Online/Web-based Diet Programs
I'm now 40 years old now and after several failed starts I decided to give Nutrisystem a go. It's hard to believe that something that tastes this good can help you lose weight. Nutrisystem is diet plan that allows a person to lose weight without having to think too much about it. Which of these diet programs are worth your money? I love beef stew and I would not want to give it up for a diet. As far as diets go Nutrisystem is a great plan. I started in in Monterey, California and I lost pounds.
The slow-down of weight-loss is not unique to these approaches. It is true of any weight-loss program because as you begin to weight less, you burn fewer calories.
Because commercial plans vary greatly, the FTC recommends asking the following questions before engaging in a program:. In this section, we will examine some of the most popular commercial weight-loss programs by separating them into two different categories: Meal Replacements Meal replacement through pre-packaged meals can be appealing because of the convenience and ease of choices they offer. However, when meals are pre-packaged, participants may not learn the basics of nutrition and healthy eating.
Pre-packaged meals may also be expensive this claim is dependent on the normal weekly food cost an individual could incur. Liquid meal replacement plans, if used for too long, may be harmful because they can cause nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, when participants have not learned the principles of healthy eating and portion control, they often resume prior eating patterns. Non-meal Replacements Some programs do not require meal replacement as part of their program.
Their main goal is to teach you about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and incorporating physical activity. While it is helpful long-term, behavior change does not happen overnight and can be a challenging adjustment at first. Overall, a safe and effective commercial program will offer educational materials that have been reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional.
These materials will include information on healthy eating plans, exercise and behavior therapy. Nutrisystem features portion-controlled foods and structured meal plans that are both high in protein and low in glycemic index GI. Low-GI means means that the foods do not cause your blood sugar to rise sharply. For people with diabetes, a low-GI diet can help keep blood glucose in control. Nutrisystem plans, tailored for men and women, encourage you to consume three meals and two or three snacks per day.
The plans offer about different pre-packaged to choose from. Foods are home-delivered, typically in shipments every four weeks, after you place an order online or over-the-phone. You have to purchase additional fruits, vegetables and dairy products on your own.
These are grouped into three categories: Smartcarbs nutrient-rich, high-fiber carbohydrates , PowerFuels lean proteins and healthy fats and vegetables non-starchy ones which can be eaten freely. A meal planner explains how and when to add these foods into your diet. The program has an active online community, including discussion boards and dietitian-led chats. Counseling, for those who want it, is available and included with most Nutrisystem programs. With the recommended fruits, vegetables and dairy products, this diet plan can be considered well-balanced.
Research on Nutrisystem customers showed an average weight-loss of 18 pounds at three months and 27 pounds at six months. Some research finds a small weight-loss advantage for low-GI diets over high-GI ones, but other studies find no difference. So, this should be a healthy way to lose weight. Another concern is that participants using pre-packaged meals do not necessarily learn good nutrition, which makes maintaining weight-loss difficult once they return to buying food on their own.
Counselors are also available throughout the program and during transition and maintenance to educate about good eating habits.
The final concern is the cost of the food. This does not include the additional fruits, vegetables and other foods that you must purchase on your own. Although Nutrisystem claims that the full cost of eating while on the program is about 15 to 40 percent less than what the average American spends on food, some consumers would rather buy food week-to-week.
Some employers and health plans subsidize or reimburse program costs. The program is developed by registered dietitians in consultation with an expert Science Advisory Board.
The program is delivered by trained personal consultants in weekly motivational one-on-one consultations, in center, over the phone or via Skype. Consultants partner with members to identify personal motivators, set weekly menu and activity plans, monitor progress, overcome obstacles and positively reinforce success. A typical menu day on Jenny Craig consists of three meals and three snacks per day, which, in combination with the added grocery items, adds up to an individualized menu calorie level that is based on your gender, age, height, weight and level of physical activity.
The standard menu caloric distribution is percent carbohydrate, percent fat and percent protein. For the Jenny Craig for type 2 diabetes menu, the caloric distribution is 45 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat and 25 percent protein.
For the first half of your program, you primarily follow menus that include Jenny Craig foods for seven days a week. For special events or other times when you need an alternate option, your consultants will offer guidance for meals on your own. When you have lost half of your total weight-loss goal, you make the transition to five to six days of menus that include Jenny Craig foods and one to two days of your own foods.
