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

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Diet Plan Review: Best Ways to Lose Weight
I have lost 40 pounds on this diet. The oldest national weight-loss program, its members rave about the encouragement they get at weekly meetings led by former Weight Watchers dieters. Energy density refers to the amount of calories in a given weight of food. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. When you first sign up, you'll be asked a number of questions. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual. Physical activity is emphasized throughout the diet.

Weight Watchers Review

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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. 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.

Pricing information is noticeably, frustratingly absent from the Jenny Craig Web site. 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.

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.

Shipping is free the first week. 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, 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. 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. Support is available through phone counseling, weekly e-classes with a dietician and tracking tools. For example, a study by the Obesity Research Center at St.

For a meal-delivery diet system, Nutrisystem is more economical than Jenny Craig. The 70 meal replacement choices include shakes, bars, soups, pudding, oatmeal, chili, pretzel sticks, cheese puffs, and scrambled eggs.

FitBreak is an app that shows you very brief videos a few seconds long , and encourages you to then mimic that activity for exactly one minute. If you do this 20 times over the course of the day a total of 20 minutes , you will receive 2 FitPoints. You must be logged into your regular Weight Watchers mobile app while using FitBreak, in order to automatically receive the points.

When you start on Weight Watchers, you take an assessment where WW looks at your lifestyle and determines your first FitPoints goal. As mentioned, this goal is based on your personal factors. For instance, if you currently spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, WW will start you off with a fairly low points goal. One is by wearing an activity tracker, such as the highly popular Fitbit, which integrates with your Weight Watchers account. The advantage of wearing an activity tracker is that you'll earn the most FitPoints this way.

Just make sure that your tracking app is synced to your Weight Watchers account so that your tracked activities are automatically converted and credited as FitPoints. Just log in to your My Day online dashboard, go to "Activity," and there you'll see where to input your activity.

Even if you don't want to shell out for an expensive tracker, you can download a free pedometer app on your phone to count your steps for you. Once you get the hang of reaching your weekly FitPoints goals and for some people, WW is right in saying that this can be addictive , your goal will likely be changed to match your new lifestyle.

If you reach your goal for two weeks straight, Weight Watchers will automatically recommend a higher goal for you. And if you keep racking up those points, you get more bragging rights — and other perks, like say, a leaner, healthier body.

Plus, you can exchange those FitPoints for more SmartPoints, which means that you can eat a little more if you want to. FitPoints is a goal system, so you want to earn more points here to achieve your target. In fact, 1 FitPoint is equal to 1 SmartPoint. The question now is, should you eat your FitPoints? In a way, this makes sense. And, as we all know, getting a treat every now and then makes dieting a little more enjoyable. A similar thing may happen with tracking apps, especially if more than one app is synced to your WW account.

Overestimated FitPoints means that you could then be swapping for more food than you worked for, and that completely throws the diet. The equivalent FitPoints for each activity depends a lot on its intensity and duration, and your weight also factors into it.

A basic "average" approximation would be 1, walking steps equals 1 FitPoint, but this could increase or decrease for you, depending on your weight, etc. It does take a bit of meticulous fine-tuning to figure out FitPoints for your particular weight. The Weight Watchers Pocket Guide provides a comparison:. A pound person earns 1 FitPoint after 10 minutes of low- to moderate intensity movements. Meanwhile, a pound person earns 1 FitPoint after 10 minutes of low-intensity, but 2 FitPoints after 10 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

The pound person would get 6 FitPoints while her pound friend would get And since FitPoints are meant to encourage us to move, maybe Weight Watchers wants to give more encouraging pats on the back i. But will the FitPoints system really help you on your weight loss?

We think it can, as long as you track diligently, swap wisely, and eat accordingly. Our fat intake remains above the recommendations, but the percent of our total calories from fat has come down because we are now consuming more calories. Again, research clearly shows that a balance of each of these nutrients is needed and that an excess or deficiency in any of them will cause problems. This diet can be difficult to stick with long-term, so weight regain can be an issue.

The South Beach Diet. The South Beach diet is the newest high-protein, low carbohydrate, and fat-controlled diet. This diet claims that the cause for obesity "is simple: The faster the sugars and the starches you eat are processed and absorbed into your bloodstream, the fatter you get. The first phase claims to eliminate cravings and kick-start weight loss; the second phase is for long-term, steady weight loss; and the third phase is to be followed for days a year once you have achieved your weight loss goal.

The second and third phases of this diet promote a balanced diet that can be beneficial to your health and weight. These phases promote consistent meal times, healthy snacks and desserts, and water. The meal plans and recipes can be useful for those who need some guidance on what to eat. There are now six other books and an interactive web site supporting this plan.

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.

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