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Get the Skinny on Ready-Made Diets

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January’s just around the corner, so of course we’re talking weight loss.  And for those of you looking for something that’s effortless but can give you noticeable results, there are three relatively new diet systems on the market that are nearly all-inclusive, that do most of the work for you. 

The Ideal Protein Diet - www.idealprotein.com

The claim: Lose 3 to 7 pounds a week

What it is: 

  • Only available through health practitioners (physical therapist, chiropractor, etc).
  • A four-phase plan centered on protein-rich, low-carb pre-packaged foods including shakes, juices, bars, soups, chili, pancakes, oatmeal, and stews.
  • Phase 1 limits carbs to 20 grams daily (stay in phase 1 till achieve 90% of weight-loss goal)
  • Sample plan includes 3 packaged foods (B, L, snack)
  • +  5-8 ounces lean meat (dinner) + 4 cups non-starchy vegetables and two green salads daily
  • + multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sea salt.
  • Phases two through four gradually introduce more ‘real’ food.

Calorie range:  Phase one may be as low as 800 calories daily.

Cost:  $200 one-time fee for consultations; ~$81/week for pre-packaged food, plus more $$ for dinners (not included in pre-packaged food) & supplements

Reality Check:

  • Weight loss is certainly possible due to restricted intake, and adequate protein intake helps to minimize muscle loss
  • The plan is unnecessarily restrictive, however, with an unnecessary reliance on packaged foods.
  • If participants follow through with all four phases, it does offer a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
  • The program is administered & sold by ‘trained professionals’; not required to have nutrition certifications/degrees.


GenoVive – www.genovive.com

The claim:  DNA samples provide insight about individual metabolic needs, revealing how your body metabolizes the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your diet and what type of exercise will provide your best calorie burning results. 

How it works:

GenoVive send you a DNA test kit with swabs for the inside of your mouth.  Send your cheek swabs back to GenoVive, where their scientists will analyze your DNA to determine the ‘optimal combination’ of protein, carb, and fats, and what level of exercise works best for you.

Calorie range: Your age, gender, height and weight are used to determine your caloric needs to fuel your metabolism. Calorie ranges are 1,300, 1,600 or 1,900 calories per day.

All meals and snacks are pre-packaged, and contain only natural ingredients including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and hormone and antibiotic free meat and poultry.

Meals are delivered to your home, along with the supplement regime (multivitamin & mineral, omega 3s, probiotics).

Reality Check:  we have tens of thousands of genes in our bodies –and over 100 genes have been identified as affecting a person’s ability to lose and maintain weight - and GenoVive analyzes 12.  The concept is intriguing, but I’m doubtful that the science is there yet for us to be certain that the genes tested are representative all of the genes that play a role in weight loss.   

As more research is available, GenoVive will be adding these to the genes that they include.

Cost: $749.98;  New Year, New You Limited Time Special = $599.98; includes the DNA test kit, and one month of meals (6 days/week) and supplements.

Get Fit NOW www.fitgourmetofneworleans.com

The Claim: Lose up to 5 pounds a week with real food, delivered fresh, daily

What it is:

  • The Registered Dietitians at Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center have teamed up with The Fit Gourmet to create Ochsner’s Get Fit NOW, providing you with an individually-tailored plan based on your weight loss goals & current exercise program, and delivers real food - daily - to your home or office.
  • Meals are prepared fresh daily with all-natural ingredients, centered on lean proteins and fresh seasonal vegetables.   Any carbs are solely from unprocessed whole grains & fresh fruits, and the fats are primarily from heart-healthy monounsaturated oils & omega-3’s.
  • Every meal is portioned by Chef Dione Duhon of The Fit Gourmet, to meet your specific nutritional & calorie needs.

Calorie range: Age, height, weight, gender, level of exercise, and weight goals used to determine your caloric needs; calories typically range from 1200 to 1800 calories per day; more if needed.

Reality check:

Get Fit NOW isn’t designed for most people to stay on it forever – but it does provide a education and results, with real, wholesome food and no guess-work.  The dietitians with Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center can guide you as you start incorporating your own meals and your favorite restaurants back into your diet.

Cost:  Prices start at $175 per week, with a New Year’s special of 20% off the regular price through next week (Jan 9-13).

Get Fit NOW includes two meals and a snack daily (breakfast is on your own, with guidance provided by Elmwood nutritionist).

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