Weight Loss Support - Structured Meal Plans: Benificial or harmful? Discuss!

05-31-2013, 04:50 PM
Who here on the forums has been on (or is considering going on) a structured meal plan? I'm talking about quite specific ones where most or every food/portions is listed out for the entire day.

If you've been on one,
* Did you create the plan yourself? If not, what was the source?
* Did the plan help you lose weight in the long run?
* What are the advantages and disadvantages of structured meal plans?
* Do you feel that meal plans are too rigid or do they improve your focus and consistency?

Please discuss! I'm interested to hear about others' experience and results with structured meal plans. For myself, I find that putting myself on a set plan helps me immensely in the short term. It makes dieting less stressful and easier. At the same time, it can get boring quickly.

05-31-2013, 09:03 PM
And you want to lose 5 pounds, is that correct ?

the shiv
06-01-2013, 02:57 AM
Personally? I've been on them, and they did not help! But for others, they help enormously. It really depends on your personality. If you can handle following rules, and trust that you'll get the results you want by sticking to them, then by all means yes! On the other hand, if you're a "but WHY??" person who wants to break out of the cage and run for the hills as soon as someone tells you what to do, I'd suggest not. That would be more a case of trying out different plans and principles, and doing some investigative work on what works best for you, so that in the end, YOU are the one calling the shots.

Whichever way you decide, good luck! :)

06-01-2013, 03:05 AM
I am very resentful of anyone telling me what to do. I am good with limits but not rules - I can and do manipulate them. I am on a program that says yes or not to certain food types, but allows me to chose and eat as much as I decide. This works, meal plans do not.

06-01-2013, 10:18 AM
I'm with Electro. If someone tells me what to do I'm doing the opposite. I've never been able to follow other people, plans, personal trainers...I even work for myself. lol

Not only that but for me it's not sustainable. I know I needed to learn and train my brain how to eat everyday foods regularly. I would think once I get off a diet plan I wouldn't know what to do (so to speak.) It might work for others but not this gal.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

06-01-2013, 10:44 AM
I'm on the Metabolic Research Centers plan. We have a list of items to choose from for each type of food & meal, and exact amounts. It is real food, not pre-packaged stuff.

I've done great with this, close to 11 months, have lost all of my weight & now in the "stabilization" phase. When I hit maintenance, I'll be given a new list of ok foods.

I know that some who have used this plan have gained back after getting to maintenance, but it seems as if they have problems staying to the list. I LOVE having the list, as it provides boundaries, and also allows me to turn down things easily because "that's not on my list". However, I'm an accountant, and we have all sorts of "rules" to follow in the profession, so following guidelines or rules in the rest of my life comes pretty easily. I'm sure that I'll learn when & how to "break" the rules in maintenance and still stay ok.

Arctic Mama
06-01-2013, 03:06 PM
I don't think some structure is bad at all. However I'd worry about the sustainability of such a thing when you move off the food lists and to maintenance. What is the purpose of losing the weight only to regain it due to failures in permanent habit creation, you know?

Only you can answer whether you are well suited to such a plan and committed fully to what is required thereafter. For me, I have a fairly structured plan and fairly structured maintenance and haven't had any issues, but I've both changed many of my original habits and made peace with this being how I must eat in perpetuity. Not everyone can handle that and it's a recipe for regain if that is the case, so pick a plan suited to your personality and needs.

It's not a question of what is sustainable, but rather what is sustainable for you.

Em Coconut
06-02-2013, 04:38 PM
For me it would be great. If I know exactly what to eat all day I don't normally go outside that list. I'm trying to make one myself, but I'm kinda stuck. Don't want it to be boring either, because I won't stick to it then. Would be great to have someone make one for me, but there are so many things I just can't handle having to eat because I don't like them...So it's easier to just do it myself :)

06-02-2013, 04:59 PM
I think there is no right answer even for an individual. I've succeeded AND failed at different levels and degrees of structure.

Right now I'm trying to impose a bit more structure on my meal choices, because unstructured grazing has become a problem (especially during stressful situations).

I think mindset makes the difference. If I view the structure of pre-planning my meals as a choice I'm making to make my life easier, I have greater odds of success than if I view the changes as a jail sentence.