Throughout your program, you work with your consultant to utilize behavioral strategies to address challenges like emotional, social and unconscious eating and dining out, as well as to build an enjoyable, active lifestyle.
Jenny Craig is a well-balanced, scientifically proven program on which you can expect to lose pounds per week on average. A clinical trial of people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated a 9 percent weight-loss at one year with greater improvements in diabetes control and heart risk factors as compared to usual care. For both programs, Jenny Craig participants achieved three times greater weight-loss when compared to usual care.
The daily menu is a model for learning nutritional balance, variety and moderation in food choices. Counselors are not dietitians. However, they have been trained to deliver an evidence-based program that is developed by registered dietitians and recommended by the Obesity Guidelines.
SLIM-FAST Available in supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies Slim-Fast has been around for more than 25 years and offers relatively quick weight-loss by substituting a calorie-controlled, sweet-tasting fortified meal replacement shake or bar for some of your regular meals. The program offers online support that includes weight, diet and exercise charting, chat rooms with online buddies, chat sessions with registered dietitians, a weekly newsletter, exercise programs and meal planning.
The diet plan is centered around two Slim-Fast meal replacements. A snack of calories is also offered during the day. Fruits and vegetables about servings are encouraged in addition to the meals and snack. Overall, if followed correctly, the plan does encourage additional fruits and vegetables and it stays at or above 1, calories a day, leading to a more balanced consumption than traditional liquid diets.
Meal replacement diets such as Slim-Fast are appealing because of their simplicity and convenience. If you plan to use Slim-Fast, you should consider doing so under the supervision of a healthcare professional who can help teach you how to transition yourself from the the shakes and who can monitor for potential complications of a fast weight-loss.
The biggest drawback is that dieters may not receive comprehensive information about nutrition, which means that as they transition back to regular foods, which they are likely to do eventually, weight gain may be inevitable. Also, the recommended calorie level may be too low for some dieters. The plan emphasizes a well-balanced diet and encourages lifestyle changes and increased physical activity.
The Weight Watchers program is called Beyond the Scale, which still emphasizes weight-loss but does it in a broader context of eating healthier, moving more and making more time for yourself. Beyond the Scale offers an approach to healthier living that allows people to personalize the program and define their own success both on and off the scale. The Weight Watchers food plan, SmartPoints, is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to make healthier eating simple by translating complex nutrition information into one simple number, giving each food and beverage a SmartPoints value.
Everything is still on the menu with SmartPoints, but it does encourage a healthier pattern of eating with more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and less sugar and saturated fat. Members are given a personalized daily SmartPoints target based on their height, weight, age and gender and also receive weekly SmartPoints to provide flexibility for occasions when members may eat more than usual. With SmartPoints, people can choose the foods they want to eat at home, in restaurants, in the workplace — or anywhere else food shows up in their lives.
Fitness is also a core component of Beyond the Scale. The focus is on helping members fit fitness into their lives. Each member gets a personalized FitPoints goal based on their current level of activity and encourages using tools such as the WeightWatchers FitBreak app. Weight Watchers also has supportive tools, including helpful content and a social media community within its app called Connect. Members can follow the program in-person at weekly group meetings or privately through its OnlinePlus or personal coaching offerings.
Overall, Weight Watchers nudges members toward a healthier pattern of eating and members typically lose pounds per week. Weight Watchers is one of the few commercial weight-loss programs whose ability to produce weight-loss has been clinically proven repeatedly through research studies.
Weight Watchers has multiple programs that range in cost: While Leaders have lived the experience all Leaders have lost weight on Weight Watchers and kept it off and are trained in behavioral methods to support weight-loss, they are not licensed dietitians.
Therefore, if there are special dietary requirements, it is always best to consult with a dietitian. Online tools let you set goals, plan menus and generate shopping lists. There's no face-to-face support, but you get support through online message boards and a mentor program that connects newbies with an experienced member.
Also, you can reach a registered dietitian or personal trainer by phone at any time. The optional meal delivery service offers freshly prepared, calorie-controlled meals delivered by FedEx. But telephone support has some evidence in its favor: Yes, it's a bargain for round-the-clock support.
