Reviewing Diet Plans For 2010

During the last year I have put my own health on the back burner as I focused on the health of my mother, who passed away in September at 54 after a long recovery attempt from a stroke. One thing I have a learned from her illness, and death, is that I need to take better care of myself. So, like millions of others planning their diet of choice in 2010, I have started planning for a healthier me.

Bathroom Scales

Since I’ve always been a big guy, I’m familiar with all sorts of diet plans, training regimens-even the gimmicks. When I was younger, spending lots of money on gym memberships, bikes, creatine and other supplements, and high-quality food was pretty easy. Now that I have a family, and other mouths to feed, spending a lot of money on those same things seems like an expensive hobby more than an effort to improve my health. But, it seems the years of eating cheap and working (and sleeping) through planned workouts is catching up with me.

The Costs of Commercial Diet Plans

Looking at the various available diet plans through a frugal filter leaves few options. Most plans require you buy the plan’s food, or pay for a subscription to a website, or pay for group meetings, or counselors, or all of the above. This can add up quickly. For instance, take a look at the program fees for three of the more popular diet plans(as listed in the January 2010 edition of Smart Money magazine):

NutriSystem ($349/month)

I tried NutriSystem for a couple months, but found it to be very expensive. Not only did I have to pay for the food, I also had to buy additional food to eat along with the NutriSystem meals (salads, vegetables, etc.). A few of the meals were pretty good, but I found all the canned, “red” sauce foods to taste like they had nail shavings in them (very metallic). I became convinced Dan Marino was full of crap.

Weight Watchers ($69/month)

If I had to pick a commercial diet plan it would probably be Weight Watchers. I’ve attended a few meetings out of curiosity, and found their points system to be more tolerable than counting carbs or calories. I also like that they have a “do-it-yourself” web-based plan for those like me who would rather not attend weekly weigh-ins.

Jenny Craig ($380-$770/month)

I don’t know much about Jenny Craig, but from what I’ve read it is one of the more costly diet plans around. The plan costs include enrollment fees, one-on-one counseling, and of course, Jenny Craig branded food and other supplies.

The Frugal Diet Plan

Instead of shelling out over $6,000 on a diet plan next year, I started thinking about putting together my own plan by taking  some of the better ideas I’ve come across in the last couple years of blogging. These ideas cost very little, and in some cases actually save money.

Eat less to be lighter. Here’s a novel idea: eat less food to lose weight. It’s a concept that is simple when said out loud, but very difficult when parked in front of a buffet. This concept focuses less on what you eat, and instead how much you eat. This will definitely be an important element of the frugal diet plan I develop in 2010.

Eliminate “liquid calories.” Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and soft drinks make up about 1/3 of that amount (Bottom Line Personal Magazine December, 2009). Considering one 12-oz can of Coca Cola has about 8 teaspoons of sugar, I could eliminate significant calories and carbs simply by avoiding soft drinks. And considering we pay $1.25-$1.50 for each 2-liter bottle (plus my daily, 3:00pm trip to the vending machine at work) we could save a good bit of money over the next year.

Grow more of our own food. Last year we skipped the square foot garden and I really missed it, not only for the fresh vegetables right out of our backyard, but gardening is also therapeutic for me. I enjoy getting out of the house for a few minutes of peace and quiet. And when I am not interested in peace and quiet, I love letting the kids help!

Eat like a kid. No, not ice cream and gummy worms for breakfast, but in kid-sized portions. Eat off smaller plates.  Use smaller cups for juices and other drinks. The other day my son and I were finishing some Christmas shopping and had to grab a bite to eat on the run. I ordered him a fast food kids meal with fruit instead of fries. Instead of ordering the usual super-sized gut burger I always get, I decided just to double the kids meal order. I had a grilled chicken sandwich, fruit cup and water, all for many less calories (and a couple dollars) than I would have spent on an adult-sized meal.

Think like a caveman. My wife accuses me of this already, so perhaps I’m on the right track! Actually, what I’m referring to is making food choices based on the types of foods our ancestors ate. When humans first began roaming the earth, Oreo cookies and Mountain Dew were not staples of their diet. They eat things that came from the earth, not hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. In the coming months, I plan to eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts, just like the hunter/gatherers of the past. With the major exception being I’ll hunt and gather inside Kroger rather than a frozen tundra.

To review the highlights of my frugal diet plan, in 2010 I will eat less food, cut out soft drinks, and grow my own fruits and vegetables while eating like a kid and thinking like a caveman. Simple enough.

