Jenny Craig – Food, Body and Mind
So, realistically, I have to lose about 70 pounds. It's not giving up, it's taking charge, even when unexpected and unhappy compromises are required. Counselors are not dietitians. Plus, you can exchange those FitPoints for more SmartPoints, which means that you can eat a little more if you want to. I have been feeling like a sell-out to good health for considering mf so I really appreciate your honest input.
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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. But in the case of vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, oranges and tomatoes, one can have as many as they want. Alcoholic beverages are also allowed occasionally.
After a while, when the client has shown growth and ability to stand on their own without the support, the program also teaches them how to do Jenny Craig meal planning at home. How does one do this? First, you need to buy yourself a weighing scale. An electronic one is preferable because it shows your weight to the last point which makes it more accurate and easier to track your weight loss. Once you have your weight recorded, you can then calculate the number of calories you should be eating each day to lose weight.
Using an online BMI calculator is also advised. Get yourself linked to a weight loss friend, a dietitian or counselor. Someone who will be there for you whenever you needed them. As mentioned earlier, having someone who believes in you and relates to your struggles is very important in making any positive progress. You should be able to have a set amount of time, say 20 minutes each day, where you meet and talk with your weight loss partner about your progress.
By doing this, not only will you have an accountability partner who will always keep you in track and help you if you slipped, you will also have the motivation to do better because no one likes being a disappointment. The next and maybe most important thing is to stock up on the low-calorie foods. Throw away all the high calorie and high fat foods in your house and anything over-processed.
Remember the program does not ban any type of food, but chemical and synthetic products are not qualified as food. Instead buy and keep in large quantities whole foods, low dairy foods, fruits and vegetables of your liking, proteins such as lentils and black beans, nuts, chicken preferably skinless, canned fish and water. You should then try as much as possible to cook these foods in very little oil. Deep frying should be in very limited occasions if any. The next step then is to take the calorie chart that you made when you recorded your weight and divide it into 6 meals that you will be taking throughout the day.
For example, if the calories that you are required to take to lose weight are a day, then you are supposed to make 6 meals, each carrying calories and eat them.
A day has twenty-four hours, but are for sleeping so you will be working with roughly 18 hours. This means that the 6 meals should have a three-hour spacing. You can choose to have all the meals with the uniform number of calories or, make some meals like breakfast heavier than day time snacks. You can start with as little as 20 minutes and work your way up gradually. The trick is to be consistent and disciplined. At this point it is advisable to have a food journal where you can be recording what you had for every meal and whether you stuck to the calories.
You can also record the length of time you exercised and what specific workouts you did. This is important to keep yourself on track and to also monitor your progress. You should also toss anything that might trigger you to snack or eat more than you should. Make sure to keep in constant communication with your health partner and dietitian being absolutely open with them. It is better to admit that you failed or slipped than to act like everything is fine while in real facts you are failing.
Using these steps, apparently, will give you your very own Jenny Craig at home. Does this diet program work? At the high cost of the diet plan, will we actually lose weight? According to WebMD many people can attest to the fact that the plan worked for them. The plan also works great for vegetarians and those that do not consume gluten since there are a variety of options. However, the diet is not good for vegans because almost all the prepackaged foods have some levels of dairy in them.
According to a review of previous studies, it was seen that obese adults that were put on the Jenny Craig diet plan showed a 4.
Everyone burns calories differently, and for some, counting calories can be a bad thing. Customers are given prepackaged foods with the calories already counted and certified as okay. There is no scientific research linking this diet to weight loss and management.
National Institutes of Health conducted a study on mice that were given a low-calorie diet. Middle-aged mice 16 months old were fed the diet for 4 consecutive days, followed by 10 days of unlimited access to food. The mice overate during these phases so that their overall calorie intake was similar to mice continuously fed a regular diet.
There is a wealth of information, blogs and articles pointing out the downfalls of meal planning. The mega-downside is that this diet is super expensive. Jenny Craig prices are as follows:. These prices do not include the cost of buying the foods. The Jenny Craig online website allows for people to order, choose and buy foods without having to physically go to the local Jenny Craig centers.
