Online/Web-based Diet Programs
I began medifast today and I have been a little cranky due to being hungry. Medifast and Nutrisystem offer diet programs for weight loss that use a combination of packaged products and fresh foods in their meal plans. Recommend reconsidering some of the items you did not like earlier. While Leaders have lived the experience all Leaders have lost weight on Weight Watchers and kept it off and are trained in behavioral methods to support weight-loss, they are not licensed dietitians. Wishing you continued success! Thank you for your honesty and courage to write about your switch. Medifast was simple, convenient and really fast.
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Weight-loss results from dietary supplements are often difficult to measure as there are many supplements available that may or may not work in conjunction with another weight-loss strategy, such as exercise or changes in dietary restrictions. As with any weight-loss program, a one to two pound per week weight-loss is recommended for safety and health. Thus, it is not uncommon to see ads for dietary supplements claiming that you can lose weight rapidly without changing the way you eat, or without lifestyle changes.
The influence of celebrity promoters can contribute to the perception that a product may offer a miracle cure for obesity. In fact, good scientific evidence that they work is generally lacking. There are many different devices available and all come with a host of options, such as online tools, smartphone apps and more. This in turn allows them to make adjustments accordingly. Body monitors are significantly more accurate than pedometers, which only measure steps taken and not the intensity of activities.
Body monitoring devices alone will not result in weight-loss. These devices are meant to be used along with a weight-loss option. The benefit of using a body monitor is that a wearer will get a good understanding of which of their activities burn calories best. The downside is that food logging can become tiring, and the ability of a body monitor to accurately calculate calories depends entirely on how well the wearer tracks their food consumption.
In addition, not everyone wants to wear an armband or carry a device at all times. How does it work? It is the only FDA-approved weight-loss medication that is available OTC and available at a higher dose with a prescription. It is a capsule that is usually taken three times per day before a meal that contains dietary fat. It works by decreasing the amount of fat your body absorbs.
The average weight-loss is about 5 percent of your weight after one-year. In a person who weighs pounds, this would mean 10 pounds of weight-loss. It does not work well for people who are already on a low-fat diet since their calories from fat are already low.
Common side effects are cramps, gas, stool leakage, oily spotting and gas with discharge that improve with a lower fat diet. Utilizing a commercial weight-loss center or program is one of the most popular options for someone affected by obesity.
Commercial weight-loss programs often provide various resources such as pre-packaged meals, support and more. Programs usually offer a 1, to 1, calorie-per-day diet plan which produces weight-loss of about pounds per week. The slow-down of weight-loss is not unique to these approaches.
It is true of any weight-loss program because as you begin to weight less, you burn fewer calories. Because commercial plans vary greatly, the FTC recommends asking the following questions before engaging in a program:. In this section, we will examine some of the most popular commercial weight-loss programs by separating them into two different categories: Meal Replacements Meal replacement through pre-packaged meals can be appealing because of the convenience and ease of choices they offer.
However, when meals are pre-packaged, participants may not learn the basics of nutrition and healthy eating.
Pre-packaged meals may also be expensive this claim is dependent on the normal weekly food cost an individual could incur. Liquid meal replacement plans, if used for too long, may be harmful because they can cause nutritional deficiencies.
Unfortunately, when participants have not learned the principles of healthy eating and portion control, they often resume prior eating patterns. Non-meal Replacements Some programs do not require meal replacement as part of their program.
Their main goal is to teach you about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and incorporating physical activity. While it is helpful long-term, behavior change does not happen overnight and can be a challenging adjustment at first.
Overall, a safe and effective commercial program will offer educational materials that have been reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional. These materials will include information on healthy eating plans, exercise and behavior therapy. Nutrisystem features portion-controlled foods and structured meal plans that are both high in protein and low in glycemic index GI. Low-GI means means that the foods do not cause your blood sugar to rise sharply. For people with diabetes, a low-GI diet can help keep blood glucose in control.
Nutrisystem plans, tailored for men and women, encourage you to consume three meals and two or three snacks per day. 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. I did my first go-round of Weight Watchers with my sister. She and I—with around twenty other women and the occasional man —met in a church basement on Saturday mornings.
The Points system had recently been introduced, and for me it worked. Nidetch had done something revolutionary but uncomplicated: Over the years, I have attended meetings with three different cheerleading leaders; two were great, and one was just too much for me. Weight Watchers implemented a points system in the s, where foods were given a numerical value based on nutritional profile. So then, how does Weight Watchers work? Starting from the beginning, the program included a very specific eating system and over the years there have been a number of iterations.
But the introduction of the original Weight Watchers Points system —currently referred to as SmartPoints—kicked the specifics into super-user-friendly. It came into being from Weight Watchers Limited in the United Kingdom, where two women invented, developed, and patented the Points system calculator. Using an algorithm that calculated calories, fats, proteins, and carbs, it would have a couple of iterations, too, as more was learned about nutrition and exercise science.
But the underlying system, of counting foods as values based on nutrition, was genius then and it remains the cornerstone today. The newest program, launched in , is dubbed Beyond the Scale. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle:. Our proven program is not a diet.
