Thursday, August 16, 2018

Weight Loss Programs: Compare


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Pros
Convenience of prepackaged, microwavable meals that control portions; lots of support for members with the Jenny consultants, a 24/7 support telephone line and multiple online tools; tailored diet plans; winner of Consumer Reports taste test for prepackaged diet meals
No calorie counting and you can eat foods that traditionally "off limits" on a diet (i.e. meat, eggs, cheese, butter, etc.); lots of reading material and recipes available; convenience of pre-packaged Atkins food (snack bars, breakfast bars, shakes, and candy)
Ready-made meals delivered straight to your doorstep are hassle-free and take the guesswork out of a balanced diet and portion control; separate meal plans tailored for older people, diabetics and vegetarians; website features how customers rate individual meal choices; free online support with unlimited counseling and support services; offers 2-week trial period
Cons
Most of the complaints are about how expensive the plan is; relies heavily on prepackaged meals, so its difficult to go out for dinner; Jenny consultants are not dieticians/nutritionists by profession; not appropriate for vegans or people with food allergies (gluten, peanuts, etc.)
Allows consumption of saturated fat; some studies suggest that the diet could contribute to osteoporosis, high cholesterol, kidney stones or gout due to the increased consumption of protein; side effects of ketosis can include: nausea, headache, mental fatigue and bad breath; side effects of Induction phase include: headaches, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, leg cramps and constipation; doesn't offer full meal plan packages like the Zone; doesn't emphasize that exercise is vital for weight loss; leaving ketosis stage can cause you to regain weight
Expensive (cheaper than Jenny Craig though); calorie intake is severely restricted; pre-packaged meals good for short term weight loss but may be hard for some to maintain; not a good plan for vegans, people with celiac disease or people with mild or severe peanut allergies; eating out is discouraged; if you choose the Select plan (fresh frozen meals), you need a lot of freezer space; some reports of persistent gas and diarrhea
Price
Food and membership costs vary. It can range between $0-$25 to sign up, $25-$38 in monthly membership fees and about $400 in monthly food costs.
Food prices vary. You can purchase Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution for about $5 (est.)
$230-$397/month
Diet Type
Low-Calorie, Low-Fat, Balanced
Low-Carb
Low-Calorie, Balanced
Diet Goals
Weight Loss
Weight Loss
Weight Loss
Theory
The idea behind the Jenny Craig program is that you can lose weight and maintain that weight loss when you combine balanced nutrition and portion control with an improved attitude toward food and exercise.
The idea behind the Atkins Diet is that when you drastically reduce carb-rich foods from your diet, your body enters a metabolic state of "ketosis" where it will start to burn fat for energy instead of carbs (in the form of glucose).
The idea behind Nutrisystem is that prepackaged meals are the easiest way to lose weight since you don't have to worry about balancing nutrition or portion control.
How It Works
The Jenny Craig program assigns each dieter a personal Jenny consultant who will customize their weight loss plan and meet with them during weekly one-on-one sessions to help guide them through the program's 3 stages - food, body and mind. To educate you on nutrition and portion control, the program initially provides frozen or shelf-stable prepackaged meals that are high in fiber and low in fat/cholesterol. You will supplement these meals with 2-3 servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, or non-fat dairy products bought at a local grocery store. Halfway from your goal weight, you will slowly transition to cooking your own meals (using Jenny recipes) until you have reached your goal weight and are only cooking your own food. Meanwhile, your Jenny consultant will help devise a workout program based on your current activity level with the ultimate goal eventually being 60 minutes of advanced physical activity a day (Pilates, running or weight training). Your Jenny consultant will also help you better understand how your existing relationship with food, life experiences and social environment have impacted your health and weight, and how you can build the necessary skills to change your previous mind-set and maintain the good habits that you have acquired during the program.