The online system requires your information, so they can recommend the best foods for you. When ordering online, the first order is usually chosen by the company as a way of giving you an idea of what would best work for you and from then on you choose the plans yourself.
Orders are made in batches of two weeks, but there is a three-day sample trial. This sample meal includes nine meals, three snacks and three salad dressings.
After giving all your information, the Jenny Craig Food Delivery team ships the food out to you. You can choose from picking up your food from the local center or have them directly delivered to you — which will cost you extra. Not all experts agree with low-calorie diets, pointing out the possible side effects — which are a bit shocking. According to WebMD , possible side effects of a low-calorie diet include: Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers are a couple of popular diet plans.
These systems have often been compared by many reviewers in the hope of finding which one is the best route to take. All three systems include prepackaged meals in their diet plan. This can be attributed to the fact that with prepackaged foods, calorie control is a guarantee.
In terms of prices, Weight Watchers is the cheapest, followed by Nutrisystem. Jenny Craig was dead last in this category — the most expensive of the three. When it comes to the support system, a study by the Colorado State University has shown that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer constant weekly group or individual counselling and meetings that are physical and interactive as opposed to Nutrisystem whose support system is only online and among dieters.
The other difference among these three systems is that Nutrisystem does not offer any background check or change for its clients.
A background check in terms of their previous eating regimen, their exercise habits, etc. Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig help in knowing the past of its clients to determine their problems and assist in changing their ways of thinking and doing things when it comes to their nutrition and health.
I keep a variety of products well stocked so I can change my mind easily for each meal. Looking forward to maintenance, I can see Medifast as a quick option if those pesky 5 or so pound start to creep back on. I do believe that everyone is different and will champion any plan that works for someone as long as they are not compromising their health in the process. For me, going truly low carb makes a difference. It irritates me to see all of the high carb options with WW and the many "healthy" frozen entrees by a number of brands.
Wish they'd focus more on ramping up veggies and decreasing carbs. Enough of my Saturday morning rant. Thanks for being a blessing to so many of your readers. Dear Alanna, I have only just "met" you having stumbled on your site while looking for a recipe. I am a Weight Watchers Lifer who after several false starts on WW finally lost over 70 lbs 8 years ago and have kept it off.
What did I do differently my last time on WW? I had also heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and execting different results.
Once I lost the weight it was always "Woo Hoo! This time was different. Then when I reached my goal weight 8 years ago I was so excited because I was finally able to start what I had set out to do when I joined. It was like I was finally in front of the door I had been waiting for for so long. I was going to start the maintenance program. And I have never looked back. If you think you can eat a lot on WW when losing weight, you should see what Maintenance looks like!
I wish you much success on Medi Fast but if you ever end up back on WW you might want to consider my strategy. Thank you for your great blogs and your enthusiasm for healthy food and for including WW points in your recipes. There's a big difference between my goal and my current reality. The goal was to really step away from food, to stop reading about it, to stop writing about it and definitely to stop cooking it and thus going through the constant consideration of What's in the fridge?
The reality is that I got away from that last but not away from the first ones, you'd think they would have been the easier ones! I'm still a work-in-progress on this regard but I am slowly filling my time with non-food interests again.
How would you do it? I am happy that official WW people are finding what I'm doing to make sense, if only for awhile. Your words really made my day, thank you. I'm so glad you wrote. I know it's because my practice was to do 18 points a day most days, then relax on the weekends.
And that system worked for me for about four years! Thanks for sharing Alanna. I lost 50 pounds thru attention to diet and exercise a few years ago but still had about 50 to go. You have inspired me to try medifast. Thank you for posting your experience and being so honest and forthcoming. I'm a WW life-timer and loyal to the program. I've been hesitant to post a comment because I did not want to appear as a troll or as negating others' experience.
That's not my intention. So, that said, here is my concern One's overall health status and underlying medical conditions can be at the heart of being unable to maintain a healthy weight. I understand the struggle with weight loss and maintenance.
