Do you tend to put yourself on diets or do you try to healthy as just part of a lifestyle? Personally, I don’t like the concept of dieting; it seems too restrictive to eliminate entire food groups and don’t find that to be sustainable over the long-term. Ultimately, I want something that I can integrate into my normal life instead of having to count the calories and fat in each meal.
One of the most sustainable plans that I have found (note, we are not calling it a diet), is the 90-10 concept. Ninety percent of what you put in your body is made up of the healthy choices, and ten percent is the less-healthy options.
The 9010 Nutrition website provides an excellent outline for this particular plan. Their “Green Tier” list (the 90%) is quite extensive and does not eliminate any individual food group. It contains vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, secondary vegetables and grains, healthy fats, and “free foods” such as mustard or lemon juice. The “Yellow Tier” foods (the 10%) also contains quite a few foods that most of us know and love such as bacon, beer, and tortilla chips. The “Red Tier” food list (as in Do Not Eat) includes highly processed foods as well as most baked goods. For full access to the website, they do charge a nominal fee, but it is much less than some of the extensive programs such as Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem.
Overall, I do think that it is a sustainable way of eating. I believe you can either balance your 90/10 daily or weekly, but I have not paid to read all of their materials. It also seems adaptable to other dietary restrictions such as vegetarian or kosher.