Our Tester CF‘s Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Reynolds, 35, Toronto. Mom of James, 4.
Motivation “To get back to pre-baby weight to hopefully get pregnant again.”
The Gist Pre-packaged and measured food is delivered to your door. Using the experience of NutriSystem counsellors, as well as online and book resources, you learn about healthy choices and are encouraged to drink plenty of water and to exercise.
Cost $349 for a 28-day program, plus delivery.
Time Commitment Indefinite.
Weight lost 13 lbs.
Pros “The idea of planning out menus was the key to my success. The pre-packaged food was really convenient — I never had to worry at meal times. Because the program is about mindset, I think about it every day when I’m making food choices, and I’m thinking about trying to work in some exercise. I don’t think I learned anything new (it’s pretty basic: consume fewer calories and get more exercise and you’ll lose weight), but the program helped me establish manageable new habits that allowed me to lose weight I’ve been wanting to lose for a while.”
Cons “I love to cook and try new things, and there was less of that. At work, it was easier to stick to the plan because I had only myself to think about. At home I had to worry about preparing a meal for myself (which was actually not an issue), as well as my hubby and son. Eating out on the program is difficult. They do suggest a number of “good options’ to choose at restaurants, but some of my faves (beef tenderloin, butter chicken, etc.) didn’t make the cut.”
Words of Advice “To others trying the program, I would suggest they look at it as an opportunity to find new recipes that are lower in calories and fats. Follow the program and don’t cheat! It sounds simple, but commitment is a must. Try it with a friend and make good use of the NutriSystem personal consultants for tips, advice and kudos.”
Our Testers Ann Morin, 40, and Mike Morin, 39, Toronto. Parents of Ashley, 8, and twins Jonathan and Joseph, 5.
Motivation “We want to stay fit and healthy for the rest of our lives. I also think my family needs to better understand healthy choices.”
Approach The Last 15: A Weight-loss Breakthrough by Dr. Joey Shulman
The Gist Dr. Shulman’s book outlines the steps required to lose that last bit of weight. A rigorous diet is followed for one month (no booze, no food past 7 p.m., eight glasses of water per day, etc.) to reset the metabolic code, and the book contains recipes and tons of information on how to maintain the weight loss with exercise and healthy food choices. Our testers also received greens+ supplements, which complement the program, as well as personal consultations with Dr. Shulman herself.
Cost $27. Supplements: Proteins+ vanilla, 280g, $30; Multi+dailytrim, $20; Abs+, 90 softgels, $30. Private consultations with Dr. Shulman: prices vary.
Time Commitment 30 days to reset the metabolic code. After that, indefinite.
Weight Lost Ann lost 8 lbs., and is still losing. Mike lost approximately 12 lbs.
Pros “The smoothies and protein shakes in the morning are fabulous for anyone on the go. I now truly think twice about eating carbs at night. I think that my kids now have a better understanding of proper food choices. My family has noticed that I look lighter, and so have people at work.”
Cons “With three kids and a full-time job, stuff always seems to come up to interrupt the best intentions to get exercise. I was travelling on business for three weeks, and wasn’t able to start the protein shakes until I got back, so in my mind, I still have three weeks to go. Also, meetings and such sometimes meant that I missed my breakfast.”
Words of Advice “It’s best to roll with the punches. I would say it took my body a good month (even though I was eating properly) to kick in before it wanted to lose any weight, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit of time. Slow is fine with me, so long as it’s coming off. I think less stress may also have something to do with my success.”
Our Tester Willow Smith-Blamire, 34, Vancouver. Mom of Lily, 1.
Motivation “I strongly believe that in order to be a good mother, I need to be happy with myself. In order to be happy, I need to be balanced, comfortable in my own skin and full of energy.”
Approach Self-directed exercise
The Gist Smith-Blamire hit a local women’s gym, and we sent her a library of workout DVDs, including Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk & Firm with Interval Training (Firm Band included), 10 Minute Solution: Slim & Sculpt Pilates (with Pilates Band) and Crunch Super-Charged Kickbox Party.
Cost Gym membership: $40 per month, plus $20 for babysitting. Anchor Bay Videos: approximately $20 each, prices vary.
Time Commitment Three workouts per week, each about 75 minutes long.
Weight Lost 12 lbs.
Pros “I know exactly what I like to do in terms of exercise and I’ve run and weight-lifted for years, so I know a lot about it. Exercise is meditation for me, so I often prefer to do it on my own. A self-directed approach like this is often the only option a lot of moms have. If you don’t have the money for a trainer or for diet programs, then this is the only choice open to you. And while it’s harder in the short term to be motivated, I think in the long term it’s a more sustainable approach to weight loss because you’re not reliant on a trainer or a diet program.”
Cons “It was hard to find time to go to the gym with my husband’s schedule. He works long hours, which meant that the only time I could go to the gym was after dinner. It was sometimes difficult to motivate myself to go at eight at night. If I’d had a trainer, I think it would have been easier, because then you’re accountable to someone and have to be somewhere at a specific time.”
Words of Advice “Diet and exercise — like everything else in my life post-baby — has to be approached differently now. I started this process married to the notion that I had to lose a lot of weight, and quickly. I now realize that I’m striving for a new kind of balance. I want to be fit and feel good about myself, but not at the expense of obsessing or spending too much time away from my daughter.”
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