Help Center - Special Needs

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Nutritional Needs

I'm vegan. What can I do?

Currently, members have the option of choosing either Vegetarian or Regular meal plans. Vegetarian meal plans are Lacto-Ovo, that is, they contain dairy and egg products.

They can easily be made Vegan by using the Menu Substitutions list. This list provides members with alternates to food items such as dairy products and eggs. Pre-packaged foods and meals that contain animal products can be substituted for Vegan alternatives that contain similar calories.

I'm allergic to dairy. What can I do?

Many people have food intolerances or allergies. That's why we have a link toward the top of your Meal Plan page called Allergies that you can click on to access information about common allergies and common substitutions.

However, we do not diagnose, treat or offer specific medical advice. We recommend that you get specific advice about your personal allergy situation and ways to adapt our meal plans to your specific condition from your health care provider.

I'm pregnant. Can I still use is a personality-based weight management website dedicated to helping people lose weight through consumer information and education and is not recommended for women who are pregnant. does not diagnose or treat medical conditions or give specific medical advice. Please consult with your primary health care provider or Ob/gyn regarding your individual needs.

I need to reduce my cholesterol. Can help me do that? meal plans are all heart-healthy, carbohydrate- and calorie- controlled with a weekly average of 45-55% calories from carbohydrates, 20-25% calories from protein and 25-30% calories from fat. They are also low in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fatty acids, all of which can contribute to high cholesterol.

The meal plans include heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados and nuts and Omegas-3 fatty acids like those found in Salmon. In addition, they are high in fiber and diets high in fiber have been shown to help reduce cholesterol. Please consult with your primary health care provider regarding your individual needs.

I'm Type 2 Diabetic. How can this plan help me? meal plans are all heart-healthy, carbohydrate- and calorie- controlled with a weekly average of 45-55% calories from carbohydrates, 20-25% calories from protein and 25-30% calories from fat. They are also rich in healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins.

All meal plans include 3 meals and 2 snacks which are balanced and portion-controlled. All meal plans are high in fiber and low in simple sugars. Evenly spaced, portion-controlled and balanced meals have been shown to help manage blood sugar levels. However, you should always consult with your primary health care provider regarding your individual needs.

I have high blood pressure. How much sodium is in my meal plan?

The majority of meal plans fall below 2400 mg sodium (most health organizations recommend healthy people stay below this amount). However, weekly averages range from 1716-3162 mg of sodium. Meal plans that include more meal replacements and eating out have slightly higher weekly averages of sodium. All meal plans use fresh or frozen vegetables and most fruits are fresh or frozen.

Steps to lower blood pressure include eating less salt or sodium, adopting a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating style and weight loss and/or regular exercise. The DASH eating plan includes eating more fruits, vegetables, non-fat dairy and whole grains all of which can be found in meal plans.

If you are following a low sodium diet, it is recommended that you consult your health care provider regarding your individual needs. You can print out your meal plans and/or an information sheet for your doctor called "Get a Printout for Your Doctor" which discusses program information. You will find this sheet on the home page in the "Get Expert Coaching" section.

Here are some tips to further reduce sodium:

  • Rule #1: Do not salt your food! Season naturally with dried or fresh herbs, onion, garlic or salt free seasoning such as Mrs. Dash.
  • Rule #2: Always read food labels to determine the amount of sodium per serving.
  • Use fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If you use canned vegetables, buy no salt added. Canned fruits are okay.
  • Use no added salt beans, drain and rinse with water. Better yet, boil your own.
  • Use low sodium soups or make your own using low sodium broth.
  • Make your own salad dressing by mixing 1 tsp olive oil with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Season with dried or fresh herbs and garlic (fresh or powder).
  • Use low sodium pasta or tomato sauce.
  • Choose frozen entrees with the lowest amount of sodium (aim for less than 800 mg per entr�e).
  • Use lite soy sauce and teriyaki sauce or try Bragg Amino Acids which in naturally lower in sodium and tastes like soy sauce.
  • Buy unsalted nuts and peanut butter.
  • Buy unsalted crackers and low fat chips (aim for less than 250 mg/serving for crackers and less than 350 mg for low fat chips).
  • When dining out, ask for nutrition facts. Look for key words that signal high sodium such as smoked, pickled, marinated, barbequed or broth.
  • When ordering Chinese food, ask if you can have it without MSG and do not add soy sauce. Drain dishes that come in a lot of broth, ask them to go light on the sauce, put it on the side or even skip it!

Can I substitute food in my meal plan?

There is a handy food substitutions list located above your meal plan. You'll find many healthy and tasty alternatives ready for you.

I have a medical condition and I need to make some adjustments to my meal plan. Can you help me?

Yes! If you have questions or need to make modifications, please send RDShauna a private message or write to her in the Rate My Plate board. She will be happy to discuss your special needs and give you guidance on how to modify your meal plan.

If you have a food allergy, you will find a Food Allergies tip sheet located on your meal plan homepage. This sheet gives you alternatives to common ingredients used in the meal plans.

Who do I contact with questions about my meal plan?

Contact us with your questions!

Exercise Needs

I have concerns about pains and hurting myself when I exercise. What can I do?

If you have any concerns about the state of your health you should talk to your doctor. He or she can perform tests and let you know exactly what your risks are and help you develop a program that will help you get active without risks. You should also consult your health care provider regarding the applicability of any information and recommendations with respect to your health condition.

Emotional Needs

I started off great, but now I feel like I've lost my motivation. What can I do?

If you've started to lose motivation, we encourage you to go back and review your "4 Steps to Success" plan so you can get back on track. Steps 2, 3 and 4 of this plan are filled with action steps that will help you be most successful. Remember, you are not alone and we are here to help!