The Right Diet For You

Diet plan or DIY food plan- how do you decide which is best for you? I am definitely not an expert on diet plans but I have struggled with this question more than once. Do I really need to join a diet program or can I change my eating habits enough on my own to reach my goal?

Diet Plans

If you google “diet plans” you will see these are meal delivery plans for the most part and there are many of them to chose from. These take all the pressure of “what to fix for dinner” (or all meals) off your schedule for the day or week. You simply sign up, answer a few questions giving them some of your personal choices regarding food likes and dislikes and your credit card or payment method information.

According to Consumersadvocate.org the top 4 plans are:

  1. Nutrisystem
  2. South Beach
  3. DietToGo
  4. BistroMd

All of these plans meal delivery systems can be structured to accommodate your likes and dislikes. They will omit foods you just “can’t stand” and give you options that will keep you on track.

Comparisons of these plans are easy to find on-line as well. I suggest you look at more than one comparison chart and see which ones are consistent in their ranking before you chose one.

Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs typically consist of recipes, suggested meal plans and workout programs. These are usually more complex in that they don’t just give meal ideas but, exercise routines – videos – u tube workouts – etc and on-line consultants to help plan the entire program with you.

Some familiar ones are:

  1. Diet.com
  2. JillianMichaels.com
  3. FitDay.com
  4. Weightwatchers.com

These plans are usually not as expensive since there isn’t a meal delivery service involved.

DIY Plan – Do It Yourself

A DIY plan requires you to be actively involved in every aspect of your diet. No signing up, no barrage of “community” e-mails to keep you on track every day, more of your free time is spent planning meals each week and there is little or no additional cost to your food budget.

Planning usually requires:

  1. Making a weekly meal plan
  2. Grocery shopping more than once a week to keep seasonal fruits and vegetables on hand
  3. Choosing smaller plates for serving meals
  4. Only preparing one serving for each person

Smaller servings with no second helping available makes portion control easier. The hardest part with DIY diets for me is choosing the right foods. My favorite foods aren’t usually on the weight loss list of good choices.

Understanding carbs – good and bad, protein requirements and measurements and how to read labels has a definite learning curve. Without getting these facts solidly in your meal plans you probably won’t achieve the results you desire – at least not in the time frame you are hoping for.

Track Results – There’s an APP for That

Tracking results is extremely important. Without a record it’s hard to compare weeks and get any insight as to what is working and what isn’t. You may think your meal plan for the week is well-balanced and right on track until you take a look at the results for the week and find there isn’t any change. Or you may really fight with a week’s plan only to find it’s your best week ever!

Check out these Apps to track your weight loss success:

  1. Meal Planner
  2. MyFitness Pal
  3. Lose It

Revisit After 30 Days

I can get through most any diet for 30 days and so can you. Pick 30 days in your calendar without family reunions, weddings, vacations or other events that will sidetrack your plan. Then take your results and revisit your goals – did your choice of DIY work the best or did the meal delivery plan give you results you can be proud of. Sometimes it’s as simple as less stress or more cost. Is the financial hit to your budget worth more than trying to find more time in your day to plan? Sometimes one over the other is the push we need to stay on track.

Make your decision a life style choice for several months and most likely you will see and feel the difference as it becomes your normal life style. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these plans and how they worked for you. I love hearing your stories even it they aren’t all success stories!


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