Diet Plans & Programs: The "Skinny" on Popular Diet Plans

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Sometimes chicken or turkey but not all the time! Guide to Understanding Cancer. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle: We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. Side effects, risks, and complications from lap band surgery should be discussed with a surgeon or physician prior to the operation.

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The theory behind the diet is not the reason you will lose weight if you follow this plan. Weight loss can only occur when you consume fewer calories than your body needs. In the introduction chapter the author makes numerous claims that you do not need to limit the quantity of food that you consume and then provides portion restrictions on many high calorie foods, such as nuts.

It's appealing to hear you can eat unlimited quantities, but weight loss will not be achieved without limitations. The initial phase of this diet should be avoided. This two-week phase claims to produce a weight loss of eight to 13 pounds with severe dietary restrictions; including fruit, dairy, and starches.

Phases like this are usually included so people see quick results, but are limited in time because they are not nutritionally balanced and can't be followed for a long period. It tends to be more discouraging than motivating to lose quickly and to feel like you are "on a diet. It's best to begin slowly and to always consume a nutritionally balanced diet. Eat more, weigh less: Eat More, Weigh Less is one of the few diets developed as a result of research.

The primary goal of this diet was to reverse heart disease. The basis for this diet is to consume a high-fiber, low-fat, vegetarian diet with limited amounts of dairy foods.

The goal is to consume primarily complex carbohydrates vegetables, fruit, and whole grains , low total fat primarily from omega-3 fatty acids and limited in saturated fat, and low sugar.

Physical activity and stress management are also emphasized. The research does support the health benefits of this diet, and you will lose weight if you stick with the plan. The web site provides recipes and detailed information on nutrition , exercise, and stress management.

The primary con to this diet is that it can be extremely limited and difficult for some people to follow. This limitation is because meat is omitted from the plan. Cutting out an entire food group may be too much of a restriction to maintain over the long-term, so some people do best by modifying this diet to allow for a moderate amount of meat.

The high fiber intake may also pose a problem initially. It's best to slowly increase the amount of fiber you consume so your body can get used to it. The goal is always long-term weight loss and maintenance. This diet does have the research to support it, but it may need modifications to make it work for you.

Jenny Craig has become best-known for the celebrities who are followed while losing weight on this diet. They explain how easy it is and how delicious the food is, and you see the results as they are happening. This diet provides you with your foods and snacks to ensure you consume the exact amount of calories your body needs to lose weight. You add fresh produce and dairy. You meet with a consultant on a weekly basis to discuss your progress, and who will assist you with transitioning to your own food when you are ready to do so.

Physical activity is emphasized throughout the diet. The primary advantage to this diet is that you will lose weight if you eat what you are given. Portion-and-calorie-controlled meals are great tools for long-term weight loss and maintenance. They take away the guesswork of how many calories you consume, they can be nutritionally balanced, they are quick and easy to prepare, and they teach you about healthy portion sizes.

As with all diets, nothing works for everyone, and nothing works forever. The celebrity endorsements are great when they work, but the celebrities who regain their weight once they discontinue this plan are proving that this is not the answer for everyone.

Many people prefer to be able to eat food they prepare and do not like the idea of prepackaged foods. The consultants are not professionals in this field. They undergo a training course but are not trained therapists, registered dietitians, or exercise physiologists, so the advice and support that you receive will be limited to what they have been taught to say.

If you are taking any medications or have any health conditions, it is best to work with trained professionals. The NutriSystem Advanced diet is a low glycemic index , high-fiber, and high-protein diet.

The prepackaged food is provided for you by ordering online or by calling the toll free number. This diet does address the three necessary components for successful weight loss and maintenance; diet, physical activity, and behavior.

Prepackaged foods can be an effective tool for weight loss. You will be provided with the appropriate number of calories for weight loss without having to worry about counting anything.

This will give you the opportunity to learn what appropriate portion sizes are and which foods are necessary for a well-balanced diet based on your specific needs. The variety of programs based on gender, age, health, and dietary preference is another positive component of this diet. The Mindset Makeover was developed by one of the leading psychologists in the weight loss field, Gary Foster, Ph.

It is designed to "help people learn new behaviors when it comes to weight loss and related lifestyle issues. You are given access to this and an online account with community support as part of each of the programs. Prepackaged foods are not for everyone and typically not something to use forever. They can be very limiting and create the sense of being "on a diet.

Most people find that they only want to use this type of a diet for the short-term or for one or two meals per day.

