Do It Yourself (DIY) Meal Replacement Diet Plan
I’m going to confess something, dear readers. I am fat. Call it pleasantly plump, or whatever you want, but the fact remains that I have way more weight on me than I should and it is dangerous for my health.
I’ve struggled for years to lose some weight I picked up easily and can’t seem to drop. While I had a lot of success a year ago with Atkins, it’s been very difficult to stick to strictly low carb in a household where no one else eats that way. Still, for my health (diabetes runs in my family and I was testing in the pre-diabetic range before going on Atkins) and more shallow reasons, I really want to drop another 30-40 pounds. That will put me within my ideal weight range, which is better for my blood sugar, my bones, my joints, and my ego.
I’ve been looking at some of the diet programs out there for a while now and trying to decide what is doable for me at this point in my life. One of my cousins dropped a lot of weight with New Directions. A friend lost weight on Weight Watchers. It seems all around me are success stories. I really like the Nutri-System model. My mom did that years ago when it was called something else and had centers near us. I like the amino acids approach they use.
Ultimately, I decided Medifast or Nutrisystem would be a good fit for me because they were mindless, I could take meal replacements with me anywhere, I liked that they were lower glycemic plans because of the diabetes issues, and I knew people who had succeeded with both programs.
The problem? Both programs are crazy expensive. Nutrisytem costs at least $300/month and that is for the basic plan. Medifast, too, is about $75 a week for the most basic program.
I also felt there was another drawback with Medifast that I really didn’t like. They want you to work with a “coach.” I’m a writer, I’m a loner. I don’t like making small talk, dealing with new people, or having to report to someone about what I’m doing. Yes, I understand that statistically people do better with a coach or someone to answer to, but I’m not most people and it just stressed me out. I suspect other introverts out there feel the same way.
One of the reasons I’ve started Weight Watchers about 8 times and not succeeded is that when I have a bad week I will just quit because I can’t stand the whole weigh in process and someone else knowing my business. I hate failing at things and especially hate someone else knowing I went off the deep end and ate four boxes of cookies that week.
Okay, I may be a little weird, but there it is. It doesn’t work for me. Experience has proven it doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to deal with a coach or really anyone. Let me order online or buy in a store and be on my way. I am the same way about exercise. If I can do it at home, I’ll do it. Make me go to a gym and I just quit.
I decided to start researching DIY weight loss plans. I Googled terms like “DIY Nutrisystem,” “Medifast at home,” and “Meal Replacement Diet.” After reading for about three days on different options and realizing I could save a bundle, I narrowed down my choices to three:
- Wonderslim from Diet Direct (about 30-40% less than Nutrisystem)
- Lean Cuisine style meals (I don’t like all the sodium and funk in these meals, plus they don’t always taste so good)
- DIY Meal Replacement similar to Medifast and subbed with real food at one or two meals
I am a grazer and I knew I needed something that offered me food every few hours or I’d get hungry and cheat. Whatever plan I came up with had to have five or six meals a day spaced two or three hours apart.
I’m by no means a medical professional and you should definitely consult with your doctor before going on any diet plan. This is the plan I’ve chosen to create and follow based on many years of failed diets and knowing what does and doesn’t work for me. It may or may not be successful, but if you want to join me on this journey, I will be updating this site with how it is going and any tweaks I make along the way.
You can download a free printable of the DIY at home Medifast type program I am following as of today. I created this printable for myself and also for my daughter, who is going to do this plan with me. I hope it is helpful to others as well. Again, please, please consult with your doctor before starting any diet plan. You may have health issues that I don’t have and your doctor may need to tweak your diet plan or put you on something else entirely. Be smart. It isn’t worth getting ill to lose a couple of pounds.
I had some NOW sports protein shakes here already and I also had some Syntrax to-go packs. On top of that, I am also going to use Atkins shakes (a little higher in calories, but super low in carbs) for breakfast and Atkins bars for a few other times during the day.
I think the key with this plan is going to be the convenience. I don’t have to cook a ton of meals every day since there is only one whole food meal. I can easily take shakes and bars with me on the road. I also can adapt this if we are eating out. You can get a meal that is low in carbs and high in veggies at just about any restaurant. Even at McDonald’s you can order a grilled chicken salad. Watch the dressing, though!
I have also learned that for me I need to know that I can eat whatever I want at some point. So, I’ve built in one cheat meal a week into the plan. This way, I can have pizza one night, or I can have that dessert I’ve been craving. The key is to keep it to one meal and not a week full of cheat meals. You may find that a cheat meal throws you off the deep end. Be honest with yourself and decide whether you want to use this or not.
So, that is my plan. I hope you’ll stick around and see my updates. I have a wedding to go to in January. I’d love to be to my goal weight by then, but I’m not going to put a time limit on it. The main reason I am still working on losing weight and getting fitter is for my health. Any appearance improvements are just a bonus.