I think one of the things I struggle with the most when sticking to a diet is the fact that it's not me who decides what we eat at home and it's not me who does the food shopping either, so I don't have complete control over what I eat and how healthy (or not) it is. Being on a diet plan is something I've thought about for a while. I think it would make me feel more in control of what I was eating, which would be a big help.
When Jenny Craig contacted me asking if I would like to try their programme for a month I said yes! Jenny Craig was founded in 1983 and upon doing my research I've found a lot of positive weightloss stories. They don't just send you the food required for the diet but they guide, support and motivate you throughout the programme in the form of weekly phone call consultations with your own personal consultant.
Sounds good so far, right? Not only that but their food looks tasty (see some of their dishes for yourself here) and they even have menus to cater for vegetarian, vegan and kosher diets. I must admit, I'm a bit sceptical about how such 'normal' dishes (pasta, cheese, and there's even chocolate) opposed to 'rabbit food' will help me lose weight but a chat with the Jenny Craig team has taught me about portion sizes and the amount of faith they have in the programme has almost reassured me that it will work for me!
I received my delivery of food for the month this morning and my first thought was that everything looked quite clinical and ready meal like but on closer inspection I do actually like the sound of the meals. Each morning I start off with a cereal or porridge, followed by a snack (eg. fruit or yoghurt), lunch is a selection of yummy sounding soups or noodle dishes. I then get yet another snack which I can pick from potato bites (crisps!), chocolate biscuit bars or a cereal bar. Dinner comes next and there are 7 different meals available including pastas, thai curry and risotto and I get another snack (again, fruit or yoghurt are recommended) before bed. All of the food can either be microwaved or cooked on the hob and is really quick to make.
It seems like such a lot of food but the portions look smaller than what I'm used to so I'm feeling positive so far. I've just ate lunch (pot of noodles [which turned out to be pasta!] in a cream sauce with salad) and has filled me right up! The good news is that non-starchy vegetables (brocolli, courgette, salad and my favourite.. mushrooms!) are all free foods which I can add to my meals to bulk them up.
I didn't get a clear photo of my whole menu, but here's a snippet of what this weeks menu looks like. As you can see there are extra foods to add on to lunch and dinner which are simply labelled as '1 protein, 1 fat' which gives you some freedom to pick and choose. The shopping list of things I need to buy is minimal, only including items like salad, fresh fruit and veg, yoghurts, cheese (yes, really!) and bread.
So... here goes! Wish me luck! I'm hoping to lose a healthy 1-2lbs per week and kickstart my weightloss for 2012! I plan on doing a few more posts on my progress throughout the month - please let me know if there's anything in particular you want to know!
* Jenny Craig has provided me with a free 1 month trial however all opinions about my experience with the programme are my own and are completely honest.