Diet and exercise are a pairing that go together like salt and pepper. So it's hard to determine whether diet or exercise is more impactful in the weight loss process. Both commitments are crucial for your overall health, but If you're looking to just slim down, you may want to put more emphasis on portion control.
Dr. Tim Church, a renowned expert in exercise and weight loss and member of the Jenny Craig Medical Advisory Board, notes "It's been known for some time that, calorie for calorie, it's easier to lose weight by dieting than by exercise."
There are many possible answers for this weight loss quandary. One theory is that people tend to more easily stick to low-calorie diets versus an exercise regimen. In addition, 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.
For optimal weight loss success, it is also important to slim down your portions, understand how calories work and eat foods that will make you feel fuller longer.
1. Sensible Portions.
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.
Leading an active lifestyle is important for your health and your body's ability to burn fat, but exercise alone is not going to give you the weight loss results that you want. Your body may not be the slim figure you dreamed of overnight, but over time, your body can improve. A diet change and a few revitalizing workout sessions each week are recommended for anyone wanting to be a little more comfortable in their own skin.
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.