As a dietitian, one of the most common things I hear from people is “ I want to lose weight but I don’t know how to eat healthy. Can you make me a meal plan?” *groan*
Meals plans for weight loss
It’s not that I don’t want to provide examples of healthy meals or tips for weight loss. It’s just that designing a meal plan takes tons of time, effort and customization. Plus in the end, I always wonder if people follow it after pouring all that time into it. Many of my colleagues design simple weekly meal plans to give examples of what healthy meals look like but in order for a meal plan to truly be effective, a lot of things need to go into it.
A diet and meal plan program that works
Fortunately for me, there is a great weight loss meal plan out there called “Portion Perfection – a visual weight control plan” that was created by Australian dietitian Amanda Clark . It consists of a weight loss manual, a 4-week weight loss menu plan with healthy meal ideas, recipes and weekly shopping lists and plate and bowl portioning tools.
The 4-week weight loss menu plan includes the following meal plans:
- 900-1000 calorie diet: For individuals who have had bariatric or gastric bypass surgery
- 1300 calorie diet: For women who want to lose weight
- 1600 calorie diet: For men who want to lose weight
A safe and effective way to lose weight
I was impressed by how comprehensive the program is. It spells out everything for you by listing foods and amounts that can be eaten everyday, and other foods that are “occasional foods”. No foods are banned but it indicates how often you should have them and the amount that counts as one serving. I was looking at the examples provided for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and it would be hard to feel deprived since all foods are included (just in specific amounts). And if a particular food isn’t pictured, there is something similar that you’d be able to compare it with.
The plate and bowl portioning tools are key so you can actually see how much food is a healthy portion. This weight loss program is also appropriate for people who have diabetes or who have had bariatric surgery.
I followed the weight loss program for a couple weeks. I was worried that I would get hungry from following the 1300 calorie meal plan for women but the program is designed so you are eating every 2 to 3 hours. I never felt hungry or deprived. The most significant thing I noticed was just how much smaller the portions were compared to my usual serving (which makes sense for losing weight) and that I need to work at consistently filling half my plate with fruits and vegetables.
A valuable resource for dietitians who work in weight loss
I personally think that this would be a valuable resource for dietitians who counsel clients who want to lose weight. It’s suitable for men, women and children and people with diabetes. There’s even a special kit for those who have had bariatric surgery. Many weight programs are not safe or appropriate for people with diabetes or who have had bariatric surgery so it’s great that this resource is available to people.
More importantly, it frees up dietitians’ time so they can spend more time counselling, supporting or tailoring a program based on the client’s individual needs and preferences. As with any diet plan, it’s hard to plan for every single meal of the day – special events take place, company comes over for dinner, etc. But this system is a great guideline for weight loss that people can go back to.
The kit retails from $115 US which includes shipping to Canada and consists of:
- the weight loss manual (or a different version for bariatrics)
- 4-week weight loss menu plans with healthy meal ideas, recipes and weekly shopping lists and
- the plate and bowl portioning tools* (or a specific bariatric plate)
*These items can also be purchased separately. An eBook version is also available.
If you are a Canadian dietitian or consumer you can order your own copy of the Portion Perfection Kit for men, women and children or the Portion Perfection Kit for bariatric clients.
The individual components are available for purchase as well if you don’t want to purchase the complete kit. You can order an electronic version of the weight loss manual or go to the online store for individual products.
For more information, go to the Portion Perfection website.
This is a great example of an innovative and comprehensive program that enterprising dietitians are doing to advance the profession and meet a need. Do you know of any useful and innovative resources that dietitians and their clients can benefit from? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclosure: I was given a complete Portion Perfection kit to try out. However, all opinions are 100% my own.