Directions for the Deal a Meal Diet

Richard Simmons may be best known for dancing with the oldies, but he's been helping people not only exercise, but eat better since the 1970s 1. His Deal-a-Meal diet plan is a tool Simmons developed for himself to help manage his diet and keep the weight off 1. While you may only be able to find the Deal-a-Meal diet plan in resale stores, it's still a good, commonsense plan. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet.

About Deal-a-Meal

Simmons struggled with his weight throughout much of his young adult life and tried many diets to help him lose it, according to the authors of "As Seen on TV." However, he finally realized that the key to losing weight and keeping it off was a sensible diet and exercise program that helped balance calories in and calories out 1. While losing weight, Simmons used a card system he developed himself to help him keep portions and calories under control while still eating a healthy and balanced diet 1. This card system turned into Deal-a-Meal.

How It Works

The Deal-a-Meal diet plan includes cards in a two-sided wallet. Each card represents a serving of food from one of the food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and milk. As you eat a serving from one of the groups, you move the card from one side of the wallet to the other. Once you move all your cards, you're done eating for the day. The minimum number of calories for the Deal-a-Meal plan is 1,200 calories a day.

Benefits and Considerations

The Deal-a-Meal diet plan is a healthy and balanced diet that encourages moderate weight loss. The diet emphasizes low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods and recommends you aim for seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It also recommends a balanced intake of carbs, protein and fat similar to that recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 3. Although the Deal-a-Meal diet is balanced, it is a very low-fat diet, which may make it difficult to include nutrient-rich fats such as salmon, nuts and seeds.

Deal-a-Meal Diet Update: FoodMover

While you may have a difficult time finding the Deal-a-Meal diet plan, you can find the updated version, which is called FoodMover. Instead of cards, FoodMover uses a window system to help you track your intake. When you've eaten a food from a particular food group, you close the window. Like Deal-a-Meal, FoodMover emphasizes healthy foods and portion control to help you lose weight slowly and healthfully. In addition to the food tracker, FoodMover also offers sample meal plans and recipes.