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Knowing what to eat, when to eat, and how to stay fit comes naturally to some people. To others it’s a continual struggle between desire and common sense, between laziness and motivation, between positive and negative attitudes. We know roughly what foodstuffs we should be avoiding, and how much exercise we should be getting, but it’s still insanely difficult to find a health plan and stick to it.
One of the reasons for this struggle is the amount of work it takes organizing a diet that will help make you slim and healthy while providing some respite from the continual grind of calorie-counting and workouts. Which is where Eat This Much enters stage left, with its “auto-magic” meal plans and multitude of customization options.
Eat This Much
Eat This Much started life as Swole.me, a diet website focused on creating meals for bodybuilders. Its central feature was an automatic meal planner that took the time and trouble out of creating meals containing just the right amount of nutrients.
The algorithm wasn’t great, but the site’s creator Louis DeMenthon saw some potential and consequently unveiled Eat This Much. This renovated version of the site features a solid automatic meal planner with more customization options than most people will know what to do with.
Free Vs. Premium
Eat This Much has a basic free option and a premium option costing $9-per-month. This article is based on the free version because:
a) It’s what MakeUseOf is all about, and b) I’m too tight to pay the asking price. Still, it’s worth taking a brief look at the differences between the two account types.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the premium account allows for a higher number of saved meal plans, and adds weekly meal plans, a meal plan calendar, and meal plans for leftovers, among other things.
The meal generator is the main focus of Eat This Much. In its simplest form it asks you to indicate how many meals you’d like to consume in one day, and how many calories those meals should total. It will then provide you with a breakfast and two further meals for the day, which between them should fit your basic requirements.
The thing is people have very different tastes when it comes to food and what they are and aren’t willing to eat. So the first three meals offered to you may not appeal to the taste buds. You can simply refresh the meal to be shown as an alternative option, or you can head into the Meal Options menu to customize your meal plan to the nth degree.
The nutrition options lets you modify several elements of your planned meals. You can choose from a preset diet such as Atkins or Vegan, or customize your own with different percentages of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You can also limit the amount of sodium and cholesterol that will appear in your meal plan, and aim for a higher percentage of fiber.
The food and recipe filters simply let you include or exclude certain food groups and ingredients. So you could exclude all dairy products, or include only the vegetables you actually enjoy eating. Which, for many of us, isn’t many.
The meal options let you modify certain things about each meal. This includes preparation time, access to an oven, the size of the meal, and how many people it should cater for.
The price range merely allows you to set your daily diet budget. The higher it is, the higher the quality each meal will be. If you declare an interest in a high number of calories on a severe budget then “be prepared to eat a lot of PB&J and beans.”
Eat This Much will not suit everyone, and I wouldn’t recommend it for those who have very specific needs and/or fussy food tastes. It can be customized to help even those groups of people, but it’s clearly aimed at people who have so far struggled to maintain a healthy diet and need any assistance they can get.
This Web app is designed to, “Put your diet on autopilot,” and it does this exceptionally well. Still, it’s important to know exactly what fuel you’re putting in your body, the effects that food has, and what foods trigger overeating for you personally. These are important tenets in maintaining a healthy diet. So, Eat This Much is a great place to start, but you should then set sail alone with the knowledge and willpower to forge your own path through the troubled waters of dieting.
Have you tried Eat This Much? If so, what did you think of it? Are you, like me, someone who has struggled to create healthy eating plans and maintain a sensible eating regimen? Could sites such as Eat This Much be important tools in the fight against flab? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Alan Cleaver