Photo by PicsmaKer

Comments

  1. sorry to hear about your mother’s passing at such an early age. i,too, have lately been changing over to a vegan diet. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. wrote a book called “eat to live” several years ago and he was the first person to make sense to me about how to get protein from vegan eating. mostly salads, vegetables and fruits/nuts, etc. it’s a great book and costs about $10-14

  2. I’m all about numbers so I loved the WeighWatchers online plan which I did for about 4 months, and had good success with.

    From what I remember, it was only about $15/mo for that version of it.

    But like you, I’ve found that the best change is a psychological/personal one, so best of luck and let us know how it goes!

  3. You should take up running. It is a relatively cheap hobby/sport, helps burn calories, reduces stress and can help boost your immune system. And if you consider barefoot running, the cost is just about nill.

  4. I lost 80 lbs when I turned 40 by eating “clean” food. I don’t eat anything with preservatives or anything on the label that is unnecessary. It makes for frugal shopping, that is for sure. I disagree with the running comment. I am 45, and since I turned 40 I went from over 210 lbs to running my first marathon and competing in several triathlons. I have not had any joint issues and I attribute that to a healthful diet. Running is a huge cathartic activity for me, I can be cranky as all get out, but I go for a run and all is better.

  5. Thank you for a lively and realistic take on a well-worn subject. A friend of mine who had a gastric bypass had a note from her doctor asking restaurants to let her order kids’ meals. Most restaurants are fine with adults ordering kids’ meals, and it’s surprising how filling they can be. Another woman who lost almost 100 pounds told me she did it by simply eating half as much as she did before. She let herself have anything she wanted but got one burger instead of two at fast food places and so on. I like the “no brainer” aspect of that plan, and you can’t deny her results.

  6. I would suggest NOT running.

    I’m in my late 30′s and I really noticed that my knees and joints aren’t what they used to be just 10 years ago. I’d suggest lower impact sports so injury doesn’t derail your progress. You can still exercise with intensity if you bike, or hike or walk hills.

    So, already conflicting posts. DO what’s right for you and what you can incorporate into your family’s life. You will resent exercise if you exchange family time for it. Do it during your lunch hour or with your family (canoe, hike, bike). Don’t do it at the expense of family.

  7. I pay $39.95 a month for Weight Watchers using a monthly pass, which is convenient and saves a few dollars a month vs. paying weekly. Also, our insurance company will reimburse $150.00 per calendar year for WW program or a gym membership by submitting a form & proof of payment. I just got my check for $150.00 two weeks ago for this calendar year.

  8. Sounds like you are going to be on the “In Defense of Food” diet plan. Eat Food. Not a lot. Mostly Plants.

    It isn’t really a diet book, but a book that looks at our relationship to food. I recommend it to everyone who wants to eat healthier. Again, it isn’t meant as a diet book, but it will change the way you look at food. At least it will try. It is so hard to eat healthy in this country, but I’m going to try very hard for 2010.

    Good luck to you!

  9. This post looks fantastic! One thing that I would add to your plan is a way to be constantly accountable. You can do this publicly, as Baker did in Man vs Fat, or privately with a friend who is also losing weight. Good luck!

  10. I’m with you! My new year’s resolution for 2009 was to lose 20 pounds… and at the end of the year, I’ve actually GAINED 16. So now I have a bigger challenge for 2010! I have a family history of health issues, so I KNOW what I need to do. I’ll definitely be following you on your journey!

    Here’s to thinner personal finance bloggers in 2010! :-)

  11. I use Sparkpeople.com and it’s free. There are places to track your food, exercise, there are forums for connecting with others and be held accountable, places for exercises, videos of exercises, recipes etc.

    I find it really a useable and great site.

  12. Congratulations on your determination to have a healthier 2010. It’s easier said than done, but you are on the right track. The simplist thing to do is eliminate empty calories – sodas, anything that comes in a bag, most things that come in a box including most breakfast cereals,anything that comes in a wrapper.

    I have put my family on a healthier and more frugal eating plan simply by menu planning, sale shopping and eliminating most of the aforesaid items from our diet. It takes a little more time, though I try to concentrate some of the healthy cooking into one afternoon on the weekend, and it takes planning. Soon it will become like second nature to you.

    I love Michael Pollan’s book (mentioned above) and there are lots of good web sites for healthy home cooking. I like the Cooking Light web site – and it’s free. I make home made cookies with their recipes so that my kids can have a sweet treat in their lunch boxes but still feel that it’s reasonable in terms of calories and fat. We eat a lot of fruits and veg too. I’m seeing my kids slim down slowly but surely, which is the best way.

