Weight Loss Diet Plans; What works, What doesn’t

Dieters today have it hard in one way, and easy in another. There are so many temptations for abandoning weight loss goals and enjoying all the tasty foods out there. In another way, they have it easy compared to dieters in the past: they have weight loss clinics.

While no miracle cure, many offer exactly what the struggling dieter needs. Many who have committed to dieting seriously for a length of time become frustrated. It can be tough to see those pounds that were shed too hard and slowly then come back too fast and easy. A weight loss clinic with a good nutritional program can help on both those fronts.

Organizations like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and others are well known. But not everyone knows what they offer, in terms of diet plans and support.

As with any offer, beware of promises ‘to melt pounds off easily’. Dieting is difficult. It requires a long-term commitment to a healthy diet and calorie control, usually coupled with age-appropriate exercise. But with a realistic outlook, it is possible to make good progress with any of these.

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig was founded in Australia in 1983 and began in the U.S. two years later. It offers a three-level plan composed of ‘food-body-mind’ to help shed pounds and keep them off.

It starts with food selection and eating patterns. Clients are offered a wide range of foods to enjoy, but emphasis is placed on eating smaller portions more often.

To implement that they offer prepackaged meals (mostly frozen) that are balanced to contain 50-60% carbs, 20-25% proteins and 20-25% fat. Those numbers (and the specific foods) are consistent with the USDA Food Pyramid. Clients can supplement meals with fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and reduced-fat diary products. No food is specifically forbidden.

That is combined with a program that instructs customers in how to increase activity level. Weight loss is only possible when calories used is greater than those consumed. Age and circumstance-appropriate exercise will always be a part of any well-rounded weight loss program. To keep pounds that are lost off over the long run, that activity-level-to-calories-consumed ratio has to be maintained.

Jenny Craig also offers a 24/7 phone line where customers can get needed emotional and moral support anytime of the day. One of the most difficult aspects of dieting and weight loss is to stay motivated over the long run. Changing one’s attitude is hard. Phone counselors help do that by providing a friendly voice and useful information.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is a much older organization, having been around since the early 1960s. It too has a fairly holistic view of dieting. It emphasizes a lifestyle that includes all the aspects – mental, physical, emotional – required to lose weight and be healthy.

It offers two basic programs, one of which tracks calories (Flex Plan) and another that focuses more on specific food groups (Core Plan). It may also provide clients with a kind of calculator device that helps them track calorie content.

In the program, no food is forbidden. Each one is assigned a number of points and clients track how the points add up. Something lean like a cup of broccolli = 0 points, while a potentially high-fat bean burrito = 5 points, for example. A 6-oz steak = 8 points. Each customer picks a desired Daily Point Range. A 5 foot 6 inch woman weighing 180 lbs might target from 22-27 points. That makes it easy to track things.

The Core Plan, by contrast, simply focuses on eating nutritious foods. It may draw from the fruit and vegetable group, grains, lean meat and fish, and others to implement the plan.

Both are coupled with guidelines for exercise. But exercise doesn’t necessarily mean working out. It can mean simply having a less sedentary lifestyle, including parking far from the front door of work or store, taking the stairs and so forth.

It also offers a support system, one which encourages group meetings over phone contact. Some find this a little intimidating or time consuming, though, and Weight Watchers offers an online support system as an alternative.

Atlanta Weight Loss Group

This plan is totally different.  Yes,  you will be making behavioral change by eating healthy food like the core plan and creating a healthy lifestyle.  However, with this option you get much needed emotional and behavioral support.  Hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy in clinical studies doubled the weight lost and kept if off longer then any of these other plans.  The other plans though helpful do not help you to make permanent behavioral change.

Call me at 770-560-4861 if you’d like to lose weight permanently.

About Inga Chamberlain

Inga Chamberlain has helped thousands of people transform their lives by uncovering the skills and abilities that lie deep within us all. Inga’s degree in psychology along with extensive post graduate training has earned her the designation of registered behavioral therapist, certified clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner NLP, coach, speaker and author. Her book “The Power of Choice” will be released in late 2010.
This entry was posted in Diet & Nutrition, Exercise & Fitness, Health, Obesity, Weight Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

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