Change One Diet

The Change One Diet was created by Reader’s Digest and is based around the concept that if individuals make one change to their lifestyle and their diet a week then they will gradually experience weight loss and improve their overall health.

The Premise

When on the Change One Diet, individuals will slowly make a change to their eating habits. This happens by improving their breakfast at one meal, then the following week, improve their lunch, and then improve their dinner. Dieters will continue to make these changes one meal at a time. It should take approximately 12 weeks to completely overhaul one’s eating habits.

The Diet

On the Change One Diet, individuals will change their breakfast eating habits on week 1, change lunch on week 2, change their snacking habits on week 3, change dinner on week 4, change how they eat out on week 5, and change their holiday and weekend eating behaviors on week 6. After altering their eating habits, dieters will now focus on other lifestyle changes, such as revamping their kitchen and cupboards on week 7, checking in on their progress on week 8, identifying stress contributors on week 9, introducing an exercise plan in week 10, checking in again on progress in week 11 and finally discuss methods to avoid boredom eating in week 12.

The recommended calorie range for dieters on the Change One Diet is from 1,300 to 1,600 calories per day. This range is based on body type and exercise routine. The diet does not restrict any foods, but focuses on portion control.

What To Get Excited About

One of the most exciting things about the Change One Diet is that there are no foods that are specifically off limits. Instead of restricted food groups, the Change One Diet promotes a balanced meal plan based on portion control. The diet is based on a meal plan that is based on what Reader’s Digest believes provides “optimal” caloric intake to maximize weight loss. 

Making gradual changes to your diet may make these lifestyle changes more manageable. This diet is designed in a way that allows for you to remain on a diet long-term without feeling like you are on a diet. The diet is designed to help avoid burnout and boredom.

Things to Consider

The Change One Diet fails to mention exercise until after two months into this diet. The website does supply a calculator which will help individuals calculate caloric burn based on exercise, but it fails to establish a structured exercise plan. To improve overall health and to facilitate weight loss, the Mayo Clinic recommends working out from 30 to 60 minutes most days.


The design of the Change One Diet is very reasonable and most individuals will be able to stay on this diet for the entire 12 weeks.  This is a doable diet that offers significant online support. For some individuals, particularly men, the 1,300 to 1,600 calories a day range may be too low to be able to stay on this diet for the recommended 12 weeks.


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