This morning we will be looking at the Nutrisystem plan of dieting. I keep seeing these commercials with actors and non-actors alike who are losing "amazing" amounts of weight with prepackaged foods that take all the guess work out of eating healthy.
The plan is simple enough, you shell out anywhere from 250-400$$ to have a months worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks shipped right to your house. They are planned around your "glycemic index" which is a popular idea that foods on the low end of the scale help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings.
There are a number of plans for men (1500 calories daily), women (1200 calories), vegetarians, older folks, people with diabetes and even those looking to maintain weight. You pick the foods you want for the month and then you supplement them with fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and lean protein.
In addition to the food though, dieters are "encouraged" to modify their eating behaviors with a 12 week "self-guided" behavior guide focusing on making over the mindset. This guide is filled with tips on how to curb cravings and the importance of social support. There are also online resources for additional assistance with diet/fitness and counselors to help. The plan also recommends 30 min of exercise daily and there are online fitness plans that can be tailored to various levels.
Okay, so how does this break down in terms of the 4 components we have been discussing?
1. Sustainability: This is not a life long program as most dieters only stay on it for 10-11 weeks. It is expected that you will learn in that time frame to eat healthy on your own.
2. Fit: I don't know about you all but I spend a fortune on the grocery bill as it is and I certainly can't imagine shelling out another 300$ for food just for me (plus the fruits/veggies/dairy and protein). It is probably a great fit for those starlets with more money and less responsibilities but not everyone can swing this bill.
3. Variability: It is certainly variable with plenty of options that are nutritious and planned.
4. Deprivation: The plan specifically states to stay away from sugar, alcohol and breads. But when you pay for a month of meals this does includes snacks so you may not feel deprived.
Probably okay for the short term for those with some extra money they can afford to shell out. I'm not sure how motivating it is to read a book on how to do this over the long term though. The plan does not address real world issues and if it were a perfect world then we wouldn't need help losing weight in the first place. I do like the fact that there are counselors and others online resources to utilize.
This may work for some people, but not this chick!