Atkins Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Nutrisystem vs. Weight Watchers, Who Wins?

by Secret Agent Health Nut on October 5, 2011

OK, I’ve researched (and tried) many different diet plans.

Here’s the problem (at least for me) with some of the more popular plans:

Atkins

 To completely eliminate a specific food type can’t be healthy long term. (This is my opinion I’m not a doctor).  This works well to really drop pounds quickly (I won a “Biggest Loser” contest at work), but the minute I start eating “normally” again, I start packing on the pounds.

So not only does the President of the company get to keep calling me “Loser” for losing the weight but I really felt like a loser each pound I gain.

Jenny Craig / Nutrisystem

I will admit that I never actually tried these “Buy our food” types of diets.

Two things I know will happen if I did do this type of plan.

First, I’ve seen the prepackaged lunches (a women I work with tried one of these plans). They aren’t very big; and she said they didn’t really satisfy her. The other problem was she would be eating dinner with her husband and he would have a nice dinner and she would look down at her meal and just knew it wouldn’t cut it.

The second problem is similar to the Atkins problem as soon as you go off the plan you start gaining weight again. (Think Kirstie Alley).

All of these plans didn’t change the fundamental problem that most people have. They don’t change their eating habits. Well, not really.

So what I am doing, what’s my game plan?

Two words… Weight Watchers.

Here’s the thing. I think the only way to permanently lose weight (and ultimately get healthy) is to change the way you think about food and exercise.

Weight watchers isn’t a fast crash-course type of diet, it’s slow and methodical weight loss. You’re forced to consciously think about everything you eat. So over time, like say a year or even two, while you’re working on obtaining your ideal weight you constantly train yourself to make healthier choices.

You end up forming the habit of eating healthier and exercising more.

So here we go my first weigh-in.

201.2 lbs. OUCH !!

Check back regularly to see my progress.

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Write It All Down

by Secret Agent Health Nut on May 7, 2011

Where do I start? Working on my weight is kind of a new experience for me. I thought the best way to start to work on fixing this problem is to treat it like any other problem. For the past 15 years I’ve been in the wonderful world of accounting and finance (yes, you were correct reading the sarcasm in that statement), so I think the easiest way for me to approach my problem of being overweight is to compare it to a common problem people face each in the world of personal finance (don’t doze off there’s a point to this rambling, I promise)

I’m going to be comparing being overweight to being in debt. Instead of overspending, I’m overeating. Quite often people ask me for advice (usually financial), and quite often the one piece of advice that helps people solve the majority of financial problems is identifying someone’s overspending (rarely do people think they overspend, usually I have to make the recommendation that they look into their spending habits and hope they will come to the conclusion that they have a problem.)

When I see someone, who is spending a bit too much (and even if their not in extreme debt, but they aren’t investing for their future or their kids education) and they are left with nothing extra at the end of the week/bi-week/month, the first thing I need that person to do is to actually acknowledge that the have a bit of a spending problem.

How do you make someone see that they overspend (or overeat) when they don’t believe they do?

I recommend they keep a pad with them (a little 3×5 spiral notebook that you can buy at the office supply store for cheap, like 5 pads for $2) and write down every dollar they spend for a month. I mean everything, every newspaper, cup of coffee, everything.

At the end if the month, we sit down and actually take a hard look at what they’ve spent their money on. People are usually amazed at the amount of crap they buy, the sheer dollar volume of it. They never would have realized that they spend $100 on coffee, or $200 going out to lunch or $300 going out for dinner.

So I thought, the first step to losing weight (or eating less) was to first identify exactly what I eat each day. Is there a certain time of the day or night that I mindlessly consume way too many calories. Is it just a combination of all the food I eat each day, so maybe portion control would be the solution?

I have to start to write things down to really get a good understanding of my problem. If it’s anything like when people really start to analyze their spending I’ll probably be amazed at what I’m actually eating each day. It’s the little things that we don’t actually think make a difference that end up really making a difference. So my first step is to identify these things and try to really curb them. (I said curb not eliminate, I think for anything to work long term you need to satisfy yourself in moderation.)

The second component of getting healthy and staying in shape is exercise. It’s not surprising that I don’t exercise nearly as much as I used to (like when I was young and in good shape.) but just exactly how far off am I? Right now I have no way of measuring this.

So besides starting a food journal and writing down everything I eat and drink, I’m going to look into getting a pedometer (or whatever you call it) so I can actually track how many steps I take each day. I’ll write my total number of steps each day in my food journal.

Then I can measure how many steps I took that week when I “weight-in” so I’ll have the ability to compare that against other weeks to see how much of a difference a few more steps makes each day.

Ok, that’s the plan. At least my first step to “Get Healthy” is to identify what I’m eating and how much I’m moving my body. Then all I have to do is adjustment how much I eat in move.

Hopefully I’ll see some positive results.

Let me know any ideas or methods that you use to lose weight and get in shape.

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Why I’m doing this…

April 11, 2011

and so it begins… Today I stepped on the scale for the first time in months. 203 pounds, YIKES !!! Lately, I’ve been feeling a little out of shape (Read: crappy) to say the least and knew it was time to take action. I approached the scale with a feeling of trepidation that kid normally […]

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