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Anyone do Nutrisystem? Jenny Craig? Medical Weight Loss?

By August 1, 2008 - 2:49pm
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I see constant commericals from companies like Medical Weight Loss, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem that offer pre-packaged meals sent right to your home. You have to add fresh veg, fruit and dairy yourself. The cost is about $10 or $11 per day, not including the foods you add. And several weeks are free, if you sign up for a certain period of time.

These foods seem very salty and processed so I am not sure what to think about them. I guess a lot of water might balance that out!

Has anyone tried them? What was your experience?

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I have found a solution that works for me, and it is primarily about portion control (and exercising!!!). If you are drawn to these weight loss clubs for the prepared-meals, the ease of not having to think about what you are going to eat, or meals that are already appropriately proportioned...then you may want to try the self-assembly, meal preparation store! Not only did I lose some weight, I found it was actually cheaper for my family to eat these meals (saved money on grocery bill).

I believe it worked for me, for the simple fact that I go to the store once a month, prepare a month's worth of meals for my family (while in a social atmosphere, drinking wine or tea) in just 2 hours, and that's it! I know what is in the food because I prepared it myself (I choose to leave out extra salt or cheese or cream sauce; I can substitute tofu for meat in a dish...whatever I can do to make the food even healthier). The food is then brought home and put in the freezer (they supply all the containers, which are freezer and oven-safe).

(oh---and it does sound similar to what you described with the weight loss clubs, as you have to supply many of your own side dishes and vegetables with these dishes, but about half do include veggies).

This is great portion control, because you can't go back for seconds...what you have thawed the night before is what you have to eat. If you are still hungry, there are more veggies! :-) I do not have anything sweet in my house, besides fruit, which we use as our dessert (with whipped cream...yum!). Another motivator to not eat seconds is that we've alloted money for groceries each month, and each time you go for seconds, that is another night's worth of meals that you no longer have for your family. And believe me, the portions that you make for yourself at the store are plenty of food for an entire meal!

I save on my cooking time every night, as I am not slaving over a hot stove for an hour, trying to find a meal that we all like. Sure...I'll still cook, but when I want to. (oh--and clean-up is a breeze, because I just recycle the container).

I go to the grocery store for milk, bread and produce, and not much else. It saves on my time every week, and if I feel like cooking, then I'll try a new vegetable recipe.

All meal preparation/self-assembly stores are not alike. Some have healthier options than others. One place I tried already had some of the sauces prepared (they were trying to save store space, but I want to make everything myself so I can control ingredients).

I am not sure what stores are in which locations, but in my area, we have Super Suppers and Dream Dinners, as well as The Studio Kitchen.

Last thought I had---if you have found that some of your overeating is emotional eating or the psychological aspects of your mood, like being bored or sad, for instance, this helps with that, too. I realize that I was having to *think* about food constantly, from looking at recipes, writing food lists, thinking about what time I need to start preparing dinner, etc... this takes all the "thought" out of meals and food...it is a welcome relief!

Good luck! Let us know what you decide to try!

August 3, 2008 - 7:16am

I've done Jenny Criag a few times over my dieting career. The first time I lost about 35 pounds and the 2nd time I lost about 25 pounds. The great thing about Jenny Craig is that it's a quick and easy way to control your portion sizes. The food tasted pretty good. The biggest problem with Jenny Craig as with most diets out there is that you ALWAYS gain the weight back. I do not know one person who has lost weight on Jenny Craig, Nurtrisystems or even Weight Watchers and have kept the weight off. Unfoturenately it's not the loosing the weight part that most people have problems with but instead the keeping it off part that is the biggest challenge. I have lost and gained over 200 pounds over my lifetime and I finally got to a place where I had to focus on the keeping it off part. I just got a lap band put in 9 days ago. I decided on the lap band because I need to focus on keeping the weight I loose off for good. I wish you much success in what ever solution you try.

August 2, 2008 - 12:30pm

I know I've said this before, lol! But it was Jonny Bowden, a nationally known and very popular health and fitness expert, who first said it during a live chat hosted by iVillage.com (where I once managed the Diet & Fitness channel). All the same, desperate to find something that would help me shed the extra weight I've gained since going through menopause, I did sign up for the L.A. Weight Loss program.

Now, I had also started my second season of marathon training at the time. However, one of my coaches said she had successfully lost serious weight with the program, and during prior training seasons. So, why not try, eh?

Well, it's probably not the easiest task in the world to balance the higher caloric demands of training to run a marathon with the lower caloric demands of trying to lose weight. Although I explained this to the LAWL center "counselors," they thought the program should still work out well. So, I plunked down a ridiculous amount of money to enroll and purchase the starter package. The deal was that, if I followed the 12-month program to the finish, half the cost would be rebated. Nice incentive.

The first weekend was a quick start liquid detox. The product tasted pretty good, like something I would have made with my own juicer at home, and I didn't feel any negative side effects. Then, I was supposed to follow a program of fresh foods and their supplement bars. The bars are an awful, pasty texture with no flavor. I quickly figured out that they are the cash cow of the program.

Every time I weighed in, it seemed I was actually gaining weight. Note: do your weigh in in the morning! So, after 6 months, and at the end of my training season, I started falling off the program.

The before/after photo wall of fame showed people I knew who had followed the program. However, not one of them was from my training program. I think the LAWL program probably does work for some people; just not for those of us who are immediately at odds nutritionally.

I decided to take Jonny's words to heart and just go back to eating real food. Eating fresh, organic, non-processed foods may be a little more expensive and time-consuming than popping something in the microwave. But, I've slowly (emphasis on slowly) been shedding a few pounds and my body shape has improved.

Now, if I could just get a handle on the visceral belly fat!

August 1, 2008 - 4:24pm
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