Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Specific Should Your Diet Meal Plan Be?

One thing that often makes people delay starting a diet is the issue of the diet meal plan, so let's look a bit closer at the different options.

When you choose your diet, it needs to suit your personality and requirements. You may want a short sharp dramatic loss, or you may want a longer term sustainable method. The short sharp method is not recommended by general health and medical consensus, but some people still prefer this option. Often it is because they want to lose weight for a particular event such as a wedding.

If you have 10 days until your wedding and you cannot get into your dress, then a crash diet may be indicated. But with this type of diet you will almost certainly gain back all of the weight that you lost right after the event. So if you need to lose weight permanently, something slower and more sustainable is a much better option.

Once you pick the style of diet, you then need to think about the meal plan. It is this plan which will see you keep up with the targets.

There are a lot of plans which have specific recipes laid out for you. These do require you to purchase specific ingredients and cook specific meals, and many people will find that does not work because it does not include a lot of foods that they like to eat.

Some people who prefer to not to spend a lot of time preparing and cooking food like to buy the meals already made. There are many plans which provide ready made meals, meaning that you don't have to do any cooking, you simply need to follow along with the set meals on set days.

One criticism of that idea is that the company is making money on these meals, so they are often more expensive that normal food. They may also encourage you to buy all of your meals ready prepared when a better option from the nutritional point of view would be to eat some salads and fresh vegetables that you would prepare yourself.

Another problem with a rigid diet meal plan, is the fact that it is often *too* rigid. It can feel rather like being in prison or the army to have all your food laid out so far in advance, with no variety. Life can get dull down that route, and in our view the better way to be to have something which allows lots of freedom as long as you follow basic rules.

So you might want to go with loose guidelines, i.e. eating smaller portions, or cutting out obvious high amounts of fat and sugar, or you may like to count calories, allowing yourself any type of food as long as there are no more than a certain number of calories at each meal. You will certainly find it helpful to start your meals with fat free salad or vegetable soup that will fill your stomach and give you plenty of vitamins and minerals without adding a lot of calories.

It really does depend on your own personality, but the old adage of 'everything in moderation', with less fat and sugar, combined with exercise, will give you plenty of choice to set your own diet meal plan.

Learn what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat it, how to cook it and exactly what to shop for >> http://bit.ly/OiGEG

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