There are so many diet plans out there, it seems that is impossible to choose. How do you know which one will be best for you?

Everyone has different expectations, timetables and discipline. Some people want their meals prepared for them, and others want full control of how their meals are created.

I’m going to offer you two very different diet plans.

I will make a comparison between Nutrisystem and the Mayo Clinic Diet to help you decide if one of these dieting programs is right for you.

NutriSystem vs. Mayo Clinic Diet

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Overall goals of the diet

NutriSystem: Lose weight quickly and improve health and increase your energy within a 28-day time span.

Mayo Clinic Diet: “A weight-loss program for life” is their motto. Improve overall eating habits, decrease unhealthy lifestyle choices and increase healthy ones, improve health and reduce health risks, maintain a diet program for the long term that has been constructed by health professionals.

Projected weight loss

Nutrisystem: 1-2 pounds per week with a starting phase of 28 days.

Mayo Clinic Diet: An initial two-week phase with a 6-10 pound projected weight loss, followed by a steady 1-2 pound loss until you achieve your target goal.

Eating plan 

NutriSystem: Eat 6 small meals a day (every 2-3 hours), eat mostly NutriSystem foods that are high in protein and fiber and have no trans-fat, can add your own fruit and vegetables. Caloric intake is controlled. Consumption of alcohol and eating in restaurants over the course of the diet are discouraged. Prepared foods include chicken, pasta and pizza.

Mayo Clinic Diet: Follow the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight pyramid, which is tailored to each individual and gives guidelines of how many portions of each type of food to eat per day to either lose or maintain weight.

Exercise required with diet

Nutrisystem: Encourages incorporating about 30 minutes of exercise per day into the plan. Promises to help you find the best way to integrate exercise into your lifestyle.

Mayo Clinic Diet: Encourages incorporating about 30 minutes of moderately intensive exercise per day or more into the plan, which includes anything that gets your heart rate up and leads to a light sweat.

Diet support

NutriSystem: With the 2 more expensive plans, you get access to counselors and dietitians via the phone, and trackers such as a food and exercise log. Your tracker can also be connected to your other fitness devices, such as a FitBit or Apple watch. Your first order also includes guides about eating out, a food log, and tips for getting started on the diet.

Mayo Clinic Diet: When you sign up, you will get individualized diet plans and recipe ideas, access to a tracking website that allows you to log your food and exercise, and personalized exercise plans and fitness tips.

Which Diet is the Winner?

Both diets are useful in different ways. It all depends on the time frame you have for weight loss and whether or not you’re trying to promote long-lasting change.

NutriSystem seems to be a good diet for quick weight loss. If you have an event coming up that you need to quickly lose a few pounds for, this seems right for you. However, maintenance of this diet plan may be difficult due to the reliance on the NutriSystem prepackaged foods that are delivered to your home. Additionally, staying on this plan will be costly, as the cheapest plan is $9.82/day for four weeks.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is more of a lifestyle diet that allows you to choose the foods you eat, while teaching portion control and how to incorporate healthier ingredients into your meals. While this plan may not result in immediate large weight loss, it seems to be the better plan if you are looking to overhaul your lifestyle. However, this plan may require more commitment and willpower, as it is certainly easier to eat foods delivered to your door (as in NutriSystem) rather than make your own meals from day one. The Mayo Clinic Diet is cheaper — you can do it all free, or you can pay for access to the online support network, which is $4 per week.

Both of these diets can work if they are right for you. Make sure to do your research and pick the one that best fits your lifestyle.

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