Cost of Effective Weight Loss Programs

by Annie on June 12, 2011 · 4 comments

in Eating Healthy,Weight Loss & Body Image

How much are you willing to pay for an effective weight loss program? Would you be willing to pay $25 to lose 1 pound? What about $100? People enrolled in a structured weight loss program such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig often end up losing more weight than people try to lose weight on their own. But these weight loss programs are going to cost you big time.

There’s an article in Money magazine this month breaking down the cost per pound of weight loss for the three top weight loss programs: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem. These top weight loss programs conduct rigorous studies confirming their effectiveness compared to trying to lose weight on your own.

Cost of Weight Watchers

For Weight Watchers, the article stated that you will spend $240 for the weekly weigh-in meetings over a six-month period. This does not include the cost of food. You are paying for the support from other fellow dieters and learning how to create meal plans to lose weight. After you factor in food, you will end up paying $97 for each pound you lose on the Weight Watchers program.

Cost of Jenny Craig

For Jenny Craig, the article stated that you will spend approximately $2,221 to $3,341 for 6 months on the premium plan. The cost includes some food. You end up paying $131 to $174 for each pound you lose on the Jenny Craig program. Like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig includes weekly counseling to help you eventually wean off of their package meals.

Cost of Nutrisystem

For Nutrisystem, the article stated that you will spend approximately $2,380 for women and $2,590 for men for 6 months on the Select plan. The cost includes some meals. You end up paying $130 to $139 for each pound you lose on the Nutrisystem program.

The Nutrisystem program is the only one that relies on prepackaged meals for 60% of your meals and does not offer weekly counseling or meetings to help you create meal plans to lose weight once you’re off the weight loss program. So once you stop eating Nutrisystem food, you’re pretty much on your own in trying to create meal plans for weight loss or maintenance.

It is interesting that it costs about $97 – $174 to lose 1 pound when you join any of these three effective weight loss programs. This cost does not include all the food you will eat while you are in these weight loss programs. Being on the frugal side I am truly amaze how much people are willing to pay to lose weight.

However, I can see the appeal of joining a structured weight loss program because of the handholding and the support you get from weekly meetings. It does require more effort to research how to plan meals for weight loss on your own without guidance.

Though participants lose weight in all three weight loss programs, Weight Watchers is the only one that allows you to do so using food you would purchase from your grocery store. Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem require you to eat mostly from the pre-packaged meals they have available. It will be hard for you to maintain the weight loss in the long run if you do not know how to plan your own meals once you are not enrolled in a structured weight loss program.

Learning how to meal plan is more important than how much weight you lose while on the weight loss program. You are not going to be in a weight loss program for life. At some point you need to know how to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine. If you cannot maintain your weight loss because you have not learned how to eat healthy while in a structured weight loss program, you will be joining one of these programs over and over again every few years with your yo-yoing weight.

How much are you willing to pay to lose 1 pound?

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mizunogirl June 15, 2011 at 4:53 am

Darn it all. WP just ate my reply!

Anyway, that is an insane amount to pay to lose weight. A roommate of mine once did the Nutrisystem….and I will say the Food was terrible terrible. It was chock full of preservatives, and the taste was as such.

Ugh!

Reply

asithi June 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Mizunogirl – Some people believe that its ok to eat horrible tasting food if it means they can lose weight. Afterall, you are only on weight loss mode temporarily.

Reply

Mizunogirl June 21, 2011 at 6:36 am

I suppose, but, as I think you might tend to agree, what is the point of eating horrible food when there are SO many lower calorie options out there that actually taste good!!! Bean burritos! Apples!!! Salmon with asparagus!!!! Tofutti! (do they still make tofutti?)

Reply

Larry Lewis June 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

The real price of weight loss is committment. Eating healthily and exercising regularly is the other cost, but it’s worth the time and effort because you get all that it costs back in the improvements you see in your health

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