Review of Weight Loss Food Programs

I, as so many others are, am on the weight loss roller coaster. After having 2 kids I seemed to have morphed to this unknown body. And it seems that unlike in high school when I could eat anything and never see the scale move, I can now eat a carrot and my scale jumps up a pound. I have been determined this year to loose weight, but every time I start it’s like the results just are not fast enough and I loose motivation. So I wanted to look into weight loss food programs and while I was at it I thought I would post my findings here for anyone else who is interested.

Weight Watchers
After doing much research I have found that Weight Watchers is on the top of everyones list. It has been around for a long time and has helped thousands of people lose weight and actually keep it off. It has adapted as time has gone on and adjusted their program based on the latest nutritional science. They offer a broad range of food choices and also produce recipes and cookbooks. Weight Watchers has a philosophy- dieting is only part of weight management. They believe that in order to have long-term success you need to have a healthy lifestyle including mental, physical and emotional health. Weight Watchers claims that you lose a healthy 2 lbs a week. Right now you can sign up for Weight Watchers Online for $54.87 for 3 months. Although no weight loss program is perfect for everyone, this one has been helping people lose weight for over 40 years. (Keep in mind that this program does NOT include your food. It only gives you a strategy and recipes to lose weight along with support.)

Nutrisystem
This seems to be one of the cheaper options as far as a meal plan goes. This is an online only portion control diet plan. A typical day on Nutrisystem consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks. The program is based on what is called the Glycemic Index. The company ships the food directly to you and you have plan options such as women, men and vegetarian. The food can be from a pre made menu or you have the option of choosing the food for yourself, but the objective is to restrict your calorie count to the appropriate amount. The disadvantage to this system is that it does not “teach” you how to eat properly to manage weight loss for long-term like weight watchers, but for someone trying to jump start weight loss and reach a goal more quickly this seems to work. You would just have to “wean” yourself off of the program and learn to eat correctly. There are numerous different plans to choose from so to get a good estimate on cost you would have to check out the website www.nutrisystem.com. An example of cost is- women’s flex plan which is 4 weeks, weekends off, $199.99 plus free shipping.

Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig is one of the most well known weight loss programs out there. It offers packaged food shipped to you just like Nutrisystem except with Jenny Craig you can find weight loss centers all over the world. This plan involves a three level program. The first level helps you adjust to the program by eating foods you like, just in smaller portions. The second requires you to get active and participate in physical activity to energy and weight loss. The third is where dieters are instructed on how to maintain a healthy weight. The goal is to help you transition from getting packaged food to control your eating habits, to being able to prepare food for yourself. Just as Nutrisystem is not a program for life, neither is Jenny Craig. This just helps you jump start weight loss and teaches you how to maintain the healthy lifestyle on your own. Jenny Craig is expensive though. Costing about $100 a week on average. Also according to my research I have found a high level of failure in the long term but according to Jenny Craig they are working on providing counseling to correct the problem.

Slim-Fast
This plan is over 25 years old and replaces your meals with shakes and bars. In this plan you replace 2 meals with Slim-Fast meal option(shake or meal bar) and then eat a “sensible meal” for your third. The sensible meal should be a lean protein, carb and a large serving of veggies. You are also allowed 2 snacks a day which could be the slim-fast snack bars or a fruit such as an apple. The biggest pro about this plan is convenience. You can find this in any grocery chain. It can be just as pricey when comparing it to other plans. The cost will add up over time. The average cost for a container of shake mix is about $10.00 plus cost of snacks and meal bars. You will be required to buy these every week. Next time you are in the grocery store you should check the price and add up the cost for one month to really compare it to the other plans. The only downside is that not everyone can deal with a meal replacement. I like to eat real food so it is hard for me to follow the restrictions of just having a shake for lunch.

I will be reviewing more diet plans as time goes on, but I wanted to give everyone a head start and possibly something to consider if this is a route you have been contemplating. Good luck to all of you others who are struggling just as I am. I feel your pain!

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