I find myself more interested in ever in reports on various diet plans and weight-loss companies. I read an article that quotes a study whose results say the Jenny Craig diet helped women who weighed 200 pounds or more lose twenty pounds a year. The study was funded, of course, by Jenny Craig. Once I read the entire article, I learned that the cost of the diet is usually about $350 for the intake and counseling and $100 a week for the food; however, all those things were provided free to the study participants. Finally, if you read to the very end, the article makes the most ludicrous of all statements: “If provided for free, structured programs like Jenny Craig may be a cost-effective way of encouraging weight loss and fighting obesity.” Of course it’s cost-effective when it’s free, but it’s NOT free. It’s expensive and unnecessary, if we simply learn to eat correctly on our own. For the whole article, see http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/09/jenny-craig-clients-in-study-shed-20-pounds/.
Twenty pounds a year, when you weight 200 pounds, means that reaching a weight of 150 would take two and a half years. Although slow weight loss is smart, something that slow would probably discourage most dieters before they reached their goal weight. In addition, how many people can afford to pay for Jenny Craig food, counseling, and monitoring for two and a half years?
An advertisement came in the mail recently for Nutrisystem, another expensive weight-loss plan that makes participants buy their food, rather than teaching you how to eat normal, healthful food from supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and restaurants.
Logic dictates that if we don’t learn how to eat correctly on our own, without prepared meals being delivered to us, as soon as we stop eating those prepared foods, we’ll go right back to old habits that made us gain weight in the first place.
Now Nutrisystem also offers a program to help lower blood sugar and control type 2 diabetes. Nutrisystem D, like the regular program, requires that you buy Nutrisystem-prepared meals. Do they expect people with type 2 diabetes to eat Nutrisystem D meals for life? What an impossible and expensive task! It means participants can never go to a friend’s house for dinner, take a cruise, or eat at a restaurant.
Let’s back up a moment and look at some facts. What causes type 2 diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control, while not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are the two most common causes of this form of diabetes (insulin intolerance) and obesity and lack of exercise are responsible for nearly 95% of type 2 diabetes cases in the United States. If we can avoid getting type 2 diabetes 95% of the time by eating correctly and adding a little exercise to our week, it would cost less, save us from having to monitor our blood sugar, give us personal freedom to travel, eat out, and enjoy life, and also let us avoid the horrific effects of diabetes, including but not limited to skin problems, foot problems, heart problems, blindness, and death.
My food plan calls for self-motivation, rather than motivation from a counselor, plus I get motivation from those who send me e-mails to encourage me, since I went public with my intention to lose weight.
My food plan doesn’t cost any more than regular groceries cost, because it calls for regular groceries. My groceries cost about $35 a week. My food plan involves buying and eating real food, not food manufactured, dried, frozen, or otherwise prepared. I eat regular, normal, healthful food. Cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and/or yogurt in the morning and vegetables and fruits for lunch, dinner, and snacks, plus three to four ounces of protein of some sort, be it eggs, fish, chicken, beef, or beans, at lunch and dinner.
I worry about people who diet on pre-packaged foods. What do they learn about how to eat normal, everyday food? How can they know what to cook for themselves? What can they know of how to order healthy food at a restaurant? I have learned how to eat normal, healthful, delicious food. I can follow my food plan for life, and it’s simple. I eat lots of veggies and fruits and I control the protein. Around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon I might have a snack of an apple, fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit, or whatever is in season. I avoid snacking on starch-laden snacks such as chips or popcorn. I avoid dessert entirely or allow myself one forkful, which is amazingly satisfying. My plan automatically results in low-fat, healthy eating, and the weight falls off at a satisfying rate.
It took me about three weeks for this healthy type of eating to become a habit, but that’s it. It’s a habit with me now, and I no longer have hunger pains or cravings that feel uncontrollable.
I have become a zealot, I know. I want to tell the world how easy it is to lose weight and eat right, all without paying someone to monitor you, counsel you, or make food for you.