The Reasons Why Ready-Made Diet Meals Typically Fail
For decades, the weight loss/diet industry has been inundated with a wide array of “ready-made” products guaranteed to help you lose weight. Among the most popular are:
- Meal replacement bars or shakes
- Protein bars or drinks
- Fresh or frozen calorie-limited “meals” available in the grocery store or through a vendor.
These prepared meals promise to curb your hunger and keep your calorie intake down, all in an appetizing package.
What Prepared or Ready-Made Diet Meals Won’t Do for You
Packaged meal diet plans typically don’t lead to meaningful weight loss because:
- They don’t change the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. In fact, weight gain is rarely the product of a single factor, such as too much food or too little exercise. With a prepared meal, you’re only addressing a single factor—how many calories you consume. Even if you do initially lose some weight, chances are good that you won’t keep it off, as you may not know how to change your habits once you’ve reached your target weight.
- They don’t teach you anything about how to provide your body with healthy food—When the meals are prepared for you, you learn nothing about what should or should not be part of a healthy diet. You only eat what is put in front of you. It’s much better to buy real food from the grocery store and learn how to prepare it in ways that are good for you.
- They offer little flexibility—Everyone has individual nutritional needs, personal preferences and dietary concerns. Ready-made diet products are a “one size fits all” approach. They may not fit your nutritional needs, and they may not provide the variety you need to stay focused over the long haul.
- They are typically highly processed—Though they may have fewer calories, chances are good they will also lack essential nutrients, which may have been processed out of them. In addition, that processing involves introducing substances into the food that may have other negative health consequences.
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