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Eating Habits Trump Exercise for Weight Loss

By Staci Amend

You already know that exercise is an important part of your healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that regular physical activity can have a positive impact on overall well-being, and can even improve outcomes for a variety of chronic health conditions—including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and others. It also is a strong predictor of ongoing weight maintenance. That’s why it’s important to build an activity habit throughout the weight loss journey.

However, the saying, “you can’t out-run a bad diet” might have been confirmed by The New York Times, which looked at several studies that revealed if weight loss is your ultimate goal, eating less is more effective than exercising more. Whether you’re still thinking about joining Jenny Craig or your journey is already under way, here are four ways we can help you control your portions and keep your weight on track.

1. Perfectly portioned meals.
Let’s be clear: it’s not that you shouldn’t exercise; you definitely should. But it’s important to keep your eating habits and activity levels in proper perspective. The study mentioned above found that the impact exercise had on weight loss was smaller than the impact of simply consuming less food.

Portion control as part of a structured, nutritionally-balanced menu, has always been a key component of our weight loss philosophy. With Jenny Craig on your side, you know that every meal, snack, salad dressing and dessert is the amount your body needs rather than the amount your cravings might dictate. By adding in vegetables and fruits to your main meals, you’re adding more food for less calories.

2. Superlative support systems.
Here’s another interesting statistic: Jenny Craig clients lose 3x more weight* than people dieting on their own. So what’s the “secret sauce” that makes our programs work? We think it’s the unique combination of delicious food, and pre-planned menus—plus the compassionate one-on-one support of our incredible consultants. Your weekly consultation keeps you accountable to someone besides yourself, which can help you refrain from overeating.

3. Guilt-free goodies.
Have you ever eaten a whole box of reduced-fat cookies or bag of “healthy” baked potato chips? Yeah… we’ve all been there. Jenny Craig understands that certain things in life—cookies, cake and chips among them—should not be forsaken forever. That’s why we have such a great selection of snacks and desserts, each one perfectly portioned like our entrees and extras. When a truly satisfying treat is an option, you’re less likely to keep mindlessly munching.

4. Healthy habits for life.
Yes, Jenny Craig is designed to make weight loss a little easier, with pre-planned menus that don’t require you to count calories or spend all day cooking. But part of what makes our programs so successful is our commitment to helping our members learn how to gradually shift their behavior toward healthier habits. That might mean taking the stairs more often; enhancing your meals with low-calorie foods like carrots and bell peppers; using visual cues for portion control; learning from your lapses; and lots of other little tricks you’ll learn along the way.

We like to say it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle—so we go out of our way to make it enjoyable and sustainable!

*Rock, CL et. al., JAMA. Oct 2010, Vol 304, No 16, 1803-1811.

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