Summer is fast approaching and you want a body you’ll be proud to display at the beach. It’s time to start now so you’ll be ready in 3 months. But what if you’re not a cook or you’re just too busy to cook. Many people are looking at the meal replacement plans of Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or Medifast to do the cooking for them. The problems: these plans are VERY expensive (around $300-$700 per month), some of the food isn’t very good, and you’re also paying expensive shipping charges. How would you like to accomplish the same thing but do it better? You’ll eat tastier food with much more variety, spend up to 50% less, and totally erase all shipping charges.
Let’s look at what you’re getting right now when you order from Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or Medifast. Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig give you 3 regular food meals and 2 snacks. With Medifast, you eat 5 smaller meals of shakes, energy bars, soups or puddings, then you prepare 1 regular meal of 600-900 calories for dinner. Most of them want you to supplement with fresh vegetables and salads from your local grocery store.
You might ask, which helps you lose the most pounds, a plan with a regular breakfast, lunch & dinner or a plan with a shake for breakfast & lunch (and some snacks) and regular food for dinner? In multi-year studies, both here and in the U.K., the shakes plus one regular meal far surpassed the all regular food meals. With the first 2 regular food plans, you lose 1-2 pounds per week, with Medifast, up to 20 pounds that first month. But with Medifast, as the name implies, you are fasting (only 1300 calories per day).
So, let’s talk about a new plan. While you’re supplementing with fresh vegetables & salads at your local store, don’t stop there. The secret is — you can find a better, cheaper version of ALL the elements of those brand name diets right there at your local grocery store. You’ll have to shop a little more to find the right combination for you. The following are 4 ways to duplicate every item in the top 3 meal replacement plans right there in your local supermarket. You’ll get better quality and pay much less.
1. Shakes or Energy Bars for the 1st two meals & snacks
Many people have complained that the brand name diet plans have shakes that don’t taste very good. The same thing goes for the energy bars. What’s the best one? A survey in Good Housekeeping magazine ranked Walmart’s $18 per week EQUATE CHOCOLATE SHAKES (pre-mixed, not the mix) to have by far the BEST TASTE! I’ve tried them and they are YUMMY, like a cold, melted Wendy’s chocolate Frosty. These shakes have many added nutrients and 5 grams of fiber! For energy bars, Fiber One has a variety of bars that are also inexpensive and great-tasting. Check the calorie count before you purchase.
2. The Real Food Dinner Meal
Have you looked at the frozen TV dinner section of your supermarket lately? There are new meals coming out almost every month. Lean Cuisine and several other brands offer tasty diet meals that are better than what a delivery service will give you. What’s more, there are so many diet meal choices, you can pick your favorites. Some are larger with more food. Some have desserts, some don’t. Obviously, men need more calories than women. Adjust the total day’s calorie count by how fast or slow you want to lose the weight.
Many of the brand name diet plans actually give you 6 meals, including snacks. You have to be careful here. Some snacks are a lot healthier than others. Fresh apples and oranges from the store are much healthier & more satisfying than energy bars.
Don’t drink diet sodas. The artificial sweetener in diet sodas, which is many times sweeter than sugar, will make you crave more sugar. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily which will help get rid of the fats. I use light lemonade packets by Crystal Light (or Equate) to give it flavor. With the slightly tart taste, I don’t notice the small amount of Aspartame in it.
So, the main benefits of the brand name meal replacement plans, namely the portion control & the calorie counting can be done just as easily in your local supermarket. Sure, you’ll have to spend more time at first, looking & comparing which TV dinners sound good to you & making sure they fit the low calorie, low sodium prerequisites. When I started this, I only bought 2 weeks worth of TV dinners so I could buy more of the ones I liked later on. Another tip, don’t forget to exercise…you do lose weight faster. After you’ve successfully reached your weight goals, devise a healthful meal plan you can live with for the rest of your life. In conclusion, I recommend you try this & become your own meal replacement service…you’ll love the control & the savings!