I have been on many different diets throughout the years. I have found that “diets” don’t work but lifestyle changes do. Whatever plan you choose, you need to be informed and you need to choose something that you can stick with for the rest of your life. I’ve been on both the Weight Watchers plan and I’ve used the Protein Power plan. I want to say that different things work for different people but Protein Power was what worked best for me.
Weight Watchers and Protein Power are as different as any two diets can be. Weight Watchers was born from one woman’s need for group support on her weight loss journey. Jean Nidetch had invited some friends over to her apartment one day in 1961 to confess her food obsessions. Her friends empathized and the group began to meet weekly. By 1963, Weight Watchers became incorporated and held its first public meetings in Queens, NY.
Protein Power is simply a book by Michael R. Eades, M.D. and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. The book was first published in 1996. It outlines a plan for weight loss along with a mini-cookbook at the end.
When you sign up with Weight Watchers, you agree to attend weekly meetings. At these meetings a leader will talk about various aspects of the plan and coach the group. Members are generally free to share situations and the leader and group help figure out a solution for that member. In this way, there is a lot of support from this group. Members celebrate each others’ successes and help overcome difficult periods or situations. When you decide to use the Protein Power, you have none of this support. You simply read the book and follow the plan. The book, however, is very powerful with very authoritative reasons why it works. It gave me the motivation to forge ahead. There are no weekly meetings to attend and this may appealing to busy people. On the other hand, there is no support group unless you can find others on your own to form one. You also don’t have an experienced leader you can go to for assistance if you have questions.
Now, whenever beginning a diet plan, you should consult a doctor first. With the Protein Power plan, you should definitely do this because there are some people for whom this plan could be dangerous. In my case, my doctor is the one who recommended that I go and buy this book and try it out. She had done blood work and a physical exam to know that this plan was the one she thought would work for me.
When on the Weight Watchers plan, you choose from a wide variety of foods. All food groups are represented and the biggest concern is portion sizes. By limiting portion sizes and the number of servings of each food, one loses weight. One of the Weight Watchers plans assigns “points” to foods and a person can eat a certain number of “points” per day. By making sure that the portion sizes are correctly measured and counting the “points” one can stick to the plan and lose weight.
The Protein Power diet, however, limits the types of foods you can eat. Foods that contain carbohydrates are eaten in a very limited quantity. Thus, breads, cereals, pastas, fruits, and starchy vegetables are very limited on this plan, especially in the beginning. One can eat as much of other vegetables as well as meats, eggs, and cheeses. The book gives a formula for determining the amount of protein foods you need to eat per day. It is easy to figure out.
Both plans claim that you will never be hungry. On Weight Watchers, you can spread your “points” throughout the day to avoid hunger. On Protein Power, you can always eat a serving of a protein food, no matter how many you have had that day. I have to say, from experience, that when eating foods high in protein, you do feel fuller longer and thus don’t need to eat much more than your daily requirement of protein to stay full.
Both diets recommend exercise. Protein Power specifically recommends weight training as part of the exercise plan. It claims that the more muscle you have, the more easily you will lose excess fat, i.e. weight.
I know that Weight Watchers has several cookbooks available for purchase. The meals in these cookbooks fit the plan. Protein Power has a mini-cookbook at the end of the book. It suggests foods and gives recipes for meals that will work well on the plan.
As I stated at the beginning, Protein Power has worked for me. I lost weight and felt so much healthier. I have so much more energy when I stick to this plan too. Although I am still losing, what I have lost, I have kept the off!