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However, when meals are pre-packaged, participants may not learn the basics of nutrition and healthy eating. Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation". Hi Sherry, We're sorry to hear about your experience. The plan emphasizes a well-balanced diet and encourages lifestyle changes and increased physical activity. We looked at two plans from eDiets - one that offers support alone, and another with meal delivery. I swim albeit not enough.
To find out, MoneyWatch analyzed eight of the biggest diet plans. Three are support-only plans that don't require you to buy their food, and five are food-delivery plans. We interviewed leading nutritionists and weight-loss professionals, pored through clinical studies, and tallied up membership fees and food costs to determine the ones most likely to help you slim down and to see how much you'd pay to drop 20 pounds. Our favorite for value and efficacy is Weight Watchers , designed to help you change your eating habits for good.
Nutrisystem is the least expensive meal delivery plan we reviewed Medifast is cheaper, but you have to provide one meal a day on your own. And the silver-spoon award undoubtedly goes to In The Zone Delivery , a white-glove service for people who'll spare no expense to drop the pounds. Here's how the plans stack up. See the handy chart at the bottom of the page for a side-by-side comparison.
The oldest national weight-loss program, its members rave about the encouragement they get at weekly meetings led by former Weight Watchers dieters.
Nutritionists praise the portion-control points system: Each food is assigned points based on its serving size, calories, fiber, and fat; and no foods are forbidden. Your point allowance is based on your weight, height, gender, age, and activity level. A recent clinical study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked group counseling sessions to weight-loss success.
That explains why Weight Watchers has impressive short-term results. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed participants lost an average of about 5 percent of their body weight 10 pounds in six months. Two years later, they had kept about half the weight off. To help members stay on track, Weight Watchers encourages them to attend meetings until they've stayed within 2 pounds of their goal weight for six weeks. After that, you get free lifetime membership.
The company says members using its online tools in addition to attending meetings lost 50 percent more weight than those going to meetings alone.
Cost to lose 20 pounds: We looked at two plans from eDiets - one that offers support alone, and another with meal delivery. You can choose from among more than 20 diet plans, including ones for diabetics and vegetarians.
Online tools let you set goals, plan menus and generate shopping lists. There's no face-to-face support, but you get support through online message boards and a mentor program that connects newbies with an experienced member. Also, you can reach a registered dietitian or personal trainer by phone at any time.
The optional meal delivery service offers freshly prepared, calorie-controlled meals delivered by FedEx. But telephone support has some evidence in its favor: Yes, it's a bargain for round-the-clock support.
For about the same money, other services offer better track records. For the first two weeks, you eat three extremely low-carb meals a day plus mandatory snacks. After that, you gradually add "good carbs," such as fruits and whole grains. You can customize menus, search a database of more than 1, recipes and get a personalized shopping list. There's online support from staff dieticians and members plus daily motivational emails.
Studies have shown that after one year, carb-restricted diets led to greater weight loss and increased heart health than low-fat diets.
However, the advantage disappeared over the long term. How much can you expect to lose? Figure on 8 to 13 pounds during the two- week kick-start phase, then 1 to 2 pounds a week thereafter. It doesn't cost much, but you don't get as much support as with Weight Watchers or eDiets. The Zone diet is mostly meat, fruits, and vegetables.
You eat three meals per day plus two Zone protein-powder snacks. A study of people in the Journal of American Medical Association found the Zone diet helped people achieve modest weight loss after one year, comparable with those on the Atkins , Weight Watchers and Ornish diets, and improved cardiac risk factors.
Premium-priced Jenny Craig lets you order its heart-healthy, nutritionally balanced packaged food by phone and pick it up at a Jenny Craig center or have it delivered through Jenny Direct. You eat three Jenny Craig meals plus a snack per day, and supplement with fruit, vegetables and dairy.
Once a week, you get a weigh-in and pep talk with a consultant - who is not a dietician and who earns commissions from selling you products. There's also round-the-clock phone support. Jenny Craig has a good track record for short-term weight loss up to one year. In a UC San Diego clinical trial of dieters funded by Jenny Craig , Jenny Craig clients lost 11 percent of their initial weight after 12 months, compared with 3 percent weight loss by those who were dieting on their own.
The "doctor-designed" Bistro M. The price is a cut above the competition, too. The plan tries to help you avoid a weight-loss stall out by varying the daily calorie intake between 1, and 1, By eating a little more some days and a little less on others, you'll supposedly prevent your body from becoming used to the same number of calories every day.
While no university studies support the theory that varying caloric intake aids weight loss, the high quality of the food and the relatively large portion sizes have been praised by Health magazine, Dr.
Phil and The New York Times. Some plan users have complained of a lack of choices and menu flexibility compared to other plans, but a company spokesman says they offer more than entrees and can make substitutions to accommodate allergies and food preferences.
