Friday, 16 September 2011

Outline of Sainsbury's Diets Online Meal Plans

NOTE: 2015

Sainsbury's are no longer providing this diet plan.

Sainsbury’s Diets is a flexible, online diet service that provides you with a choice of meal plans to suit your individual needs. In order to take up the service, you have to sign up as a member. Once signed up, you have access to a wide range of online features to help keep you on track towards reaching your weight loss target.

Website Features

The interactive website offers a host of useful tools, such as a BMI and BMR calculator, a heart rate checker, alcohol calorie checker, activity calorie checker and waist to hip calculator. Once you've set your weight goals, you are presented with a range of colourful graphs displaying the number calories you need to eat each day to achieve your aims. You’re also given a target date for reaching your goal which you should expect to achieve when following your personalised Meal Plan.


What are the Benefits of Joining?

By signing up to Sainsbury’s Diets, members can look forward to receiving a personalized Meal Plan and a Food Diary. Also included is a tailored Body Shape plan, access via mobile phone and use of the Recipe Club where you can add your own recipes. Help and support is given via the members Diet Forums as well personal help from experts.

One particularly helpful benefit is the diet buddy. Once you're a member, you can ask Sainsbury’s Diets to find you a diet buddy. They will typically be someone with similar weight loss goals so you can provide encouragement and support for each other while following the diet plans. Members are able to switch diet plans or cancel membership at any time.

Personalising your Meal Plan

During the signing up process, you must choose from one of 10 weight loss plans. In order for Sainsbury’s Diets to work out the most suitable meals for your chosen Diet Plan, you are asked a variety of questions. For example, ‘do you want weekend cooked options for breakfast but cereal based in the week?’ Or, ‘do you want lunch on the go or do you have facilities to cook lunch?’ And for dinner, ‘do you prefer the convenience of ready meals, prefer to cook from scratch or a combination of both.’

There is also an option for treat meals once a week. You choose which day or leave it up to Sainsbury’s to choose the day. You can make your selection from Chinese, Indian, Pizza or Fish & Chips. Alcohol is also included if you want. You just state how many you drinks you’d like each week. You can also opt out of certain foods you dislike so they won’t appear in your meal plans.

What are the Diet Plans?

The Diet Plans currently include:

  • Summer Eating Plan
  • Be Good To Yourself Plan
  • Health & Vitality Plan
  • Avoiding Gluten Plan
  • Reduced Fat Plan
  • Vegetarian Plan
  • Feel Fuller Plan
  • GI Plan
  • Higher Fibre Plan
  • Healthy Heart Plan.

Each Diet Plan has meals tailor made to suit the individual. So for example, the ‘Feel Fuller Plan’ is ideal for those who are tempted to pick between meals. It's designed to help you stop snacking and start losing weight. This plan helps you to feel fuller by cutting down on carbs and eating more protein.

The ‘Be Good To Yourself Plan’ is a tasty, convenient plan that includes foods from Sainsbury's Diets Be Good To Yourself range. It's designed to make following a calorie controlled diet easy and enjoyable. And the ‘Vegetarian Plan’ combines a delicious range of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and eggs to help you lose some weight whilst following your vegetarian diet.

The Food Diary is for those days when you want a bit more freedom to pick your own choice of foods while remaining within your daily calorie guidelines. No food is banned so it just gives you that bit more flexibility if you need it.

What Can You Eat?

What you can eat will depend to a large extent on the meal plan you choose. But all plans are easy to follow using everyday foods to make simple and tasty recipes. Each plan has been developed with a team of nutritionists. They're well balanced and calorie-controlled to accommodate the individual’s dieting needs.

A daily menu example on the ‘Feel Fuller Plan’ includes a breakfast of beans on toast with a glass of milk and bowl of strawberries. A sample lunch is smoked salmon, soft cheese and watercress filled bagel with yogurt and nectarine. And dinner could be a salmon fillet in watercress sauce with new potatoes, asparagus spears and carrots, plus a yogurt biscuit dessert. Snacks include half a galia melon and a toffee coated popcorn snack.


The Signing up Process

Signing up to become a member is straightforward and is done via the website. There are a number of steps to go through where you are asked a variety of questions. You are also asked to tick through a brief medical questionnaire. Example questions include: ‘I have type 1 diabetes’, 'I have had surgery within the last 3 months’ and ‘I am pregnant.’ You also enter other relevant details including your height, weight, age and activity levels. These are all taken into account when personalising your meal plans and calculating your daily calorie allowance and weight loss target date.

Membership and Cost

To join up with Sainsbury’s Diets, you must subscribe via their website. You have a choice of four membership options which, at the time of writing, are priced at £24 for 8 weeks, £30 for 12 weeks, £50 for 26 weeks and £75 for 1 year. If you have a Nectar card, you also collect 2 points per £1 spent on joining.

Sainsbury’s Diets is a highly flexible diet regime which provides a wide range of plants to suit most dieters. However, because it’s a weight maintenance and weight loss plan, it won’t allow you to sign up if the calculator determines you are underweight.

There are numerous tasty recipes which are suitable for the whole family and you can switch to different meals plans at any time. It’s also suitable for those just wanting to maintain their weight and make use of the meal ideas. With access to member forums and expert advice, dieters never need feel alone in their weight loss efforts.

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