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Lose Weight, Get Rewarded with Fast Food

Somehow that just doesn’t quite sound right, but it’s true. Today’s Daily Oklahoman has a half-page advertisement from Taco Bell tying into the Mayor’s million pound challenge. Since we don’t really seem to be doing too well (average of 4.02 lbs lost over four months), Taco Bell is offering a little motivation. “When the milestone of 100,000 pounds is reached, we’ll give a FREE Fresco Taco to everyone in OKC!”

Taco Bell offers a Fresco menu with nine items under 9 grams of fat that is advertised on the home page of the OKC Million. If you sign up for the challenge, there’s a coupon to get a Fresco taco now. That would make two Fresco tacos, one now and one when Oklahoma loses 100,000 lbs.

I’ll leave it up to the experts to figure out whether nutritional values of the company’s Fresco menu is good or bad for dieters, but I think I better stay away for now. It’s just too hard to stop at just one!



Which Meal-Based Diet Plan to Try?

That’s the big question. The three plans, The Biggest Loser, Jenny Craig, and NutriSystem, all had pros and cons, as well as a fairly wide price range. Unfortunately, their web sites don’t always tell the whole story, so in each case I called the company directly to find out more.

biggest loser diet bistro md

The Biggest Loser Meal Plan

  • Price: $99. for five days, plus $24.95 shipping
  • Calorie Count: 1000 – 1400, low carb, low fat, high protein, diabetic friendly
  • Shipping: Weekly
  • Food: Frozen in a vacuum-sealed package
  • Meal Plans: Only one plan is available, menus are on a four-week rotation
  • Commitment: Food is delivered on a weekly basis and can be canceled at any time

Impressions:
The web site is not very informative, although when checking the Bistro MD web site, I found a lot more information available. The Biggest Loser Meal Plan is part of Bistro MD, but the meals/menus vary slightly. The weekly menu plans are shown on the web site, but I never found the nutritional values.

It was also difficult to get through to a customer service representative to ask questions, I’m assuming that’s because the newness of this plan and the finale of the television show has overwhelmed their system a bit. One of my questions was on the shipping, I asked if shipping can be combined since there are two of us taking part. I was told yes, so that will take the cost down a bit.

jenny craig

Jenny Craig

  • Price: $14. – $19. a day, depending on the food picked, plus membership fees
  • Calorie Count: Depends on the foods picked. Meal plan is approved by the Diabetic Association
  • Food: Combination of frozen and non-frozen foods, approximately a 70 to 30% ratio.
  • Meal Plans: Apparently there are different menus and choices to pick from, I wasn’t too clear on how one decides on a menu.
  • Commitment: After the initial special offer of ten weeks for $20., a year’s membership is purchased for $359., you can go off and on the diet during this time.

Impressions:
If a community will help you lose weight and stay on track, Jenny Craig appears to have that covered. Their web site has forums, buddies, blogs and recipes. Once on the plan, a dieter is assigned a consultant to check in with weekly on the phone or the web. The photos and nutritional counts of the various meals looks great. In fact, I got a little hungry just checking out the web site.

When calling it’s a bit of a hard sell, but I still couldn’t get the bottom line on costs. I was told several times that the year membership fee includes discounts on the food and will wind up paying for itself.

nutrisystem

NutriSystem

  • Price: From $263. to $342. a month depending on the how many months and discounts are available.
  • Calorie Count: The various menus have different calorie counts
  • Shipping: Every 28 days
  • Food: Vacuum sealed, shelf-stable
  • Meal Plans: This diet plan had numerous options to choose from, men/women/senior/diabetic/vegetarian
  • Commitment: No contract, but food is shipped in monthly quantities

Impressions:
NutriSystem appears to be the most affordable, and had numerous plans for different diet needs. Their web site has basic information, including the menu foods (along with photos and nutritional counts) success stories, etc. It appears the real substance of the web site is in the members-only section with online classes, chat rooms and counseling. Membership is free, but I choose not to join.

There are substantial discounts on the meal plans and shipping if more than one member in the family takes part.

The Bottom Line:
Even though the price is highest and I don’t care for the one-size-fits-all approach, I decided to try out The Biggest Loser Meal Plan. I like the idea that it’s a five day plan and we won’t mess-up the plan when we go out on the weekend. I also liked the frozen food approach instead of shelf-stable foods. When reading various comments and reviews of the Bistro MD plan (same company), the overwhelming consensus was the food was great. Obviously, if the food doesn’t taste good, the diet’s not going to work for us. It was also a plus that ordering for two, helped the final price come down a bit with the combined shipping.

Right now we’re waiting for the first shipment, as well as a return call from customer service on a billing problem.

I’ll let you know how that goes in a few days.

Follow along with Barb as she shops for meal delivery diets and begins using Biggest Loser Meal Plan.



Those pesky 10 pounds. . . .

Three years ago this month I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. I was a prime candidate — overweight, diabetes runs in my family (my mother died of complications) and as far as I’m concerned, exercise is two four-letter words. After all the tests I went through to get to the final diabetes diagnosis, it was actually a relief to hear that it was a disease that could be managed with lifestyle changes. And yes, my lifestyle has changed.

I lost over 30 lbs, exercise by walking three – four times a week and have drastically changed my eating habits.

But over the last year a few of those pounds started creeping back on, not bad, but enough to make me decide it’s time to kick it up a level. So when earlier this month my blood work tests all came back with a “great” from the doctor, I decided to get to work on those five pounds, plus a few more that should come off, before this weight creep starts affecting my blood sugar levels.

Knowing our life style, a meal based diet appears to be the best choice. Now to figure out what one would work best for us. My husband decided he could lose a few pounds too, so we’ll be tackling the weight loss together! The three diet plan finalists were Jenny Craig, NutriSystem and The Biggest Loser. All three plans had pros and cons, it took some time and a few phone calls to figure out the best balance.

Stay tuned for what I picked and how I came to my decision!