It's a reasonable price for well-made food with slightly faster average weight loss than with Jenny Craig. This meal-delivery service, endorsed by Marie Osmond and Dan Marino, emphasizes foods with a low glycemic index. The underlying premise is that controlling blood sugar levels leads to weight loss.
The heat-and-eat prepared meals and snacks contain roughly 55 percent "good" carbs, 25 percent protein, and 20 percent fats; like Jenny Craig, you add fruits, vegetables and dairy.
Support is available through phone counseling and online chat rooms. There's plenty of research showing that following a diet of 1, to 1, calories a day, such as Nutrisystem, can cause weight loss.
For example, a study by the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York found that postmenopausal women who followed a 1,calorie plan for 16 weeks lost an average of 21 pounds. For a meal-delivery diet system, Nutrisystem is more economical than Jenny Craig. Although today's program is not as stringent as the original liquid fast Medifast launched decades ago, the low-fat, relatively low-carb plan is designed to bring about rapid weight loss by coaxing your body into a "fat-burning state" known as ketosis.
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.
Often the brands and their products are different in many ways which makes it hard to compare apples-to-oranges. This is our attempt to compare below 5 and pick the winner. Please take this information with the grain of salt and do your own research. If making dietary changes we recommend consulting with your medical doctor. Coaching and networking, weighing in and showing up, online or in person—like I did back in the day in a church basement with a couple of dozens other folks fingers-crossed on the scale, chatting together, sharing recipes, and listening to a motivational leader.
I understand the attraction to Weight Watchers. Been there, done that, and, I have been successful. And that's the point; the weight didn't stay off so I, like millions more, yo-yo diet. On the Trim Down Club website, club members like the women I met every Saturday morning at weigh-ins in the days of yore meet up with other club members; the supportive and active Trim Down Club community.
More than 1 million members and a social media following of nearly , cannot be wrong. Many people who search for diet information about Weight Watchers also check out the Ketogenic system.
Like many, I have done similar diets where you put your body into Ketosis—like Atkins. Comparing it to Weight Watchers is a bit of a stretch though given Weight Watchers does not severely restrict carbohydrate intake. But the two are pretty dissimilar. Not a good match. Nutrisystem is another diet that pops up in searches for diets similar to Weight Watchers likely because of the prepared, packaged or ready-made meals and snacks.
Weight Watchers has really cornered the market on prepared foods found in nearly all of your supermarket aisles. Nutrisystem , though extremely popular, relies on pre-made, processed and packaged foods.
As I mentioned, Weight Watchers encourages but does not restrict carbs. Just about every frozen Weight Watchers entree has white pasta or white rice with a smattering of protein and lots of carrots. I know this because for years, on and off, I ate them regularly. And finally, the 21 Day Fix is a diet that often appears when people are surfing the Web for diets like Weight Watchers. But they are about as close as fifth cousins.
The 21 Day Fix is wildly popular and trendy and among the most searched diets. And at 21 days, it couldn't be more dissimilar to Weight Watchers which has only your goal weight defining the duration. The Trim Down Club helps folks make the change for life. If you follow the diet religiously —and it is very doable—you absolutely will lose weight, usually in the neighborhood of a pound or two a week.
But hopefully the habits learned while on Weight Watchers will stick. I mean you can , you can lose. In , Nidetch sold Weight Watchers to R. I suppose that was a smart move on her part and made her filthy rich. Heinz, obviously, is a mega-food producer and one of the kings of processed foods, and while it sold most of Weight Watchers to a European entity about 17 years ago, it still produces Weight Watchers packaged foods under the Weight Watchers label and Smart Ones brand.
And I am here to tell you, I ate my share and then some of those so-called Smart Ones frozen pepperoni pizzas, and I did not do myself any favors. So go on, try Weight Watchers.
But please buy and prepare your own meals using fresh whole foods. Do not buy their crap Sorry, Oprah. And finally, since loss-gain-return, loss-gain-return is the cycle for the vast majority of people on Weight Watchers—and the money-counters hope you do keep coming back—consider this a word to the wise: I know; they are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.
If you try Weight Watchers and gain the weight back, you are not a failure. So, yes, Weight Watcher is worth a try, if you are one of the actual smart ones who does not buy into the product line and works to maintain your weight loss. Trust me on this, sisters. Fit page, Weight Watchers Australia website, accessed 15 October , https: Plans Page, Weight Watchers website, accessed 15 October , https: Anyone Use Weight Watchers Before?
Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice.
Aways consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements. Articles, reviews and investigations are our own opinion, and written based on the information publicly available or simply contacting the companies.
We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. This means that if you purchase an item following one of the links, we will receive a commission. Regardless of that, we only recommend the products or services, that we strongly believe will benefit our readers. Read full disclosure here. What Is Weight Watchers? You go off the diet. You regain the weight.