General Diet Plans and Questions - Anyone remember this eating plan?

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09-10-2004, 08:52 PM
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone remembers an article from a few years back, maybe 2002 sometime? Perhaps in Shape or Fitness, but maybe in another similar publication.

It was an eating plan where you selected from certain categories for each meal/snack.

For example, for breakfast, you selected one item from the grains column, where a bunch of options were listed (1 c oatmeal, 1 slice whole grain bread, etc.), 1 item from the fruits column (1 c berries, 1/2 banana, 1 medium apple, etc), and 1 item from the protein column (1 c skim milk, 3 egg whites, etc.)

(I might have some of these items wrong, but I hope you get the idea).

The eating plan was based on a 1600 or 1800 calorie day if I remember correctly. I modified it to give me more calories b/c whatever it was allowing wasn't enough for me.

Anyway, I had typed it up into an Excel spreadsheet, but the computer where it was saved had some problems this summer and I lost a lot of stuff. (I know, back up, back up, back up.)

If anyone remembers what issue this eating plan appeared in, I would really love to know so that I can track it down again. It was a good, flexible, easy-to-follow program.



09-13-2004, 09:13 AM
Basically that type of diet plan is released by different magazines every so often in just a slightly different way. It is an "exchange" meal plan-meaning you eat a certain amount from certain food groups at meals-but you get to choose which fruit, or which dairy, or whatever you personally like to eat out of that group.

A very similar plan is the basic diabetic exchange diet-and it is not just for diabetics-it was made for them as a way to eat low calorie but BALANCED as to keep their bodies and their blood sugar levels stable-to ensure that they eat enough protein, produce, etc. Anyone can use it though-and you can use it at different calorie levels from 1200-2000.

There are lots of different websites that list the exchanges for the diet if you look around online.

Most processed foods now have exchange listings on the package-like Nutri-Grain bar, for instance-is not one starch. I can't remember exactly-but it is either 2 starch or 1 starch and 1 fat...or something like that so you need to check labels if you eat any processed foods.

For weight loss-the 1400 to 1800 plans would probably be best...and the 2000 plan would be good for maintenance level after the desired weight is lost.

Good luck!

09-13-2004, 08:55 PM
thanx aphil!

10-05-2004, 08:39 PM
dunno if these lists will do, but here:

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean ground turkey
Orange roughy
Top round steak
Top sirloin steak
Lean ground beef
Lean ham
Egg whites or substitutes
Low-fat cottage cheese
Wild-game meat


Green beans
Green peppers
Brussels sprouts


Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Cold-water fish
Natural peanut butter
Low-fat cheese
Low-fat salad dressing
Low-sodium nuts
Olives and olive oil
Safflower oil
Canola oil
Sunflower oil
Flax seed oil

Baked potato
Sweet potato
Steamed brown rice
Steamed wild rice
Kidney beans
Fat-free yogurt
Whole-wheat bread
High-fiber cereal
Rice cake
Whole grains

Vegetarian Proteins

Texturized vegetable protein
Soy foods
Veggie burgers

Fats to Avoid

Fried foods
Whole-fat dairy products

10-05-2004, 10:27 PM
Those lists are an exchange eating plan they are listed a little differently-and the serving sizes need to be listed as well in an exchange plan.

10-06-2004, 04:06 PM
The old Weight Watchers plan (the BEST one, as far as losing weight is concerned, IMO) was based on a similar exchange plan - you got a certain amount of different exchanges (meat, dairy, fruit, bread, veggies) each day and there was a list for each exchange group including how much of each food constituted one exchange 'block'. (also back in the 1970's when I first did WW, they didn't allow EVERYTHING the way they do now - there were 'legal' and 'illegal' foods - I remember back when popcorn and peanut butter were 'legalized' - it was such a BIG deal! :lol: Of course, that's why WW was so successful back then - it limited not only the amounts of food you could eat, but what KIND of food.)

The other plan based on exchanges that came immediately to mind was Richard Simmons' Deal-A-Meal plan - remember that one? :) Yes, I too carried that vinyl wallet around with me for nearly two weeks of my life back in the mid-80s.

10-06-2004, 06:42 PM
I too, liked it when WW had exchange plans...there are a lot of WW members who eat healthfully...and use their "points" for occasional treats...but then there are the ones...and we have all seen them-who stay within their points range for the day but may eat an ice cream drumstick, a cheeseburger, and a carrot stick. :lol: Not the most healthful way of doing it...I remember the Deal A Meal Program as well. I think exchange programs are really good for getting people to eat a little more in getting their fruits and veggies in. ;)

10-19-2004, 04:52 PM
The Jenny Craig program is also based on exchanges. That's what I've used over the last 3 years to lose 150+ pounds, and I think it's the easiest type of program to manage. Once you learn the basic "units" and how to convert nutrition info into exchanges, finite calculations -- even calorie tracking -- on a daily basis just aren't necessary. Meals and snacks are built around exchanges, and your eating pattern can be pretty much the same every day, but you just plug in individual foods that meet the exchanges. You get a balanced diet and stay within your calorie level without a lot of fuss. It works very well.

10-20-2004, 04:38 PM
One of the earliest diets I was on (back when I was about 8 or 9 I believe) was an 'exchange' type diet. Mom took me to our pediatrician for a checkup, and voiced concern about my weight (I was probably about 10-15 lbs overweight at the time). The doctor gave me a sheet of paper about the size of a placemat which had different food groups, with foods and amounts listed, and how much of each food I should be eating at each meal. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the ADA (American Diabetic Association) Exchange Diet, which has been around for DECADES I believe. (In fact the founder of WW, Jean Niditch, based the first WW diet on the ADA Exchange diet...heck it WAS the ADA Exchange diet - at the time the important factor in WW was the social element, according to her book "The Story of Weight Watchers".)

The current exchanges can be accessed on the ADA website at:

10-21-2004, 07:57 PM
Hi, go to and click enter then middle of the page it will have Resorces. click that. the best food group and easy to follow. hope this helps you.... You may have to enter a used name and password. but that is all. its free site... let me know if you liked it??? LaDean

12-01-2004, 02:24 PM
I agree with Mrs Jim that the OLD WW program was the best. I never felt hungry and always had something I could eat. It also taught me how to cook, LOL!!

I attended my first meeting in April of, a long time ago!

12-01-2004, 03:37 PM
32 yrs ago:D (im 33)

12-01-2004, 05:18 PM
Yeah, well, I was 17 and only needed to lose 40 pounds.

Now I'm 52 and need to lose 150!! ACK!