Are Major Diets Actually Healthy?

Weight Watchers is usually considered the “Big Kahuna” of organized dieting. They offer plans which advertise “No Food is Off Limits”, and consolidating nutritional facts into their famed “SmartPoints”. Now, it might seem like I’m walking up to a grizzly bear, trying to put a leash on it and name it Jen, but hear me out. Their “Smart Ones” meals are notoriously littered with all sorts of harmful ingredients. Such as, but certainly not limited to Modified Food Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Ammonium Chloride, and Disodium Guanylate. Modified Starches are used in the production of paper, cardboard, and cosmetics. They are especially harmful to babies, but may have adverse affects if you have a sensitive system. (Food should never had adverse effects whatsoever). Ammonium Chloride is used as a dough conditioner in yeast products. It can cause nausea, headaches, or vomiting. Disodium Guanylate is closely processed with the alpha dog of food chemicals, MSG. The two are almost always used in conjunction. Fun stuff, huh? MSG can cause adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, hot sensations in the head, headaches, muscle tightness, and here’s the kicker - weight gain. These are only a few of the major offenders in Weight Watchers TV meals. If you examine any of their food labels, you will find a wealth of carcinogenic, and unsafe chemicals attributed to an unbalanced system. You may lose weight in the short term, but it is entirely possible to have noticeable health issues in the future. Chemicals such as those included in Weight Watchers’ meals are the base of an unbalanced diet, which is the key factor in truly gaining a healthy lifestyle with sustainable weight loss. Nutrisystem is perhaps the most inorganic of commercial diets you will find. Like opening a military MRE for weight loss, you will find small packages with portioned food that is microwave-ready, and somehow safe to heat in plastic (No sense in worrying about a little extra plastic, huh?). I could write my own encyclopedia of chemicals found in Nutrisystem, but I will summarize the worst offenders below, found in their “Cheesecake flavored bar” Inulin - Indigestible, known to cause gas and bloating. It is a solid derived from plants, and is essentially plastic. This can cause an overactive system, an off-balance intestine, stomach, and other organs that are used to actually processing what you eat. Carrageenen - A carcinogenic derived from red seaweed, heated and gelatinized to use as an additive. May cause gastrointestinal issues, ulcers, cancer, inflammation, and allergic reactions. Silicon Dioxide - You know those little tea-bags full of clear beads in shoe boxes/electronics boxes? They decided the “DO NOT EAT” label was just a suggestion, and threw them in their food. In the context of food, it is used as a filler. Because it makes you feel full, it creates the illusion that it is actually a filling meal. However, in reality, this “fullness” blocks your system’s normal function, causing gastrointestinal issues, bloating, nausea, and a general “slow” feeling to your everyday function. In summary, both of these popular programs are used as a quick solution to weight issues, with zero focus on internal health and a balanced lifestyle. In the long run, no program which includes these additives, or an “eat what you want” mentality, will ever result in sustainable weight loss. Shakeology is natural, balanced, vitamin-rich, and bent on a scientifically balanced system. To complete a healthy diet, pair it with well-balanced meals which include veggies, protein, fruit, nuts, healthy oils, and grains. Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix program is an excellent way to get back on track with these essential elements of a healthy diet. In a final comparison, below are the ingredients in Nutrisystem’s “Creamy Chocolate Shake” compared to Shakeology. Nutrisystem Creamy Chocolate - WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), SUGAR, FRUCTOSE, NATURAL FLAVOR, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, HIGH OLEIC SUNFLOWER OIL, GUAR GUM, MALTODEXTRIN, CARRAGEENAN, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, REBAUDIOSIDE A (STEVIA), SODIUM CASEINATE, MONK FRUIT EXTRACT, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, TOCOPHEROLS ADDED TO PROTECT FLAVOR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE. CONTAINS MILK AND SOY. With heavy focus on protein, and unnecessary added sugars, this is essentially a typical desert shake with zero benefit, other than excessive protein. (15g Serving) Ingredients in Chocolate Shakeology:

Cacao, Whey protein (as isolate), Pea protein, Sprouted brown rice protein, Coconut flower nectar, Maca root (Lepidium meyenii), Yacon root (Smallanthus sonchifolius), Chia (Salvia hispanica, seed), Flax (Linum usitatissimum, seed), Sprouted quinoa (chenopodium quinoa, seed), Chlorella (Chlorella sp., whole), Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maxima, whole), Acerola cherry (Malpighia glabra, fruit), Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis, seed), Himalayan salt, Camu-Camu (Myrciaria dubia, fruit), Apple pectin (Malus pumila, fruit), Pomegranate (Punica granatum, fruit), Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus), Bilberry (Vaccinium sp., fruit), Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium, fruit), Goji berry (Lycium barbarum), Spinach (Spinacia oleracea, leaf), Acai (Euterpe oleracea, fruit), Pea fiber (Pisum spp., seed), MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera), Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis, fungi), Enzyme blend (Protease, Amylase, Cellulase, Lipase, Papain, Lactase, Bromelain), Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), Luo Han Guo (Momordica grosvenori swingle), Lactobacillus sporogenes (as Bacillus coagulans), Tulsi (Holy Basil) (Ocimum sanctum, leaf) Cinnamon powder, Citrus bioflavonoids, Green tea (Camellia sinensis, leaf), Grape seed (Vitis vinifera), Rose hips (Rosa canina, fruit), Schisandra (Schisandra spp., fruit), Sprouted amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus, seed), Barley grass (Hordeum vulgare), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, leaf), Kamut grass (Triticum turanicum), Moringa (Moringa oleifera, leaf), Oat grass (Avena sativa), Wheat grass (Triticum aestivum).

This is an incredible plethora of vitamin-rich superfoods that will give an excellent boost to any diet. Shakeology is a true meal-replacement shake, and then some. Weight Watchers, Smart Ones, and SmartPoints are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International. Nutrisystem is a registered trademark of Nutrisystem.