Tag Archives: Healthy Weight Loss

A Simple Path to Healthy Weight Loss

A True Story About Weight Loss

Healthy Weight LossFor the first 60 years of my life weight loss was never my problem. I had a completely different challenge.

At 14, I reached my full height of 5 ft. 8 in., which made me taller than all my friends and all the boys.

I thought of myself as a tall, plain, and unattractive Amazon who towered above the rest of the world. It was a constant source of agony until I entered college, where  there were other girls up in the stratosphere with me. That was enough to ease the pain a little.

Finally, when I entered the exciting world of young adulthood, I began to appreciate the amazing gift I had received at birth. I had won the lottery with my gene pool, which included a tall, slender frame, high energy, and extremely good health.

Almost without conscious thought, I made choices that nurtured my body (no caffeine or alcohol, no smoking, and no drugs) and I reaped the rewards of those choices.

When I married and started a family, good health practices continued. Making sure my children had well-balanced, nutritious meals was high on my list. I also found ways to exercise, either jogging with friends or participating in aerobics or Jazzercize.

Then, Things Changed

My healthy lifestyle had served me well over the years. Unfortunately, after my divorce at age 42, it seemed to fall apart. Little by little, things began to change.

My new way of eating included multiple cans of coke daily – or more explicitly – TAB (so a double hit on my body – caffeine and artificial sweetener). Fast food became a regular part of my diet, and eventually, I began smoking and started drinking wine.

Fortunately, my exercise regimen remained constant – aerobics, Jazzercize, and social swing dancing were regular activities. Plus, when I moved to Manhattan, walking was also part of my daily routine.

So, where was the problem? Simple – my other healthy practices were inconsistent. My focus was on taking care of four children as a single mom, running my interior design business, and socializing.

I was a young, reasonably good-looking single woman who didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. Finding someone to love was a major goal. It seemed important to put myself “out there” and look good in the process (which was the driver for the exercise).

When you throw into the mix the problem that I am a stress eater of very unhealthy foods (favorites are ice cream, pastries, chocolate, Coca Cola, and Frappuccinos), my healthy lifestyle deteriorated rapidly.

YO-YO Dieting

For the first time in my life, I gained a little weight and began yo-yo dieting. My weight which had been between 130 – 140 pounds on my 5’ 9” frame for most of my life began to increase. I would realize the gain, lose the weight for a while, then, gain it back, plus more.

I started with Atkins, which my body doesn’t tolerate well. Eventually, I tried all the fad diets of the time: Grapefruit Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, appetite suppressants (Ayds, Dexetrim, and Ephedra – all three were eventually taken off the market), SlimFast, Scarsdale Diet, and, of course, Weight Watchers.

They all worked for a while, but they were not sustainable and none gave me the lifelong change I needed. The weight continued to yo-yo.

In 2010, some personal challenges took all my focus and energy with nothing left for self-care and healthy eating. In December, 2012, my son died and the stress eating flew out of control. I stopped exercising and started to gain weight – pound after pound.

The unhealthy eating and weight gain continued for the next five years because I was in too much mental and emotional pain to pay attention.

Reality Stopped Me Cold

One morning in early January 2018, I stepped on the scales and saw 203.8  pounds – almost 64 lbs. over my lifetime standard of 140 lbs. That was it! The unhealthy eating had to stop!

I did not want to live my life overweight and at risk for serious health problems. Not only was I extremely overweight (borderline obese), my mother had developed Type 2 diabetes in her 70s. I could see myself following in her footsteps. The choice was clear, I had to change the way I had been living for the past eight years.

The irony in this story is that I had been writing a blog for over two years that focused on clean eating and good health, which has always been my passion. I believed everything I had written; but, I had not been following my own advice.

I did a lot of research for my blog and was aware of the harmful choices I was making. I knew exactly what I needed to change in order to create the lifestyle I wanted for the rest of my life. BUT . . . I wasn’t doing any of it. Anger, overwhelming grief, sadness, frustration, and more were ruling my life.

Change Was the Only Option

When I saw “203.8 lbs.” on the scale, I freaked out. Help was needed, and needed NOW! I opted for Nutrisystem as a starting point.

It worked! In the first month, 10 lbs. came off; but, one month was all I could tolerate. The food grew tiresome very quickly; and, much to my disappointment, there were a lot of additives in the food that I did not like putting into my body. Plus, it was expensive; so, that path was no longer an option.

Nutrisystem was a great kickstart for losing weight. It launched the weight-loss process and taught me a valuable lesson – portion control.