    Good luck – it’s worth doing.

  13. @Cara: Great tip on getting extra sleep – something that doesn’t cost us much (there’s a little opportunity cost considering we could be working on a side hustle last into the night, but the benefits of sleep win, in my opinion). I’ve always been a night owl, and with the blog and a full time job, I work long hours. This year, I’m all about getting more done in less time so I can get a full 7.5-8 hours.

  14. There are so many weight-loss diet plans out there, and honestly, do any of them work in the long term? I doubt it.

    Our “resolution” for 2008 was “get healthy.” Instead of trying to lose weight (which believe it or not, can make you less healthy!), we got a book on nutrition from the library (free! We liked “The New Optimum Nutrition Bible”) and tried to eat what was healthy. No fast food or junk food, no processed or “prepared” food, no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives. We also tried to eat whole foods and fresh foods. That’s it! We even let ourselves eat treats like cookies or butter or steaks or whatever, it just had to be home made. Without even trying, we both lost about 20 lbs, and keeping it off hasn’t been a problem because this is a lifestyle, not a diet.

    Best of luck to you!

  15. Good luck! I had no idea that diet plans were so expensive.

    A couple of points:

    Sleep – as Cara mentioned getting more sleep helps. In my case I like to stay up late but the longer the time period from dinner (we finish around 5:30) to bed time – the more likely I am to snack which is one of my bad diet habits.

    Alternatively if you know you will be up late then plan a moderate snack at 9pm (or whenever). That way you won’t be snacking at midnight and be so hungry you end up eating half the refrigerator!

    I’ve found that including salads as part of dinner means I eat less of the main meal. It’s easier than just eating less.

    My last thought is behaviour change. I’ve heard that smokers often have to change their habits because they associate smoking with certain activities. If you always drink beer and eat chips during football games then maybe substitute healthier food instead. Or watch a chick flick (that would be my last choice). :)

  16. My husband and I are both in our 50s and lean (skinny?). Until I read your article, I hadn’t thought about it lately but one thing that came to mind immediately…use smaller plates.
    We don’t notice it anymore unless we go to friends to eat or eat out but we don’t even have dinner plates. (I used them all for houseplant pots) We use pasta plates for dinner and bread and butter plates for lots of things. And we use smaller bowls, sauce dish size, not soup/cereal size.
    Downsizing dinnerware isn’t the only thing we do, but I bet it helps.
    And we don’t eat most prepared stuff. We cook from scratch and eat simply. But that’s another deal….

  17. If your knees aren’t up to running, try walking (power walking or just walking briskly) instead — the exercise is still beneficial, plus you get out of the house, fresh air, no costs (beyond a good pair of shoes), and it’s easier on the joints.

  18. Diet!, me too!

    I don’t believe in one shot wonders, except maybe getting your stomach stapled. I know a few people that were very successful with that. For me that approach is too costly and not healthy enough.

    I want to go on a frugal diet (sounds like of like your caveman approach). Broccoli, beans, brown rice and eggs will be the core elements of my diet (at least for lunch). Oatmeal for breakfast…

    I need to get in shape for my son and daughter’s sake… I’m starting to have a hard time keeping up with them.

    So I’m hoping this will be a win-win-win:
    1.) I get healthier by losing weight and improve nutrition.
    2.) I save money on cost, and
    3.) I play with my kids more without getting exhausted (or a headache).

    Good luck on your diet, hey if you ever feel like tracking your progress and some of your commenters, count me in! I think it’s always easier when you can do diets with others…

  19. We cut sodas/soft drinks out of our budget several years ago, and this year we cut alcohol as well.

    Try racquetball to mix into your fitness plan. It’s a fun sport and chasing that ball around works up a good sweat.

  20. This won’t work for everyone but has worked for me.
    After having some digestive and weight problems after abdominal surgery I went on an elimination diet to help me feel better, nothing to do with “dieting” per se.
    I cut out all starches to start, so just ate fruits, veggies (as much as i could!), fish, poultry and some meat. That’s it. I lost 10 lbs in about 3 weeks and felt 100% better.
    I’ve added back some rice and potatoes occasionally and cut out gluten completely and I could not feel better. I’m not celiac but there are some people who have adverse reactions to wheat and cutting out gluten *may* help you feel better and trim down the weight a bit.
    It’s a healthy way to eat, no gimmicks, no “dieting”

  21. I used to be a soda addict. When you get off of soda, you’re going to go nuts if you just try to drink water all the time. You will be so sick of water that you’ll want to go back to soda.

