How to Make a Diet Plan. White and black card with "D.I.E.T. (DID I EAT THAT?)" written on it.

A diet plan is the plan of the food you eat to achieve your fitness goal.

It is important to have a diet plan if you want to get a particular result in fitness. That’s what this article will help you achieve.

Diet is very important to fitness. Fitness is 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise.

Answer These Questions Before Making of a Diet Plan
1. What is your goal?

What are you trying to achieve with this diet plan? You must have a goal. Read how to make fitness goals here.

An example of a goal is to lose weight. You must be specific. Say, to lose 10kgs/22lbs in 5 months.

2. What’s your budget?

How much do you plan to spend on a diet? This will vary from person to person and so will your diet plan. Cut your coat according to your size.

Don’t make plans you can’t achieve. There are so many ways to go about your diet that won’t cost you much.

3. Will your diet plan fit into your schedule?

If you live a very busy life, it might be impossible to cook all the time.

You might have to make changes like ordering food from specific restaurants, eating fruits as a snack at work and other ways to work out your diet plan. You want to limit bad eating habits as much as possible.

4. How many times do you eat in a day?

This also varies from person to person. Somebody might eat 3 times a day while others eat 7 times a day. Both people might get the same result or different. It depends on what each meal consists of and the number of their calories.

5. How many calories are you eating now?

Write down all the food you usually eat per day and calculate their calories. Some common food and the calories they contain have been listed below.

6. How many activities do you do in a day?

Is your job high activity or you just sit all day at work? How often do you exercise? Your level of activity determines the number of calories you burn.

If your job is high activity, you might require a higher calorie intake than someone whose job isn’t and vice versa.

Common food and the calories you get from it

The exact number of calories might vary. This is an approximate measure.

  1. Apple, medium: 72
  2. Bagel: 289
  3. Banana, medium: 105
  4. Beer (regular, 12 ounces): 153
  5. Bread (one slice, wheat or white): 66
  6. Butter (salted, 1 tablespoon): 102
  7. Carrots (raw, 1 cup): 52
  8. Cheddar cheese (1 slice): 113
  9. Chicken breast (boneless, skinless, roasted, 3 ounces): 142
  10. Chili with beans (canned, 1 cup): 287
  11. Chocolate chip cookie (from packaged dough): 59
  12. Coffee (regular, brewed from grounds, black): 2
  13. Cola (12 ounces): 136
  14. Corn (canned, sweet yellow whole kernel, drained, 1 cup): 180
  15. Egg (large, scrambled): 102
  16. Graham cracker (plain, honey, or cinnamon): 59
  17. Granola bar (chewy, with raisins, 1.5-ounce bar): 193
  18. Green beans (canned, drained, 1 cup): 40
  19. Ground beef patty 193 (15 per cent fat, 4 ounces, pan-broiled):
  20. Hot dog (beef and pork): 137
  21. Ice cream (vanilla, 4 ounces): 145
  22. Jelly doughnut: 289
  23. Ketchup (1 tablespoon): 15
  24. Milk (2 per cent milk fat, 8 ounces): 122
  25. Mixed nuts (dry roasted, with peanuts, salted, 1 ounce): 168
  26. Mustard, yellow (2 teaspoons): 6
  27. Oatmeal (plain, cooked in water without salt, 1 cup): 147
  28. Orange juice (frozen concentrate, made with water, 8 ounces): 112
  29. Peanut butter (creamy, 2 tablespoons): 180
  30. Pizza (pepperoni, regular crust, one slice): 298
  31. Pork chop (centre rib, boneless, broiled, 3 ounces): 221
  32. Potato, medium (baked, including skin): 161
  33. Potato chips (plain, salted, 1 ounce): 155
  34. Pretzels (hard, plain, salted, 1 ounce): 108
  35. Raisins (1.5 ounces): 130
  36. Ranch salad dressing (2 tablespoons): 146
  37. Red wine (cabernet sauvignon, 5 ounces): 123
  38. Rice (white, long grain, cooked, 1 cup): 205
  39. Salsa (4 ounces): 35
  40. Shrimp (cooked under moist heat, 3 ounces): 84
  41. Spaghetti (cooked, enriched, without added salt, 1 cup): 221
  42. Spaghetti sauce (marinara, ready to serve, 4 ounces): 92
  43. Tuna (light, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces): 100
  44. White wine (sauvignon blanc, 5 ounces): 121
  45. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting (one piece): 243
Characteristics of a Good Diet Plan
1. The diet must be easily available

Your diet plan should contain only food that you know is readily available. This makes it easy to accomplish.

For example, if bread is easily available than oats for breakfast, then you go for bread in your diet plan.

And same for fruits too. If you live in an area where a particular fruit is common, then you want to go for that fruit.

2. It Should be balanced

You must endeavour to eat a balanced diet. Know that all nutrient are optimal — carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin, mineral, fibre and water play a role in nutrition and one can’t be substituted for the other.

Proteins such as beans, eggs, meat, fish help our body grow. They are what makes your muscles bigger after a workout. About 12 to 20 per cent of your total daily caloric intake should come from proteins.

Carbohydrates such as bread rice, pasta, are the primary source of energy. About 50 to 60 per cent of your total daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrate.

Fats such as milk cheese cream, fatty cuts of meat, olive oil help the body store energy. About 30 per cent of your total daily caloric intake should come from proteins.

Fruits contain vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre which have several health benefits, ranging from fighting infections to helping you lose weight. Aim for two cups of fruit per day.

Water is very essential to health. You should definitely be drinking lots of water if you want to lose weight. It’s recommended to take 8 cups of water per day.

Health Benefits of Drinking Water Often

3. It must meet your goal

What’s your goal? If you’re trying to lose some weight, then your diet plan has to reflect this. The number of calories you consume must be less than the number of calories you spend. You can calculate the total number of calories by adding the sum of calories of each food or their approximate values.

In order to know the number of calories you spend, you must calculate the total metabolic rate. You can do this using the TDEE Calculator.

Making Your Diet Plan

It’s recommended that an average woman eats about 2000 calories per day to maintain, and 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2500 calories to maintain, and 2000 to lose one pound of weight per week.

Write everything you eat down or what you plan to eat. You must know the number of calories they contain or have an approximate value.

Once you’ve done this, you’re set.

Make sure they are balanced and in the right proportion.

For example, if your goal is to lose let’s say 10kgs/22lbs in 6 months, then you can aim for losing an average of 0.5kgs/1lb per week.  A diet of 1000 to 1500 calories should get you there.

You can get this free 1000 calories diet plan for women here.

You can make a similar one for yourself or if you want a free ready-made diet plan then check here.


Diet plays a major role in fitness. This is very true if you want to lose weight. You have to make sure the total number of calories you eat must be less than the number of calories you spend.

Subtract the total number of calories you eat from the total metabolic rate. If the result is positive, then you’re doing it right. If it’s negative, you have to work more. You can spend more energy by doing cardio and strength training.

And lastly, don’t forget several factors contribute to weight loss and weight gain which include metabolismgenetics, ageing, diet, hormone regulation, and the impact of the environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress.


Dr Klas

Dr Klas aka Dr Emmanuel Adeniran is a medical doctor, a health educator, and a fitness enthusiast who has been into fitness for more than five years. He is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you.


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