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Weight Watchers

Program uses weekly meetings and weigh-ins for motivation and behavioral support for diet and exercise changes, or you can sign up for similar support online. Dieters either earn or spend "points" with food and exercise or consume specified foods with "Core" plan. Vegetarian menu available.  Website offers good exercise and diet advice with workout plans, recipes, great budget meal advice. Weight Watchers helps members create a foundation to introduce healthier choices and physical activity into their lives. Weight Watchers was made popular by its POINTS system. A point value is assigned to each food on the comprehensive list of more than 27,000 foods based on its calories, fat and fiber content. The PointsPlus program encourages you to make smarter choices by selecting more nutrient-dense foods; giving your body better nutrition and helping you feel sated. The PointsPlus program also features Power Foods, which are specific foods that are not just healthy, but also help to keep you feeling satisfied. Weight Watchers emphasizes eating more wholesome food, while allowing you to splurge on cravings in moderation. You'll use your POINTS to make balanced food choices that include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy. No matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to all of the Weight Watchers recipes that are delicious, satisfying and good-for-you. The Weight Watchers website features thousands of recipes for all occasions. If you're a Weight Watchers Online or Weight Watchers eTools subscriber, you can use the PointsPlus Calculator tool to find the PointsPlus values of restaurant foods, and you can also consult the Eating Out Guide. Weight Watchers Meetings Members can also use the A-Z food list found in the Pocket Guide, or purchase the Complete Food Companion, and the Dining Out Companion to help them plan for their night out. Weight Watchers does promote living an active lifestyle, although exercise is not a requirement of the program. For those who do workout, they are rewarded with activity points, which become food POINTS that will allow you to indulge in something extra during the week. Weight Watchers Online and Weight Watchers Online for Men do provide workout demonstrations and provides guidance for all skill levels.


South Beach Diet

Created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD. The diet restricts carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. The diet promotes strategic snacking and there's no counting calories or strict portion sizes. But there's no gorging, either. The idea is to eat normal portions. To many of us, normal portions will seem small at first. They are enough to satisfy hunger, but no more. Sugar-rich carbs are off the menu, which include rice and potatoes, and vegetables -- such as beets and corn -- with high sugar content. Also, there are no pastries or other sugar-filled desserts. And alcohol is forbidden in the induction phase and limited in the long-term diet. There are three phases. The 14-day induction phase bans bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, and fruit. And you can't have even a drop of beer, wine, or other alcohol. The diet promises that after a couple of days, you really won't miss this stuff. As for dairy, two servings of low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, or buttermilk are now allowed during this phase. The "reintroduce the carbs" stage gradually adds back in some of the banned foods. Not all of them, but if you are a pasta maniac, have some. Carrots used to be on the "foods to avoid" list at first, but you can now have them at the beginning of phase two. Tomatoes and onions, previously limited, are now fine in any phase. Fruit makes a comeback, too. Just pick and choose. A little now and then, no more. How long does this last? Until you hit your target weight. The final stage is your diet for life. Eat normal foods in normal portions, following a few basic guidelines. The South Beach Diet is based on the observation that Americans are carb crazy. Highly processed carbs get digested too quickly. That makes insulin levels (a hormone the body makes to process sugars) spike. And once those fast-burning carbs are used up, your high insulin level makes you crave more food, particularly more carbs. By breaking this cycle, The South Beach Diet promises to make you want to eat less food, but better food. Website provides tools primarily focused on diet plan, not much exercise support.


