It’s getting close to that time of year again. Too many rolls and pies at Thanksgiving, too many Christmas cookies and candies at Christmas. Too much bloating alcohol on new years. It’s the time when everyone takes a good hard look in the mirror and gets seriously depressed about the state of their expanding waist lines. Maybe you only have ten pounds to lose. Maybe 50. Maybe 100. Perhaps you don’t really have much weight to lose and just want to tone up your flabby arms and tummy. Whatever your reasons are, it is never easy and it always, always requires work. There are no quick fixes and magic pills. I’m not sure if you ever noticed, but on those commercials for these magic pills they say that when accompanied with diet and exercise they work well. Well DUH..because you are watching your portion sizes and exercising. The pills didn’t do any of the work. YOU did. They are just a waste of money.
Now when it comes to diets, well, we all know DIETS DON’T WORK. Lifestyle change is a better word to describe the following plans. Remember, while all these plans work, they work for people who can fit these programs into their life styles. Not every plan is fit for everyone. It’s up to you to decide for yourself.
A fit and healthy is about 80% good diet and 20% exercise and it depends on how the body absorbs all the nutrients in the food that is consumed alongwith with the resilience of the metabolism factor that comes into play, which you can learn about through Fitnessabout articles online for further reference.
WeightWatchers. One of the more popular plans ever, Weightwatchers has millions upon millions of members around the world. Attending meetings has always been the popular preference, as you get the support of fellow WeightWatchers as well as the slight added pressure of being weighed in weekly by the meeting staff. However, there is now an option to follow the plan online if you don’t have the time to make it to meetings. You can use e-tools to calculate points or use the online journal feature as well as talk on the message boards. Over the years the plan has grown from having to eat liver and fish a certain amount of times a week to being able to eat whatever you want as long as you count points for it. If you follow the points plan, more commonly known currently as The Flex Plan, you get a certain amount of points a day(Points Target)depending on how much you weigh. You also get 35 extra points to use throughout the week if you feel the need, as well as an unlimited amount of exercise points that you can earn throughout the week. This is a great plan for people who don’t want to be restricted in the types of food they can eat. The only downside, is that essentially some people get in the mind-set that they can eat whatever they want as long as they count the points. As in they think they could eat cupcakes all day long as long as they stay within their points. This is why WeightWatchers outlines some healthy guidelines like getting in your water and low-fat dairy and healthy oils and fruits and veggies.
The other plan you can choose from is called The Core plan. This plan encourages you to eat more wholesome foods like lean meats, whole grains and fruits and veggies while eating less processed junk like fat free Pringles and low-fat frozen dinners. There is a Core food list, and any food you eat that is on the list, you do not have to count points for. You receive 35 points a week to use on foods that are not on the Core list. This plan is great, because it is more freeing, as you only have to keep track of the foods you eat that are non-Core.You are allowed to eat as many Core foods as you need to feel ‘satisfied’. Not overly full, but satisfied.
The Atkins Plan. While this plan has often been criticized by many people, it really does work for some people. The Atkins people never intended for people to eat buttery bacon and double cheeseburgers with no buns for every meal. They were thinking more along the lines of eating lean meats and leafy green vegetables that are lower in carbs then some other veggies and low-fat dairy. This plan can be healthy, if done the right way, and with variety. Some may find the plan to restrictive, but others do very well at it.
The SouthBeach Diet. This plan, somewhat like Atkins, encourages it’s users to concentrate on good carbs and lean meats as well as green leafy veggies. The plan, like Atkins, goes through three stages or phases. Phase 1, the most restrictive(also the stage most people see the biggest weightloss) phase lasts for two weeks, and eliminates mosts carbs including fruits, and most dairy. This phase is geared towards shocking your body into losing weight. The second Phase slowly introduces one carb back into the plan each day so you can test which ones trigger your hunger the most so you know what carbs you can eat and what ones to stay away from. This phase lasts until you have lost all your weight. The third phase is maintenance. I personally think this plan is do-able, if you can get past the first two week stage. The second phase sometime resembles WeightWatchers Core plan.
The Jenni Craig Plan.The pros of this plan, are that the food is pre-made for you, and you are assigned a personal weight loss coach/counselor that you meat with each week. Many people, including Kirstie Alley, have made this plan work for them. The downsides to the plan, are that it can be very expensive, and the cost of food is not included in the sign up price. Sometimes the cost of just the food itself can be the same price as groceries for a family of three for a week. Another downside is that the food is all processed and portioned for you, and once you’ve lost your weight, you have to go back to eating normal food again. There are lots of people that seem to make it work though, so to each his own.
A few diets (yes, I said diets) that I would consider the worst diets ever thought up and I would never recommend trying, are as follows.
The Cabbage Soup Diet. The name itself should give away that it couldn’t possibly be more than a fad diet you can’t stick to for more than a day. In fact, the plan really was only devised for people to drop a quick ten pounds within a week and then stop the diet all together. Which obviously means that you will immediately gain back that ten pounds once you stop eating that way. This is how that one week works. One day you have can only eat fruits and milk. The next day it’s only vegetables and milk. Another day you can only eat bananas and milk. But each day you can have all the cabbage soup you can eat. Gross!!
The 3 day diet. The Ten day diet. The 4 day diet. They are all the same. There are only certain foods you can eat, and you only stick with the plan for a certain amount of time before you go right back to eating the same way you always did and gain the weight right back. Quick fixes like this do not work.
Slim Fast. While some strong willed, determined people seem to be able to lose weight with this plan, including some celebrities, the feedback is generally not good. The shakes are not filling enough to substitute for a real meal, and no one can consume liquid for two meals a day forever. While the plan has improved itself over the years to include bars and some processed meals to go with the plan, it just isn’t overly realistic.
But choose for yourself, like I said, success is entirely up to the individual, and how each plan fits into a persons daily lifestyle. It is all about what works best for you.