When  I received my first shipment and started eating the meals, the portion sizes were a surprise. They were so small – and yet, they were enough. I was never hungry and started losing weight because I carefully followed the instructions. In other words, I worked the program – and it worked for me.

I knew Nutrisystem was no longer an option, but neither was giving up an option. Determined to stay on track and to get back to a healthy weight, it was clear that I had to find another way.

I finally accepted that reaching my goal wasn’t going to be fast or easy. It would take as long as it would take. Even though the realization didn’t thrill me, I made my peace with it and continued to move forward.

Another Twist to the Story

I started Nutrisystem on January 29. Four weeks later as I was finishing up the first month of my “diet,” I began suffering from agonizing back pain. After two weeks of misdiagnoses, I ended up in the E.R. with the diagnosis of a cracked vertebrae.

I was immediately hospitalized. The first thing they did (after administering morphine for the pain) was to put me in a body brace. Four days later they transferred me to a skilled nursing facility for 3½ weeks where I was given more pain pills than I care to think about, and struggled through daily rehab to get back on my feet and walking again.

This was the perfect excuse to forget about losing weight and eat whatever I wanted. But, to my amazement, I chose not to do that. I was committed to my journey back to eating well and living well.

In a way, it solved my dilemma about what to do next. The facility had an excellent meal service (with good food). Taking what I had learned from Nutrisystem, I practiced portion control and continued to count calories. It worked perfectly.

It not only worked, it set the path that I would follow from that point on.

Everything Worked

Which brings us to the present – one year later.

I have recovered completely from my injury and returned to work. My stamina is increasing because of a dedicated walking routine. In the beginning it was only a few steps a day, and gradually increased to 4000+ steps a day. Fourteen months later and 44 pounds lighter, I am still losing – moving slowly toward my goal of 150 lbs. A frustrating reality is that the last 10 pounds are always the hardest to lose.

Yes, it has been a long, slow process, but that’s OK for several reasons:

  1. It has allowed my body to adjust to the change and I feel great.
  2. I will be able to keep the weight off because I have a completely new way of eating.
  3. There is no flabby loose skin that often results from extreme, fast weight loss.
  4. I started the journey knowing it would take time – my expectations were set appropriately from the beginning.

A New Book Tells the Story

I have just launched a new book on Amazon, WOW! You Look Fantastic. My goal for the book was to share everything I had learned during my journey so others could Cover - WOW You Look Fantastic

benefit from my experience. If you are struggling with your weight, your frustrations, and your lifestyle, this is the book for you. It will show you that healthy weight loss is possible.

I can promise you, from personal experience, that this is the way to reach your ideal weight and to live well for the rest of your life. The solutions are simple, but not necessarily easy.

You must be completely committed to making the necessary changes. You cannot let anything deter you from reaching your goal.  If you want the results bad enough, you will make them happen.

This book will give you a simple path to follow.

Good luck and ENJOY the process.


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First published on my website: https://nancynwilson.com/



Quinoa for Healthy Weight Loss

Quinoa – often mistaken for a grain – is actually a seed from the Goosefoot Family. If you were to allow the seed to spout, it would produce dark leafy greens very similar in appearance to spinach (which comes from the same family).

This ancient Incans in South America were aware of the phenomenal health benefits the seed provides; and fortunately, for us, its nutrient value has once again been discovered and is being marketed throughout the U.S.

Quinoa is not only tasty, it is a nutrient goldmine – rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Any meal that contains a quinoa dish will leave you feeling happily satisfied rather than deprived, which makes it an ideal diet food. Because of this characteristic, it has gained popularity as a grain alternative in many weight-loss programs.

Why use quinoa for healthy weight loss?

Weight Loss Highway Sign
Image by Kbuntu

Adds Nutritional Value

We all know that Popeye’s strength came from spinach, which was not a far stretch of the imagination since the nutrient value of spinach is well-known. Quinoa seeds are from the same family and contain all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

It is also a good source of magnesium and calcium, iron, and vitamin B 12 (which is essential for energy production and weight loss). The family of B vitamins control the body’s ability to synthesize nutrients efficiently. When you are lacking in Vitamin B, it works against your body’s natural ability to control weight.

Diminishes the Empty Feeling

My guess is that at some point you have tried to lose weight and understand the feeling of deprivation that typically accompanies most weight loss regimens. That empty feeling stays with you during most of your waking hours and dealing with it is one of the biggest challenges of any diet.