    From my own experience, here’s what makes a good transition:

    1) Propel packets. Carry them everywhere. Especially perfect for restaurant water that tastes gross and will make you want to order a soda. I like the raspberry–my dad prefers lemon. Buy packets by the box at WalMart.

    2) Tea. I like Good Earth non-caffeinated (the original flavor tastes like cinnamon.) If you prefer sweet, like I do, stick to fruit and herbal teas. Good selection at your local grocery store.

    3) Carbonated water with small amounts of fruit juice. Izze is a brand, but brands get expensive fast. We invested in a Soda Club Penguin soda maker, which makes the fizzy water for us at home. You can drink the fizzy water on its own or put in some high-quality fruit juice for a treat. Always get 100% juice, and get the higher-quality brands, like Trader Joe’s (this isn’t a place to be frugal, as cheap fruit juice tastes gross.)

    Hope this helps. From one soda addict to another, good luck! You can do this!

    -Erica

  22. I know two people who did Jenny Craig, each lost over 100 pounds, but as soon as they went off it and began eating non-JC food again, they put it all back on, and more. That’s a program that doesn’t teach you how to eat, the weight loss i baed solely on you eating their prepared (and very pricey) food. Best of luck to you on your path, sounds like a viable concept, I may follow it myself! Good holidays to you and your -

  23. Cooking Light is invaluable — because the recipes are just involved enough that (if you like cooking, as I do) — you don’t feel like you’re now losing the fun of making good food. There is usually a little fat in their recipes, just enough to carry the other flavors. After back surgery and a 30-lb weight gain, I cooked dinner from CL every night and walked my dog morning and evening and lost 14 lbs in 3 weeks. When I craved chocolate or ice cream, I made hot chocolate using a good dark dutch processed cocoa. I just had baby #3 and I’m about to hop back on that wagon.

    To me, the benefits of these diet programs are different for each one: maybe you’re accounting for every bite (i.e., making yourself accountable, via WW online or SparkPeople). Or going to weekly weigh-ins (making yourself accountable to others). Or paying for prepared food (making yourself accountable to your wallet). I don’t think you can compare them equally across the board, since they meet different psychological needs. I don’t have major money issues, so I may be able to waste $ on uneaten food. But I’m incredibly competitive, so having to weigh in in front of other people would get me eating better and exercising pretty regularly.

    In my case, writing down what I eat makes it real and helps me avoid overeating. And using recipes from Cooking Light feeds another craving — the need to be creative in the kitchen.

  24. @Erica: Thanks for the leads on water substitutes/enhancers. I will have to try Propel. Have had good luck with Crystal Light packets in the past, but those have no vitamin supplementation (which I probably won’t need with a healthy diet and a good multi-vitamin). Still, this is probably better for me than Gatorade, which I like to chug from time to time when working in the yard (lots of sugar).

  25. Just be careful. Sometimes when you combine more than one plan it can back fire on you. You need to research your plans and the lastest scientific findings on diet and nutrition. There is some controversy now about the calories in / calories out theory, it just does not seem to work for many people. You idea of eating like a caveman is more on track. Eating unprocessed meat and veggies and fruits and some eggs, that will help you the most. If you end up cutting most of your carbs out, be sure to keep some healthy fats in. For people who are having trouble with prediabetes watching the carbs is most important.
    You have some great ideas, but I have tried what you are talking about and trying to combine too many plans can backfire. For me, giving up the white carbs, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes and eating less carbs and only eating the whole grain ones, aalthough both my husband and I had to elimate wheat as it causes us problems, even whole wheat, and eating more of the healthy meats and those omega eggs and some dairy and veggies,see I have to avoid fruit,it makes me feel kind of bad, I am prediabetic, but you might be able to eat that. That is what works for us and makes us feel the best as we diet. there are no eating restrictions, we seem to naturally eat what we should and not overeat.
    A few tips I have learned over the years are, do not eat three hours before bed, stopping even earlier is better, but at least three hours, and if you get a craving, either eating a dill pickle half slowly , or brushing your teeth, usually will help you to not eat something you shouldn’t. They both give you a strong taste in your mouth and keep you busy for that time it takes for the cravings to go away.
    I wish you the best. I think coming up with you own plan can work, but you just have to be careful to not cut yourself too much or you will crash and burn !! Take it from someone who knows from experience. Find what does work for you, and do not deviate from it.
    I wish you a healthy new year !!