Best Life Diet

Exercise physiologist Bob Greene's The Best Life Diet is an easy-to-follow, no-gimmicks approach to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Greene's "diet" is synonymous with the phrase "lifestyle change." There's no going on and off this diet, because it's not a "diet." It's a lifestyle of healthy eating, with an emphasis on regular physical activity. You're encouraged to make gradual changes, one step at a time. The aim is to transform your old eating and exercise habits into healthier new ones that will last a lifetime. Depending on your gender and activity level, The Best Life Diet guidelines suggests calorie levels ranging from 1,500-2,500 and a recommended number of servings from the various food groups. The basic premise is that the more active you are, the more calories you can eat. Lots of great tips, recipes, menus, and useful tools are included to help dieters get and stay motivated. The Best Life Diet is easily tailored to a wide array of personal lifestyles, activity levels, and food preferences. The program can be followed online for a fee, or by the book. Phase One, a maximum of four weeks, focuses on slowly increasing activity levels and changing old eating habits. Recommendations include no eating two hours before bed, eating three meals and one snack daily, eliminating alcohol (temporarily), staying hydrated, and taking a daily multivitamin/mineral, omega-3 fatty acid, and calcium (if needed). The meal and snack suggestions make healthy eating sound delicious. Phase Two, a minimum of four weeks, promotes a more aggressive approach to losing weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity. This phase builds upon the changes made in Phase One, with an emphasis on controlling physical and emotional hunger, removing six problem foods from your diet, weekly weigh-ins, and portion control. Phase Three is maintenance, or the phase for the rest of your life. It focuses on eliminating more unhealthy foods and adding more wholesome foods, and introduces "anything goes" calories. Greene's "anything goes" calories are similar to the "discretionary calories" found in the U.S. government's 2005 Dietary Guidelines, which allow you to enjoy your favorite treats in small portions. Greene gives the green light for more "anything goes" calories when you are most active. Greene also tackles issues that lead to overeating, such as hunger and emotional eating. Using his hunger tool helps dieters stop overeating by learning how to gauge real hunger. He tackles emotional eating head-on by asking dieters to answer some tough questions before beginning the program: Why are you overweight?, Why do you want to lose weight?, Why have you been unable to lose weight in the past? Answering these questions honestly can help dieters identify the things that need to be changed so they can start to address problem issues.


The Biggest Loser Diet

Diet based on Biggest Loser reality show, which focuses on a healthy diet and exercise. You'll receive a personalized meal plan when you join the Biggest Loser Club. It's typically low fat and low-carb. You'll also have access to many delicious healthy recipes that are enjoyed by the show's contestants. Exercise is key component of the Biggest Loser Club program. Be ready to get up and move. Follow advice from trainers on the site. Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and former trainer Kim Lyons each have books, DVDs and online videos demonstrating ideal fitness plans. The Biggest Loser Club gives you online access to the diet & fitness program used by the contestants -- personalized to fit your goals and lifestyle. The Biggest Loser online weight loss program gives you all the tools, expert help, and community support you need to succeed.  Access your online weight loss program via internet, recipes, meal ideas, exercise demonstrations, and more. Get personalized goals based on your height and weight, Assess your exercise and food habits with new and improved interactive tools. Track your diet and exercise progress to see how your activity and food habits impact your ability to reach your goals.


You: On a Diet

What sets You: On a Diet apart from other diet books is the emphasis on waist measurement, not weight and its relationship to health. According to the authors, waist size is more important than weight. You: On a Diet contains eating plans, exercises, and recommended prescriptions for losing weight and shrinking your waistline. The physician co-authors do a great job making sense of weight control, fat storage, fat burning, genetics and its relationship to weight, the importance of physical activity, and in general demystifying and explaining how the body works. Tips and tools are included to help crack the code on achieving improved health and weight loss by making changes that will trim inches off your waist. You start the diet with a two-week re-booting program that includes eating healthier, whole foods and walking regularly. This stage is meant to break the cycle of craving unhealthy refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white bread, and enable dieters to feel full and satisfied. At this stage you'll eat three meals and snacks every few hours, with your last snack at least three hours before bedtime so it won't interfere with a good night's sleep. Treats or desserts are allowed every other day. Foods for breakfast, lunch, and snacks can only be chosen from a small list of options. "Too much variety triggers overeating, so we recommend automating your choices for most meals and snacks so dieters are less likely to splurge," says Roizen. Dieters enjoy more options for the dinner meal. "Large bellies cause insulin resistance and inflammation," says Roizen, "inhibiting blood sugar from getting into brain cells and muscles that control hunger."  The answer, say the authors: Improve insulin resistance with waist-loss, physical activity, and more natural foods. You: On a Diet also recommends dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to walking, even if you do it in 10-minute intervals. Making exercise a priority helps build psychological discipline and foster compliance, say the authors.


