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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is all prompted by someone else's blog post that included a brief anti-Nutrisystem bit. It got me thinking.

People, generally speaking of the masses here, decide they want to lose weight but can't commit to it. Fear of failure, years of poor habits, laziness, there are all sorts of reasons, but the bottom line is they want to lose weight but they're not yet willing to really truly dedicate to the process. And there are plenty of programs and pills and 'diets' that cater to these people. Take this pill and lose weight instantly! All you need is this little contraption and 10 minutes a day! It's ridiculous.

Then there's stuff like Nutrisystem. They mail you your food and tell you when to eat it. It teaches you nothing about how to eat. You're not forced to fend for yourself in any way. You don't learn about portion control or calorie counts. You don't know how to read a menu because you're not supposed to eat outside the home -- i.e. hey, put your life on hold until you're miraculously thin and then go back and live your life like normal. And for the stupid people mentioned above, they lose some weight then get bored with the food, go off the program, gain all the weight back, and then say Nutrisystem failed.

No, you failed. You failed to learn about nutrition. You failed to learn about portion control and a balanced diet and willpower. Nutrisystem just slowed your failure a bit.

Also, I'm a big believer in QUALITY food. Unprocessed, organic, whole, natural foods. Not frozen, mass-produced-but-low-fat crap. I've never looked at a Nutrisystem meal label, but I can only imagine it's not a foodie's dream come true.

So I've been very anti-Nutrisystem and any other food-delivery diet program for a very long time because I don't believe in the easy fix.

This sh!t is hard, yo.

BUT. Lately I've come around because of one of my very best friends. She knows all about nutrition and portion control and calories and protein and carbs and fat and exercise. But she has a hell of a time making it work. She gets busy or bored or she's out of town a lot and then the next thing you know she's gained 15 pounds because it's 'easier' to go through the drive-through on the way home.

For her, having meals delivered is a perfect solution. It removes the thought element from this process. She knows she has a reasonably well balanced meal waiting for her at home in the fridge so she doesn't have to cook or decide what to make or where to go.

It's not a permanent solution, and she recognizes that, but it's a good temporary step for her to take to get some of the weight off.

It'd never work for me. I hate the idea of being 'forced' into eating something. It's why I can't cook in batches. I see 939843 containers of the same thing in the fridge or freezer and I resent it and order a pizza. Because I am maybe crazy, but that's irrelevant at this point. I can't have someone telling me to eat x for breakfast and y for lunch and z for dinner on Monday.

So the bottom line is, do what works for you. But before you blindly jump into something that promises to be the easy fix, you have to do the hard work of learning what is good for you, what your body needs, how to eventually maintain the weight loss you want to achieve. Only then will you stand a chance of living a healthy life.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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