Quinoa can be the answer. Dietary fiber and protein help the body feel full and satisfied. Since quinoa is rich in both, it is a great food for any weight-loss program because it helps the dieter feel full without eating a lot of calories – and makes it easier to reach dieting goals.

Has a Low Glycemic Index

Quinoa is low on the glycemic index, which helps control cravings.

High-glycemic Index foods create havoc with your blood sugar. As soon as you eat the food, your blood sugar spikes – then crashes, which causes the body to send a message to your brain that it needs more sugar and carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar back to normal (hence the cravings).

When you eat foods like quinoa that have a low-glycemic index, you help your body sustain slow and steady blood sugar levels and eliminate the cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. You do not tire as easily and you tend to eat healthier foods at regular meal times rather than snacking on empty calories.

Eliminates Worry About Calorie Intake

Great news! When compared to pasta, quinoa is lower in calories. One serving is only 170 calories. Three servings of quinoa has considerably fewer calories than one serving of pasta.

You can eat your fill with most quinoa dishes without worrying about consuming your entire calories in one meal, which can easily happen with pasta dishes.

If you are trying to lose weight, this is an excellent food to add to your diet.

Start enjoying your meals, feeling full after eating, and reaching your weight-loss goals.


Fast Weight Loss Is Dangerous and Short-Lived

If you are carrying around a few extra pounds or many extra pounds, having the goal to lose weight is a good thing. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is vitally important to good health and living a long life. Unfortunately, many people get caught up in losing weight as fast as possible.

Start Diet Today (Scales)
Image by Alan Cleaver

If you have been thinking along those lines, you have probably seen and even considered the ads that make promises like, “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days.”  That sounds great and may even be possible, but the repercussions from that kind of weight loss are not good.

I can understand wanting to lose weight quickly, but it is much smarter to be realistic about how many pounds you can lose within a certain time frame and stay healthy. The general rule for losing weight safely is to no more than 2 pounds per week.

There are methods that will help you to lose quite a bit more than that – especially during the first two weeks of the diet; but . . . I do not recommend them and I am confident that your doctor would tell you the same thing.

ALWAYS talk to your doctor before you start any diet – and listen to him/her.

I am fairly certain that what I just told about 2 lbs/week being a safe weight loss number is fairly common knowledge. In fact, you have probably heard it many times; so, why would you or anyone think that losing more than two pounds per week is a good idea?

Let’s assume that for some reason your doctor says it is OK to go on such an extreme diet. In fact, he tells you that the more you can lose right away, the better. Maybe his reasoning is that you will see dramatic results and start feeling better right away; and those two factors will be great motivators and will help you stick to your diet and exercise plan.

I doubt very much that is going to happen, but let’s say it does – it is not a long-lasting solution! The weight loss is essentially temporary and this is one of the reasons:

  • A large portion of your initial weight loss will be water weight. As we all learned in one of our early science classes, the human body is mostly water. Because of that, you can delude yourself into thinking that you have lost weight simply by dehydrating yourself, which you should NEVER do. Besides being dangerous, you will gain all of it back as soon as you start drinking water again. It is possible that technically you could get away with it, but it is not a long-lasting solution.
  • The weight you lose through extreme, fast diets almost always comes back, plus some extra.

Now, having made those points, there is one specific healthy strategy that will help you drop a few pounds rather quickly.

  1. Stop drinking sugar-loaded beverages (Coke, Mountain Dew, Big Gulp, Monster Drinks, etc.). Those beverages are essentially sugar water, coloring, caffeine and additives – loaded with empty calories.
  • Coke 12 oz can                                          140 calories
  • Coke 20 oz Bottle                                     240 calories
  • Coke 1 Liter Bottle                                   400 calories
  • 7-Eleven 32 oz Big Gulp Coke               364 calories
  • 7-Eleven 44 oz Super Gulp Coke          512 calories
  • 7-Eleven 52 oz Xtreme Gulp Coke       585 calories

Losing Weight Is Quite Simple – but Is Not Necessarily Easy

In order to lose weight, you must eat 3,500 fewer calories than you need per week to lose one pound. You can either eat fewer calories; or burn them off through exercise.

Let’s look at it this way:

Eliminate 500 calories/day = 3,500 fewer calories/week = one pound lost.

So, if you want to lose five pounds in one week, all you have to do is cut your caloric intake by 2,500 calories/day for a full week!

Eliminate 2,500 calories/day = 17,500 less calories/week = 5 pounds lost.

