Meal based diets are designed for either long term or short term weight loss.  Meal based diets encourage individuals to change habits of unhealthy eating in order to promote healthier living and weight loss.

How Should I Eat?

Although the rules and requirements for individual meal based diet will vary, most meal based regimens encourage the following habits:

  • Individuals should eat small meals 4-6 times a day, approximately 3 hours apart
  • Foods should be low fat, low calorie, and unprocessed
  • Eat foods slower, as this allows the body to feel fuller
  • Incorporate fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables into a daily diet
  • Switch from white bread / starches to whole grains, such as brown rice, wheat bread, and wheat pastas
  • Eat lean proteins, such as lean red meat, chicken, fish, and turkey
  • Avoid foods that are high fat, high sugar, and high in sodium

How Does a Meal Based Diet Work?

Since meal based diets are designed to restrict food choices and increase healthy food options, dieters are able to lose weight as they consume fewer calories from healthier meals.  Paired with this, meal based diets tend to be higher and protein and lower in carbohydrates.  Eating fewer carbohydrates allows the body to burn off body fat more effectively, as un-used or excessive carbs are ultimately converted to sugars and stored as fat.  Paired with this, lean proteins, such as meat, eggs, and nuts, keep the stomach fuller longer, so individuals tend to feel less deprived and more fulfilled on a higher protein diet meal based diet.

Popular Meal Based Diets

While there are many meal based diet options, some of the most popular diets include:

  • Jorge Cruise’s Three Hour Diet (Cruise’s diet focuses on providing individuals with meals and snacks every 3  hours in order to stabilize blood sugar and energy levels.  Meals are delivered to a dieter’s home, and are available in a variety of packages.)
  • The Acid Alkaline Diet (This diet is based on the theory that human pH levels should remain between a specific ratio; however, unhealthy diets alter this ratio and lead to poor health and obesity.  The book is designed to educate dieters on how to incorporate healthy meals so as to balance and regulate a normal pH level.)
  • The Macrobiotic Diet (Originating from Japan in the 1920s, this diet encourages an intake of solely natural foods, arguing that processed foods contain additives that fill bodies with toxins, leading to obesity and poor health.) 
  • Jenny Craig (The Jenny Craig diet is a popular option for individuals who prefer group support, as there are over 640 meeting centers across the US.  Jenny Craig teachers dieters about proper food and meal options, and teaches dieters to choose foods based on designated point values.)
  • The Atkins Diet (Atkins is a popular no / low carb meal plan that encourages dieters to only eat meals that are high in protein.)
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