The other negative aspect of this diet is that the prepackaged foods contain the artificial sweeteners Sucaralose and Acesulfame K. The dietary focus on this diet also has some limitations. The idea of "good carbs" and "bad carbs" is controversial. While there is some truth to the role of glycemic index in hunger, it is not a guaranteed tool for weight management. Labeling foods as "good" and "bad" creates problems for people trying to develop healthy eating habits.

A well-balanced diet requires whole wheat sources of starch, while allowing for some sugar. Weight Watchers has been around for many years. There have been changes to the program, but weekly meetings have remained a part of the plan. The two diet options that are currently available are the Flex Plan and the Core Plan. The Core Plan is based on the science of energy density. Energy density refers to the amount of calories in a given weight of food.

Foods that are considered low energy dense foods have a small amount of calories for a large volume of food for example, vegetable soups, vegetables, and fruit. High energy dense foods provide a lot of calories for a small amount of food for example, oils, butter, cream sauce. The Core Plan provides a "balanced diet by centering on a list of healthy foods that keep you full longer.

The support and information provided online and in-person sets Weight Watchers apart from most diets out there. There are numerous meetings across the country to choose from. For many people, having a place to weigh-in each week is a key to success. The focus on a balanced diet, exercise, and behavior changes is another advantage to this diet. The goal is to educate people on all three components and assist with both weight loss and maintenance. The two plans give people an option to find what works best for their own success.

Many people have a "been there, done that" attitude when it comes to Weight Watchers. They have tried it, may have had some success, may have even gone back a couple of times, but end up feeling that it can't help them any longer.

The group leaders at the meetings are not trained experts; they are former members who have had success with Weight Watchers.

When someone is not having success the options for what to do can be greatly limited by the lack of experience and knowledge of the leader. There is a strong emphasis on weighing in each week.

Many people have a difficult time attending a meeting when they are not having success. However, most people will not lose weight every single week, so expecting to do so is a recipe for failure. The time when people need the support the most is when they are not losing, but most meetings are not set to address this. While there are two diet options, this still may not be enough for everyone.

If counting points and following a low-energy dense diet do not work for you, there is no other option left. The best weight loss diet is one that fits your lifestyle and needs, and you can't always get that with this plan. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time. Lose Weight, and Keep It Off.

It is indisputable that as a country we are more overweight and obese than we have ever been. As a result, the diet industry has grown along with us. Some diets genuinely try to help people lose weight and keep it off, while others look to make money by saying whatever it takes to get people to believe their claims. You need to be an educated consumer when it comes to weight loss. It's not enough to see that a doctor is the author of a book. You need to digest what is being said, and look for the facts supporting the claims.

It takes modifications in behavior, diet, and activity to succeed at weight loss. It also takes time, patience, commitment, and lots of hard work. There will never be one diet that is the "cure" for everyone. If you are having difficulties with weight loss, seek helf from your physician. Tracking what you eat with the SmartPoints is very easy and only takes a few seconds once you get used to it.

You can also check the app whenever you want to see how you are progressing or want to record changes in your weight. The Online Plus plan allows you to review your goals and weight loss plan and to track what you eat as well as your activities on the app.

If you decide to join the traditional weight loss program instead, you will still get access to this app but you will also get printed material with your plans and with menu ideas. The other major difference is that the traditional weight loss program includes meetings. Attending these meetings is an opportunity to meet other members and to get advice and encouragement from an expert who has been lost weight with this program.

The meetings also include private weigh-ins. You can also choose to subscribe to a coaching option. Signing up for the coaching option means that you will receive phone calls from your weight loss coach.

Your coach will create your action plan once they know more about your goals and will help you stay accountable. The main advantage of the OnlinePlus program is the price. Attending meetings and signing up for the coaching option will cost you extra. Weight Watchers is the cheapest, followed by Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig. Check how much support you receive, as successful dieting often relies on the right amount of pressure and counseling from other dieters or from a dietitian.

The Colorado State University Extension reports that both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers provide regular individual and group counseling, unlike Nutrisystem, which offers only online social support from other dieters.

Similarly, the first two offer local, real-life interactions in the form of Weight Watcher meetings or Jenny Craig centers. This might be important if you prefer face-to-face interactions instead of online-only discussions. Review how each diet plan treats your post-diet lifestyle.

Both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers focus on behavior re-education, practical meal planning and proper eating skills, according to the Colorado State University Extension.

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