One of the great things about having a group of doctors participating in PEERtrainer is that often they can bring some insight or perspective that one would not normally get. We have observed that many people have been successful on South Beach, at least in the short term.
NutriSystem has just launched their "Flex Program", where you are on the program for 5 days and then off for two "Flex Days." NutriSystem Flex is also their cheapest program ever. The women's program is $200 a month or $7 a day, and the men's program is $230 a month or $8 a day. On your flex days you can buy frozen vegetables in bulk and add high doses of very healthy foods for cheap.
Does NutriSystem Flex Work As Well As Their Regular Program? Will It Help Me Lose Weight?
This is a commonly asked question. People often see the success stories on TV or hear about them from friends. The idea is that if you follow this plan and eat their foods, you will lose weight. But what happens on those two days a week that you are off the program? Will you do so much damage that you will lose the benefits of the previous five days? In our view this is both a risk and an opportunity for you. We have written much more about it here in a review of the NutriSystem Flex program which goes into the detail of the overall program and what you might want to be doing on those flex days.
If you've picked Fat Smash or Eat To Live Or South Beach as your "diet", the thing that is SO important to having a "back up" diet like Weight Watchers or counting calories is because sometimes you just don't feel like eating vegetables or eating anything that resembles "healthy". You know you should, but you just don't. All the positive self -talk and all that you do to avoid eating pasta or pizza or a cheeseburger just isn't going to happen. You just don't care. Your mind goes on automatic pilot and you head straight for the nearest comfort food. And unfortunately, sometimes you stay there for DAYS. One choice after another becomes pizza, more white bread, dessert and so on.
Until you get back to your Fat Smash Diet regimen, or Eat to Live or South Beach, or whatever you've chosen, you have to have a way to "portion control" the really bad trajectory of crazy comfort foods because the reality is, it happens to everyone. If you have a "back up" diet and you're incorporating diet fusion for those days that no matter what anyone says, you're not going to pick the salad, you're just hungry for white bread and you're going to have it, you'll be able to monitor yourself and frame the "bad days" with a semblance of control.
If you count Weight Watchers Points, you know that 2 slices of pizza is 12 points, and if you have a white bread sandwich at dinner, you'll count the points again. If you have some method -whether it's points or calorie counting or whatever -to be able to hold yourself accountable, you will not eradicate all the effort you put into the Fat Smash or other plant based/vegetable diet you did. And when you "come to", when you get back on the more nutrient dense road, you won't have an extra 10 pounds to fight. This is why you have to have a "portion control" back up plan.
We have been looking into the NutriSystem diet recently, and specifically NutriSystem for men. We are seeing some merit in this approach for some men because it is so easy and very low cost because you are already paying to eat each day. But we wanted to dig into the actual diet itself and begin to analyze the science behind it. One of the core ideas behind the program is the concept of the Glycemic Index. It was developed by a scientist in Canada in 1980 and is used widely in the weight loss industry. And NutriSystem makes it part of the core of their program. This is an excerpt from their site (and I hope this is ok to print here):
"I have found that South Beach diet is as successful as any other diet...if it is followed it is very successful. However, most people have difficulty sticking to any diet for very long. I often recommend doing South Beach and Weight Watchers together. I like South Beach for the types of foods that everyone should be eating and Weight Watchers for helping teach portion control.
Habib and I were having dinner with another couple a few nights ago, and the subject turned to the friends husband's new diet. He had recently lost 25 pounds on a low carb, Atkins type diet that his doctor had prescribed for him.