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How to Lose Weight on the Subway Diet

By Sam Ashe-Edmunds ; Updated July 18, 2017

The Subway diet is an informal eating and exercise program popularized after college student Jared Fogel lost 245 pounds eating exclusively at Subway sandwich shops for one year. In addition to eating a small turkey sandwich, large veggie sandwich, baked chips and diet soda each day, Fogel added an exercise regimen of regular walking. The diet is considered informal because it is generally considered to be a program of eating primarily Subway sandwiches, even if your Subway diet differs from the items and amounts Fogel ate.

  1. Talk to a health professional about your nutrition needs to get a recommendation of how many calories you will need daily, along with any special requirements you may have for vitamins and minerals.

  2. Perform research on the Internet to learn which foods provide the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your health professional recommended for you. Visit sites like LiveStrong's My Plate. This will help you purchase Subway food items with those nutrients.

  3. Visit the Subway website or one of their restaurants to obtain the nutrition information for their foods. This information will include calories and nutrient amounts or percentages for each food, including sandwiches, soups, salads, chips, desserts and drinks.

  4. Read a copy of the United States Department of Agriculture's food pyramid for healthy eating, or the Mayo Clinic healthy weight food pyramid to guide you in planning your daily caloric intake.

  5. Write meal plans for each day, several days or for the week, creating menus that provide your recommended daily calories and nutrients each day. If one meal is heavy on carbohydrates, balance it with more proteins in your next meal.

  6. Total the daily calories for each day's meal plans to verify that you will create a 500-calorie deficit of calories eaten and calories burned. A 500-calorie daily deficit results in a loss of one pound each week, according to the Mayo Clinic. The USDA recommends 1,600 calories daily for inactive women and teen girls; 2,000 calories for active women; and 2,800 calories for men and teen boys.

  7. Exercise on a regular basis to create your weekly calorie deficit. Subtract the calories you plan to burn on a particular day from that day's calorie count. The American Heart Association recommends 60 to 90 minutes of exercise, five times per week, for weight loss and maintenance.

  8. Eat more often than twice a day. Start with breakfast to decrease fasting periods and the risks for obesity associated with long fasts, recommends Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky. Avoid the many high-fat and high-calorie Subway breakfast items. Choose Subway's egg white and other healthier breakfast items, or eat somewhere other than Subway for breakfast.

  9. Eat healthy, low-calorie Subway items for lunch, dinner and snacks. Skip fatty meats, condiments and cheeses. Choose whole grain breads, meats such as turkey breast, ham, chicken and roast beef, low-fat soups, baked chips and desserts such as apple slices or yogurt.

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