Picking the Diet That’s Right For You!

If losing weight is on your “To Do” list, you are certainly not alone.  In the US, more than 34 percent of the population is overweight!   Many of us are looking for the easiest and fastest way to get those pounds off.  And we have so many choices!  We are constantly bombarded with the latest in diet books, videos, pills and elixirs on TV shows and in magazines.  One web site that compares weight loss plans list more than 50 diets ranging from the familiar Weight Watchers to the obscure Cabbage Soup diet.

So what should you chose?  At Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness we suggest a diet that is high in nutrition and good food choices coupled with a regular exercise program.  Here, we will look at three popular options.

Jenny Craig
The Jenny Craig program has been around for more than 20 years.  Dieters used to have to visit Jenny Craig Centers but they now offer Jenny Direct which allows you to get advice and order products from the comfort of your home.  Jenny Craig counselors help determine your appropriate calorie intake taking into account eating preferences and level of activity.  And while you can try and eat your own food, dieters are strongly encouraged to eat the Jenny Craig prepared meals, which can be pricey, small, and short of “tasty” and limits your opportunities to dine and socialize.  However, those that eat the pre-packaged foods lose weight. If you don’t want to be bothered cooking or counting calories and have a few bucks to spare, this plan could be for you. The problem comes in transitioning to your own food because you haven’t learned any dieting skills.

NutriSystem has been around for almost 30 years, but today’s plan is quite a bit different.  Like Jenny Craig, they have moved out of strip malls and now rely on an online community and place an emphasis on their prepared foods.  The plan focuses on foods with a low glycemic index (GI) such as whole grain breads and fiber rich vegetables that maintain normal blood sugar and insulin levels resulting in less hunger and fat storage.  While it’s possible to follow the program without purchasing the food, it’s more effective to use it. But like Jenny Craig, by purchasing expensive food you’re not learning much about making good food choices in real life situations.

Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is a veteran in the dieting world with more than 40 years of group support at their weekly meetings.  Like the others, Weight Watchers has changed over the years to be more relevant with today’s dieters by  offering both online programs and the old-fashioned meetings.  In April 03, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that dieters in Weight Watchers lost three times as much weight as those who took a do-it-yourself approach. The key to this program is education and accountability.  Participants learn to make good food choices and exercise portion control. No foods are off limits so dieters can easily be part of dining out and family get-togethers.  Because of this, Weight Watchers is often the program recommended by doctors.

The most important element to being successful in weight loss is to find a plan that works for your lifestyle.  Just make sure that it includes enough nourishment for your body.  Add a sensible exercise program and your on your way!  One point of caution.  Weight loss can be the easy part of the task.  Remember that once you’ve reached your target weight, the job isn’t over.  You need to maintain, and that can be the single most challenging part.

Newsletter May 2011

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