Packaged Meals and Clinics - Nutrisystem, Medifast, Jenny Craig, Etc - General, Meal Replacement Thread (Any plan, even of your own invention)

10-08-2013, 11:26 AM
I'm following "The Simple Diet" and our thread is small and sometimes slow moving. I though I'd start a Generic (Everyone's welcome) meal replacement thread" for anyone using or interested in meal replacements.

I think our similarities are more important than our differences and I hope we can become a large and active community on 3FC in our own right.

10-08-2013, 03:21 PM

This is a great idea. I try to incorporate at least two meal replacements a day but sometime I fall short.

It would be good to share our experiences with different shakes,bars,etc.

Personally I lie Designer Whey brand for regular use.
My all time favorite is HMR but it s $$$. Somehow I always find my way back to it because I like the taste.

I am not fond of Atkins shakes but they will do in a pinch.

I ahve not tried the new slimfast low carb . I would like it if it were made in a berry flavor.

I usually don't eat the bars.

I look forward to hearing other peoples experiences.


10-08-2013, 10:00 PM
If you like HMR, you may love "The Simple Diet" it's a DIY grocery store plan CLOSELY modeled after HMR (which the author mentions in the Acknowledgement section in the book)

The book gives guidelines for selecting your shakes, soups, bars, and entrees. They're also given in the "Dr Anderson's simple diet" thread here on 3FC.

I've been posting on the Simple Diet thread mentioned above and the hmr thread. I also joined The Sinple Diet and HMR teams on the sparkpeople website.

10-12-2013, 02:02 PM
HMR is my favorite. I did try some medifast and I did not like them. When I was maintaining before and not using HMR I would use:

- zone bars to replace the HMR bars. They are more calories but I would cut them down about 1/4 and take with me.

- Progresso lite soups.

- Lean Cusine, only entrees that were under 300 cals.

- Wws smart one breakfasts. I would sometimes take out like the canadian bacon that I didn't need to make less calories.

10-18-2013, 11:59 AM
I follow the ITG Diet Plan online and am loving it. I'm back on the diet after losing 70 I am after that last 30 lbs. It is for sure harder the second time around! But thank goodness the ITG food and my coach is there for me..I don't like to have to worry about what to eat. :) The premise is the same as many diet I agree lets come together and succeed in getting healthy! Best of luck to all.

10-20-2013, 09:55 AM
I'm starting the simple diet and my wife thinks its a crash diet and wants me to do ww with her but after reading the simple diet book I really want to do it. I figure if my downfall is always portion control then maybe portion decisions should be made for me.

10-20-2013, 12:03 PM
I'm starting the simple diet and my wife thinks its a crash diet and wants me to do ww with her but after reading the simple diet book I really want to do it. I figure if my downfall is always portion control then maybe portion decisions should be made for me.

Personally, I find the meal replacement way to be more healthy. In any diet where I have to pick and choose there is always the possibility of error. Not only too many calories but too few nutrients.

10-20-2013, 12:50 PM
I'm starting the simple diet and my wife thinks its a crash diet and wants me to do ww with her but after reading the simple diet book I really want to do it. I figure if my downfall is always portion control then maybe portion decisions should be made for me.

Unlike a crash diet (or vlcd diet, one under 1000 calories) there are no hard limits, even on the shakes and entrees. The 3 shakes, 2 entrees and 5 freggie servings are minimum guidelines, not maximum. The diet can be a crash diet if you choose the lowest calorie and minimal options for shakes, entrees and freggies (only totaling about 600- 700 calories).

Eating when you're hungry is stressed, even if that means extra shakes and entrees (but freggies are top priority). Even so, potatoes, beans and even avocado count as veggies (as long as they're prepared without added fat and as long as your weight loss isn't suffering for it.).

10-20-2013, 05:07 PM
Great point. I failed to tell her that those were minimums and not hard line maximum. Thanks for the reminder since a tall big guy like me will surly need more than the min to start. Thanks for helping me get her on board.

11-04-2013, 07:59 PM
So I decided to quit HMR. The acute cause - the government shut down. I was not thrilled with their reaction when I only wanted two weeks off due to lack of income. But, I was already feeling this was not going to work for me for losing the last 20 lbs.

Overall I kind of realized I am just sick to death of the food. I know HMR takes great pains to make sure you do the different recipes and stuff but over all.. the food is still the food. And since I had been on it for about 2 years... I was just sick to death of it. I felt it was actually setting off binges because I just so wanted to have a different taste and the food was not cutting it... even if I did different recipes.

