by NativeRemedies on June 11th, 2012 at 8:27 am
But losing weight takes discipline. You need a plan.
There’s a full array of popular diet plans such as Atkins, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, the South Beach Diet, and Weight Watchers. The problem is that picking the right plan can be confusing.
The best way to start is by assessing the meal systems and tools that these plans provide.
Dr. Robert C. Atkins created the low-carb Atkins diet, and his diet can be used in a four-phase online program.1 The program includes online weight loss tools and the option of buying prepackaged low-carb food and a cookbook with low-carb recipes.
According to Atkins.com, the official company Web site, phase 1 helps you jump start your way to weight loss with a limit of twenty carbs per day.
Each successive phase allows for additional carbs that come from healthy foods. The final part of the diet, phase 4, allows dieters to eat about seventy-five carbs daily.
Sticking to a low-carb diet can be challenging, so Atkins.com provides a downloadable carb counter and meal planner, as well as weight trackers and support message boards.
The Web site sells a few prepackaged foods, including low-carb meal bars, snack bars, penne pasta, and baking mix.
The Jenny Craig diet plan is marketed almost exclusively to women.
The plan provides diet consultants, the option to attend a Jenny Craig meeting location, and online tools such as a menu planner, online journal, activity planner, and weight loss progress tracker.2
There are also three weight loss programs, each of which is designed according to how much weight someone might like to lose.
This diet plan revolves around eating Jenny Cuisine, a series of prepackaged meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Much like Jenny Craig, the Nutrisystem diet plan revolves around prepackaged meals. These meals are sold on Nutrisystem.com, but the plan does allow for getting your own food from the grocery store.
The core part of the plan involves eating what the company refers to as SmartCarbs and PowerFuels. Vegetables are also included.
“SmartCarbs are a specific group of carbohydrates that are nutrient-rich and measure ‘low’ on the Glycemic index,” Nutrisystem says on its Web site.3
Nutrisystem defines PowerFuels as healthy fats from nuts and high-quality proteins containing all the essential amino acids.
The Web site offers several online tools: progress reports, an automatic calorie counter, a fitness plan, a weight and measurement log, and a progress tracker.
There are also three available Nutrisystem plans: Basic, Core, and Select. Each plan offers different ways to customize meals.
South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet differs from other popular diets in that it’s not as restrictive or reliant on prepackaged meals.
“People following the South Beach Diet learn how to eat so they don’t need to count calories, carbs, fat grams – or anything else,” the Web site says.4 The site expands on this by saying that the diet places emphasis on eating nutrient-dense and fiber-rich foods.
The South Beach Diet plan consists of three phases. Phase 1 is designed to eliminate cravings. Phase 2 is designed for long-term weight loss. And Phase 3 is designed for maintaining a healthy weight.
The diet plan offers a wide assortment of online tools: a meal planner, a shopping list generator, a recipe finder, discussion groups, dining guides, a weight tracker, an online journal, cooking tips, and fitness videos. Nutrition counseling from dieticians is also available to subscribers.
The core part of the Weight Watchers plan is the act of counting calories. In fact, the plan has a name for it: the PointsPlus System.
The official Web site for the plan elaborates on this system by saying: “With Weight Watchers, every food has a PointsPlus value, which takes into account a food’s protein, carbs, fat, and fiber.”5
Subscribers to the plan can get access to thousands of recipes that are each assigned a point value. Weight Watchers also sells prepackaged meals and snacks.
Like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers offers physical meeting locations where attendees have discussions and do weigh-ins.
WeightWatchers.com offers subscribers several online tools such as plan guides for tracking food, exercise, and progress, as well as recipes and workouts.
Ultimately, the plan you pick will depend on your lifestyle and needs. Choose a diet plan with which you feel comfortable. That way, you’ll be able to stick to it and achieve your goal of getting the ultimate beach body.
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- Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., “The Program: Overview,” Atkins.com.
- Jenny Craig, “The Tools and Support You Need to Lose Weight and Keep it Off,” JennyCraig.com.
- Nutrisystem, Inc., “Grocery Food Additions for Diet Meal Plans,” Nutrisystem.com.
- Arthur Agatston, M.D., “South Beach Diet FAQs,” SouthBeachDiet.com.
- Weight Watchers International, Inc., “The PointsPlus System,” WeightWatchers.com.