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Packaged Meals and Clinics - Nutrisystem, Medifast, Jenny Craig, Etc For support and questions about diet meal delivery programs, or weight loss clinics that offer prepackaged meals and products.

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Old 01-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Has anyone put together than own replication of these type plans?

The cost is just too much for me knowing that I could do it for probably half the cost at the grocery store. I just need a plan.. Has anyone tried that? Did it work out for you?
I know one big purpose of these type plans is to have it done for you but I also have to look at finances.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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You can substitute Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice or Smart Ones as an example , you can often find special sales at the supermarket.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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I can't say I know too much about these plans, but I would think that if you had for breakfast a bowl of no-sugar type cereal w/ skim and fruit
Lunch/Dinner - Frozen Smart One/Lean Cuisine/Healthy Choice - like bargoo recommended
I would also think that you could use Lean/Low salt soups etc.

I agree the Supermarkets are full of great options for every price range. I don't buy too many pre-packaged foods, but when I have, I've noticed that they've certainly come a long way.

Use 3FC for your accountability and you won't need to join anything. This has been great for me, although I'm only a few weeks in.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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I was torn about trying to come up with my own version of the plan or join NutriSystem when I restarted this time. I decided to try it on my own, and have seen some success so far!
There are two grocery stores within 10 miles of my house, so I check their flyers online to see what sales are going on. One grocery store had Lean Cuisines at 5/$10 (normally $2.59-$3.19 each) this week, while the other had Progresso Light soups at 2/$4 (normally $2.39-$2.99 each). Luckily the stores are only 1/2 mile a part, so I was able to hit both stores. If you don't have the luck of having two stores in your area, you could still check the flyers and stock up whenever they have a sale. Both products normally go on sale every couple of weeks. I prefer Lean Cuisine over Smart Ones, because I do think the taste is better, but Smart Ones are regularly on sale as well. For breakfast I grab either breakfast bars or cereal with low fat milk. Sometimes I make a couple eggs, it's really the same as what they give you...

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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Here is the frozen food diet that was originally published in Good Housekeeping that was based off of Smart Ones, Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisines.


Nutrisystem is based on the food guide pyramid and their advance program is this:

1 dairy
1 protein
1 fruit
1 carb

1 fat
2 protein
2 vegi
1 carb

2 fat
3 protein
1 vegi or fruit
2 vegi

1 dairy
1 carb

Maybe that will help you plan a daily menu from supermarket foods.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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Amy, this may not be a problem for you at all but I know I was advised by my doctor to be aware of the sodium content of the various frozen meals. I can't recall off-hand right now which was the best but I had to read labels for the lowest sodium meals since I have such a problem with fluid retention. It's been several years since I've focused on those frozen meals but at the time I was fairly successful as long as I watched the sodium along with the calories.

But, as I said, sodium isn't a problem for everyone. They have come a long way in making those diet "tv dinners" tasty. (LOL...guess that shows my age but I still think of them as tv dinners!)

Good luck and much success in your process. I know that Schwan's foods are pricey but I like the flavor of their products and the handy nutritional info they have online. Plus, I like the convenience of preparation, too, but that can be said for most all of the supermarket frozen entrees, too.

I think at the end of the day it is very possible to lose weight economically by choosing food wisely with caloric intake consideration. It is just the convenience that has many of us using the pre-packaged, pre-planned approach which can be quite expensive. I do save costs though by avoiding the "counselor" type programs. I've been on so many of the plans (and some several times) that I can almost recite the classic program mantras now so I give myself the pep talks and save that cost.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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One other thing I meant to mention. You can get on the sites and read the ideas where those on the program "flex." That's where they share grocery items they use to substitute for the pre-packaged items, etc. I think you'll find several good options using the search option for "flex" or "flexing" on the products websites.

Just a thought...
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:16 AM   #8
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Check out "The Simple Diet" by Dr. Anderson. I just read about it in Woman's World. You use frozen meals and protein shakes from the grocery store along with fruits and vegetables.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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Default The Simple Diet all the way!

Like Alwe74, I too am on "The Simple Diet" by Dr. A. It's so easy to follow and really no thinking involved. I purchased my whole weeks worth of food at a superchain store and it cost me $50.00. This includes my 3 shakes a day, 2 frozen meals and 5 fruits and veggies per day. I was spending $50.00 a week on just my junkfood lunches, now I'm eating for 7 days on the same amount $. And I'm down 8 lbs in 1 week! Saving money and losing weight, I love it!
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:29 AM   #10
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The plan that I was doing before meal replacement that worked for me:

Breakfast: Coffee with skim milk. Egg whites with jalapenos and a tsp of ketchup... ( get reduced sugar heinz ketchup)

Snack: Special K cereal bar, blueberry is the bomb! I would usually eat half at a time.. so i would have half between breakfast and lunch, and half between lunch dinner.

