We’ve wished each other a Merry Christmas, downed a few too many glasses of eggnog, and popped bottles in celebration of the New Year. After all of our holiday parties, sugary treats, decadent meals, and non-stop partying, many of us are looking to reboot and refocus on our health in the New Year.
Luckily (or unluckily), weight loss companies are capitalizing on our willingness to shed a few pounds for the New Year and are bombarding the airwaves with commercials, promising quick and easy ways to drop the weight.
From Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson hawking Weight Watchers, to Jillian Reynolds singing the praises of Nutrisystem (not to mention the myriad of cleanses and diets on the market), celebs, including Tami Roman, are trying their hardest to get you to plunk down your hard-earned cash and sign up for their chosen program.
But should you?
While plans like Weight Watchers, eDiets, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem have helped many lose weight, the costs can quickly add up due to monthly fees and prepackaged meals. Additionally, though many of these programs have helped people drop the pounds, very few of them translate into long-term weight loss for participants.
Health professionals agree that the best way to lose weight is through consuming fewer calories, while increasing exercise. But for those looking to follow a clear-cut program, the best of the lot seems to be Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers’ strong track record is backed by a number of medical studies. A 2005 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that Weight Watchers dieters were one of the two groups (out of four) most likely to stick with their diet and continue losing weight. In a report in the British Medical Journal (and publicized as the BBC reality show “Diet Trials,” dieters were sponsored on one of five weight-loss programs for six months, then left to their own devices. Again, Weight Watchers was one of only two plans that showed continuing positive results. Health magazine also names Weight Watchers as one of America’s healthiest diets, calling it “the gold-standard weight-loss program” thanks to its motivational support. U.S. News & World Report awarded it top honors in its Best Diets report for weight loss; it also tied for third in the best diet overall category with the Mayo Clinic and Mediterranean diets.