America is a nation obsessed with dieting. Skinny models and pictures on the covers of fashion magazines have not done Americans any favors. We have routinely been given the message that if we do not look like these models, we are not good enough. Part of the healthy lifestyle is being comfortable with who you are at any given time. And a curvy girl is someone who can be valued and looked up to.

There are a number of diet programs out there touted by celebrities including Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Atkins. The question we have is: Do any of them work? And is moderation really the best lifestyle change we can make? Let’s take a look at the diet plans and compare them.

The Atkins Diet

This is the diet plan that stresses lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and eliminates simple carbohydrates that include flour and sugar. They have a rating system for carbohydrates that helps you figure out how many carbs you’re getting in their products. The lower the number the better.

This diet franchise now puts out frozen foods, treats and shakes. They also have a recipe book that will show you how to reduce simple carbohydrates.

The issue we have run into with this diet seems to be the amount of fat that is included. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you will want to make sure to read the labels carefully for fat and sodium.

Jenny Craig

This plan focuses on a triple threat idea: Food, body and mind mixed together to help you lose weight and remain healthy. Food is ordered through the web site and, for the most part, comes in portion controlled frozen meals.

The whole point of Jenny Craig is to help people learn how to make healthy choices in their food as well as healthy choices in their exercise.

Part of what makes Jenny Craig so popular is that it is a custom tailored diet plan for your weight and body type. There’s also one-on-one counseling through the program which helps people stay on track.

One of the cons to this program is the cost of food. It’s more expensive than buying food at the grocery store and making it at home.


This prepaid plan gives you a month’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as snacks. The meals are calorie limited to 1,200 per day for women and 1,500 per day for men.

This plan is not custom tailored to you specifically, but, just like Jenny Craig, the meals are delivered to your door and that is a great convenience for people who are busy.

One important set back to this plan is that dieters are not educated in how to prepare healthy meals for themselves after they stop Nutrisystem. A month’s worth of the plan costs an average of about $300.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is the gold standard upon which just about every other plan has been designed and is backed up by hard science. They’ve been around for a long time and their core goal is to help people develop better eating habits and make better choices. No food is forbidden.

Foods are assigned certain points and dieters much stay below a particular point total level. Like other plans, Weight Watchers can be pricey but there is also the advantage of a one-on-one counselor that dieters can use to help them succeed.

Before you choose a diet plan, make a food journal of all the things you eat in a given week. See where you can make better choices before you jump into a costly plan.

Have you tried any of these diet plans?