Popular Diets Reviewed: The Supermarket Diet
When I first heard that there was a diet called the Supermarket Diet, I assumed it was an eating plan based on a common recommendation of dietitians, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. This techniques ensures that people purchase fresh produce, dairy, meat and grains while avoiding the processed foods that are high in sugar and fat which are usually in the inside aisles of a supermarket. But I was wrong.
The Supermarket Diet, which is written by a dietitian and endorsed by Good Housekeeping magazine, promotes portion control and label reading. In addition to shopping recommendations and guidelines, the book includes 100 recipes tested in the Good Housekeeping kitchens.
The Supermarket Diet encourages people to purchase pre-packaged foods from the grocery store like Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice meals along other low calorie, pre-packaged foods. Because you are buying your pre-portioned, pre-packaged frozen meals from the grocery store instead of a diet program, this plan is much more affordable than others that include these types of meals.
The book claims that people who follow the Supermarket Diet:
- Won’t feel hungry.
- Will lose up to two pounds per week.
- Will keep the weight off permanently.
However, the Supermarket Diet does not tell you to purchase any pre-portioned, pre-packaged meal you want. The diet provides instruction on how to read food labels so you can make sure that the foods you are buying will lead to weight loss. The book recommends choosing meals that have less than 400 calories and 10 grams of fat. No more than 30 percent of the calories should come from fat and the meal should have less than 500 milligrams of sodium. Finally, the diet also recommends choosing meals with 15 to 20 grams of protein.
While pre-portioned, pre-packaged foods make up the bulk of this diet, it is also necessary to supplement these foods with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. The book encourages eating a salad, fruit, vegetables or soup with lunch and dinner. These additional foods provide vitamins, minerals and fiber that you won’t get in frozen meals.
In addition to recipes, the book includes shopping lists, meal plans and snack suggestions as well tools to aid readers in determining what calorie level is appropriate for them and to help them move from calorie level to calorie level. The book provides information for a 1,200, 1,500 or 1,800-calorie plan. Readers are encouraged to follow the 1,200-calorie plan for the first two weeks to jump-start the diet and then increase their calories to achieve a weight loss of two pounds per week.
The book also includes general nutrition information on the different food groups and healthy fats versus unhealthy fats. There is also a chapter on physical activity and a chapter that takes readers on a supermarket tour that offers information on how to choose healthy foods that aren’t pre-packaged.
This diet plan is essentially a calorie-controlled diet. It is similar to other programs like Jenny Craig or NutriSystem, which use pre-portioned, pre-packaged food to control calorie intake. The information on label reading along with the nutrient information are valuable tools for healthy eating that readers can use throughout their entire life. The book also includes recommendations for exercise, which should always be part of any weight loss plan.
Grade: A-. While a diet that consists largely of pre-packaged foods is generally high in sodium, this book provides instructions to help readers keep sodium to a minimum. The diet includes a variety of food groups and the book provides valuable information on healthy eating.
*** Popular Diet Rating Syste:** This diet meets accepted standards for a healthy well-balanced diet. It recommends food from all food groups with an emphasis on healthy choices within each food group.
B: This diet meets most accepted standards for a healthy well-balanced diet. It emphasizes healthy foods but does not include food from all food groups.
C: This diet only meets some accepted standards for a healthy well-balanced diet. It does not differentiate between food choices in each food group and therefore does not emphasize healthy foods.
D: This diet does only meets one or two accepted standards for a healthy well-balanced diet.
F: This diet does not meet any accepted standards for a healthy well-balanced diet. It does not differentiate between healthy foods and unhealthy foods and/or does not meet caloric needs.
Heather wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Food & Nutrition.