After all, I didn't end up in Weight Watchers because I ate healthy and exercised regularly. However, I've often struggled since attaining my goal weight. Some times, I wasn't faithful to the program, and that is correctable. It's these times that a physician, not a new weight loss plan, was my best course of action. So, my intention is to encourage your readers to evaluated their own health and visit their doctor prior to adopting a new diet if they think it might be necessary.
I, too, needed a change from Weight Watchers. I am a lifetime member, but currently over my desired weight.
I tried WW several more times, with no success I decided on Jenny Craig for many of the same reasons, and I am finding the change was a good one. As a real-food cook, I was worried, but the meals are tolerable, and once I got past the first week of starving, even cooking for my family is ok--they were kind enough to eat dinners out the first week!
I worried about all the processed food and still do , so I was glad to hear the friend's advice that the important thing is to lose the weight and keep it off. I do the Jenny 5 day plan loosely , which gives me 6 meals a week on my own, with their guidelines. I sometimes do more than 6 on my own, but have plenty of Jenny meals and snacks in the freezer for back up. I agree--find something that works for you in this stage of your life.
There's another way to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as most other common diseases of aging, but it requires a complete paradigm shift-- to being fueled by fat, not carbs. In this way you can keep your blood sugar low and consistent without having to "eat" every hours.
And I think you're totally right to be suspicious of highly processed food-- it's not food! Look at what humans have been eating for most of our time on this earth-- it wasn't grains or sugars, and it sure as heck wasn't processed food. The longterm health risks of a carb-fueled, processed-food diet are still significant, even if you lose weight. And starving yourself is not the answer. You'll lose weight with calorie-restricted carb-based diets, but it will always come back.
I've been eating this way low carb, meats, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit, all real unprocessed food for two years and have never felt better. Best wishes to you and thanks for a great source of wonderful veggie recipes! Alanna, Three years ago, I reached that very low place where my weight was at an all time high, and I was no longer chubby but FAT. I, too, knew many people who were successful on Medifast.
I considered the plan for months before I dove in. I was on Medifast for almost 6 months, and lost 31 lbs. Considering the fact that I lost 7 lbs. I went on a cruise, celebrated my daughter's high school graduation, and never deviated once. I reached a very happy goal weight of lbs. As soon as the holidays came, I started to fall off the wagon. I did not do a good job transitioning and making the permanent changes necessary.
I am sad to say that I am starting again on Medifast tomorrow, and I am not sure how long I will last, or how I will do. I have a limited supply of foods remaining from past orders, so I want to use them up and not order anything new, but I will see how it goes. I think I have enough for at least a month or two. I wish you luck in the transition and maintenance phase.
It is truly the hardest part. I just switched to Medifast myself, which is something I said I would never do, but I just could keep joining WW time after time and failing. I needed something different, and so far so good. Of course I would rather be eating whole foods, but I have tried that way too many times with little success I will continue this until I am at goal. I also know that I will have to do what I am told if I am to maintain.
With weight, indiscretions are visible to all. I wanted to thank you for posting your switch from WW to Medifast. After reading your decision, I started to investigate and found out all I could about MF. I started my journey in February and am now down 40 pounds. I have more to go, but this is the first time in 30 years I have been able to stick to a diet long enough to be successful.
So again, I thank you. But, like you said, I wasn't working the program. I hate how they change it every year so nothing is consistent anymore. Plus, I'm food obsessed. WW was too permissive because I could anything and this made me push the "anything" boundary until those choices were unhealthy and I'd "make up" for it by making more unhealthy choices to compensate.
What I love about MF so far is I just don't think about food anymore. I eat to fuel. I can't wait to get to goal so I can enjoy real food again and I hope that this "reprieve" from my obsession with food may help me develop a different mindset about food in my future.
I was reluctant to try it--and I don't share that I'm doing MF with many people--because in a way I feel like I gave in to something "easy" or that I'm cheating in this weight loss.
Except, it's not easy, it just seems to be working. If so, how is that going? I have been doing Medifast on my own and lost 60 pounds so far. I loose and average of three a week! A's book explains how you CAN do medifast without buying the food!
This allows you to eat Organic non processed food AND it gives a better option for people with Soy issues or prefer to stay Vegetarian!