For about the same money, other services offer better track records. For the first two weeks, you eat three extremely low-carb meals a day plus mandatory snacks. After that, you gradually add "good carbs," such as fruits and whole grains. You can customize menus, search a database of more than 1, recipes and get a personalized shopping list.
There's online support from staff dieticians and members plus daily motivational emails. Studies have shown that after one year, carb-restricted diets led to greater weight loss and increased heart health than low-fat diets. However, the advantage disappeared over the long term. How much can you expect to lose? Figure on 8 to 13 pounds during the two- week kick-start phase, then 1 to 2 pounds a week thereafter. It doesn't cost much, but you don't get as much support as with Weight Watchers or eDiets.
The Zone diet is mostly meat, fruits, and vegetables. You eat three meals per day plus two Zone protein-powder snacks. A study of people in the Journal of American Medical Association found the Zone diet helped people achieve modest weight loss after one year, comparable with those on the Atkins , Weight Watchers and Ornish diets, and improved cardiac risk factors. Premium-priced Jenny Craig lets you order its heart-healthy, nutritionally balanced packaged food by phone and pick it up at a Jenny Craig center or have it delivered through Jenny Direct.
You eat three Jenny Craig meals plus a snack per day, and supplement with fruit, vegetables and dairy. Once a week, you get a weigh-in and pep talk with a consultant - who is not a dietician and who earns commissions from selling you products.
There's also round-the-clock phone support. Jenny Craig has a good track record for short-term weight loss up to one year. In a UC San Diego clinical trial of dieters funded by Jenny Craig , Jenny Craig clients lost 11 percent of their initial weight after 12 months, compared with 3 percent weight loss by those who were dieting on their own. The "doctor-designed" Bistro M. The price is a cut above the competition, too. The plan tries to help you avoid a weight-loss stall out by varying the daily calorie intake between 1, and 1, By eating a little more some days and a little less on others, you'll supposedly prevent your body from becoming used to the same number of calories every day.
While no university studies support the theory that varying caloric intake aids weight loss, the high quality of the food and the relatively large portion sizes have been praised by Health magazine, Dr. Phil and The New York Times. Some plan users have complained of a lack of choices and menu flexibility compared to other plans, but a company spokesman says they offer more than entrees and can make substitutions to accommodate allergies and food preferences.
It's a reasonable price for well-made food with slightly faster average weight loss than with Jenny Craig. This meal-delivery service, endorsed by Marie Osmond and Dan Marino, emphasizes foods with a low glycemic index. The underlying premise is that controlling blood sugar levels leads to weight loss. The heat-and-eat prepared meals and snacks contain roughly 55 percent "good" carbs, 25 percent protein, and 20 percent fats; like Jenny Craig, you add fruits, vegetables and dairy.
Support is available through phone counseling and online chat rooms. There's plenty of research showing that following a diet of 1, to 1, calories a day, such as Nutrisystem, can cause weight loss.
For example, a study by the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York found that postmenopausal women who followed a 1,calorie plan for 16 weeks lost an average of 21 pounds. For a meal-delivery diet system, Nutrisystem is more economical than Jenny Craig. Although today's program is not as stringent as the original liquid fast Medifast launched decades ago, the low-fat, relatively low-carb plan is designed to bring about rapid weight loss by coaxing your body into a "fat-burning state" known as ketosis.
The 70 meal replacement choices include shakes, bars, soups, pudding, oatmeal, chili, pretzel sticks, cheese puffs, and scrambled eggs.
If you can stick with it, a diet of 1, calories a day can certainly induce rapid weight loss. A common concern with such low-calorie diets is that you'll quickly regain the weight, but in a small clinical trial recently published in the journal Experimental Biology , after 10 months, only about one in five people regained all the weight they had lost. Choose this more extreme plan only if quick weight loss is your priority.
Within hours of posting a seven-second video of their son learning to walk, Whitney and Adam Dinkel were flooded with messages. The small town of Wenatchee, Washington, is at the center of a virtual gold rush — whether residents like it or not. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email. Cost per pound of weight loss: It's economical and has a proven track record. In the Zone Delivery Cost: No, unless you're looking for white-glove service.
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