  26. Here’s a good plan (it has worked for me).

    - Eat 5 small meals per day, spaced evenly
    - Do not eat after 8pm
    - Take a multivitamin just before bed each night
    - Do not eat more than one serving of anything
    - Make sure each meal contains less than 500 mg of sodium
    - Make sure the grams of protein and fiber in every meal add up to at least 5 (the higher, the better)
    - Make sure each meal contains less than 15 g of sugar
    - Drink at least 100 oz of water per day

    I’ve lost 30 lbs in the past 4 months, and I haven’t been to the gym once. I’m a guy, and when I started, I weighed 180 lbs, so a 30 lbs loss is saying a lot. It’s a pretty simple plan to follow, once you get in the habit.

  27. Being older and looking to the future, last spring I started workin on getting some weight off my knees (which were very painful at times) … Tho it WAS spendy, at $299 for 5 weeks of food (special at the time), Nutrisystem worked well for me. I bought two months, and worked a 5 day/week diet program. After 4 months I bought a third month of food to have ‘on-hand’… so my total cost was about $900.

    What I needed to learn was proportions… what is a serving of meat, veggies, carbs, etc. And I needed to learn timing….3 small meals and 3 small snacks a day, with the protein spaced evenly thru the day. And to drink All the water I was supposed to be drinking…. and mostly I learned that veggies are my friends :)

    For me, the $900 was well spent, and I am able now to put together my own program out of the garden and the game meat/fishing/clamming, available out here. NS taught me the correct proportions and spacing…. and that has made all the difference in the world to me! I still have more to lose, and it is not as fast to leave me without the nutrisytem foods, but I am still losing weight – so I learned what I needed to learn to lose weight.

    And that’s money well spent in my book :) Frugal I am, but that was an investment in my health – and I’m worth it :)

  28. First, congratulations (again) for setting the standard for transparency. I know it’s sometimes difficult to discuss diet.

    Anyway, I’ve recently started a diet that is working and that’s something- since nothing’s worked for 5 years.

    1. No baked goods.
    2. No sweets.
    3. One plate each meal – no return visits.

    That’s about it. It’s simple which is important for me. Also, I have an accountability partner who I tell whenever I make a mistake.

    I’ll keep you posted as I hope you’ll keep us up-to-date on your progress.

  29. Move more, eat less. It is as simple as that. Try to eat unprocessed food. And don´t care too much about what the nutritionists say. Their “research” results and therefore their recommendations change every few years.

  30. Diets don’t work from what I can tell. People need to change their relationship with food. I too love food and take great pleasure in eating but I…

    - Eat correct portion size. People consume crazy portion size at home and at restaurants.
    - Eat slower. I like to enjoy it.
    - Moderation in all things.
    - Don’t deprive yourself. Who said you can’t have ice cream or chocolate? Just not a lot at once.
    - Don’t be fooled that a salad is healthier than a hamburger (unless you have no dressing, no toppings etc. which is not going to happen).
    - Veggies and fruits are not your enemies. I actually enjoy eating them a lot. I don’t understand why people don’t like them.

    Don’t spend your hard earned money on plans. Once you’re off the plan, you’ll just go back to your old habits. You have to change your habits.

  31. @spritz: I agree on the “diet” issue. I have made mine into a lifestyle change. I’m not really losing weight anymore (which is fine, because my BMI is now 20), but I am still eating the same healthy way that helped me lose 30 lbs.

    @Squeaky: I think in either case, it depends on how much extra you have. The more extra cash you have, the easier it should be to pay off or save $1000. The more extra weight you have, the easier it should be to lose 10 lbs.

  32. I think the othe side to the coin of being healthy is also exercise. However, the cost of a membership has always held my wife and I back. we found out a couple weeks though that we could get a discount at the local YMCA through her work. s soon as she told me, I immediately thought “I am not wearing a construction hard hat. And I am definately not wearing chaps.” But then I realized there is more to the YMCA than the Village People. It turned out that they waived our enrollment fee and the entire family has access to the cmplex (which has a fitness center, pool, sauna, rock climbing wall, cafe, etc) all for only $65 a month, which is definately do-able.

  33. I’m joining you and Christina in the “Thinner Frugal Bloggers in 2010″ plan. I’ve found that as I’ve become more successful on the blog, I’m spending more time in front of the computer and am even less active than before! Short of connecting a laptop to a treadmill (which I’ve seen somewhere on the web), my goal is to wear a pedometer every day and keep up my steps to counteract the rest of my lifestyle. Good luck to you!

