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That being said, I still utilize diets like Nutrisystem from time-to-time, when I feel like I need a re-charge, or to quickly burn off some extra weight. The range of weight-loss methods available is wide, and the claims they make are equally as wide. Well written and inspiring! Dan Marino , the legendary Miami Dolphins Quarterback, was talking about how he had lost more than 20 pounds on Nutrisystem, and for some reason, his words stuck with me see the commercial below. Low-GI means means that the foods do not cause your blood sugar to rise sharply.

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Commercial Weight-loss

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. A snack of calories is also offered during the day. Fruits and vegetables about servings are encouraged in addition to the meals and snack. Overall, if followed correctly, the plan does encourage additional fruits and vegetables and it stays at or above 1, calories a day, leading to a more balanced consumption than traditional liquid diets. Meal replacement diets such as Slim-Fast are appealing because of their simplicity and convenience.

If you plan to use Slim-Fast, you should consider doing so under the supervision of a healthcare professional who can help teach you how to transition yourself from the the shakes and who can monitor for potential complications of a fast weight-loss. The biggest drawback is that dieters may not receive comprehensive information about nutrition, which means that as they transition back to regular foods, which they are likely to do eventually, weight gain may be inevitable.

Also, the recommended calorie level may be too low for some dieters. The plan emphasizes a well-balanced diet and encourages lifestyle changes and increased physical activity. The Weight Watchers program is called Beyond the Scale, which still emphasizes weight-loss but does it in a broader context of eating healthier, moving more and making more time for yourself.

Beyond the Scale offers an approach to healthier living that allows people to personalize the program and define their own success both on and off the scale. The Weight Watchers food plan, SmartPoints, is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to make healthier eating simple by translating complex nutrition information into one simple number, giving each food and beverage a SmartPoints value.

Everything is still on the menu with SmartPoints, but it does encourage a healthier pattern of eating with more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and less sugar and saturated fat. Members are given a personalized daily SmartPoints target based on their height, weight, age and gender and also receive weekly SmartPoints to provide flexibility for occasions when members may eat more than usual.

With SmartPoints, people can choose the foods they want to eat at home, in restaurants, in the workplace — or anywhere else food shows up in their lives.

Fitness is also a core component of Beyond the Scale. The focus is on helping members fit fitness into their lives. Each member gets a personalized FitPoints goal based on their current level of activity and encourages using tools such as the WeightWatchers FitBreak app. Weight Watchers also has supportive tools, including helpful content and a social media community within its app called Connect.

Members can follow the program in-person at weekly group meetings or privately through its OnlinePlus or personal coaching offerings. Overall, Weight Watchers nudges members toward a healthier pattern of eating and members typically lose pounds per week.

Weight Watchers is one of the few commercial weight-loss programs whose ability to produce weight-loss has been clinically proven repeatedly through research studies. Lean Cuisine is a line of low-fat frozen dinners designed for dieters and is available in your local grocer's frozen food section. Nutrisystem is a weight loss program that provides all your meals prepackaged through the mail. These foods are designed by a nutritionist to eliminate the need to plan your diet program. Both Lean Cuisine and Nutrisystem provide prepackaged meals that complement a well-balanced diet and weight-loss program.

All meals are designed by nutritionists for proper nutrition with low calorie content. Both meal programs provide foods that are easy to prepare and do not take a long time to cook. Lean Cuisine foods are available in the frozen food section of the grocery store. They do not create your weekly meal choices or offer any packaged snack foods, daily meal choices or daily dietary fresh food requirements.

Nutrisystem foods are ordered monthly and are delivered to your home. All meals are planned out in advance. You choose your meal options from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert sections on the monthly food order form, according to the Nutrisystem website.

Except for personal choices, Nutrisystem is designed so you do not have to design a diet meal plan. Both plans require that you purchase fresh vegetables and fruits in addition to the regular meals. Lean Cuisine has limited support services. You need to register to use the tools. The support is mostly in FAQ question-and-answer format with nutrition and exercise advice provided as well.

Online/Web-based Diet Programs