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Leaning In to Get Lean: Meet the Rare Female CEOs in the Diet Industry


By Shae Blevins

The 2014 Fortune 500 List included 24 female CEOs – the most in history – and the United States elected a record-setting 100 women to the 113th Congress. Women are making their move!

But a lack of female leadership is still evident in the industry that targets American women most: Wellness. That’s the $20 billion industry that encompasses diet, fitness, and weight loss. It’s an industry where 85% of the consumers are women, and the grand majority of executive leadership — from CEOs to boards — are male. That’s right, there are dudes perched at the brands that prominently lead the industry – from the girl-powered Jillian Michaels to the all-inclusive Weight Watchers.

Fortunately, there are a few brands breaking the industry norm with female CEOs. It’s been two years since industry giant Nutrisystem appointed its first female CEO, and the brand is seemingly better for it. And most recently, Retrofit replaced its CEO with a woman. One feather in this hat was lost last December, when Dana Fiser left her two-year reign as CEO at Jenny Craig.

Meet the three shining female stars blazing trails in wellness:
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Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig: Which Diet is Right for You?

By Shae Blevins

Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig are two of the most popular diets around, and at first glance they sound pretty similar: Both deliver pre-made, pre-calorie-counted, pre-everything meals to your door. Both offer online tools and one-on-one support. Both offer plans designed to fit your lifestyle and your health challenges. Both have celebrity spokespeople singing their praises.

But there are also some definite differences between the two plans. Paying attention to these can help you choose which will work best for you.

This chart shows how Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig stack up next to one another in all of the areas that matter, from food and tools to the oh-so-important question of cost:

Screen Shot 2014-05-20

What does all of this mean?

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Melissa Joan Hart Reveals New Bikini Body and Nutrisystem Commercial

Melissa Joan Hart is celebrating her one-year anniversary as spokesperson for Nutrisystem, and in the latest commercial, she’s revealing her very summer-ready body. Over the weekend she provided a sneak peek at her results when she Instagrammed a bikini pic with the caption, “It’s not everyday I like to show a lot of skin but these days I’m feeling confidant. Thanks Nutrisystem!”

MJH nutrisystem

In December, our managing editor and self-described fan-girl, Brandi, spoke with the Melissa and Joey star about her experience with Nutrisystem. The actress praised the meal delivery diet saying, “It’s a simple system for any mom to use.” “It takes the guesswork out.” Melissa started the diet six months after her third child, Tucker, was born in an attempt to lose postpartum weight.

Looking super cute in a floral print dress, Melissa appeared on Good Morning America yesterday where she spoke with Laura Spencer about life with three young kids, her 40 pound weight loss and how she stays in shape with such a busy schedule.

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Joe Cassise Lost Nearly 100 Pounds with “Borrowed” Inspiration

A spark clicked in my head, and I thought maybe I can use this to lose weight. Maybe this is a sign.

That’s how Joe Cassise described his weight loss epiphany. Did he come to this healthy affirmation after an impassioned speech by a friend? Did he watch a particularly heartwarming episode of  The Biggest Loser, or see a motivational bumper sticker on the highway? No.

Joe Cassise Collage

Joe’s weight loss story begins with a poor choice, but ends with a new outlook life, and a staggering 90 pound weight loss.

Joe Cassise describes himself as a mostly typical teenager. Already on the heavy end of the scale as a child, Joe said his weight really skyrocketed in high school due to lack of exercise and eating fast food twice a day. After high school, he enrolled in cosmetology school and started a relationship that would take its toll, both mentally and physically. “I guess I just let myself go at a young age, he said.”

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Nutrisystem Weighs in on the Safety of Low-Cal Diets, Suggesting No Fewer than 1,000 Cals a Day

Low-calorie diet plans are increasingly popular—just last month Rocco launched his 800-calorie-a-day weight loss program—so we asked Anthony Fabricatore, Phd, vice-president of Research and Development at Nutrisystem, about the safety of this sort of calorie restriction. Here, his thoughts on the trend including where Nutrisystem’s new low-cal jumpstart week, a 7-day accelerated plan called Fast 5—which in-house trials suggest can lead to a loss of 5 pounds in one week—fits in.

FAst 5

Says Fabricatore:
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