many dieters benefit from added structure and support, not to mention the accountability that accompanies an organized program. (There’s nothing like a little peer pressure to keep you motivated.)
The weight-loss brand marketed by celebrities including Queen Latifah, Valerie Bertinelli and Phylicia Rashad boasts a sensible approach to weight loss, advocating an average drop in body mass of about 1%, or 1 to 2 pounds per week. The program addresses mind-body aspects of weight loss by helping clients adopt healthful eating and exercise habits, as well as encouraging them to examine the underlying causes of their weight problems. [Insight + $1.75 will get you a cuppa coffee at Starbuck’s. Examine away & you’ll still sabotage your weight loss! ]
Jenny Rewards, priced at $399 or $359, is a 12-month program that rewards dieters’ efforts and weight loss with discounts on food. There’s also an at-home option that is similar except you also pay for shipping and have consultations by phone.
Sign-up costs include weekly one-on-one counseling, personalized menus, motivational plans and assorted manuals and guides, depending on membership level.
Then, there’s the cost of food. The prepackaged foods generally cost $12 to $18 per day, or $84 to $126 per week.*
Cost of losing 30 pounds: $399 or $359 (if paid upfront), not including food.* [Add in the food, $126 x 52weeks = $6,552.00. Grand total? About $7,000! ]
This at-home system (no office visits or weigh-ins) will appeal to those who don’t like to cook. It involves eating the company’s prepackaged meals exclusively. The 28-day program includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (you may add fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy). [Then again, you may not! Who wants fresh fruit & veggies anyway?!] Support is offered through a free Web site.
"Some people lose 1 pound a week; some people lose 3 pounds a week," says a NutriSystem sales representative. If, on average, you lose 2 pounds a week, the diet will take about 4 months. It’s cheaper to sign up for the Auto-Delivery Savings program (the food keeps coming until you cancel), which costs $299.95 per month, shipping incl.
Cost of losing 30 pounds: $1,199.80, including all food, except fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. [Leaving WHAT? Frozen chicken fingers and fishsticks?]
This is one of the most popular diets in the world, probably because there’s no such thing as taboo food. The diet is based on portion control and involves weekly support meetings. [Both valuable factors in successful dieting; but, in and of themselves, not effective in constructing a ‘post-diet life’ in a normal-sized, healthy body.]
The Flex plan means each food is assigned a point value, and you can eat anything as long as you stay within your allotted points. The Core plan involves a pre-approved list of foods… Weight Watchers food items…are optional.
Registration is between $15 and $20, depending on location. Weekly meeting fees range from about $10 to $15, again, location-dependent. The standard monthly plan for Weight Watchers Online costs $46.90 the first month and $16.95 for subsequent months. Plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week for 20 weeks to reach a 30-pound weight-loss goal.
Cost of losing 30 pounds: $214.80 to $299.80, depending on location, or $97.75 online, not including food.
The Zone Diet
This well-rounded plan is based on a 40-30-30 ratio of daily calories obtained from carbohydrates, proteins and favorable fats.
Though you could buy a book and follow the diet independently, [A sure-fire recipe for failure!] why not do it like the stars? Opt for the company’s “In the Zone Delivery.” The service delivers a customized daily supply of food (3 meals and 2 snacks) to subscribers in most metropolitan areas by 6 a.m. each day. Outside major cities, you can receive two to three days’ worth of food at a time for a higher delivery fee.
Signing up for the 30-day "Chef Selected" plan will cost $39.99 a day plus a shipping charge, which is $3 for customers in most cities and $10 for those in other areas. If you want to try it out for 2 weeks, you’ll pay $44.99 per day plus shipping. The average Zone dieter loses 8 to 10 pounds a month, and it will take 3 or 4 months to drop 30 pounds. [If you’re clinically obese or morbidly obese, hope you win the lottery!]
Cost of losing 30 pounds: $3,869 to $5,159, which includes $3 a day for delivery.
These diets are just the tip of the iceberg. The options for losing weight are endless. [The endless variety! Tha’t what makes yoyo dieting so much fun!]
It’s also important to be realistic. [Meaning, there’s a 90% chance you’ll gain it all back, and more, in a year or two! NIH study.]
Ask yourself whether you can afford the program and whether it fits your lifestyle. If you have the motivation but not the means, don’t fret. Instead, consider the age-old method for losing weight: Reduce the number of calories you take in while exercising to increase the amount you burn off. [It’s “age-old” because it delivers on its promise. The problem is, it doesn’t promise to show you how to keep from gaining it back!]