Yes, you will lose weight. The current program is pretty simple, in that every food has a value. SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein. You simply adhere to your allotted points.
There are no forbidden foods. And that phrase alone is for some the ah-ha! Weight Watchers explains that it takes the complex nutritional information of a food and gives it a single number—the SmartPoints value—so people can make smarter food choices while eating the stuff they like to eat. Well, some of it anyway. And, each week you get bonus points—which, when I did Weight Watchers in my last go-round, I banked and then pigged out on Friday nights. Just Ben, Jerry, and me. Anyway, the idea of points is smart, easy, and doable.
And I mean not just parking further away from the store entrance. Get your heart rate up and keep it up with fat-burning, good-for-your-heart exercise. I swim albeit not enough. You can walk, run, jog, row, climb, spin, bike, step, jump, skip, kick—you get the idea. And do it at least 30 minutes every day—or at least most days of the week—as best as you can fit in your already ridiculously hectic life.
Actually, make it your time; take 30 minutes, put headphones on, and do it. And, it turns out, even during the most seemingly mundane of tasks, you earn FitPoints which you add to your total points for the day. FitPoints is also a smart idea. Weight Watchers explains it this way:. FIT is about getting back in touch with your body. Weight Watchers has several dozen videos, workouts, demos, fitness plans, and challenges.
And all of this can be managed on a handy, popular app. The Weight Watchers mobile app for smartphones and devices helps dieters to track weight loss progress, manage SmartPoints and FitPoints, shop for and plan meals, and offers social networking with other members.
Every step you take, every bite you eat, kept track of. The mobile app for Android has almost , reviews on Google Play with an overall rating of 4. Reviewers find it easy to use, convenient, and it helps dieters stay on track.
Similarly, on iTunes, more than 2, real people reviewed the current iteration of the app and gave it a close to 5 stars. Even the previous versions of the app—with 12, reviews—agreed it was effective, easy to use, and helped Weight Watchers dieters keep track. On the Weight Watchers app you can live chat with a coach and—for a lot of people who are focused on the fitness in the program and want a fuller health-tech experience—toggle to the Activity tab to your track activeness. And if you have an Apple Watch, wireless scales, and an activity tracker—like Up by Jawbone or Apple Health, for example—you can connect them to your Weight Watchers account.
Along with Weight Watchers online, a virtual and brick-and-mortar support network yes, there are still meetings, absolutely! W hat does Weight Watchers cost? A little secret from me: Once you have done Weight Watchers, you know how to do Weight Watchers—so as some say, you can do it without paying. Remember I said that accountability, motivation, community, and support are the secrets to Weight Watchers?
In fact, Weight Watchers itself—even in this day and age where everything is online—recommends the plan you go with is the one with meetings: But, as of fall of , there are three plans:. Just read the fine print. If you follow it. If you fall off the tracks, you just get back on. When I did my first round with Weight Watchers, I lost 4 pounds the first week and I have to tell you, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I stuck with it for 11 more weeks and ended up dropping 23 pounds. But it can work for you. We chubbies will do anything, try anything , to lose weight! I can say that: Just the facts, and the facts are that Weight Watchers ticks most of the good boxes— most being the operative word there. The study found that.
Further, high usage of 3 access modes was associated with greater weight loss results. In other words, the meetings, the online support, the App, all make a big difference. British journal The Lancet published a study which followed several hundred people for a year; half on a diet recommended by their doctor and the other half on Weight Watchers. The majority of the participants on Weight Watchers stuck to the diet and lost twice as much weight as the doctor-diet group.
Finally, the American Diabetes Association has studied Weight Watchers and found that meeting attendance combined with an emphasis on healthy eating—including veggies, fruit and high-fiber, low trans-fat foods—makes it a good commercial diet choice with better, and healthier, results. How about Weight Watchers reviews? A picture is worth a thousand words, and for me the before-and-after of performer Jennifer Hudson is all you need to see to know Weight Watchers works.
She lost 80 pounds. And though she ended her relationship with the company after about four years, she lost the equivalent weight of a healthy year-old and said in interviews that Weight Watchers changed her life. What each of these has in common, too, is that all successfully lost quite a bit of weight on Weight Watchers, and in the case of most—if not all—have kept the weight off, in some cases for years. But what about regular people?
The most candid and compelling review I located was posted on SparkPeople. So my humble opinion on WW, I believe it works great if you stick with it. She said while on Weight Watchers she ate a lot of high-fiber foods, a lot of vegetables, lean meats and fish, light breads, fruit and drank a lot of water.
I would like to lose 76 pounds. I know this woman. I am this woman. But trinkets, tools, and good old-fashioned customer service help the spell work.
The allure, or Weight Watchers charms, are many. I loved the gadgets and many I still have, including the old Points slide thingamajig. Back in the day, free recipe cards and cookbooks, coupons, and trinkets to help remind me that I was accountable; a key chain, pocket guide, measuring cup, and non-toxic plastic water bottle with Weight Watchers emblazoned on it—those little talismans made a difference.
She had no problem canceling and she said Weight Watchers customer service was great. Based on our research people frequently try to compare Weight Watchers to other brands.