Prepackaged food diets are some of the most popular types of diets. After all, they send you exactly what you need to eat, so you can stick with those meals only and you lose weight. It sounds great, but sometimes they don't work out as well as you might hope. As with any diet, you should consider the cons of prepackaged food diets before you start.
1. Higher Cost of Food
If you live on your own, the cost of prepackaged food diets is actually pretty affordable in comparison with most diet foods in grocery stores. If you have a family, your weekly food costs could double or even worse. You pay for the convenience of prepackaged meals and delivery. Plus, you still have to buy groceries to fix meals for everyone else. If multiple people in your home use the same diet, your weekly food budget is blown to pieces.
2. Discourages Exercise
Most prepackaged diet plans state you should exercise as well, but most participants overlook that part. They see the food as the diet and that's all they do. Of course, some prepackaged diets also claim you don't have to change your lifestyle at all. While changing the food you eat does help you lose weight, it isn't all you need to maintain a healthy weight and life. You need exercise too.
3. A Matter of Taste
These types of diets only work if you actually eat the food. For many people, the food tastes so different from what they're used to, they can't stay on the diet. While some people claim the food tastes great, everyone has different tastes. It's important to determine what types of food are available and exactly what they taste like before committing to any prepackaged diet plan.
4. Lacking Nutrition
Prepackaged diet foods eliminate as many calories, carbs and fat as possible to help you lose weight. However, they don't always give you much in return. In order to making them fat free and convenient, they often lack the vital nutrients you'd find in fresh foods. Even though you're losing weight, you might not be getting the proper nutrition your body needs.
5. Contains Preservatives
Nutritionists recommend a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables for a reason. They're naturally good for you and they don't contain preservatives. Prepackaged foods have to use preservatives to keep food from going bad. Depending on the types they use, these could actually limit how much weight you lose. Plus, some people react badly to certain preservatives.
6. Kills Social Life
Most of us love to go out with friends for lunch or dinner. When you choose a prepackaged diet, you're likely giving up all restaurant privileges. A select few diets mix prepackaged and regular foods, but most don't. This means when everyone else goes out, you're either stuck at home or sitting awkwardly by while everyone else eats. It's a con most don't think of, but it does make your social life a little difficult.
7. The Weight Comes Back
Unless you know exactly how to make every meal you eat just like the prepackaged ones you were getting, the weight will come back once you stop the diet. Even if you change your eating habits, it takes quite a bit of work to maintain the weight loss once the diet ends. Most diet companies hope you'll continue eating their meals and never quit. Simply changing how you eat and adding in moderate exercise is a better way to lose and maintain a healthier weight.
8. Stay Hungry
One of the benefits of prepackaged meals is portion control. However, everyone isn't going to feel full with the same amount of food. A five foot woman probably needs less than a six foot woman. These meals don't take that into account. It's difficult to stay on a diet when you're always hungry. While it works for some, many quit simply because they need food.
9. Lack of Energy
Usually, this con only happens during the first few weeks of the diet. If you stick with the diet, you're body typically adjusts to the lower calorie intake. Most prepackaged meal plans cut your average calorie intake by 40% or more. Since you burn calories for energy, you'll likely notice you're not quite as energetic until your body starts to adjust.
Prepackaged diets such as Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig aren't for everyone, but they can be great for short term weight loss goals. Always balance the pros and cons before starting any diet. Personally, I've always had more success by eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Have you ever experienced any cons with prepackaged diet foods?