When it comes to diets, many people look for a program that does most of the work for them. When it comes to weight loss, nutrition is key, and programs that can plan out your meals, tell you what to eat and when came make the whole process a lot easier. Two popular meal services are the Body by Vi program and Medifast. Both provide you with meal options, Body by Vi with meals replacement shakes, and Medifast that delivers full meals to your door. We’ve weighed the pros and cons for each so you can make the decision that is right for you.
Body by Vi allows you to purchase kits filled with meal replacement shakes to take the place of one or two meals a day, depending on your goals. Each kit that is available will come with a set amount of meal replacement shakes and range in price.
Medifast is a meal delivery service that sends high protein meals directly to your door step and was named #7 on the list of the Best Commercial Diets by US News in 2011. By controlling portions and calories, Medifast claims users can expect to lose up to 20 pounds in their first month on the program. Medifast’s success has been proven in multiple clinical studies. A Johns Hopkins study found Medifast helps dieters lose weight quickly and safely. The study also found Medifast helped type 2 diabetics lose 2 times the weight of those following the American Diabetes Association’s dietary recommendations. Medifast also shows positive results in those with hypertension and high cholesterol.
The life of a diabetic can’t be easy. Tons of doctors appointments, meetings with nutritionists and getting poked with needles cannot be much fun. Plus, there is so much information to learn especially about nutrition and changing your lifestyle to better manage your blood sugar. Diabetes is such an all encompassing disease that there are tons of products marketed specifically for this group of people. The American Diabetes Association estimates that medical expenses are 2.3 times more for diabetics than for non-diabetics, which includes special food products just for diabetics. I spoke with Mary Hartley, RD, MPH to find out if popular products like Glucerna and Boost are useful tools for diabetics or simply a sales ploy.
Mary Hartley, a registered dietian from New York City and newest edition to the Diets In Review team, thinks these products are great for monitoring nutrients. “The consumer knows exactly how much he’s getting in terms of carbohydrate, fiber, fat, protein and anything else that is measured and these products are formulated to minimize spikes in blood sugar,” Mary says. Excellent point and a great start for newly diagnosed patients or diabetics that lead an active lifestyle and want to throw a shake or bar in their gym bag. I recommend having a small snack on hand at all times to help avoid low blood sugar. Mary adds that this is another perk as these products are extremely portable and convenient.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to “health food” or “diet food.” One of the biggest falsehoods is in regards to the health claims of smoothies. Smoothies can be healthy, and they can also be loaded with sugar and higher in calories than ice cream sundaes.
Recently, Smoothie King released a smoothie designed to be healthy and lite. The LEAN 1 smoothie has made some tall claims and may be one of the few on the market that can live up to those assertions.
Knowing that most smoothies are just fancied up milkshakes, I was intrigued by the statement Smoothie King made about their new product.
“Lean 1 is the first-ever smoothie designed specifically to help you lose fat, curb hunger and tone muscle. It’s the perfect pre/post workout companion delivering 20-30 grams of premium protein. It boosts energy levels, fights hunger cravings, speeds muscle recovery and only 300 calories. Lean 1 is the healthy portable option to a meal or snack on the go.”
In a press release issued today, NBC announced that they are partnering with Walgreens to bring Biggest Loser meal replacement shakes and bars to the U.S. market. Similar products were previously available in Australia.
Created under the supervision of Dr. Michael Dansinger, The Biggest Loser‘s nutrition expert, these bars and shakes have been designed to provide essential nutrients for people on the go. The ready-to-drink shakes will be available in a creamy vanilla flavor for 180 calories and milk chocolate for 190 calories. There are four flavors of meal bars, including chocolatley coconut, cinnamon apple turnover, banana nut bread and peanut butter chocolate chip. Both the shakes and bars include 10 grams of protein and do not contain artificial food coloring or flavors.
The shakes are also a good source of fiber, vitamin D, vitamin C and calcium. The bars are also contain vitamin D and a range of other nutrients, depending on the flavor. Each bar is 160 calories, with the exception of the banana nut bread flavor, which is only 150 calories.
Fitness guru and Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is launching a new meal replacement shake. The Jillian Michaels Ultimate Shake is touted for being as delicious as it is healthy. The low-calorie shake is high in both protein and fiber, containing 7 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. One shake has only 180 calories and comes in two flavors, double chocolate and French vanilla.
“I’m really excited about my new, naturally flavored meal replacement shakes,” said Jillian. “They are high in protein, low in calories, rich in B6, B12, antioxidants and fiber, contain no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, and best of all, they’re absolutely delicious!”