Because it is simply too time consuming to look up the calories of everything you are eating all day long, the calorie restriction diets I gave to myself and my patients were not working!

I was frustrated.

I thought wouldn't it be great if I had a personal chef to plan out all my meals with the right calorie amounts?

Well, I couldn't afford that and neither could my patients, so that was out.

I had been struggling with my weight for a number of years. Being a physician and having a master's degree in nutrition I knew what I was supposed to be doing. But, for various reasons I just kept putting off actually doing it. I felt guilty all the time for not following a calorie restriction diet especially when I was expecting my patients to follow calorie restriction diets also. But most of my patients were having difficulty following a calorie restriction diet as well.

What was the problem?

What was the solution?

Well the problem with myself was that I simply did not have the time to spend looking up calories for everything I ate. There also was not any structure to the program. Just eating whatever I could find and looking up the calories when I thought of it was a recipe for failure, not weight loss! And I had been expecting my patients to do the same thing I could not do!

The solution came to me one day after one of my patients asked me to make out a diet plan for her because she needed more structure to her calorie restriction plan. That's when the light bulb went on in my head.

I thought I would first try my idea out on myself.

I sat down one day and made up a whole bunch of nutritionally balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner menu plans for my calorie level.

It took me a LONG time to do this. It took me weeks to come up with a series of meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner for my calorie level. I was doing this in my spare time. At that time I was working full time and taking care of my 5 year old. It was not easy. It made me appreciate the huge difficulty of doing this every day and sticking to this every day. WOW what a revelation!

How much easier it is to have it all done for you every day so you don't have to think too much or work too long and hard to come up with your own balanced menu plans.

And then when I started following these meal plans I lost weight quickly and easily without being too hungry or too stressed out.

And I also felt a lot better on the lower number of calories. And I also felt comforted by the fact that I was not starving myself.

And there were lots of different combinations of food so I would not get too bored.

So, then I thought of course that my patients would benefit from this as well and that's when I thought "Why not make up breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plans for each calorie diet out there. It would be a lot of work but I could do it and really help a lot of people to lose weight.

And why not put each meal menu on a business card sized magnet so you can keep them on your refrigerator for easy access? They would be small enough to put in your wallet as well when you are eating out.

Thus the Personalized Calorie Restriction Diet was born.

Because the small size of each card, I had to be brief with instructions. Many of the menus just contain ingredients and leave you to prepare it the way you prefer. But I tried to make the meals as simple as possible with as little preparation as possible.

Because many of the ingredients are measured in either teaspoons, tablespoons, cups or ounces you will still need to weigh and measure but I was surprised at how much easier this was to do when you do not have to do the work of adding up calories. When it's all planned out for you its simple, easy and fast.

The one challenge may end up to be having all the ingredients you need at hand. Strategic shopping would help ease this especially if you bring the cards you plan on using for the next few days to the grocery store with you so you don't forget anything.

I tried to pick simple and popular foods that most people are probably already eating. I tried not to include weird foods that most people have not heard of before.

Because of the difficulty of balancing each card out to the exact number of calories per card some cards may be a few calories under or over but never by more than 5 cal. For example, for a 1200 cal diet each meal would be 400 cal. Some meals may come out to 395. Some may come out to 405. That amount is negligible. There is going to be some error in measuring anyway. The idea is to be somewhere very close to your calorie range. Because your total calories were figured out by shaving 500 calories off what your body needs, as long as you don't take in 500 calories over your suggested calorie range, you should lose weight. So, say you measured wrong and were 250 calories over your calorie range. You would still lose weight only not as fast, probably only ½ a pound a week instead of a pound.

Much of the bread and grains on my menu cards are whole grains. You may wonder why I did this.

Whole grains contain fiber and fiber helps fill you up so you are not as hungry.

Each menu is planned to include a good ratio of proteins, fats and healthy carbohydrates. Also most menu cards incorporate lots of fruits and veggies.

Each menu card includes a beverage. Beverages include juices, milk, coffee, tea, seltzer water and water with lemon and sugar.I rarely recommend the use of sodas, sweet teas or sugar free sodas. Sodas and sweet tea are empty calories that eat up so many of your calories that you would not have much room left for solid food. Sugar free sodas are not recommended because I do not like to recommend artificial sweeteners for health reasons.

I may suggest that you use an organic item. The reason for this is that certain foods contain more pesticide residues than others. You may have heard of the dirty dozen. This is a list of the twelve most contaminated fruits and veggies. There is evidence recently that the pesticide residues in these foods are endocrine disrupters and may be preventing people from being able to lose weight. So when a fruit or veggie says organic on a menu card it would be best if you used the organic version but not essential.

With that in mind, do not heat up your food in plastic in your microwave for that puts endocrine disrupting chemicals that are in plastic in your food. Use glass or ceramic to heat up food.

Also, do not keep bottled water in plastic containers in your car for the heated plastic leaches out endocrine disrupting chemicals that may prevent you from losing weight. Do not freeze water bottles in the freezer as the freezing and thawing process leeches out these chemicals from the plastic.

Each menu card includes a beverage. Water with lemon and a small amount of sugar is used a lot to encourage a lot of water consumption which is important when trying to lose weight. But you will still need to drink a lot of water between meals.

I suggest with the water between meals that a fiber wafer would be helpful to curb your hunger.

The fiber wafer also could be used before meals to help you feel full.

There are a number of fiber wafers to chose from that can be found in a regular pharmacy. I like an all-natural one called Fiber Delights that tastes great and comes in vanilla and chocolate. This one can be purchased on my website at

If you do not eat all the items on each card you will be hungrier and will be more likely to fall of the diet and CHEAT! On the positive side you will also lose weight quicker if you do not eat all the items on a card. But slower weight loss is safer and easier on you.

The Personalized Calorie Restriction Diet will train you to eat within your calorie range. By eating meals planned for your calorie needs you will be training yourself to know when you have eaten enough. There will be meals that you will have to wing it and go by your instincts. Dinners out at restaurants, dinners at a friends house, barbecues, weddings, and meals when traveling on the road or on a cruise are all examples of times you will not be able to use a menu card. If you have been getting used to eating within your calorie range, you will have a better idea of when you have had enough and will also be able to estimate portion sizes better.

The Personalized Calorie Restriction Diet is kind of like Nutrisytem with it's planned meals. The differences are:

-you make the meals yourself

-there is a lot of variety

-your food is fresher

-no heating up frozen food in microwaves

-less sodium

-you are learning a valuable skill which is how to eat healthfully