With the wide availability of information all over the Internet, finding free diet meal plans can be just a mouse click away. However, be sure to do your research if the diet wasn't prescribed or cleared with your doctor. Just because it's on the Internet doesn't make it right or healthy.
The Right Diet for You
One of the best ways to go about finding a diet meal plan tailored to your needs is to go to your doctor. If your physician already knows you're overweight, he might have a diet plan in mind for you. You can also ask your doctor for suggestions in what you should eat or not eat, as well as the number of calories you should take in each day. If you have any health conditions, the meal plan your doctor provides for you will take those into consideration. This is a safe way to get a diet tailor-made for you, whether you suffer from diabetes and need a diabetic meal plan, or you're perfectly healthy but a few pounds over your ideal weight.
Finding Free Diet Meal Plans
If you know quite a bit about nutrition, you can devise your own diet. Just make sure that unhealthy fad dieting is not part of your eating plan. It can be tempting to follow a diet that promises you'll drop 10 pounds in one week, but unless you're under a physician's care, you shouldn't eat less than 1200 calories per day. You can find free diet meal plans at sites like:
- Changing Shape: You'll find several diet plans here, ranging from 1200 calories to 2800 calories per day. The site lists a day's menu and includes:
- Calorie count
- Fat grams
- Protein grams
- Carbohydrate grams
You'll also find a grocery list, so you know exactly what you'll need to buy for the week and in what quantities. However, since it only lists a one-day menu, if you follow the same menu for seven days, you might end up bored with the lack of variety.
- Diet Bites: The free diet menu plans at this site are approximately 1350 calories per day. You can choose the menu that most appeals to you on a daily basis, so you'll get an assortment of meals. Also, exercise is emphasized, as is checking with your doctor before beginning a regimen. There are plenty of tips, but some food portions aren't measured and this is a tricky area for some people. What looks small to one person may be medium to another. It helps to consult a calorie chart and invest in a food scale if you're interested in counting your calories more precisely.
- Other options: You can register at free sites such as Spark People, which provide not only free diet plans but also offer tips, advice, community, videos and ways for you to stay motivated while connecting with other like-minded people who want to lose weight.
If you regularly read fitness magazines such as Shape or Self, there are recipes included in each issue that are healthy and diet-friendly. Use some of those recipes to build a meal plan.
Make Your Own Diet Plan
One way to get a diet plan without having to spend a dime is creating your own. Once you begin to learn about foods, calories and nutrition, you'll be able to make better choices for yourself. By consulting a calorie counter, as mentioned above, you can fashion a plan with foods that you love, and you can take in the number of calories you want each day. You might want to share this idea with your doctor, though, so he can review it and let you know if you're on the right track with your food choices.
You can pull from a variety of sources to create your diet plan, using Internet recipes or magazines. This way, you can eat the healthy foods you love while dropping those unwanted pounds.