 or less80
Medium fat High Fat


Coconut011/5 of coconut25225
Oil011tea spoon(5g)0545
Fat (Margarine or butter)011 tea spoon(5g)0545
Following is an example of a weight reduction diet plan. You can make your own when you get the hang of it.

Weight= 69kg

Height =175 cm

Age = 25

BMI= 69kg/ 1.752m2


Physical activity level= sedentary (1.2)

Normal BMI range for Asians = 18.5-22.9

Target BMI= 21

Target weight = Target BMI* height 2



Weight to be lost= 69kg-64kg


0.5kg weight can be lost per week by cutting off 550kcal per day

Time taken to lose weight= 1 week/0.5kg * 5kg

                                          =10 weeks

Weight reduction in 10 weeks (5kg);

 Harris benedict equation;

Men BMR = 66.4730 + (13.7516 x weight in kg) + (5.0033 x height in cm) – (6.7550 x age in years)

Women BMR = 655.0955 + (9.5634 x weight in kg) + (1.8496 x height in cm) – (4.6756 x age in years)

Male (kcal/day)   = 66.47+ (13.7*weight) + (5*Height)-(6.76*Age)

                               = 66.47+ (13.7*69) + (5*175)-(6.76*25)

                               =1717 kcal

Current TEE= 1717kcal* 1.2


If physical activity level increased to 1.375(light exercise);

TTE=1717 kcal* 1.375


Dietary energy intake = 2360 kcal – 550 kcal

                                     =1810 kcal

Energy from carbohydrates = 55% –> 1000 kcal –> 250g

Energy from fats = 25% –> 452.5kcal –> 50g

Energy from protein= 20% –> 362 kcal –> 90g

Table: Food exchange list and number of exchanges
Food GroupNumber of servingsCarbohydrates (g)Proteins(g)Fats(g)Energy(Kcal)
Milk(full fat)2241616304
Vegetables Non Starchy3  15    6    0    84  
Vegetables starchy110248
Total carbohydrates 134   
Remaining carbohydrates 250-134= 116   
Total protein     
Remaining proteins  90-50=40  
Meat Lean  5   35    15    275  
Total fat   56 
Remaining fat     
Total energy    1800
Food groupNumber of exchanges
breakfastSnack 1lunchSnack 2dinnerSnack 3
Milk, full-fat1  1  
Vegetables Non Starchy1 1 1 
Vegetables Starchy  1/3 2/3 
Fruit 11  1
Sugar1  1  
Pulses/legumes1 1   
Cereals2 3 2 
Meat Lean2 2 1 
Table: Meal plan for one day
7.00 AMMilk tea (25g milk powder, 1 tsp. sugar, black tea infusion-optional)1 cup (140ml)
8.00AM – 8.30AMWhite rice cooked1 cup
Any non-starchy vegetable/ green leaves3 tbsp
any pulses or legumes3 tbsp
Fish / chicken cooked without oil2 medium piece
Snack 1– 10.00 AMRipe papaya1/8th of papaya
Lunch (1.00pm – 2.00pm)White rice cooked1 ½ cup
 Any non-starchy vegetable/ green leaves3 tbsp
 Any starchy vegetable1 tbsp
 any pulses or legumes3 tbsp
 Fish / chicken/  cooked without oil2 medium piece
 Guava1/4th guava
Snack 2– 6.00PMCurd / 1 cup yogurt3 tbsp curd
Dinner 8.00PM -8.30PMWhite rice cooked1 cup
 Any non-starchy vegetable/ green leaves3 tbsp
 Any starchy vegetable2 tbsp
 Chicken cooked without oil1 medium piece
Snack 3– 9.00PMBanana1 medium size

Other fruit substitutes-

  • 1/4th watermelon
  • ½ of orange
  • ½ of mango
  • ½ of apple

What is a Serving Size?

Food quantity is a portion of food that has been measured before. It gives you an idea of ​​how much to add to your diet each day. The following is a list of foods that should be consumed each day.

  • Rice, Bread, Other Cereals and Potatoes – 6 to 11 servings.
  • Fruits – 2 to 3 servings.
  • Vegetables – 3 to 5 servings.
  • Milk and Dairy Products – 1 to 2 servings.
  • Fish, Meat, Eggs, Flakes, and Nuts – 3 to 4 servings.
  • Oily seeds and seeds – 2 to 4 servings.

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