So I took a week off (and probably paid for that) and now I have decided to use sort of the Simple Diet to maintain and explore more "meal replacements" and see what I can mix it up with.

So far I am eating the weight watchers "smart ones" for breakfast. It just totally hits the spot for me and is 200 cals. For dinner most nights I am having lien cuisines. Their chicken parm actually tastes like chicken parm.. though it is 100 calories more.

For the "benefit bars" I am having the zone bars. Since they are 210 cals, I have been basically not having the last bite to cut down the cals.

12-08-2013, 04:53 AM
hi everyone,
i was just reading your posts and i thought you might be interested to know someone who is using optifast - me!

so, i've lost some weight, about 14.6 kilo's actually. ⅓ of the way to my goal. i weigh in again tuesday. if i haven't lost (i've been on 4 plateaus already) i don't know what i'll do. :o:o:o

i MUST step up the exercise to SOME from NONE. that's first.

then , well i must follow 100%. i do mostly. i am committed , dedicated, this is my last go.

i'm in ketosis but i skipped breakfast because saturday night i had a 20 gram-ish piece of nougat, and i am obsessing about it. so i'm now worried about not eating enough, and putting my body into a starvation mode which i don't want. :(:(:( grrr

anyway, tomorrow morning - maybe even tonight - i will start again with my exercise. yich, i hate exercise. :):):)

but i love my dreadmill for some reason. it's perfect. it sits in our comfortable spare room, under a fan, and i can hear music, telly, anything i want in there. :carrot::carrot::carrot: it's close to my DH and pups too.

so, no excuses. :(:(:(

then i have strength-building stuff. dumbells and a stretch band. i keep them by the couch and do them in front of the tv, 3x a week, very comfortable-like. i'm so spoilt. :^::^::^:

anyway the point of this post is to tell you i'm on optifast and losing. it seems to work when nothing else ever did. i'm 55 so i have been around, and tried EVERYTHING since i was about 15. :p:p:p

love and kisses to you all, i would enjoy a response and i will answer any questions. cheers, saraphin xxx :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

03-07-2014, 07:17 PM
I recently read about "I Love This Diet" on another thread, and I have started doing something similar for the past three days. I make my breakfast, then eat a SmartOnes, Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice with added vegetables for lunch and dinner. I have fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt for snack. I plan to do this for seven days, then weigh myself.

05-04-2014, 10:42 AM
I've found a couple of protein bars (after trying a lot of different ones) to have on hand as a quick snack or a meal replacement if I'm running late or something comes up that keeps me from making a proper meal.

I like Oh Yeah! good grab bars (180/190 cal, 14/15g protein depending on flavor) and PowerCrunch wafer/creme bars (200 cal, 13g protein).

The Powercrunch Peanut Butter Chocolate remind me of Little Debbie's Nutty Bars...not quite as sweet, but a damn decent replacement if a sweet tooth creeps up. The chocolate mint is also very pleasant as a treat. Most of the Oh Yeah! flavors are good and these are more like a candybar texture with the chewier center with a chocolate or peanut butter shell (sort of like a Baby Ruth).

Max of one a day since I like to limit the amount of processed foods I eat, but sometimes its nice to have something that feels like an indulgence even when its not. The protein and carb grams are pretty balanced with both bars. They do contain sugar, but the sugar grams are fairly low.

06-24-2014, 04:49 PM
Hello all,
I just started The Simple Diet yesterday! I have a lot to lose. I've been on the HMR program before, more than once, and was successful - but there always came a point where I was out of money and just couldn't pay that extra monthly bill (I wasn't insured). I am using Spiru-tein whey shakes (bought on Amazon), and so far they really good, as good as HMR, and they shake up nice and thick. I'd love to chat with others doing The Simple Diet. Just joined this forum. Hope to find like-minded souls!

06-25-2014, 07:11 PM
I am starting the Simple Diet tomorrow. I will be using Ideal Shape Shakes. I have played around with the diet but will begin tomorrow again. I have about 100 lbs. to lose.

06-25-2014, 08:53 PM
I use shakes from mydietshopz in place of buying optifast or other bariatric shakes- they are identical to what my diet dr sold and the conveinience of having them shipped is nice. Started back up today and made a order last night- using what I have on hand until my order arrives.