One of the best ways I have found to stay motivated is to blog diymydiet I love reading about other people who are successful against the "fat" battle! Thanks for all the info and the super detailed post! I have had the same problem as you with ww.
I am lifetime but I feel like all I do is think about food when I'm on it. I have been feeling like a sell-out to good health for considering mf so I really appreciate your honest input.
I am going to give it a try! And btw, your comments to others are always so kind and considerate. Thank you for being such a lovely voice on the internet when we are barraged with so much ugliness! I think that I started to put on weight again after losing 30 pounds on WW in beginning in when I started writing A Veggie Venture.
Thank you for the reminder. PS You put your concern so very gently, no worries about sounding like negative or like a troll! Figuring out what works for each one of us, what a revelation.
I hear such good things about this whole approach. I think it would be an easy transition for me And down 40 pounds, whoa!! Thanks for adding your experience! And good luck, it takes commitment, of course, every program does. I found your blog because of the WW recipes and was so excited. Disappointed that you're eating crap instead of real food. You realize you can't maintain that for the rest of your life, right? I went back to real food in March and using principles learned from Medifast, have stayed at my goal weight with little issue.
I was interested in your journey and also happy to see you are now on maintenance and doing well. I too did the WW thing in I was able to slowly lose, but then hit a plateau and was unable to lose down to my goal no matter how diligent or how much exercise I did.
After abandoning the WW plan, I regained all but ten pounds. I now believe I'll reset my goal to 50 as I feel it is attainable. I don't like all the Medifast food either, however I do like most of it. I appreciate never feeling hungry and all the support the TSFL community gives.
It's the easiest weight reduction program and most successful I've every tried. Not only have I had success, but also my 2 daughters, daughter-in-law and my best friend are losing steadily or on transition.
It really is wonderful to have so many of us helping each other. My coach is great too! Good for you taking off the weight and keeping it off. I detested counting points and was always hungry on WW. Every day I say to myself or others "this is so easy I can't believe it. You have your own Medifast support group going on there! Hi Alanna - checking back here. Thanks for your input regarding the continuing journey!
I have found out it really helps me to read inspirational stories of success. I have attended the TSFL meeting that was held locally - it is so much fun to hear the passion that people have to tell how losing weight has changed their life. It was amazing to me that some of the people are even dietitians and health professionals! One was even the director of "Be Fit" for our state and found out that exercise alone does not a slender person make!
I was especially happy to hear the men that spoke. I have some men in my life that could use this program! I am almost ready to go into transition now. I plan to follow the "rules" and add back gradually - I believe I'll be using some MF meals to help me stay at my goal weight even on maintenance.
One last note - it sure is more fun to go shopping now! Yes yes and yes again! Congratulations on reaching the transition point, yes, so empowering it is to take control. Just FYI - keep your shopping in check, my experience with both WW and Medifast is that it takes a couple two or three or even six months for your body to settle into its new size and shape. I started Medifast after my father died of an obesity related heart condition. I lost a lot of weight, got to a lower size then I had ever been as an adult and felt I went from lb to in about a year.
I seem to be an all or nothing kind of person. I have gained back 50lbs and feel terrible. I am terrified to do medifast again thinking it will work in the short term but not in the long run, but then again maybe I woudl finaly learn to transition and eat healthy after. So scared to make a choice on what to do McDonalds and ice cream. I dont even like this food, I just dont know how to stop. I had a beautiful garden this year and ate very little of it because I was so out of control with yucky food that nothing healthy sounds remotely appetizing.
Just not sure what to do. I hope that someday, when "your" time is right again, that the memory of feeling so fantastic will help you make a choice. My belief is that "all" the legitimate weight-loss programs work: Maintaining the weight, no matter the weight-loss program, is the real trick. I think WW teaches healthy-eating habits, whether or not you count points. I think Medifast does not teach you what "is" healthy food but does have important lessons about the timing of food intake.
Good luck with your journey, my heart goes out to you. I can "hear" the tears and frustration. Just checked back in and found your update on your MediFast post. You inspire me to try yet again to take off those unwanted 25lbs and keep them off for good. I am considering MF I will have to read more about it on their website. I am pre diabetic and you are right the risks are too high to wait any longer.
