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Diet plan review - achieving your weight loss goal

Some popular diet plans compared

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky February 9 2011

woman weighing herself

The very word "diet" strikes fear into the heart of even the strongest individual. Most people believe dieting means giving up the foods you love, eating foods you hate and losing complete control over how you live your life, and so of course they resent the very concept of dieting.

The most successful diet programs out there have managed to eliminate the word "diet" from their normal language. Instead, they refer to eating plans or a change in eating habits. Oddly enough, people seem willing to accept this minor shift in thinking, turning the new dieting concept into something positive instead of the ultimate life infringement.

Even the famous Weight Watchers Program has strayed from their old way of doing things to a more positive approach that their members can accept. While the dreaded scale may still be used to measure ultimate success, it is approached in a different way. Instead of focusing on embarrassing members into submission, it celebrates every successful lost ounce.

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Another important paradigm shift has taken place in food preparation. There are now hundreds of cookbooks in today's marketplace that can teach individuals to prepare their favorite foods in a healthier way. When people don't feel deprived of what they love, they are far more likely to stick with an eating plan.

The real question that remains is his: Which eating plans, or diets if you will, actually work? Let's take a look at some of the best known:

Weight Watchers continues to lead the pack, especially now with its new overhauled Points System. It teaches individuals a way to monitor their own progress on a daily basis instead of focusing on a weekly group support system. The focus of this new system is on food portions, not just types of food. Of course, high fiber, low fat and low calorie foods will automatically possess lower point amounts. That encourages members to eat more of those types of food but it doesn't demand it. One is still free to eat the foods they love as long as they stay within the allotted amount of points.

A target amount of points is assigned to Weight Watcher members. Staying within the range is likely to result in the highest amount of weight loss. Straying outside the point system slightly doesn't point to automatic failure, it just means you might not reach your goal as quickly as you might desire. This slight tweak in focus gives members a sense that they have some control over their own lives and makes the program much easier to follow.

The Nutrisystem diet program also continues to flourish because it takes all of the guesswork out of dieting. The system provides prepackaged prepared meals and snacks that make certain people eat the right things in the right proportions at the right time of day. The food is apparently tasty and is continually being upgraded to include new items.

Successful stories of celebrities like Marie Osmond add fuel to the fire. People are able to see the changes in their favorite star's lives as they progress in the program. If they claim it works, then it must be so. It is so far so good with that train of thought.

However, a couple of problems exist with this system. Not all people like the prepackaged foods that they are required to eat. If they don't eat the food as planned, then they are likely to turn to something outside of the system. That, in turn, can lead to a slow down in the success rate. Also the cost of the meals - about $275 per month, per person - is often outside the budget possibilities of many people.

Among die-hard dieters who don't mind a little deprivation, the Medifast diet seems to work well. It is aimed at jump starting the metabolism by eating several small prepackaged meals during the day and only one typical family meal. Even that evening meal consists of low fat, low calorie foods with a focus on healthy green eating.

Replacement meals are chock full of vitamins and nutrients to make sure health stays in check. They also come in a variety of favorites like bars, shakes and soups that should appeal to a wide variety of individuals. Once again however cost may be an issue; like Nutrisystem, Medifast is nearly $300 per month.

The Jenny Craig weight loss system also continues to be popular because it appears to work for a wide variety of people. Spurred on by the likes of celebrities such as Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli, people find hope in a system that is obviously tried and true.

This program focuses on several key aspects to successful weight loss. These include quality food that people will like eating; a switch in the way the mind thinks about dieting; and a gentle, reasonable increase in activity (exercise).

People are able to tap into local Jenny Craig Centers for guidance and support, chat on line with specialists that can help them maintain control or call for support when those moments of doubt come creeping in. This allows each person to tailor the system to work best for them instead of forcing them to fit into a cookie cutter mold they might reject.

Jenny Craig also offers prepackaged portion control foods that help dieters stay on track. However, those foods aren't absolutely necessary to the success of the program. The program also teaches you how to prepare your own foods in order to keep their budget in check. It is the flexibility of this program that appeals to a wide variety of people; new and long-time dieters alike.

The Eating for Life diet plan is not that different from actress Suzanne Somers' Somersize Program. Both plans focus on eating the right types of foods, in the right portions and in the correct combinations at the right time of day. There is no food depravation either. In fact both plans encourage eating regularly throughout the day in order to keep the metabolism revving as high as it should be.

The Bill Phillip Eating for Life Plan provides a free diet profile through eDiets. This in turn leads to the creation of a personalized plan for each individual. Suzanne Somers, on the other hand, guides people through the vast maze of food, focusing on those that work best together. She also provides a series of cookbooks to teach individuals how to cook their favorite foods in the right way to keep the plan working.

The strength of these two programs is that they teach self-sufficiency and a healthy way of eating without harping on the word diet. The end result for this writer was a 75-pound weight loss a few years back. That is a testament to the versatility of Somersizing, which is the only plan I ever follow.

The real key to any successful diet, however, doesn't lie within the plan alone. It lies in an individual's commitment to himself or herself. Until that important switch clicks on in the brain, there isn't a weight plan alive that will ever do the job.

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