Tuesday, May 22, 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 foods are banned but some need to be eaten in moderation; if done correctly, you shouldn't feel hungry
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.)
Complicated and scientific; meticulous portioning can be time consuming; calorie intake is severely restricted; expensive to follow
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 A Week in the Zone for $10 (est.), and online membership is free. If you want to order the ZoneFast program to start, a 2-week supply costs $180. After that, a week's supply of Zone 1-2-3 foods, like buns and pasta, costs about $75.
Diet Type
Low-Calorie, Low-Fat, Balanced
Balanced
Diet Goals
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 Zone Diet promotes the idea of food not as "a source of calories but as a control system for hormones." By eating the right food in the correct proportions, the body will reach a metabolic state where it is operating at "peak efficiency". You not only lose weight, but you feel great, mentally and physically.
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.
Created by biochemist Dr. Barry Sears, the Zone Diet controls dieters' food intake using a "food block" system, which assigns values to different foods. For example, 1 food block could equal 12 spears of asparagus or 1 ounce of chicken or 1/3 teaspoon of olive oil. Most women are able to consume 11 food blocks a day, while most men will be allowed 14. Eating in the right proportions is also essential on the Zone Diet. Each meal should be 40% carbs, 30% protein (low-fat), and 30% of healthy fat. When putting together your plate, 1/3 of it should be filled with a low-fat protein (3 oz for women or 4 oz for men), and the other 2/3 of it should be filled with low-GI carbs (ex. vegetables, lentils, beans, whole grains or fruit). You can then use a "dash" of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (ex. olive oil, canola oil, macadamia nuts, and avocados) on top. Finally, the Zone requires keeping a food journal where you track what you ate and how you felt after 4 hours. If you aren't hungry and your mind is clear, your body is in The Zone.
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.
Women will consume an average of 1100 calories a day, and men will consume an average of 1400 calories a day.
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 Zone Diet sells how-to books with different recipes to try and also offers free access to their online community, which includes message boards, recipes, meal planners, body fat calculators, etc.
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 Zone Diet, it is not required.
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: Enter The Zone: A Dietary Road Map, Zone Meals in Seconds: 150 Fast and Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, A Week in the Zone: A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You
 
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