06-27-2014, 01:55 AM
Hi CajunAnnie and Preppieblonde,
Wishing you both good luck!
I'm on Day 3 of The Simple Diet. Tomorrow it's back to the grocery store for more entrees! I'm a bit hungry but will have some hot sweet & spicy tea with a packet of Sweet n Low and a splash of milk. Love that, it helps fill me up and is nice and calming before bed.

Please keep posting! I really appreciate touching base with people who are on the same plan. We can do it!! Wishing you both well!

06-27-2014, 01:57 AM
Hi CanjunAnnie! I posted a reply to both you and PreppieBlonde, but since it showed up under her original post I wanted to wave hi to you too! We can do it! :)

08-28-2014, 02:03 AM
Starting the Simple Diet tomorrow. Half way through the book.

09-05-2014, 02:28 PM
I'd just like to add that although I am following the Weight Watchers plan, I bought this book anyway for some good ideas...because I absolutely hate to cook and want simple meal plans/ideas. This book delivered. I eat mainly frozen meals supplemented with fresh veggies/fruits and lots of shakes for quick meals.

I just thought I'd mention this, because especially if you hate to cook like me, you can get some nice ideas. I mean duh, it never even occurred to me I can focus on shakes, etc. while on Weight Watchers. When you talk about prepared shakes, etc. over on the official Weight Watchers site, they reply like you are talking about Frankenfoods and are mostly negative. They just don't get it. You can eat ANY way on Weight Watchers. :carrot:

09-15-2014, 11:48 AM
Do any of the meal replacements taste good and aren't too expensive? I am using advance health systems. I bought it from my dr. She said it is just for a week. I am on day 4 and can't wait for this week to end. I really don't like the soup. It's powdered and comes out grainy. I was thinking when I go back to other foods maybe I would have a protein bar or shake sometimes, but these ones seem pretty expensive.

09-18-2014, 04:48 PM
Idealshape is pretty reasonable and I love their shakes. The bars are pretty good too.

09-27-2014, 02:28 PM has many meal replacement products at very reasonable prices. The Ideal Protein forum has a thread that I in which many of the these meal replacement products are reviewed. Their focus is low carb but you need not be bound by IP protocol. Nashua website lists macros of each product.

It's so nice to have alternatives to cooking!

10-15-2014, 04:12 PM
wow it`s a good proposal, everybody should do it

11-10-2014, 10:13 AM
I just started doing ITG diet. A friend of mine suggested it, she lost about 40 pounds doing it pretty quickly and kept it off. Has anyone else done it or had success on it? its my first week. Prices are good and I have a coach I can use through email or calling and there's no charge. Just wondering

11-11-2014, 11:59 AM

A couple days ago when looking for Medifast success stories (I have a few online friends doing Medifast) I stumbled onto a thread here about The Simple Diet.
I started TSD yesterday and I'm very excited about it. I'm making my own shakes with protein powder but I'm buying frozen meals. I'm trying to keep my frozen entrees pretty low carb, if I eat too many carbs it makes me have crazy cravings and I feel out of control.

11-29-2014, 04:12 PM
I sort of made my own hybrid plan, but the primary source of nutrition is from Ensure (Plus Calories version). The Fibre 1 bars and low sodium V8 are additive to make up for the nutritional areas that Ensure is deficient in (0 fibre in Ensure Plus Calories and not enough potassium).


Breakfast: 2 Ensure (Plus Calories) and 1 Fibre 1 bar (I never used to eat breakfast);
Lunch: 1 Fibre 1 bar and 1 low sodium V8 drink (I never used to eat lunch);
Supper: 2 Ensure (Plus Calories) and 1 Fibre 1 bar (I used to eat virtually all of my calories at supper -- very, very high caloric meal);
Before bed: 1 low sodium V8 drink;

+ Water throughout the day (sometimes adding Crystal Light).

This plan results in total calories consumed of approximately 1,880 per day. Add +10 calories every Crystal Light consumed (I generally add them to about 2 bottles of water per day, for a total of 1,900 calories).

Overall the plan is well rounded from a micro-nutrient perspective.

I follow this plan 6 days per week. One day per week, I schedule one cheat meal to restimulate my metabolism (i.e., short-term increase in leptin levels) and provide some mental relief from following such a structured plan the rest of the days.

This definitely wouldn't work for everyone, but I actually really enjoy it. I don't have to cook anything (NEVER liked or prioritized cooking) and by taking my mind off of food, I am changing my relationship with it. Now it's about making sure my body is getting the nutrients it needs, rather than eating for the purpose of dealing with emotions. Not having to cook/worry about food also fits well in to my insanely demanding and stressful job (public accounting).