Diet Smart Plan

diet-smart-planThe Diet Smart Plan (TDSP) is the creation of author Barry Sanders. The plan involves a series of small, healthy changes to a person’s diet that result in more significant benefits over a period of time rather than drastic measures to meet a expected deadline for weight loss goals.

A typical dieter has a goal of exiting the diet as soon as possible because in their mind, a diet is restrictive. If the diet was more in alignment with their normal diet, the dieter would not want to vacate the program as quickly and desired results would happen through consistency of healthy behaviors.

The Diet Smart Plan is based on the participants’ eating awareness. TDSP is calorie conscious but not concerned with more detailed nutritional aspects such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, points, or good fiber.

Keeping the dieter focused on just a few simple aspects, the dieter is more likely to adopt those few healthy habits and make them behaviors rather than overwhelming them with multiple items that lead to frustration and eventually, failure.

Diet Smart Plan Guidelines

TDSP has only three basic guidelines:

  • Participants are asked to stay under a daily caloric intake amount equal to 8 times their body weight to lose weight.
    Once the dieter approaches their target weight, they increase this to 11 times their body weight (i.e. 11 x body weight in pounds). As in most successful diet plans, limiting calories are the key to weight loss. Having dieters focused on only this guideline promotes success.
  • Participants are asked to eat at least 5 times a day, preferably 6.This guideline prevents overeating at any particular meal and speeds up digestion.
  • Participants are asked to weigh-in in the morning and in the evening.
    Having a participant monitoring their weight more often keeps the program in their minds and promotes a cycle of success where good habits are rewarded by the participant seeing the result in the scale soon after.


The Diet Smart program categorizes food into 5 groups:The five food categories are

  • Free Foods
    Most low-calorie vegetables which the dieter does not count against their daily calorie limit. Because many participants do not eat vegetables at all so this is motivation for them to eat as many as they can. It has been suggested that someone could eat more calories eating free foods and gain weight, but this in reality has not been the case since participants cannot eat the volume of vegetables to gain weight.

    Most participants did not eat a significant percentage of vegetables in their diet prior to TDSP. In the first few days of the program, many dieters turn to free foods to maintain a full feeling while trying to stay under their daily calorie count. When the dieter does not feel hungry and sees weight loss, the participant changes their perception of diets.

  • Basic Foods
    Staples such as baked potatoes, rice, fruits, lean meats. Foods where calories count against the daily calorie limit but the dieter should try to eat as much as possible.
  • Single Portion Foods
    Foods that are acceptable in reasonable portions such as spaghetti, ice cream, and steaks.
  • Modified Foods
    Foods that have low-calorie options or can be prepared in lower calorie fashion such as cheeseburgers, fries, and milk.
  • Limited Foods
    Foods that are not forbidden just should be limited to once a week such as Lasagna.

Sample Meal Plan

Based on a 200lb person.

Breakfast Calories
Medium Banana 90
Oatmeal 100
Midmorning Snack
Granola Bar 100
Apple 60
1/4 pd. Cheeseburger (lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard) 295
2 oz. potato chips 150
Side salad with raspberry vinaigrette 80
Mid-Afternoon Snack
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (55 pieces) 140
6 oz. Chicken tenderloins – grilled 180
1 cup green beans 40
medium baked potato with ultra low-calorie butter 195
carrots 25
After dinner snack
1/2 bag of popcorn 100
Total 1555

Find more low Calorie recipes here.

Calorie Counting

Prior to each meal or snack, participants “research”, or verify the calorie count of foods prior to consumption to ensure that the meal or snack fits within the daily limit providing for flexibility in many situations. After the meal is consumed, calories from items eaten including condiments and other extras to ensure all calories are counted (unless the food is a free food).

TDSP is only concerned with the total from the meal, not details from individual items. The participant keeps a running total all day. At the end of the day, the slate is wiped clean and the participant starts again the next day at zero.


Asking participants to wait to begin an exercise program rather than starting day helps participants readily adopt an exercise program later. Participants begin by focusing on weight loss for six weeks and then begin a regular weight loss program.

The loss of weight helps participants exercise more easily and separates the concepts for easier adoption. Participants who did not have a regular exercise regime prior to TDSP are asked to wait until week six to begin a routine.

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These exercises can be used after 6 weeks.


The Diet Smart Plan works well through dual accountability. The participant commits to having a support team to help keep them on track.

In return, the support team members commit to the participant not to tempt them when dining, being supportive, and being there through “thick and thin”.

Available from Amazon →

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Kristeller, J. L., & Wolever, R. Q. (2010). Mindfulness-based eating awareness training for treating binge eating disorder: the conceptual foundation. Eating Disorders, 19(1), 49-61. study link
  • Baer, R. A., Fischer, S., & Huss, D. B. (2005). Mindfulness and acceptance in the treatment of disordered eating. Journal of rational-emotive and cognitive-behavior therapy, 23(4), 281-300. study link

5 Comments or Reviews

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  1. rubina mutahir

    I need a balanced diet chart that help me to become & keep me smart.

  2. Berivan khidir

    Thanx for the info. I want to lose weight for my birthday Jan 1st I know it’s coming up so I want to lose it fast. Can you tell me if I do a protein shakes will I gain weight? Why do I retain water if I drink more than 8 glasses a day? All my weight is on my stomach so I do cardio running intervals should I exercise 6 or 7days should there be a rest day? What is the best meal plan?


    i read ur diet plan that is good n can manage easily;but all plan includes non-veg items kindly tell some diet plan which is pure veg. thanks

  4. Melissa

    lovelovelove it

  5. dalia

    give me some good food diet that i can eat and become slim