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What Is a Diet Plan?

Balanced nutrition and low calorie intake can lead to weight loss.
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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 April 2014
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A diet plan, which is sometimes called an eating plan, is a regulated eating strategy used by people who need special dietary restrictions. In many cases, these restrictions are necessary for weight loss, but there are also diet plans used by people who have gluten intolerance or special food sensitivities. Regulating what a person eats can allow for that person to get all of his or her nutritional requirements without indulging in unnecessary foods. Likewise, diet plans can help isolate where problematic diet areas might lie based on physical results from the diet. When choosing a diet plan, it is important to remember that not every diet will work for every person, and even those that are effective promote health only when followed precisely.

One of the most common reasons for planned eating involves weight loss or changes in body fat. There are many different diet plans of this type and not all of these plans are healthy. For example, drinking only lemonade as a diet plan will certainly make a person lose weight but it will not support the body's needs for very long. On the other hand, eating special planned meals designed with balanced nutrition and low calories is a sustainable diet plan that can evolve with the needs of the individual over time.

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Other types of diet plans address specific allergies or intolerances. Some people, for example, cannot tolerate milk but still need to consume a sufficient amount of calcium. Special dietary alterations, sometimes involving full diet plans, can accommodate issues like this. More difficult diet plans might address gluten intolerance or an inability to eat meat.

A diet plan may be essential to life for people with certain health risks and disorders. People who are diabetic must carefully monitor what they eat in order to stay alive, and planning can help with this problem. For those who suffer from high cholesterol or stomach illnesses, a specific diet plan can be life saving in the long term. Even people who are merely getting older can benefit from a diet plan designed to extend life. When a doctor prescribes an eating plan, it is usually not an optional step and may be the only way to maintain health.

The problem with choosing a diet plan is that there are many different perspectives on what is and is not healthy in a diet. One of the most famous paradoxes involves the typical French diet, which includes many foods that most people would consider unhealthy. This diet, however, is popular within a culture that emphasizes walking, small portions, and slow meals, which in the end results in people who are thinner on average. For this reason, it is important to consider not only the foods that go into any planned diet, but also the activities and lifestyle surrounding that diet.

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