Last week I wrote about a fascinating new product in America’s war on obesity, known as LifeSize.  This nifty little product from a start-up company is starting to garner quite a bit of attention.

The New York Times did a piece on it.
So did the Huffington Post.

Newsmax picked up the story.

Now the financial press has “weighed” in.

I have had tremendous success with the product.  I’ll be honest – I didn’t think I would.  I thought it would just be more money spent chasing the fantasy of losing weight and keeping it off.  I think what threw me was the simplicity of the product.  Having tried all the other branded weight loss products, they all seemed either complicated or just plain torturous.  I spent the past week really trying to hone in on why I had success with LifeSize and failed with everything else.  Here’s my report, and it won’t surprise you to hear that at least one scientific study shows that none of these diets really works.

Weight Watchers: There is a portion control element to Weight Watchers, but the problem is that the point system made it virtually impossible to really enjoy the foods I love.  Sure, you can eat Kentucky Fried Chicken but the point count is so high that the rest of your day is torpedoed.   I had to keep track of so many things – what I ate, how much it weighed, counting points – that it really drove me crazy.  It was way too much effort.  I know some people find motivation in attending meetings, but I was annoyed by it.  If you can’t be disciplined enough to start a plan and stick to it, then a meeting isn’t going to help.  I tried the Weight Watchers pre-fab food and thought it was mediocre, and it cost a lot of money.   In the end, I lost about 8 pounds over 6 months, but gained it all back.

Atkins: I gave this a shot when it was all the rage.  I didn’t last too long.  Eliminating carbs was not only difficult, but it required constant vigilance and my energy levels were decidedly lower.  Most of all, I felt totally deprived.  I love foods with carbs.

Medifast:  This lasted about three days.  I didn’t care for their food at all.  Man cannot live on protein shakes alone.

Zone:  I didn’t buy into the science behind it, but gave it a shot.  I actually lost 12 pounds in about 12 weeks, but it really came with a heavy price.  I always felt hungry and was definitely sluggish because I didn’t get the glucose I needed.   It was expensive to maintain and the 40-30-30 ratio was just nutty to try and adhere to.  I gained that weight back, also.

So it didn’t surprise me to find this study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed really awful results for the diets they tested.  42% of participants bailed on the study within the one year test period.  “The most common reasons cited for discontinuation of the study were that the assigned diet was too hard to follow or not yielding enough weight loss.”  The weight loss was pathetic.  Over a year, mean loss for women was only 2.4kg (5.3 lbs) and 3.3kg (7.3 lbs) for men.

This brings me back to LifeSize.  I lost a ton of weight and have kept it off.  Two things really stand out for me with the product.

First, it’s simple.   I didn’t have to count points or weigh things or keep track of complicated ratios or caloric intake.  I portioned out my food according to the wall chart, and within two weeks I had essentially memorized it from repetition.

Second, it didn’t deprive me of anything I loved to eat.

But the big revelation was this:  I usually felt satisfied after my meals.  I really think that modern day American portion sizes are way too large.  I think we’ve taken for granted that restaurants, especially places like Cheesecake Factory, will load you down with food.  That’s the portion size we’ve grown accustomed to.  But when I paid just a little attention to what I was eating, I realized I’d been stuffing my face just because the food was on my plate.

And when I got hungry between meals, I did the first thing the founders said I should do, which is reach for a glass of water.  More than half the time, that glass of water sated me.

I think LifeSize is unquestionably worth a try.  The cost is so low compared to other options, and it’s so simple that giving it a shot is a no-brainer.

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