Diet Plans & Programs: The "Skinny" on Popular Diet Plans

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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I have a handicapped daughter who has gained so much weight. I have been on Nutrisystem for 6 months and I have lost just over 35 lbs. I made some raspberry coffee and chilled it. Detox diets involve either not consuming or attempting to flush out substances that are considered unhelpful or harmful. Many people have a difficult time attending a meeting when they are not having success. I no longer suffered from heartburn and acid reflux.

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No need to choke down poor tasting foods and shakes. Because now you can eat real tasting foods that you are sure to love. It may not even feel like you are on a diet. Nutrisystem is quite easy to follow and very convenient. People on the go with busy lifestyles will find this weight loss program very convenient. They have such a wide variety of foods you are sure to find many of their meals to be delicious.

The company has many experts on hand to help guide you through your weight loss goals. The unique plan has a Turbo TakeOff Box. It is a one-week jumpstart with specially created meals, all-brand new NutriCurb bars, the best-selling TurboShakes and all-new TurboBoosters. TurboShakes have probiotics to assist with your digestive health in your belly. The Nutrisystem Company offers safe, effective and scientifically-backed weight-loss plans, with a distinguished Science Advisory Board and clinical studies.

All programs include comprehensive support and counseling options from trained weight-loss coaches, registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators available seven days a week. The company also runs the South Beach Diet! The way you look at food should change, and you should be able to make much better healthier meal choices. You will even learn how to eat out, choosing better foods. On the New Nutrisystem Turbo 13 Plan, there is an online community of people who just like you want to lose weight and learn to keep it off.

On the online community, you will find tons of recipes. Spice up your meals with online tips. Learn ideas to add to foods and after you reach your goal find healthy recipes from other members who have been on the diet plan.

Millions have lost weight. You can be next. 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. But they ate to fewer calories. Those healthy vegetables added low-cal bulk to the tasty dish. A protein-rich breakfast may help you resist snack attacks throughout the day.

The women ate a calorie breakfast that included eggs and a beef sausage patty. The effect of the high-protein breakfast seemed to last into the evening, when the women munched less on fatty, sugary goods than the women who had cereal for breakfast. For a great snack on the run, take a small handful of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans. Research shows that when people munch on nuts, they automatically eat less at later meals.

Skip the apple juice and the applesauce and opt instead for a crunchy apple. One reason is that raw fruit has more fiber. A Harvard study followed more than , people for a decade or longer. Yogurt, of all the foods that were tracked, was most closely linked to weight loss. Yes, grapefruit really can help you shed pounds, especially if you are at risk for diabetes.

Drinking grapefruit juice had the same results. But grapefruit juice doesn't have any proven "fat-burning" properties -- it may just have helped people feel full.

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