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Working Beck Diet Solution book: Day 2--Choose Your Diet Plan

Friday, March 02, 2018

The author, Dr. Judith Beck, encourages the reader to choose two diet plans in case the first one doesn't work or you just simply want to switch things out. In the book she gives some guidelines in how and what kind of plan to work but essentially it comes down to two important factors: 1) is it balanced, nutritious and sustainable long term? and 2) is it something that factors in who you are and your life circumstance. These are important questions to ask yourself and ones that I did not ask until quite recently when I realized that I had to customize my existing food plan due to some digestive issues that surfaced.

My two diet plans are: Sparkpeople Diabetes Meal Plan and Weight Watchers (any version)

Sparkpeople Diabetes Meal Plan:

Why I chose this back in 2016 was because I wanted to eat according to my diabetes and this food plan was tailored to just that. It is lower sodium, cholesterol, modified fat and a balance of carbs, proteins and fats. In light of what many consider low carb (for those who are following another low carb food plan), it is NOT a low carb food plan like Atkins or South Beach to name a few more 'famous' ones. However for the sake of the other merits of this plan if you chose to do low carb I think you could still have this as your skeleton food plan.

What I like about it:

since I am already logging on the SP site, the convenience of being able to track my food here is paramount; it has both a chart that follows what you track for your meals eaten that shows a breakdown of nutrients (especially if you are really watching your sodium or cholesterol) as well as a pie diagram of how balanced your food choices are and finally you can customize it (although initially it takes some extra time to establish your own personal food source database) to fit your food preferences and health needs.

What I don't like about it:

as I said above, initially it takes time to build your own personal database. That involves reading labels and then transcribing the breakdown of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs and proteins. You can do a Search and pick from other SP submitters but here is the caveat: I have found the majority of the items submitted to be inaccurate enough where I prefer to take the time and transfer the information from the actual packaging that I have in front of me. When you are counting calories, which is what this is as well---in my opinion, every calorie counts so I want to make sure that mine is as accurate as possible. No second guessing because I think I/ we all have a tendency to err on the over the limits side when determining what a single portion of anything is.

However, if you are like me and creature of habit when it comes to eating some food frequently then once you build your own food database, it becomes easy to click on the food item (under Favorites) and add it to your meal plan. Although they offer a preset meal plan, I have such specific dietary needs that 3/4ths of what they have listed I either can't eat or don't like the choice. I have mine turned off. I do like to use the feature Groupings since I can create a meal that I title of food choices I make often. Again, it is a time saving feature.

What you may or may not like about this:

It is tracking every 'bite, lick and taste' that goes into your mouth which does involve some time although it does become more streamlined as time goes on. It also forces you on a daily basis to confront the quantity as well as quality of food that you eat. I think most people don't like the idea of admitting that they ate what they ate (especially if it is off plan) but also that they then have to start taking responsibility for what they put into their mouth.

I have found the best way to view the information I have tracked is to detach and realize that being honest is more important than being 'clean'. Shaming and blaming can not be a part of your food plan if you want to succeed long term. Plus it is not catastrophic if you polish off a whole box of GS Thin Mints. 'Stuff happens'. If you accept your indiscretions then I believe you are more than likely to forgive yourself quickly and vow to do better next time. Mean it though otherwise you will be going around in circles. I have also found that the less your track the more it reinforces denial about what you eat. So, track it, let it go and then move on.

The 'other' plan: Weight Watchers.

I have joined and rejoined WW three times in the 35 years I have been morbidly obese. The strengths in WW is why it still remains one of the most popular and sought after diet plans. First of all, name recognition. I don't know anyone who doesn't know who and what WW is. However, if they haven't checked it out in recent years it has been evolving as I sit here. The last time I joined was in 2014. This was when the Points Plus was in full force. Since that time it has become even more flexible according to what I hear from others. WW also has literature showing you can adapt their point system to low carb, vegetarian, and diabetes to name a few more 'popular' ones.

What I like about this food plan: it is well researched for one thing and tries to remain current with whatever the latest news is regarding what food we should or shouldn't be eating. The emphasis is and will always be on a balanced diet. In order to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables these are considered zero points.

If you need guidance and support the in person meetings are really great but it is about $11 per meeting for the cost and some people feel they can get the same support online but I beg to differ. There is something very unique about making the point of going to an in person meeting and being surrounded by like minded dieters. I have done both the online and the in person and although $11 per meeting was a lot to me (on a limited budget) it was money well spent when I did attend in person meetings. You gain the coaching from both the leader as well as your fellow dieters when going to an in person meeting. I also always felt pumped and motivated after attending a meeting. It is like renewing your vows to yourself when you first start your diet. It recharges your motivation for yet another week.

Besides the cheerleading that goes on each meeting is set up to share and educate the members on all aspects of dieting. If you track your food on their website (part of your membership) then you can even have individualized coaching as to how to break a plateau or some suggestions on how to deal with an upcoming event. This one on one is very valuable and it is often overlooked when joining. You have two important aspects of successful weight loss: accountability (you weigh weekly as well) and group support (nothing like a hug to keep going to help you through a tough time).

What I don't like about this plan: it costs to join and be a member. However, WW does run promotionials (look for first of the year, first week of the summer months, first weeks of returning to school and often right before the holidays) so it can be made more affordable. Also, if you stick with it once you are in maintenance you can attend meeting free of charge as long as you stay within a range of your goal weight.

I also find that like others I end up buying a lot of their food products if there is a 'store' within your meeting place (mine did have this). However, you save on shipping if you buy it in person and again there is the convenience of the packaging as well as a chance to try new food products. However, there is the irony that although whole foods are encouraged to eat having processed and packaged foods available from them is also allowed. No one ever questioned this but it does seem to run counter to what most of the health and diet experts recommend.

No one, more than Weight Watchers, knows it truly does take 'a village to lose weight'.

So, there are my two food plans of choice. It pays to have your based covered when you are ready to get out and hit that ball and go for a home run. Having both a Plan A and a Plan B means that you have a back up plan should the first one not work out. You have your back covered.

Having established that you can then relax and focus on working your plan to the best of your abilities.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A group of us are working Beck's workbook right now and on Day 2. I also chose Spark and WW. Thanks for the insight
    1037 days ago
    Very informative. Thanks for sharing Pam.
    1141 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.