Thin for Life

The author Anne Feltcher outlines a Six-Week Nondieting Weight Control Plan - which means that, week after week, you integrate one segment of the Food Guide Pyramid into your diet. In Week One, for example, you're focusing on fat, oils, and sweets intake - and learning to use them sparingly. The main focus is high-flavor, low-risk foods, which involves cutting calories and fat to match recommended intake for your height. Fletcher's 10 Keys to Success are a cornerstone of her book. They are: 1. Believe that you can become thin for life. "The masters' stories will help you believe in your own power to lose weight and keep it off forever," writes Fletcher. 2. Take the reins. Make the decision to take action, choose a way to lose weight, and begin making day-to-day decisions about food. 3. Do it your way. "If you want to lose weight, you have to find what's best for you," Structured weight loss programs work for some people; but others need to develop their own schemes. 4. Accept the food facts. You can't eat whatever you want. You have to make low-fat eating enjoyable, and she lists lots of substitutions for high-fat products used in cooking. She also includes a detailed chart listing fat and calorie content in many common foods. 5. Nip it in the bud. Establish a weight buffer zone ('I will gain no more than five to 10 pounds'), and be adamant about not exceeding it. Have a set plan of action for eating. 6. Learn positive self-talk. When negative, self-defeating self-talk outweighs the positive, coping thoughts, you're not going to do well in weight management efforts. With positive self-talk, you'll come to believe in yourself more and more. 7. Move it or lose it. Commitment to exercise is the single best predictor of keeping weight off. It's not necessary to be an exercise fanatic - but exercising consistently and enjoying it are essential, she writes. 8. Face life head-on. Learning how to cope with life's ups and downs - must learn to deal with life's problems in constructive ways, without turning to food. 9. Get more out of life. Balance your lifestyle, and your sense of craving and deprivation will decrease. 10. Don't go it alone. Support from family and friends can be critical to long-term success at weight control, or you may need individual counseling (from a registered dietitian, social worker, or psychologist, others prefer group support like Weight Watchers' meetings.


Mayo Clinic Diet

The keys to The Mayo Clinic Diet are: Eating according to the clinic's Healthy Weight Pyramid, which tells you how many servings from each food group you need to reach your calorie goal. Being more physically active. Adopting healthy habits. Defining realistic goals. Staying motivated. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid -- which is similar to the U.S. government's Food Pyramid -- recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods. Serving recommendations and portion sizes for each food group are included to help dieters plan their own menus. How much you eat depends on your calorie goal, which can range from 1,200-1,800 per day depending on your sex and starting weight. Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweets are not permitted during the initial, quick-start portion of the plan. After that, they are limited to an average of 75 calories per day.  The Mayo Clinic Diet begins with a two-week jump-start phase called "Lose It!" designed to help you safely lose 6-10 pounds in two weeks. This initial phase focuses on learning how to create healthy lifestyle habits. In this phase you will: Add five healthy habits, such as eating breakfast, or eating more fruits and vegetables; Break five unhealthy habits, such as giving up sugar, or substituting fruits and vegetables for unhealthy snacks; Adopt five bonus habits, such as keeping food and activity records, or exercising more. The second phase, called "Live It!" gives you the tools and techniques you need to sustain the healthy habits you learned in the first phase, including: Setting weight loss goals, Eating according to the Mayo Healthy Weight Pyramid, Understanding portions, Being more physically active. Expect weight loss to slow to 1-2 pounds per week during the Live It! phase; it can also work as a maintenance plan.