Lunch: Protein + Veggies

Dinner: Protein only! eat early, and drink a gallon of water.

Workout and this plan will work.. =] also I didn't exactly try replicating a plan.. just trying to eat my carbs early... which leaves only protein for dinner. Skim milk + special k bar+ veggies contain carbs.

Last edited by DailyStruggle; 02-18-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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For now I am definitely going to a different approach, totally. I think first you need a calorie count that will give you losses and won't be a shock to your body or make you feel sick.
I am very sure that the first couple of days will help me figure out what I need to buy to keep going and what I want to bring into the day.
I see the advantage of every diet out there but I also know what I need to have is a day off once a month, get my cravings out of the way and plan that one day off.
It does two important things...

1-It will reset the body's ability to lose again because weight loss does slow down every 4 weeks.
2-It is a day to psychologically look forward to and enjoy without guilt. It can be a certain Holiday you want off but of course it is 1 day and also to have foods you'd prefer to leave out of your days. At 1800 calories per day trust me I know I could eat some junk food like a small candy bar in there but I'd rather not do this unless the craving was considerably worse than expected and then I would be would count it against that 1800 cals./day.

SlimFast also makes a snack bar. I understand that it does back you off considerably, will invest in those as well as also try the optional meal bar as a shake sub to switch things up a bit.

This is my experiment week.It is composed of ideas to stay happy losing weight where I won't feel hungry or feel sick or make me want to stop. I'm buying small quantities of SlimFast to see if I like it, if it agrees with me and also to see if it fills me up and makes me feel full.

It's now 2 pm Sunday, Feb. 19th. I've had a SlimFast shake at 10:30 am, a banana at 1 pm and now ready for a second shake. I am not hysterically hungry at all. I feel good and no gastro symptoms so I'm pretty good with that.

Later on will go out and get a Boston Market chicken lunch for 550 cals. I also decided to treat myself to Fresco tacos for dinner at Taco Bell so you see I'm not suffering with day ONE. I also have 2 snacks yet so good, so far. It won't be this good in the future but I'm doing pretty good for now. My other option is to eat a diet dinner from the freezer which appears to be a good option and that may be a better idea after all so either way I can work out my own Plan and stick to it.

Just want to say that the shake definitely erased my need for sweets and chocolate so far. I am very surprised.
Believe in yourself, always!
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
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Yes, I have taken protein levels from some programs and mixed them with the calorie levels from other programs and had great success on my own. The only diet foods I might have is a frozen WW meal once in a while if I am on the run and have no time for anything else.

Once you get used to where your calories, protein, carbs, and fats should be, you can find a lot of flexibility and success. You can go a long way with learning portions and keeping track of calories.

Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:04 PM   #13
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Ive been doing NS with my own food and it works!
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:17 PM   #14
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I do my own version of this too. I hate the shakes!! so I eat bars and frozen meals. A day looks like this:

breakfast: a smart ones breakfast (I usually eat the ham/cheese scramble or a breakfast sandwich)

Snack 9:00: Snack bar (slim fast, south beach or similar 100 calorie snack bar)

Lunch 11:30-12:30 somewhere in there: Lunch bar (slim fast, south beach etc. meal replacement bar 170-200 calories)

Snack 2-3:00: Snack bar (usually cheaper granola bar 100 calories)

Dinner: Smart ones/lean cuisine/healthy choice dinner 250-350 calories.
Desert of low fat greek yogurt 80 calories (I freeze them and eat them semi-frozen so they are kind of like sorbet - yum!).

Free choice ocean spray juice (cut about 1/3 juice to 2/3 water). I hate plain water and this gets my water amounts in and ups my calories a bit so I maintain around 1200-1400 calories a day.

Oh and when it is hot I have a vitamin water too (or during hiking or fitness class if I need something).

I sometimes swap out the frozen dinner for some roasted veggies and once every couple of weeks have a serving of grilled chicken as a treat.

I generally lose about 10 lbs a month on this diet and exercise at least 5 days a week at fitness class and hike as much as I can. I'm down since the beginning of Jan from a size 14 pant to an 8 (which is now loose on me - time to find the 6's in the drawer!). I am not weighing this time - I am hoping it will be easier to maintain if I am paying attention to how my pants fit rather than the scale which I can just avoid!

This way, I know exactly what I will eat every day (just like the packaged meal programs!) but I have more choice of what I eat (the things I like that are offered in the stores) and I am sure it is quite a bit cheaper (I often eat on 5-8$ a day depending on sale prices).
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:42 PM   #15
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I read an article from a nutritionist or dietician about this. She said you can do it yourself if you really keep track of the sodium. If I remember where I read it, I'll post the link.

Last edited by DietLisa; 12-26-2016 at 07:43 PM.
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