Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Consumer Reports Ranks Top Diets

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on May 10, 2011 ][ In Diet Tips and Better Eating Ideas ]

You may have already seen this in the news: Consumer Reports Health just released their ranking of the 7 most popular diets and Jenny Craig came out on top by a wide margin.  The ranking is based on 3 areas: 1. adherence to U. S. government nutrition guidelines, 2. ability to produce weight loss in the short term as well as the long term, 3. cost and complexity of the diet plan.  Jenny Craig did well in part because the program takes the guesswork and stress out of meal preparations.  Dieters buy prepackaged meals and receive weekly counseling sessions.  The main drawback is cost as the prepackaged meals can cost several hundred dollars each month.  However, an impressive 92% stayed on the Jenny Craig program for 2 years and maintained an average weight loss of 8% of their original body weight.

I was surprised to see Slim Fast ranked number 2.  I knew nothing about the Slim Fast Diet beyond seeing the shakes and bars in the grocery store so I did a little research.  The website seems to promote Slim Fast as a plan to slim down quickly for a special occasion, not a plan for serious weight loss.  Slim Fast encourages you to eat 3 nutritious snacks a day; either a 100 calorie Slim Fast Bar, nuts, fruits or vegetables.  For breakfast and lunch, you drink a Slim Fast shake or eat a bar.  Dinner is limited to 500 calories and they provide recipes to help you stay in that calorie range.  Consumer Reports did say that the plan fails in that few people tend to stick with it for very long.  Personally, it wouldn’t take long for me to get sick of drinking a shake or eating those bars twice a day.

Weight Watchers came in third, a big drawback being that the program is high in sodium.  The studies done seem to show that counseling or peer support groups contribute greatly to a program’s success and that the best diet for anyone is the one they can stick with.  I also feel that a diet program should encourage exercise and teach healthy eating habits for a lifetime.  Many of us know all too well that you can’t lose the weight just once if you don’t change your ways for the better.

I personally think that Americans are going to have to relearn how to eat.  When you go to the grocery store, make sure you are buying plenty of “real” foods such as vegetables, fruits and fresh meats.  If your cart is filled with spaghettio’s, chips, cookies, frozen pizzas, Hawaiian punch and more, there is no hope for your waistline.  I always say someone in the family has to cook and that doesn’t mean putting Marie Calendar’s in the oven.  Americans are going to have to eat out less to avoid high calorie, high sodium meals as well.

If you want to read more on the Consumer Reports findings, simply google it or go to Good Morning America’s website where they reported the story this morning.

Upadated on May 10, 2011

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