Structured diet programs, such as Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss, leptoconnect, and others all claim that they can help people lose weight easily. However, there is no such thing as easy weight loss that is healthy. There are some pros and cons associated with these types of programs that dieters must consider before plopping downloads of cash to participate in the programs.
One of the main goals of structured diet programs is to teach you how to recognize responsible portion control. While the portions you are allotted for each of these diets may seem small at first, eventually, you will become accustomed to eating only the amount in these portions. At first, you may still feel hungry after eating a full meal or snack, but this is because your stomach has stretched and must start to shrink so you won’t want to eat as much.
As you follow structured diet programs, you will learn how to make healthy food choices. However, some of these diets are more appropriate for teaching you these changes. Diets that encourage you to shop for your own foods and prepare those foods at home are teaching you skills that can help you to keep the weight off long term. Diets that are based on prepackaged meals don’t teach you how to choose foods from the store and prepare them at home. Let’s be honest, how likely are you to continue to purchase prepackaged meals for your entire life? If you are like most, that isn’t even an option.
Structured diet programs are a good choice for people who need to be held accountable for their food choices. Because you report to a diet counselor or group of dieters on a regular basis, you are less likely to make unhealthy food choices because you know you will have let others know why you made those choices and what you plan to do in the future to prevent deviating. This, however, can be a problem for some people who don’t like to look bad in front of others because these people may decide not to document or speak of deviations.
The value of a structured diet program is an individual decision. You will have to decide if what you will learn during your weight loss program is worth the money you would spend. Don’t think about the money in terms of pounds lost because these pounds can always be regained. But, if you think about the money in terms of what you will learn about living a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to justify the expense of the program is good enough.
Alternatives to Structured Programs
If a structured program isn’t something that you find appealing, you do have other alternatives. You can create your own diet plan based on the food pyramid listed on MyPyramid.gov. You can have your friends and family hold you accountable for your food choices and lifestyle choices. If you opt to go at it yourself, be sure that you keep an accurate food and exercise journal so that you can tweak your program as necessary.
Regardless of the diet, you choose to follow whether it is structured or self determined-making appropriate food choices is the key to losing weight. Additionally, don’t forget to include exercise in your program as exercise helps to burn fat, expend calories, and build muscle.