Eighty-Five Percent Non-Diet Diet Plan
This diet is actually more of a year-round commitment rather than a "diet." For myself, I found the idea of a "diet" doesn't work too well because it sounds too much like sacrifice.
So instead I eat healthy 85% of the time
If eating 21 meals a week (3 x 7 = 21) this means roughly 18 of those are healthy. The other 3 can be eaten out or eaten with the food of your choosing.
For the healthy meals....
Oatmeal, raisins, 2 boiled egg whites, and an optional piece of fruit and/or scoop of protein powder for extra protein
Whole wheat bread sandwich with some kind of protein in the middle (like turkey or chicken), a piece of fruit or vegetable, and a side dish like 1/2 a sweet potato or a bowl of soup
Dinner Option 1: Salmon with salad, broccoli, and cooked kidney beans or rice
Dinner Option 2: Chicken or fish, broccoli, 1 oz spaghetti/pasta (when measured dry), spaghetti sauce, and cooked kidney beans or rice
The keys to making this "diet" work...
1) Drink lots of water. You'll notice up in the menu nowhere do I suggest drinking soda or even juice. While the occasional glass of juice is ok, for the most part I try to stay away from being excessive about it because it's been shown that too many liquid calories can really pile on the weight.
2) You must exercise. I run and/or hit the gym 3-4 times a week.
1) I've pretty much maintained a constant weight and healthy BMI by implementing the above. You might have to eat healthier and/or exercise more depending on your body type if you're trying to lose weight or maintain.
2) This also means you can afford to splurge a bit on the holidays, and it won't feel like you've "blown" it because you've already built in some room for less than healthy meals by eating healthy "85% of the time".
So that's my solution. I'm not promising you a 6 pack or the moon. Just a way to maintain a healthy, optimum weight year-round. When I trained for a marathon, I did eat a lot more than the above - but then again, I did burn it off because I was running 40-50 miles a week.
If you've got a goal you're heading towards, and would like some tips on how to stay motivated so you don't burn out, please read 7 Tips On How To Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Own Long-Term Linear Goal So You Don't Burn Out.