Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jenny Craig and weight loss...

Its almost January so of course we're about to be deluged with ads for dieting companies like Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss as well as all sorts of 'miracle' supplements that will magically melt away all the holidays pounds (and all the other pounds accumulated throughout the year too!).

Last night I watched the new Jenny Craig ad with Kirstie Alley-their spokesperson who we've all been watching lose weight using their system. Two things jumped out at me as I watched:

1. Its important for everyone to remember that losing weight isn't the hard part of dieting--keeping it off is. While Kirstie Alley is still in the weight loss side of things--what will be most important is if she's able to maintain this for the rest of her life.

2. Throughout the ad, Kirstie is talking to a friend, telling her that she's eating french toast and brownies and all sorts of 'yummy' foods that we aren't supposed to be eating while we're dieting because those foods are fattening. But of course, by buying Jenny Craig's foods you can have all these foods AND lose weight. Thus, using Jenny Craig's plan requires little or no change from 'regular' eating.

What bothered me about the 'foods' they're providing is that by and large this is 'junk food'--somehow they've taken high calorie, low nutrition foods and turned them into low calorie, low nutrition foods that are highly processed, low in fiber and in general mimics the national diet that has led to a population that is 30% obese!

I watched this and thought--this is genius! This guarantees Jenny Craig a perpetual population of people on the dieting roller coaster! First, you decide to 'diet' with Jenny Craig--eating the very same foods that got you into the weight problems in the first place--only these foods are slightly smaller in portion and lower in calorie content. So, you lose your 20 lbs. over the course of 6 months--and then you go off your diet. Now you return to eating 'regular' foods--over-processed, high calorie, low fiber--and little by little the weight returns...until you go back to Jenny Craig and buy their food and lose the weight again. It's a revolving door and funding the $35 billion weight loss industry!

What is missing in all this is the reality that eating a high calorie, over-processed food diet inevitably produces weight and health problems. If we want our health back and our weight to be within a healthy range for life--there is no substitute for eating a high fiber, nutrition dense diet that is packed with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and small portions of meat and dairy products. That's the only way off the dieting rollercoaster and the only way into empowering your Life Puzzle with good nutrition!

Sadly, millions will be signing up for one of the Rollercoaster dieting programs. Many will lose weight and 90% will put it right back on!

I can't support it, but it is why I created the BodyMine! Life Puzzle program for life-long weight management. To give people another option--end the dieting rollercoaster forever and switch instead to building a whole Life Puzzle that builds a healthy, lifestyle diet that will support you for a lifetime! (learn more at

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