Summer is fast approaching and you want a body that you are proud to show off on the beach. Time to start now so you are ready in 3 months. But what if you are not a cook or are too busy to cook? A lot of people are looking at Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, or Medifast meal replacement plans to cook for them. The problems: These plans are VERY expensive (around $ 300- $ 700 per month), some of the food is not very good, and you are also paying expensive shipping costs. How would you like to achieve the same but do it better? You’ll eat tastier food with much more variety, spend up to 50% less, and completely erase all shipping costs.
Let’s see what you’re getting right now when you order from Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, or Medifast. Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig offer you 3 regular meals and 2 snacks. With Medifast, you eat 5 smaller meals of shakes, energy bars, soups, or puddings, then prepare 1 regular 600-900 calorie meal for dinner. Most of them want you to supplement them with fresh vegetables and salads from your local grocery store.
You might ask, what helps you lose more pounds, a plan with a regular breakfast, lunch and dinner or a plan with a smoothie for breakfast and lunch (and some snacks) and regular food for dinner? In multi-year studies, both here and in the UK, shakes plus a regular meal far outperformed all regular meals. With the first 2 regular meal plans, you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, with Medifast, up to 20 pounds in the first month. But with Medifast, as the name implies, you are fasting (only 1,300 calories per day).
So, let’s talk about a new plan. While supplementing with fresh veggies and salads at your local grocery store, don’t stop there. The secret is — you can find a better, cheaper version of ALL of those brand name diet items right there at your local grocery store. You will have to buy a little more to find the right combination for you. The following are 4 ways to duplicate each item in the top 3 meal replacement plans right there at your local grocery store. You get better quality and pay much less.
1. Shakes or energy bars for the first two meals and snacks
Many people have complained that brand-name diet plans have shakes that don’t taste very good. The same goes for energy bars. Which is the best? A survey in Good Housekeeping The magazine rated Walmart’s $ 18 Weekly EQUATE CHOCOLATE SHAKES (premixed, not the mix) to have by far the BEST FLAVOR! I tried them and they are delicious, like a melted cold Wendy’s chocolate ice cream. These shakes have a lot of 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 buy.
2. The actual dinner food
Have you watched the frozen dinners section of your grocery store on television lately? New foods come out almost every month. Lean Cuisine and several other brands offer tasty diet meals that are better than those offered by a home delivery service. Plus, there are so many diet food options that you can choose your favorites. Some are bigger and have more food. Some have desserts, some don’t. Obviously, men need more calories than women. Adjust your total calorie count for the day based on how fast or slow you want to lose weight.
Many of the brand name diet plans actually give you 6 meals, including snacks. You have to be careful here. Some snacks are much healthier than others. Store-fresh apples and oranges are much healthier and 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 a day, which will help you shed fat. I use Crystal Light (or Equate) lemonade packets for flavor. With the slightly sour taste, I don’t notice the small amount of aspartame it contains.
Therefore, the main benefits of brand-name meal replacement plans – portion control and calorie counting – can be done just as easily at your local grocery store. Sure, you’ll have to spend more time at first looking up and comparing which TV dinners sound good to you and making sure they meet the low-calorie and low-sodium prerequisites. When I started this, I only bought TV dinners for 2 weeks so I could buy more than I liked later on. Another tip, don’t forget to exercise … you lose weight faster. Once you have successfully reached your weight goals, the motto is a healthy eating plan that you can live with for the rest of your life. In conclusion, I highly recommend that you give this a try and become your own meal replacement service … you will love the control and the savings!