Totally flexible, totally simple – the Totals plan

Nutrition team

If you’ve ever tried calorie counting for even a couple of days, you’ll have probably either given up after your first meal, or become so obsessed with counting calories that it was in danger of taking over your life. Forget your job, kids and mortgage - reading labels was all you had time for, frantically trying to calculate exactly how many calories and grams of fat were in that chip you’d swiped from your colleagues plate at lunchtime.

Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Let’s face it, despite all our good intentions, none of us actually have time to write down the calorie, fat, salt and sugar content of absolutely everything we’ve eaten in one day, and then check that it meets Department of Health recommendations or weight loss guidelines. Even if we did have time for this, what would it achieve?

Would it teach us which foods are healthy and which aren’t? Well, maybe to an extent, but only if you compare labels of similar products.

Would it teach us that portion control is one of the keys to successful weight loss? Only if we eat the recommended serving size on the pack, and most of us tend to check the label after eating the food, so that’s no good.

So, in a nutshell, calorie counting is not practical in our everyday lives. It won’t drastically improve our health or result in all that excess weight magically disappearing. If anything, the stress of it will have you reaching your comfort food!

That’s where our new Totals plan comes in. Imagine an online diet plan where you can enter in all the foods you eat in one day, hit ‘submit’, and instantly see your calorie, fat, saturated fat, protein and salt intake for that day. That’s exactly what our Nutrition Totaller does.

How will this help you to lose weight? We’ll give you a daily Totals allowance that will help you to reach your target weight. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, you can use the Totals plan. You’ll still receive a daily Totals allowance to allow for weight maintenance.

A Total is the value we’ve given to food and drink items depending on their calories and food type. Using unique calculations, Totals differentiate between types of fat and carbohydrates contained in a food. This reflects the good nutritional quality and health benefits of foods we should be eating more of.

For example, foods higher in good fats and wholegrain carbohydrates will have lower Totals values than refined foods or those containing saturated fats, so you’ll have less room for the latter in your daily diet. Similarly foods higher in salt and sugar will have higher Totals values than those lower in these components.

If you know that you need to change your eating habits, you can use our sample Totals plans to set you in the right direction. We also have a Totals food pyramid to guide you on the types and quantities of food you should be eating.

As with all of our weight loss and healthy eating plans, we encourage you to exercise in addition to following the Totals plan. Extra Totals can be earned through exercise - for example, a brisk 20 minute walk will earn you 2 extra Totals, so it’s definitely in your best interests to keep active!

Although we will encourage you to include healthier foods in your diet, there’s also room for the odd treat or glass of wine during the week, so you certainly won’t feel deprived.

With the Totals plan you’ll be able to track your progress each week with your weigh in, as well as being able to use all the other features on our site like dining out tips and community boards.

And if you’re still not happy after all of that, you can change your plan to any one of our 14 other different choices!

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.