  34. I would definitely second the person who recommended sparkpeople.com. The site is free and has lots of wonderful resources from chat boards where help is always readily available, recipes, and helpful articles. And it is completely free. The focus is on creating a healthier lifestyle, not a diet so that you can make a permanent change in your life for a better you.

  35. I lost 50 pounds on a free diet plan- the food pyramid. Just followed it, and exercised 30 min a day, most days. Took 2 years, and the change has been permanent (3 years now).

    Also learned some things:

    Green tea- yes- boosts the metabolism.

    If you have a starch or sugar item, eat a handful of almonds- they regulate blood sugar and will prevent crash and cravings. Really works.

    Late night snacks should be protein. If you eat starch or fat, and do not burn it before bed-you store it. If you eat protein and do not burn it- you eliminate it in the morning.

    No white flour. Only whole wheat-even pasta.

    Many small meals instead of three bigs ones- shrunk my stomach and I stopped feeling hungry between meals.

    Good luck!

  36. First, my deepest sympathy over the loss of your mother.

    In terms of health, I’ve kept my weight/shape by simply running up and down the stairs three times a week for 40 minutes or so, doing heavy weights (body weight is fine – e.g. chin ups and press ups) at least once a week, and preferably twice, and avoiding the ‘cheap’ calories you mention. I think you get 90% of the benefits for… free.

    In fact, I think I’ll do a post on this pronto, myself! :)

    Good luck, and congrats on the growth of your blog in 2009!

  37. I too, am sorry for the loss of your mother. My grandmother just passed away on Christmas morning (we are Jewish, so the family was all over the country) and I hope you have received the same love and compassion I have.

    One of my favorite tips on weight loss came from a woman in my Weight Watchers meeting who has lost over 100 pounds, which I have witnessed since I have also lost 100 pounds — over 8 years. I never considered anything like it, and the results have been remarkable. My problem is that I am a volume eater, and if I am bored or think I am remotely hungry, I always go overboard. She recommended eating 1/2 apple during a craving. I have 1/2 around 11:30 AM and then the other half in the afternoon. It prevents me from sticking my hand in the office candy jar or being tempted to buy something from the vending machine. So simple, but it REALLY fills me up!

    You can tell that I also recommend WW. I have lost 100 pounds over 8 years (beginning in summer 2000, ending in 2008) using the Points system. The holidays and my grandmother’s passing have given me about 5 extra pounds, and so I’ve stocked up on apples and begun counting points again. I have an iPhone, so the app is free to use for paid members. It makes tracking my food so easy, and I can’t not be accountable because I can input what I eat at any time.

    Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year.

  38. I’m so glad you posted this article. I’m linking to it on our foot blog because we have been slowly slowly moving toward the “cave man” diet you talk about. It’s interesting because when you mentioned “cavemen” I also thought about how they probably ate a lot less than we do. Although starving yourself is not really a good idea, we need to eat a lot less food that we think we do. Thanks again for this post!

  39. Been there done the diet/exercise thing for over 30 years. Still ended up way too fat and unhappy, then I ended up in a wheelchair, and unable to do strenuous workouts.

    The question is are you willing to make a permanent lifestyle change?

    I found the perfect solution a couple of months ago. And they are frugal too! I adopted Kay Sheppard’s Food plan…just go to her site, it’s FREE

    And for support I joined SMART Recovery…Free unless you wish to make a donation.

    This for me has been the winning combination.
    PLUS..I did this through the Holidays..and never missed the so-called “treats”.

    Good luck on your journey!
    -Mac

  40. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet. There are many good tips on how to achieve permanent weight loss; none of them includes gimmicks, diets, or diet pills. The best way to lose weight and to become healthier is to take responsibility for yourself! Your health is your most important asset. For many people, being overweight is associated with being uncomfortable in their own skin. To assist with weight control; keep a daily food journal and every time the urge to snack is felt, first drink a large glass of clear water. This simple act will help you to eat less. Water hydrates you, suppresses your appetite, helps you to feel full, and metabolizes fat cells. Water will soon become one of your best friends. The major reason so many people in America are overweight is because we eat too much for comfort! It does not hurt to treat ourselves with something special once in a while, what is necessary is that we limit our portions and do not overeat! It is also necessary to keep our body properly hydrated, so drink a full glass of water with each meal or snack. Being overweight ******, but after reading a book, I lost 85 pounds! Words can not express how good I feel! This is a comment which I recently received about the book Lose Weight Using Four Easy Steps

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