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Health ~ How To Use It and Lose It

Updated on September 22, 2012

Many people are trying to trim down on their own and find it to be a difficult and lonely road.

That's when a structured program can be helpful. The best weight loss programs can offer the support of a group, the knowledge of professionals, and the discipline that can be difficult to accomplish by doing it alone.

We all have a difficult time getting the pounds off, and I have considered the following list of programs, all of which offer healthy, sensible ways to lose weight.

The Pritkin Program

Here are six best diet plans for healthy weight loss:

1. The Pritikin Program is known to reverse heart disease and in treating obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity.

 With the assistance of health professionals, including physicians, dietitians, physical therapists, and personal trainers, you will learn how to focus on flavorful whole foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and nutrients and low in saturated fats and calories.

The Pritikin's approach has the side benefit of being very filling, which means you will never feel hungry while following this diet.

Strengths: Quick, dramatic, lasting results, both for weight loss and other health conditions, such as high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Exercise is encouraged, which is overlooked by other programs.

Weaknesses: The residential program can cost several thousand dollars a week. The books and Web-site plan can be effective, low cost alternatives but lack the hands-on care of the full program.

Weight Watchers

2. Weight Watchers is considered the matriarch of weight loss programs.

As we all know, weight watchers has been studied extensively over the 40-plus years of existence. The diet is based on a points system that encourages healthful choices and portions counted.

It doesn't forbid any foods, but you learn that unhealthy foods take up a big portion of your points allowance.

Strengths: Excellent group support via weekly meetings.

Easy to use points system that works well with American lifestyles.

Reasonable cost. Most people sign up online or pay by the week.

Weaknesses: Unwise use of the points systems can leave you hungry, making the temptation to cheat difficult to resist.

Weekly meetings are often used to sell Weight Watchers branded food and products. Other optional fees can bump up the cost of the program. Counselors are not necessarily health care professionals.

3.  Nutrisystem Many use Nutrisystem's Web site,, to get ready made meals and snacks sent directly to your door.

The types of food are tailored to your age, gender, and goals with vegetarians and diabetic options.

Strengths: Easy to follow and convenient. The food arrives once a month, so you don't have to worry about what's for lunch or dinner. Food is always available. This program works well for those who prefer not to attend group meetings. Supportive counseling is readily available if you need it.

Weaknesses: Expensive. Expect to pay a higher price per month for Nutrisystem meals. That does not include the food you will add from the grocery store.

4. Volumetrics Foods are ranked according to energy density, the term for how many calories are in a given weight of food. Foods that are low in energy density, such as broth based soups and vegetables that have a lot of bulk, but few calories.

Foods high in energy density, such as fatty foods are the opposite. The latest book about the program is called The Volumetrics Eating Plan.

Strengths: Inexpensive. To learn how to use this diet, all that is necessary is to buy a book.

Weaknesses: This is a go it alone approach. You have to be self motivated to use a program such as this one. Very little advice on how to create an exercise program.

5. Dietitian/Trainer For those who want a highly individualized approach to weight loss.

it is hard to beat the tag team of a registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer.

One who will help you examine your whole relationship to food and design an eating plan to match. The other will do the same for physical activity.

The daily health news diet hot-line experts of trainers and dietitians are available to answer any weight loss questions you may have.

Strengths: You are accountable to two professionals who will be helping you along the way. You learn to use real supermarket foods instead of supplied foods.

Weaknesses: Expensive, The cost could vary if you could find a dietitian who is certified as a personal trainer.

6. Jenny Craig If weight watchers is the matriarch of weight loss. Jenny Craig is its little sister, having been around for over 25 years. It's backbone is built around Jenny Cuisine, the company's branded line of premade breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals and snacks. You add your own fresh produce and dairy products to the supplied foods.

Strengths: Healthy diet. Regular consultations and support. Personalized menus, portion controlled, premade foods that take the guesswork out of what you should be eating.

Weakness: Expensive. Not convenient for family situations, because you eat your own separate meals. Premade meals are convenient, but do not teach healthy grocery shopping and cooking. Consultants are not health professionals.

Whatever diet plan you choose, make sure it is a healthy plan.

One that makes you feel great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.

All this can be achieved by getting involved with a health and fitness professional and learning about the basics of nutrition and using them in a way that works for you.



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    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Wewillmake, thanks for visiting my hub. With any diet portion control is the key to losing weight.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Wewillmake thanks for your comment. Health is the key to life.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Came back to re-read this great hub. My husband kiddingly calls me the soup Nazi (after a funny TV episode on Seinfeld). As you know, I like to make a lot of different soups which would go along with the Volumetrics theory of weight loss and health. Adding an interesting vote and SHARING this so others will find your well written hub.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Hi Micky,

      Thanks for your comments and the information on using vitamin supplements like spirolina and chlorella. I will add these powerful supplements to my daily diet. It is truly a giant challenge to stay healthy and eat properly. Happy biking.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Nell Rose,

      I agree motivation and will power is the key to staying on track with a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for your comments and visiting my hub page.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Great post Cheryl. Our foods are compromised. I think vegetables are the way to go. But I would supplement, and do, with spirolina or chlorella. Of course other vitamins are needed.

      I have to stay focused and eat only the good nutritious food. I can't have biscuits or most other breads. I avoid all fried foods. I think everyone would get used to being without their favorite foods and adapt and eat from a new "hunger food". Thank you for this post.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great! I never knew that you could have food delivered even though as you say it can be expensive. and that, unfortunately is the big problem. I think the only way to make any of them work is to find your will power, obviously if you have a fitness instructor or dietician they will keep you motivated, or should I say, on your toes! great info, and bookmarked thanks nell

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX


      Thanks for your comment on my hub page. We all want great health and to look our very best. One of the ways is to manage what we eat. I enjoy weight watchers and walking.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Thanks Peggy.

      Thanks for sharing your comment on my hubpage. There are quite a few options to choose from. My personal choice is weight watchers. Thanks again for the nice rating.

    • chasemillis profile image

      chasemillis 6 years ago

      Wow this Hub has a ton of information on it. I think I'm going to share it with some of my friends. Good Job!! Voted Up!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Wow! What a great comparison you have offered about the different approaches to health and "How to Use It and Lose It." Useful and up ratings!