Sunday, June 6, 2010

Complicated Rules Can Hurt Weight Loss Programs

No matter what weight loss program you subscribe to, for long term success, behavioral changes must be an integral part of the program. However, if the rules associated with the weight loss program are too complicated, the rule-complication could hinder the weight loss process. The rules might not be followed, thus causing the program to fail.

Researchers from Indiana University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin found that persons trying to follow a weight loss program with complicated rules are unable to adhere to such a program long term, because the participants are unable to recall elements of the program's process. For example, in a complicated diet, it is often difficult for a participant to decide what to eat.

In the study, the researchers looked at two weight loss diet programs. One was the Weight Watchers program, and the other was a popular German program called Brigitte. The Weight Watchers program was considered to be a complicated program, while the Brigitte program was considered to be simple. The researchers concluded that participants in the Brigitte program lost more weight than those in the Weight Watchers program, because the Brigitte program was less complicated than the Weight Watchers program.

Indeed, there is always something to be said for simplicity. And a straightforward, easy to follow diet is more desirable than a complicated diet. Further, the advantages of a simple diet might be a good reason to use a prepackaged meal replacement.

Using well designed prepackaged meals to replace normal meals has been shown to lead to weight loss. Meal replacements include shakes, entrees and bars. Prepackaged meals include meals made by Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Nutrisystem.

With prepackaged meals, a dieter can simply pick up a meal without having to worry about the calorie or nutritional content, because well designed meals can be nutritious while containing low calories. These meals can be quite convenient. And a 2003 Pub Med report indicated that meal replacements can be employed safely to enable a person to lose weight and maintain the weight loss.

Since prepackaged meals are designed to contain good nutrition and low calories, they offer the simplicity that the German study results seem to call for. Medical weight loss service providers might want to emphasize the value of using prepackaged meal replacements, as part of a weight loss or weight management program.

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