It sounds gruesome and dangerous to me.  You must eat enough calories to sustain your body, so to cut 2,500 calories per day from you diet would be extreme. It would also be difficult to burn off that many calories (or even a portion of the number) through exercise, even if you are in good physical condition (which is not the case with most overweight people.)

For example: A 160 pound person has to jog at 5 MPH for 60 minutes to burn a measly 584 calories. Walking at 2 MPH for an hour only burns 180 calories. See what I mean? Not realistic!

The reality is that trying to lose weight fast it is not only detrimental to your health, it is very difficult.  The only way to lose weight at a healthy pace is through a diet of healthy foods and a steady regimen of exercise. It is not necessarily easy, and will undoubtedly take far more time than you want it to; but it is worth it, once the pounds start coming off and staying off.

Preparation for Weight Loss

Weight Loss Highway Sign
Image by Kbuntu

Preparation for weight loss increases the chances for losing the weight and keeping it off. The four preparatory steps outlined below will jump-start your effort and keep you moving forward with confidence.

You have been carrying extra pounds for some time – maybe more than a few. You have found a weight-loss program (diet) that you think will work for you and you are ready to get started. That is great! I say “great” with the assumption that you have chosen a healthy path that will allow you to lose weight and sustain good health at the same time.

With that in mind, there are some important basic steps you should take before starting any new diet. These steps are always important, but critically important if you have underlying health issues.

The Four Steps to Prepare for Success

  1. Talk to Your Doctor

Explain your desire to live a healthier lifestyle and your plans to begin with a weight loss program that includes a specific type of diet.  Tell him about the diet you have chosen and why. This is to verify that your choice is a good one for you. Everyone’s body is different and has different nutritional needs – especially if you have a serious medical condition that requires medications such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure).

If you have chosen wisely – avoiding any kind of extreme diet, and have selected a balanced plan that adds fruits and vegetables while eliminating all processed foods, I am 99% sure that your doctor will be very supportive.

  1. Set a Long-term Target

Once you have your doctor’s approval, set a realistic long-term target (and that is all it is – a target). You can set a time frame if you want, or leave it open-ended. The primary intent should be to change your way of eating, lose weight slowly, keep it off, and establish a healthier lifestyle.

Your target should be your ideal (and realistic) weight. In other words the weight that is suitable for your height, body shape, and where you feel your best physically.

For example: Nine months ago I set my target of 150 pounds within 12 months. Having ballooned up to 195 pounds over the previous two years, I had 45 pounds to lose over the next year. Today, at the nine-month mark, I have lost 25 pounds. I may hit my target in three more months, or it may take a little longer. I am OK with either way because I am slowly, but surely moving toward the healthy body that I want to have for he rest of my life.

Set your target and keep it clearly in mind. You may want to make a sign that you post somewhere (on the wall – on your computer, etc.), but do not let it become an obsession.  If you stay focused on your new lifestyle choices and eating habits, you will hit your target eventually – and you will be able to sustain your ideal weight.

With your target in mind, plan the specific steps you are going to take day-by-day to lose weight and develop your new, healthier lifestyle. Focus  each day – one day at a time –  on how you are going to eat well (implementing your new diet that you discussed with your doctor) and the weight will begin to fall off, i promise.

  1. Prepare a Journal

A record is very helpful during this journey. It should begin with a precise assessment of where you are today – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your journal can be pen/paper or on your computer.

To begin . . . make notes on your current weight and how you are feeling – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Also, write out a complete description of how you want to look and feel when you reach your target.  Finally, include the day-by-day steps you plan to take that will help you reach your target – including diet, exercise, stress relief strategies, and rest.

Make an entry in your journal at the end of each week or month – I do not recommend daily – too obsessive. Write down everything you are happy about and anything you need to change to help you move forward.  This is not about beating yourself up when things are not moving as quickly as you had hoped, or if you slip. It is simply a record of your journey. If you do slip, forgive yourself and move on.

Just for fun – you may want to take of picture of you when you begin, and a picture of you when you reach your target (whenever that is) – and possibly a couple of times in between. The mind can be slow in catching up with the body, unless you see pictures of the changes.

  1. Plan Ahead

When you approach losing weight by selecting a healthy diet that will change your life forever and also take the three preparatory steps listed above, you can move forward with confidence expecting nothing less that success – regardless of how long it takes.

Another important step in your journey will be planning. Remember, you will be taking the process one-day-at-a-time. That does not mean that you will be “winging it.”  It means that you should plan what you are going to do each day to ensure that you are always moving in the right direction. Personally, I plan three days at a time – but, you could plan up to a week if it suits you better.

