New Planbot Diet Plan System: Dietitian's Review
By WLR Dietitian Lyndel Costain BSc RD
WLR recognises that different weight loss approaches suit different people.
On 22 July their new diet plan system – affectionately called ‘PlanBot’ - was launched as an option for people wanting more guidance on what to eat day to day. It provides individualised daily meal plans as an alternative to the standard WLR ‘DIY’ diary and calorie tracking approach.
How to Make a Diet Plan with Planbot…
Getting started with PlanBot to plan your diet takes just a few minutes of answering a series of questions about your food preferences and lifestyle. You are then provided with comprehensive, individualised and balanced daily meal plans that meet your calorie target for weight loss. There is also the option to create printable shopping lists.
If particular meal ideas aren’t practical or to your taste, there is the all important ability to swap meals or snacks in your diet plan from an extensive range of options designed to fit in with your daily menu. Alternatively, you can add in/substitute any other foods eaten, for example, if you have a meal out.
Does the Diet Plan Work Around Me?
Each day also comes with some ‘flex’ calories – a proportion of your daily calorie target which you can ‘spend’ how you like e.g. on a treat, or as milk in hot drinks to help ensure you have the recommended average daily 2-3 portions of dairy foods (or calcium-fortified soya equivalents).
Any unused ‘flex’ calories will be added on to your next day’s target – also giving you the option to save some up for a specific occasion you want to fit within your plan.
PlanBot will ask you questions relating to your food preferences, whether or not you want snacks, and if you prefer each meal to be home cooked (quick-and-easy or full-blown recipes) or pre-prepared.
All the diet plans are based on a wide variety of nutritious foods, contain at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, and meet WLR’s nutrition profile. Daily and weekly nutrition reports are provided.
As per the usual WLR approach, you can increase your daily calorie target by enjoying some extra exercise and adding that to your exercise diary. PlanBot will then do all the calculations for you.
You will need to record your weight each week in the Goals and Results section to ensure PlanBot keeps providing you with individualised diet plans. A good thing to do regardless, as people who keep regular weight records have more weight loss success.
If you decide you prefer the DIY approach, you can switch back to the standard WLR tracking tools at any point via your Account settings (you can also change any of your PlanBot meal planning preferences here too).
Planbot Diet Plans – Dietitians Verdict
"WLR’s new diet planning system
is an excellent addition
to its already wide range of helpful and reliable tools
and resources for weight loss."
Structured meal plans aren’t for everybody, but there is evidence to support their potential to provide a helping hand with this tricky and challenging thing called weight loss! You may find the diet plans useful as a guide when you first start off with WLR, or if you are happy using the standard WLR plan, to help with meal planning and snack ideas.
You can try our flexible diet planning system completely free (no credit card details required).