Meal Plan For Weight Loss

  • Gregorio Anselmetti Bachelor of Science - BSc, Neuroscience. University of Warwick, UK
  • Zayan Siddiqui BSc in Chemistry with Biomedicine, KCL, MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management, UCL

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One of the serious public health concerns is obesity, which refers to a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m. Obesity and excess weight increase the risk of several co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep, and some types of cancer. Comorbidities linked to obesity place a significant financial strain on healthcare, particularly for chronic conditions that need ongoing care. The higher risk of obesity-related comorbidities may result in significant costs.1

Overeating and inactivity are the two main causes of obesity. However, in the end, metabolism, environment, behaviour, and culture all influence body weight and composition. It is commonly known that obesity has serious negative effects on disease risk in addition to having a major negative influence on morbidity, disability, mental health, and quality of life. Therefore, the main focus of public health initiatives is on preventing, reducing, or intervening in weight gain and obesity.2

Meal replacements

Programs for losing weight that integrate self-management techniques, such as meal replacements (MR), might be especially helpful because they can be implemented in the community with or without the assistance of medical experts.

For the treatment of obesity for a year, MR is an effective strategy, particularly when combined with a support program. It is possible to suggest MR for incorporation into professional weight-management programs or as a self-management approach for individuals who are overweight or obese.3

Foods that help with weight loss:

Green tea

The famous unfermented beverage known as "green tea" (GT) is prepared from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The main ingredient in tea has been shown to have a wide range of biological effects, including lowering body weight, improving metabolic syndrome (MetS), preventing cancer and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and preventing neurodegeneration. With almost no negative effects, green tea is a potentially helpful tool for treating obesity, whether used alone or in conjunction with other weight reduction strategies. The quality of the evidence supporting green tea intake is moderate. 

White kidney bean

One species of Phaseolus vulgaris L., commonly known as the common bean, is the white kidney bean. It can cause weight reduction and is characterised by antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, glucose-lowering, and cardioprotective qualities. the use of PVE 1–3 g/day to reduce weight.4

Treatments for weight loss

Energy restriction (ER) was used for weight loss. A hypocaloric diet (500 kcal/d below resting energy expenditure) and 75–150 minutes of weekly exercise were recommended, depending on individual physical activity.5

Popular weight loss diets

Ketogenic diets

 A ketogenic diet consists of extremely few carbohydrates, low to moderate protein, and high fat.

The eating pattern creates nutritional ketosis, a metabolic state where fat is the main energy source, by limiting the amount of glucose from carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet restricts fruit and vegetables in addition to bread, cereals, legumes, and grains so that the daily total carbohydrate consumption is usually less than 50 g. 

National and international organisations have approved the ketogenic diet, which is well-established in the nutritional therapy of chronic conditions including epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Modern ketogenic diets, however, have gained a lot of popularity and may not always follow the original concepts and dietary recommendations. Modern ketogenic diets advocate much greater protein consumption from animal sources such as beef, chicken, turkey, and protein supplements, to help people lose weight. Furthermore, the majority of the fat in a ketogenic diet comes from popular, higher-cost product sources, including butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and ghee, that have gained popularity on mainstream social media.

Paleolithic diet 

There are no specific macronutrient guidelines for a Paleolithic diet. It has been postulated that the macronutrient distribution of protein, carbohydrates, and fat is around 27:31:45. A typical Palaeolithic diet eliminates manufactured foods and emphasises eating fresh vegetables. It was once known as the "caveman diet."

This includes fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, meat, and fish. It appears that while some current Paleolithic diets and meal plans do contain dairy products and legumes, others do not. 

The 8 weeks to wow (8WW) diet

It is a challenge-type plan that reintroduces prohibited foods every two weeks through a detailed meal list. The diet is dominated by vegetables and protein, with very modest portions of fruit, dairy products, breads, and cereals.

Various low-carb substitutes and specialised items like vegetables, rice, noodles, and high-protein bread are also included in 8WW.

Time-restricted feeding, or intermittent fasting (IF)

This is a meal window followed by a period of fasting. Because meals are closer together when the eating window is smaller, it is thought that this lowers energy intake (calories) and that fasting will cause the body to burn fat.

There are differences in the daily fasting windows (16:8 or 20:4) and different approaches, such as the 5:2 strategy, can be used. The 5:2 approach calls for extremely low-calorie intake (500–600 kcal) for two days, then ad libitum eating for the following five days. There are often no dietary group limits.


A meal replacement program called Optifast is intended for those who are overweight or obese, and it usually comes before bariatric surgery. Despite this, the general public may purchase Optifast products over-the-counter and frequently use them as a meal replacement plan for weight reduction without a dietician or other medical professional's supervision.

Meal plans from Optifast (800–1500 calories) fall into the categories of low–moderate fat, moderate-high protein, and moderate–carbohydrate. Moreover, Optifast meal replacements are nutritionally complete because they are made to have enough protein to maintain lean muscle mass and a variety of vital vitamins and minerals.6


In summary, there are many ways to lose weight, including dietary adjustments, supplements, and behavioural alterations. However, each intervention's efficacy may differ based on a person's unique circumstances, including metabolism, lifestyle, and adherence. To prevent obesity and promote general health and well-being, a complete approach that incorporates dietary adjustments, regular physical exercise, and behavioural support may provide the best long-term effects. To guarantee safety and efficacy, it is important to speak with medical specialists prior to starting any weight loss program.


  1. Apovian CM. Obesity: definition, comorbidities, causes, and burden. Am J Manag Care. 2016 Jun;22(7 Suppl):s176-85. PMID: 27356115.
  2. Willoughby D, Hewlings S, Kalman D. Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 3;10(12):1876. doi: 10.3390/nu10121876. PMID: 30513859; PMCID: PMC6315740.
  3. Astbury NM, Piernas C, Hartmann-Boyce J, Lapworth S, Aveyard P, Jebb SA. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meal replacements for weight loss. Obes Rev. 2019 Apr;20(4):569-587. doi: 10.1111/obr.12816. Epub 2019 Jan 24. PMID: 30675990; PMCID: PMC6849863.
  4. Watanabe M, Risi R, Masi D, Caputi A, Balena A, Rossini G, Tuccinardi D, Mariani S, Basciani S, Manfrini S, Gnessi L, Lubrano C. Current Evidence to Propose Different Food Supplements for Weight Loss: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2020 Sep 20;12(9):2873. doi: 10.3390/nu12092873. PMID: 32962190; PMCID: PMC7551574.
  5. Jamshed H, Steger FL, Bryan DR, Richman JS, Warriner AH, Hanick CJ, Martin CK, Salvy SJ, Peterson CM. Effectiveness of Early Time-Restricted Eating for Weight Loss, Fat Loss, and Cardiometabolic Health in Adults With Obesity: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Sep 1;182(9):953-962. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.3050. PMID: 35939311; PMCID: PMC9361187.
  6. Bracci EL, Milte R, Keogh JB, Murphy KJ. Developing and implementing a new methodology to test the affordability of currently popular weight loss diet meal plans and healthy eating principles. BMC Public Health. 2022 Jan 6;22(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-12447-4. PMID: 34991538; PMCID: PMC8734134.

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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