Can Popular Diet Plans Make You Lean?

by Kristine on April 9, 2012

in Blog, Kristine's Best Tips, News, Facts, Fitness

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a fabulous Easter.  Its nice having all those days off, isn’t it?  I work from home, so its always a steady stream of work for me, but its nice to have the hubby around.

Since its finally spring, everyone seems to be getting even more conscious about bathing suit season coming up.  If you’re planning on losing a few pounds and tightening up, now’s the time to do it.

Please excuse the slight boob hang! ;)

I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss today for News, Facts & Fitness Monday. Especially as I’m starting to see more and more ads popping up for popular diet plans like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig etc.

In my opinion, if someone is overweight, they can benefit from any sort of diet plan out there.  Their main focus should be losing the excess weight and getting their health in check (especially if they have high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes etc).  Most of those conditions can be alleviated by simply changing your diet and getting moving.

The above people wouldn’t apply to what I’m discussing in this post.

I’m talking about people that want to lose up to 15-20 pounds and change the composition of their body. Not just lose weight.

Since this is an open discussion, I’d love to hear your feedback as well, and if anyone has any success stories to share, I’d love to hear them!

Lets just say that I’m of the belief that if you want to change your body composition (replace fat with lean muscle), its not just about counting calories.  While programs like Weight Watchers (for example) are great for very overweight people, I don’t think its necessarily the best choice for people wanting to look leaner and toned.

When you’re counting points and calories, there is less focus on the food you’re actually taking in.  You see a lot of “Weight Watchers” packaged foods, and a lot of carbs.

For example:

Sugar isn’t taken into the equation at all.  Just calories, fat (and only until recently) protein.  I was definitely happy to see that Weight Watchers finally added protein into their new points plan, and whole foods has some focus now, but not nearly enough.

Honestly though, if a lot of this type of food above is in your diet regularly, getting lean will go out the window.  But sadly, I don’t think a lot of people know that.  Losing weight is NOT the same as getting lean and toned.  I’ve been there, done that, and eating with a calorie focus versus a food focus never got me the body that I wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in balance, and the occasional treat will not sabotage your goals.  I’m talking about the “weight watchers friendly” bars, muffins, microwavable foods that are incorporated in everyday eating.

As for exercise (which is a whole other topic).  Its 30% of your results.  Food is the rest.  If being “toned” is a goal, weight training and/or body weight exercises are a must.  Even yoga is great.  But the food intake needs to be on point.

Here’s a few resources that will get you on the right track.

- Health Food Grocery Shopping List

- 25 Quick & Healthy Snack Ideas

- Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas

- 5 Ways to Lose the Last 5 Pounds

The Plan that I’d Recommend:

The LiveFit Trainer from Jamie Eason.  Its a solid 12-week based plan, and its FREE!  In my opinion, it kicks butt on ANY traditional diet plan out there.  My husband did it, and got great results!  I’m planning on doing it as a jump-start after I give birth to this baby ;) Its based around good, wholesome food, its very structured, and workouts are also included.

QUESTION: Do you know anyone that has managed to get lean by following a popular diet plan. I’d love to know!

See you tomorrow with a new recipe!


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Kristine

I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • http://theguiltlesslife.wordpress.com/ Anna @ The Guiltless Life

    Good points – definitely I agree that the composition of the food is key in toning up. Due to some medication I took about 10 years ago, in my late teens, my metabolism ground almost to a halt. I am currently on a very restricted calorie diet to lose only about 8lbs that I would prefer to lose, and for my body it definitely is about low calorie intake in order to lose weight. Having said that, my naturopath is working with me to make sure that my caloric split is about 40-30-30 carbs-fat-protein. That’s tough sometimes as a vegetarian but I am now hitting that pretty much every day by upping healthy fats and protein while keeping carbs at a minimum. Together with the low calories this is already giving me some great results! However, I sure am looking forward to the maintenance days when I can come up a bit from 1300 cals a day… loll…

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Yah, 1300 cals would be crazy hard! Hopefully you can switch out of that soon!

  • Logos712

    Now there’s an inspiring pic..nice shot! ;)

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks Mike ;)

  • http://www.nordictrackcoupons.com Jentry Nielsen

    My boyfriends father did weight watchers for a while and lost about 30 pounds on it, but then came to a complete halt! He then went to a doctor supervised weight loss place and got taught to eat healthy foods, slowly cut down your calories and portions, but to focus on eating healthy foods, you’ll feel full without having to count calories. He was also told exercises to start, he’s not lost about 60 pounds! It’s so amazing how much more energy he has, he looks great! And you can really tell he feels great!
    It is great they have programs such as weight watchers, but they are not life long lessons on healthy eating!

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

       Great story! Thanks for sharing!  Yes, its true, if you’re eating the right foods, the focus doesn’t need to be on calories.  You’re right about the plateaus. Many people find that.

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