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7 Secret Risks of Free Meal Plans

Free meal plans are all over the world. You can find a meal plan in seconds online - but do you know what are the risks behind them?

Slow cooker lamb stew - family recipe

Free Meal plans for everyone!

Free Meal Plans are a bit like… offering the same size and colour underpants for everyone.

A good meal plan is built on the personal nutritional needs. These are all different by age, by gender, by lifestyle, by activity level, by weight, by personal goals etc. Okay, working out a personal diet plan tailored to one person’s needs takes a lot of time and effort – and can be expensive. That’s the main reason that we looking for something… for free.

We all know that free things always come with a price and this is true for the free meal plans too: there is nearly always a catch or a risk behind them.

So we have to be really careful what meal plan we follow.

Let’s see what are the secrets behind these free meal plans:

#1 Free diet plans for 3-5-7 days

We cannot change our eating habits or carry out a successful weight loss in 3-5-7 days. These are usually example or taster meal plans: download the 3-5-7 days meal plan for free and work out/buy the rest. It’s fair enough, working out a good meal plan needs lots of time and background knowledge.

#2 Free Supermarket meal plans

Supermarket meal plans are usually marketing driven meal plans based on what should be sold in the given time frame. They target a wide customer range and as they made for everyone – they don’t fit anyone’s nutritional need really. They usually offer a safe version in taste and texture and for this reason, they are carbohydrate-based. The other problem with the recipes in these meal plans that they generate a lot of leftover ingredients and food waste.

#3 Free diet plans

It is a very typical that meal plans are created for single people. So if you live in a family and your partner does not want to follow a diet, and your children obviously need a nutritious diet – well it means you end up cooking 2-3 different dish for every meal… and it is easy to predict, you give up soon.

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

#4 Free meal plans from forums

Forums are good to share recipes and meal planning experience, however, we have to keep in mind that this is not professional advice. As I see mums like to set up 2-3 weeks meal plans using the family favourite recipes and use these as a meal plan. Cooking the same meals in 2-weeks rota is not a good idea – the family can miss out vital nutrients found in seasonal foods, – also it holds the risk to raise picky eaters. The other risk that these family meal plans usually concentrate only on the fast food preparation and being kids- friendly, but they usually high in fat and carbohydrate and contain more meat and less vegetables than we need.

#5 Free meal plans to concentrate only on calories

Calories are not the only – not even the most important metrics – in a diet. Free low-calorie meal plans usually offer less than 5 portions of fruit and veg per day- there is the risk missing out important sources of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and flavonoids. Maintaining our weight is important – but only if we get all the important nutrients what our body needs.

#6 Free weight-loss meal plans

They usually promise a dramatic result within a few days. We have to remember that the recommended weight loss is no more than 1-2 lbs per week. These free weight loss plans very often high-protein diets excluding fat and carbohydrate and/or diuretic. This can result in a significant weight loss but difficult to maintain in the long term. In reality after finishing the 1-2 weeks diet the lost weight (or even more) comes back and can lead to a yo-yo dieting. The health risks of high-protein diets are constipation, nutrient deficiencies – and kidney and heart problems in the long term.

#7 Free healthy meal plans

As most of the free meal plans intend to be varied and they offer mouthwatering recipes. Healthy meal plans created for single people can be really attractive and even balanced. However, these can be expensive and food-waster: exotic ingredients, cheffy tools and presentation, lots of leftover ingredients. Especially if you multiply the ingredients to cook for 2-5 people.

So how can you find out if it is a meal plan really for you?

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

What is the right meal plan for your?

A meal plan is right for you if it is tailored to your nutritional needs and lifestyle – so it fits easily into your daily routine, gives you the right amount of energy and all the nutrients what your body needs. The best to find a meal plan what is addressed to your lifestyle, to your age, to your gender and activity level. For instance, if you are under 25, single and work out 5-6 times a week – you have to find a diet plan for young athletes. Obviously, a mum over 30 with two small children has a different lifestyle and thus nutritional needs.

What are we looking for when we choose a meal plan?

– Is it a consistent and sustainable meal plan? An extreme meal plan than just make you starve – probably just make more harm than good. A short taster meal plan can help you to decide if it is for you in the long term. Do not forget that little step-by-step changes and feasible, realistic plans go further than drastic overall changes.

– Is it for you? Is it addressed to you? For your gender? For your age? We all have different nutritional needs by age, by gender or by lifestyle. Is it a family meal plan or a weight loss meal plan?

– Does it fit into your lifestyle? Can you keep up this kind of meal plan in the long term? The number of meals, the meal preparation times etc. are suitable for you? If you think that it would require too much sacrifice and would be really inconvenient then keep looking. It is not worth to start something that just doesn’t fit into your life and it seems very likely that you will give up.

– Is it from a reliable source? Well, this is really important. Is the meal plan healthy and balanced? Contains all the most important food group? Unprofessional diet advice can make serious health damage. If you are not sure, ask for professional advice from your GP, your nutritionist or dietician.

Related posts:

How to master meal planning?

The 6 biggest mistakes in family meal planning

Time-saver Meal Planning Tactics for Busy Mums

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

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