Wishing you continued success! It feels a little bit like "paying it forward". Let me know, please? Thanks for your story! I did Medifast several years ago through the guidance of my physician. I checked in weekly, weighed, took my blood pressure, etc. My blood pressure lowered, my cholesterol went down where it should have been and I felt amazing. I lost over 50 pounds with Medifast. Afterwards, I went to WW to learn to maintain.
However, having a daughter who plays travel ball did me in summer after summer. To the point where I said, the heck with it, I just don't care.
Well, that wasn't true really! Recently, a very, very close friend of mine who has struggled with weight loss and is a couple years older than me, I'm 52, started going to a trainer and eating better and looks amazing. With my job, unfortunately, I can't go to a trainer and some physical issue limit me right now on what I can do training wise. However, I got on the scale the other day and not only did I gain back the 50 pounds I had lost about 4 times now I gained another 5.
That's when I said, nope, not gonna do this anymore. I don't have lots of time, but hope I can work it out. I know how great I felt on Medifast and how much I don't hurt when the weight is gone. So, realistically, I have to lose about 70 pounds. The good news is that Medifast has some more choices now than ever before. Years ago, my parents went on Medifast and all they had were shakes! So, to have options now like cereal is huge for me! I love the bars and the shakes and it's easy to prepare.
Thanks again for sharing and wish you continued success! I did weight watchers for a while, but with the plan changes and the meetings it just wasn't working for me and I stopped doing it a few years ago I started Medifast on my doctor's suggestion about 6 weeks ago and it has been amazing for me I've been blogging about the experience daily and would love some more readers who can help keep me accountable, and maybe I can inspire some folks too!
Great article, thank you! Medifast was simple, convenient and really fast. I guess I am very healthy so I did not experience any adverse effect from rapid weight loss. On the contrary, my skin problem and gastrointestinal problems were gone since losing 50 lbs. I had more energy and learned to cook healthy mind you, I am a total idiot in the kitchen so this gave me an opportunity to learn to cook. I felt like I was ready to continue with my weight loss journey and to lose the last 35 lbs using a new method -- yep, weight watchers.
I figured cooking 3-meals and learning to eat healthy when eating out might be a good challenge. It's only been 3-days but I do feel good in general and lost a bit already. If this doesn't work, I will go back to medifast. For now, I'm going for slower method while learning how to cook healthy! I was lifetime WW member and after hitting about Following WW and eating less than extra points on that I was still gaining.
I exercise faithfully 5 to 6 days a week and at age 65 was at my highest weight. I think I had 3 cookies all of Christmas and was careful with food choices.
I decided I needed to try that. One of them had been WW member too and was gaining on the plan after about age 50 too!!! I am losing slowly on Medifast and have found shakes and bars that make this pretty easy to do daily. We have always loved veggies and chicken or fish, so easy to have my cooked meal a day too.
My only concern is that I hope I am not getting too much soy in my diet with all these products!! Anyone have any thoughts on this? So far I have gotten used to the soy taste in the shakes and bars and now they seem to taste pretty good!! I need to lose some weight and WW works for me but it is too slow.
I did Medifast once but when I went off I gained it all back so quickly. Want to do it again but with a plan this time for after I lose the weight.
Anyone else try Medifast and then go to WW? Good luck with your journey! Alanna - One thing that your readers should be careful about is Medifast triggering their Gout. I have been on Medifast for less than 4 weeks and lost 19 pounds and have had 4 painful Gout attacks in that time period. I think we go through changes, and what worked before all of the sudden doesn't anymore.
I did WW for 3 years and lost 70 lbs, but then all of the sudden I wasn't getting anything out of the meetings and just seemed to lose my interest and motivation. I've gained 45 lbs back. I had a great leader, so it wasn't her. I just changed I guess. I normally turn up my nose at anything that involves pre-packaged meals too, but for some reason I feel that I need more structure than WW can provide. Maybe it will be enough to get me back into weight loss mode.