How to Lose Weight on Commercial Diet Programs

Nutri/System Diet

Nutri/System is another commercial diet program that dieters have found to help them lose weight.

Nutri/System: The Premise

Nutri/System began more than 30 years ago as just another diet program offering prepackaged meals and dietary counseling. But several years ago, it morphed into an almost exclusively online weight-loss program, complete with online counseling and menu planning. Nutri/System's latest Nourish program features meal plans based on low glycemic-index (GI) foods and optimal amounts of protein, fat, and fiber to "help keep your blood sugar levels stable and your metabolism burning strong, so you can burn more fat." Targeted programs are offered for women, men, women over 60, men over 60, people with type 2 diabetes, and vegetarians.

Membership in the online weight-loss community is free of charge. Newcomers are assigned to a personal weight-loss counselor, who will track their progress and give advice as long as they follow the program. New members also receive a menu plan, a catalog of products, a food diary, a weight chart, an online weekly newsletter, and a few other goodies to get them started. Other services include online bulletin boards, chat room support groups, and a free diet analysis. You can purchase prepackaged entrées and snacks, but unlike Jenny Craig, they are not mandatory for you to be enrolled in the program. However, Nutri/System's menus incorporate its Nourish foods throughout, making it difficult to follow the plan without buying the products.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?Anyone who follows the Nutri/System diet plan will get a well-balanced, reduced-calorie diet that, combined with regular physical activity, should result in weight loss of one to two pounds per week. Despite the focus on the glycemic index rating of foods, the diet provides a sensible approach to eating with emphasis on lowering overall fat intake and increasing fiber. One small study of the Nutri/System program by the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York found that postmenopausal women who followed a 1,200-calorie plan for 16 weeks lost an average of 21 pounds. To follow the Nutri/System Nourish program with their suggested foods costs about $60 a week, so you need to examine your budget before signing on to the program.

The next method is joining Weight Watchers. Click to the next section to find out more.

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