Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Think calories when dieting

There are so many diet plans out there that it can be overwhelming to figure out what diet is the best to follow. When I decided that I needed to lose weight and get back into shape I made a mental list of what would help me to follow a plan and what would actually work for me.

I have 4 kids and a spouse with a busy work schedule. I can't cook one meal for me and one for everyone else. So any diet changes I made needed to fit into my regular meal routine. Eating together as a family is important to us and my meals need to be healthy and filling for everyone.

I chose Weight Watchers. Why? Two main reasons: First the support aspect. Going to weigh in at a meeting every week makes me accountable to someone other than me. I feel so motivated after a meeting, even if I did gain weight that week. Second was the meal plan. When I joined it was the Flex Plan, now it is a new program that is very similar - the Momentum Plan. What I like is that I still plan my daily meals. I am not tied into pre-made meals or specific menus. We've tried some great recipes from some Weight Watchers cookbooks and I can use the online etools to modify existing family favorites.

The other part I like at Weight Watchers is that I can choose where my points come from. I am really anti-fake food. I prefer to use real sugar, not sugar substitutes. I like to cook with butter and am concerned about foods with trans fats and lots of ingredients that I can't pronounce. I can still do that with Weight Watchers - I just log all my food and points accordingly.

Today I received an interesting article in a newsletter from the company I order CPR supplies from. Which Diet Is Best? Think Calories, Not Composition. The brief summary referred to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System. They compared four different diets over several years and found that the best way to lose weight overall was to reduce your calorie intake. So its not only about cutting carbs or just low fat. It is really looking at what you eat and how much of it. On the Weight Watchers Momentum Plan they have labeled a lot of foods as "filling foods" which are also low in calories - like fresh veggies!

So when I have a moment today I'm going to take a look at the full Harvard & Louisiana State Report.

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