Dieting is a bad habit. Sensible meal plans that balance food groups, provide a wide variety, and allow for versatility and use easily accessible foods sustain family life and good individual health. Good health in turn saves money and increases happiness because we feel like enjoying life.
The Goal for every meal:
2 Carbohydrate exchanges
2 protein exchanges - 1 egg, 1 oz meat, 1/4 cup nuts, 1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 milk (For adults it is recommended to have 16 oz/day - I recommend 6 oz liquid at every meal.)
If there are food sensitivities, milk intolerance, diabetes, heart health issues, this meal plan can be modified, substitutions made and either low fat or high fat choices within food groups. The caloric range can be from about 1600-2400 depending on whether high fat meats and milk are used and the fat exchange is eliminated. A good way to cut calories further if desired is to just eat 1/2 a meal for one of the three meals in a day. Meal exchanges can be carried to snack times (save a fruit and a vegetable for snack or only have 1 protein exchange with the meal and the other at snack time).
I think a raw foods diet is hard to maintain for long periods of time with small children but I do feel that as much as possible fresh fruits and vegetables need to be served at each meal. Bowel heath, heart health, the antioxidants for anti cancer health, etc.. all improve. Combined with whole grains and legumes for protein sources, good health is maintained. High protein diets such as P90X, Atkins, Zone, etc.. can yield results for weight loss quickly. Long term, more plant sources for proteins need to be used (beans) to make these diets wise. My personal preference is moderation and variety. So I try to serve 2 oz of meat at each meal. Legumes of some sort at least once a day (1 ounce on salads, as chip dip or a main dish). The goal is to have fish twice a week, beef twice a week, and fill in with a variety of nuts, chicken, cottage cheese, etc.. Foods that can be in two groups (PRO and CHO or dairy) change according to my need in the day. Sometimes I need more protein so another glass of milk suffices as a protein not a dairy.