  • Plan your meals in advance, at least your big meals (lunch or dinner). The other meals, you can plan the night before if you choose. Find your own rhythm.
  • Plan ahead for any social events – parties, going out for drinks/dinner, weddings, company events, or entertaining at home. Before every event, be very clear about what you will eat (and not eat). If you do not plan ahead, you can easily get pulled off track – the temptation may be too great if you are not prepared.
  • Plan your exercise routine – and you must exercise, even if it is nothing more than a 20 minute walk each day, every step counts.
  • Get plenty of rest – fatigue is a big driver of overeating, or eating the wrong things.

Remember – you are making a lifestyle change!  You are not beginning a crash diet to lose 25 pounds and then put them right back on again. You are creating a healthier future.

It is ok to plan an occasional “cheat” treat. But, the key word is “occasional.” Treat yourself to a slice of your favorite pie every month or so, and then get right back into the healthy swing of things.

Also, be prepared for plateaus. They happen! When they do, just keep eating right, exercising, and getting your sleep, you will eventually get past them.

Life is to be enjoyed in a healthy body. Losing weight should not be about depriving yourself. It should be about feeding your body well and keeping it healthy for the long-haul. If you do it right, you will enjoy your new lifestyle very quickly because you will see progress – slow and steady –  and it will feel so-o-o-o-o-o good!

2014 Diet Trends – Recommended Diets

You may be wondering why I am writing a post on 2014 Diet Trends when it is already May. I know that most people start their diets at the beginning of the year. BUT . . . that does not mean you can’t start now – or any time for that matter.  The right time to diet is when you are ready and willing to fully commit to the process.

Start Diet Today (Scales)
Image by Alan Cleaver

It is on my mind at the moment because I just started a diet a couple of weeks ago and found a lot of good information that I wanted to share with you.  The post will be in two parts.  Part I – Recommended Diets; and Part II – Diets to Avoid.

When choosing the best diet for you, make sure that it is one that incorporates whole body health.  Those are the types of diets that are more likely to be successful because they are developed with the intent to take care of the whole you – with consideration for any specific health problems you may be having.

For example, if you are suffering with arthritis, it would be wise to choose a diet that is geared toward helping people with that specific condition.  When you find one, you are doubling the benefits – losing weight to help you look and feel better and weight loss for pain relief.

A well-structured plan makes it easier to stay on the diet.  A plan that outlines what you should eat and also includes a good exercise regimen based on your health needs will help you succeed.

Some people lose weight more easily that others and some diets are better for certain medical conditions, than others.  For that reason, it is important to find a diet that suits your needs. It is about your health, not just about the size you want to wear or your ideal weight.

With that perspective in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular and safe diet plans for 2014.

Primary rule of dieting – avoid all fad diets and extreme diets that have the potential of damaging your health.  There are a multitude of plans available – some are safe and some are risky.  It is up to you as the consumer to do your research and make an informed decision.  So, let’s begin . . .

DASH DIET – This diet is touted as a good choice for people with high blood pressure who need to lose weight for health reasons. It was originally developed for people with hypertension and prehypertension. It is safe, effective, and highly recommended – including the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic. The National Institutes of Health has given the DASH DIET a stamp of approval. US News & World Report selected the DASH diet as the best diet for the 4th year in a row (3 January 2014).

Since it is based on a well-balanced diet of real food, it is not only a good diet for people with specific health problems, it is also a solid weight loss program for anyone. Studies have shown that is works particularly well for people who are carrying excess weight around the middle, who have type 2 diabetes, PCOS, or postmenopausal weight gain.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET is considered a lifestyle change rather than a diet.  This is due to the fact that it is based on the natural diet of Greece, Spain, and Italy. It is a heart healthy diet – great for anti-aging and long life.

This is an excellent choice if your goal is not only to lose weight, but to get fit and to change your eating habits for a life time. You will learn to eat a healthy diet of primarily plant-based foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts) plus fish and poultry.

An important component of the diet is to learn to cook with heart healthy fats that also contribute to weight loss. Another component that many people consider a plus is that unlike most diets rather than excluding all alcohol, the Mediterranean Diet recommends the inclusion of red wine because of the antioxidants it contains, plus other benefits that are good for the heart.

