Thriving: 4-Star Eating Plans

4-Star Eating Plans
I can’t speak for everyone, but every January most people I know start off with fitness goals, i.e., better diet and more exercise. Great goals, but generally as time moves on, motivation wanes for a number of reasons.

Some of you know that I’ve had kidney failure for a number of years. I received a transplant in 2013 and ended up dealing with ongoing complications. What very few people know is that partially due to chronic infusions and those complications I just mentioned, I have gained over 35 pounds. In all honesty, I had to say that my weight gain is partially due to medical reasons. The rest is chronic stress (also due to health problems) and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m a snacker, mostly salty, hot, spicy things and nuts (don’t even go there. LOL).

With that in mind, this week I decided to talk about eating plans (notice I didn’t say the dreaded word “diet”), some old and some new, that we can live with.

I’m one of the worst about following hard and fast rules; don’t like them much, in fact, so eating plans have to allow quite a bit of wiggle room for me to even think about maintaining them.

I’ve noticed the major campaign with the celebrity commercials, but the idea of counting points, taking shots, or spending mega-bucks on pre-packaged foods is an instant turn-off for me, and I have no intention of attending any kind of meetings for the rest of my life. Everyone I know who has lost weight on these plans has gained it back as soon as they stopped attending meetings, taking shots, you get the drift. Uh…no.

I know. So get to the plans already, Lady!! Each of these plans meets four-out-of-four requirements, so I call them 4-Star plans:

1.    Flexible
2.    Inexpensive
3.    Time-conscious (doesn’t require lots of time to prepare foods)
4.    Life-changing yet maintainable

Here they are. **As with any other eating or fitness plan, check with your medical professional before starting anything new**:

1.    Dr. Oz’s Total 10 – I really just started paying attention to this one last year, but the program can be as detailed or as flexible as you need it to be. There are support groups all over the web, but they are not a requirement, and the variety of foods included in this plan make it relatively easy to maintain for a lifetime without breaking your bank or leaving you with feelings of deprivation. For more info.

2.    Dr. Oz’s Day Off Diet – Obviously I’m a Dr. Oz fan J In a nutshell, you follow a prescribed plan for 6 days and choose one “off-day” each week. What I like most about this one is that even the 6-days are not bad; it’s normal food without snacking, and you won’t feel hungry because your body is getting the nutrients it needs. There’s a Facebook group for this one.

3.    The Military Diet – This one has been around for a long time, and most people, even those with health problems can do this, even if their condition requires a few minor modifications (yes, if you talk to a dietitian like I did, there are a few substitutions that can be made without compromising the plan’s effectiveness). The strength of this plan is that you see results fast. Keep in mind that the first 10 lbs. is water weight, but you will feel better instantly. Another strength is that the three days can be used as a blueprint for your 4 off days for best results. You’ll notice that you can eat a lot less without feeling hungry, and for snackers like me, the 3 days prove that I don’t have to snack to make it through the day. For best results I suggest using the diet twice a month and checking with a dietitian for substitution ideas to keep you from getting burned out. For more info.

4.    Custom combo – This is your own personal design. You can use two or more of the three above plans to achieve and maintain great results. For instance, you might start with the 3-day for fastest results, then continue with the Total 10. Note that the Total 10 also has a “Rapid Weight Loss Diet Plan” with more definitive food choices. Not my thing personally, but certainly worth looking into.

So which of these sounds most doable in your opinion and why? Also, please feel free to share your experiences with any of these and add to my list of lifetime plans.