Developed by physician and cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins, the Atkins Diet dramatically restricts the consumption of carbohydrates, while emphasizing an increased consumption of protein, fat (including saturated fat) and leafy vegetables. The Atkins plan includes 4 main phases, during which time the goal is to find your Atkins Carbyhydrate Equilibrium (ACE). Your ACE is the daily amount of carbs you can consume without gaining or losing weight. The 1st phase lasts 2 weeks and is the most restrictive with a carb intake limited to 20 net grams per day. It is designed to switch your body to a metabolic state of "ketosis" and kick start your weight loss. The 2nd phase lasts until you are 5 - 10 pounds from your goal weight. During this phase, you will gradually increase your daily net carb intake to determine how many net carbs you can consume and still maintain a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. In the 3rd phase, you will determine your ACE, and, in the 4th phase, you will learn how use the good habits you've acquired in the previous phases to make permanent lifestyle changes.
Nutrisystem offers gender-specific plans for adults (Core), diabetics (Nutrisystem D), seniors (Silver) and vegetarians (Vegetarian). You will purchase food shipments in 28-day supplies and can choose from pre-selected menus or pick out specific meals you'd like from more than 130 choices. The prepackaged meals are low in sodium, saturated and trans-fats, and they promote protein and low-GI carbohydrates. They are frozen or shelf-stable and will provide about 60% of your daily calorie intake. The other 40% will come from Nutrisystem-approved foods (i.e. fruits, veggies, protein and dairy) from your local grocery store. Once you've reached your goal weight, you can chat with a Nutrisystem counselor online or by phone if you want help/tips for transitioning away from prepackaged meals and back into the kitchen.
Calorie Intake
Calorie intake can range from 1,200 - 2,300 calories per day depending on the plan you come up with your Jenny consultant, which will be based on your age, height, current weight, gender, your activity level, etc.
The Atkins Diet doesn't require calorie counting, but some dieters felt that the calorie intake was more restrictive than they had anticipated.
Women's plans average 1250 calories a day, and men's plans average 1500 calories a day (spread across 5-6 meals).
Support
You can participate in the program by attending weekly sessions at a local Jenny Craig center or you can also participate from the comfort of your own home. Either way, you will have access to a Jenny consultant for one-on-one weekly meetings and to Jenny's 24/7 telephone line to get information or support whenever you need it. The program also offers online support, including peer-support discussion groups and progress tracking tools.
The Atkins Diet sells how-to books with numerous recipes to follow. They also offer free access to a smart phone app and online support tools (i.e. meal planners, progress tracking tools, etc.) to make it even easier to follow the program.
When you sign up with Nutrisystem, you will get free access to registered dieticians and weight loss counselors, as well as to online support tools to track weight loss, a member's community, discussion boards, articles and blogs. In addition, you'll also receive the 13-week Mindset Makeover behavioral guide. This plan will help you better understand your relationship to food and provide the necessary steps for taking control of your eating habits.
Exercise
30 - 60 minutes of physical activity is encouraged, and your Jenny consultant will help you determine your fitness goals/routine. Usually, Jenny consultants will try to incorporate exercise into your daily life (ex. walking, taking the stairs, doing laundry, etc.), but they may suggest that already active dieters add more rigorous exercise (ex. Pilates, weight training, etc.).
While exercise is encouraged on the Atkins Diet, it is not required.
While exercise is encouraged on the Nutrisystem program, it is not required. That said, Nutrisystem does suggest a range of exercises and stretches on their website (ex. aerobics, yoga and resistance training) to help you get active no matter what your current fitness level is.
Book
Examples of available books include: Jenny Craig No Diet Required, The Jenny Craig Cookbook: Cutting Through the Fat, Simple Pleasures: Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul.
Examples of available books include: Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Atkins for Life: The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health, New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great, Atkins for Life Low-Carb Cookbook: More than 250 Recipes for Every Occasion
Examples of available books include: NutriSystem Nourish: The Revolutionary New Weight-Loss Program, Simple Success: The Nutrisystem Guide to Healthy Eating, The Low GI Cookbook: 90 Simple, Delicious Good-Carb Recipes to Complement the Nutrisystem Program
 
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