PALEO DIET (AKA the Caveman Diet).  That is a nickname which comes from the fact that the diet is based on pure, natural foods – “eating like the caveman.” The diet is composed of natural plant- and animal-based foods. It is important to eliminate all processed foods, plus foods that are at odds with good health (grains, legumes, and dairy). In addition it calls for an increase of foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (lean protein, fruits, and vegetables).It also limits dairy and alcohol and excludes salt and most drinks.

The diet contributes not only to weight loss, but is said to also improve blood pressure, clear-up acne, help to create healthier blood glucose, fight inflammation, aid in more restful sleep and higher energy levels,  and help with establishing healthier eating habits.

WEIGHT WATCHERS has been around for a long time and has an impressive track record among the general population and celebrities alike who have lost weight and kept it off.

The emphasis of Weight Watchers is on food choices, healthy eating and exercise.  For people who need a support group to help them lose weight – this is a good system.

They offer both Online programs as well as live meetings for support.  If you can’t make a meeting, you can still track your goals and progress Online and access peer support. Many participants swear that one of the most powerful parts of the program is the support they receive at meetings.  They feel that is what keeps them focused and helps them to lose weight. The company also has mobile apps that allow people on the go to keep up with their points.

The Weight Watchers program is based on a Food Points’ System.  When you initially enroll, you will be assigned a number of points that you can accrue each day through the foods you choose to eat. No foods are off limits. It isn’t the foods that you eat, it is the number of points that you use.  However, the goal is to learn to make better, healthier food choices and to exercise.

It is a very robust system with recipe suggestions, exercise tips, and even guidelines for using the point system when eating out (real life). It is a good system that works for men, women, and even children who need to shed a few pounds.

JENNY CRAIG’s system is based on portion control, which is frequently one of the challenges for people who are carrying extra weight.  Jenny Craig offers packaged healthy meals based on portion control.

Food is a very social thing – all the good times in life are celebrated with food – even in the worst of times.  Many of us (like me) are stress eaters. When I am frustrated, disappointed, worried, or stressed for any reason, I think about food and usually indulge – often with foods that I should not eat.  In fact, when I am really stressed, portion control goes out the window.  Have you ever eaten an entire pint of ice cream by yourself in one sitting?  Or – half a pound of See’s Candy?  I have.

If you are among the number of people who struggle with food addictions and portion control, Jenny Craig could be a good choice for you.  The food choices are healthy, well-balanced, tasty, and come in a wide variety – everything from hamburgers to stew, plus breakfast foods and desserts. The choices are so numerous that boredom is not likely (as with some diets).

Because the meals are packaged for you, there is little chance you will eat too much at one sitting.  When you register for the system, you will be assigned a consultant who will guide you in choosing the best meal plan for you based on your lifestyle.  For example, weight and the amount of exercise that you get each day, plus other issues such as emotional eating are all factored into the selection.

Jenny Craig has been able to help diabetics control their glucose through healthy eating and also help those with a family history of diabetes to learn healthy eating habits that will possibly prevent them from developing the condition.

The downside of this diet is that it can be expensive.  If you are under budgetary constraints, I do not recommend Jenny Craig.  It does work, but it requires an investment.  For example it is not unusual to spend $140 a week for just one person. So, take that into consideration when making your decision.

VEGETARIAN DIETS – You may be under the assumption that vegetarian diets are strictly for people who want to make a lifestyle change – and eat only plant-based foods.  For the most part that is accurate; however, a good vegetarian diet can help with a number of health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes – and, it can also help you lose weight.

A true VEGAN DIET excludes all animal-based foods. However there are variations. For example – a Lacto-Vegetarian excludes meats and eggs; but, allows other dairy products.

Another type of vegetarian diet is called FLEXITARIAN, which does allow meat on occasion.  The diet is primarily whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, plus dairy and meat when you really want it.  The premise of this diet is about “listening to your body.” If your body is craving something you would not normally eat, then you should eat it.  It is also a heart healthy diet if done correctly. You will lose weight on this diet and it may also help lower cholesterol, lessen the risk of diabetes and some cancers – plus, give you more energy.

As you have probably guessed, I am not a vegetarian and far from an expert on the subject. If eating vegetarian appeals to you, there is a great deal of information available both in books and on the Internet – and good explanations of the different types of vegetarian diet choices.  If you decide to go this way, be sure to do your homework and follow a guide from a reputable source to be sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.

I am not a doctor or nutritionist, and it is always recommended the you discuss any diet with your physician before embarking on a weight loss program. This is particularly important if you have any health concerns or issues.

That does it for the recommended diets.  Join us next time (on Thursday) for Diets to Be Avoided.