I hope nobody minds me starting another comparison/"what was your experience with..." thread. I've looked around this forum a lot, but generally the other similar threads seem interested in different qualities than I am.
My #1 concern is cost, as I don't make a lot of money, but I'm willing to cut my other extraneous expenses in order to try this. I've been counting calories and exercising for about a month now, but I'm really dreadful at pre-planning my menus (ie: I won't do it), and so my calorie totals at the end of each day aren't very consistent, nor are the nutrients I get those calories from. For instance, I want more than 100g of protein per day, but it's easy to fall short. I also fall short on calories often. That's why I want to try letting someone ELSE decide what I should eat for awhile.
So! Got a few questions for you all:
1.) What is your favorite plan of the three? Medifast, New Lifestyle Diet, or NutriSystem? And why, if you feel like sharing?
concern of mine: Are these diets safe to abruptly leave after your body's grown accustomed to them? Medifast and the New Lifestyle Diet in particular seem very similar (nutrient-wise) to low-carb diets where your whole body chemistry seems to readjust for the purpose of losing weight. My understanding is that when you lose weight on a low-carb diet, you can't just go back to eating a normal, healthy diet afterwards or you will gain weight due to the sudden reintroduction of carbs.
3.) I believe I noticed that all 3 plans net you daily calories below the 1200-for-women safe threshold. Now I understand a big part of that threshold is getting all the important nutrients your body needs to perform optimally, but another part is preventing your body from locking down and going into "starvation mode," where it's even harder to lose unwanted fat. Since I see a lot of people have lost weight on these plans regardless, I'm wondering why "starvation mode" isn't an issue for these extreme low-calorie diets? Is the body starving on this diet? And (related to #2) will it experience a sudden weight gain if quitting suddenly due to the panicked body storing every bit of fat it can as soon as you eat it?
4.) (The reason for asking #2 & #3 is: ) Is there any point to following any of these diets for only one month? I can't afford to stay on them long-term, but I would still like to shed a few pounds and stir up my body/metabolism by introducing something new and healthy, before going back to my usual diet (~1500 calories, ~50/30/20 c/p/f). If effective, I'd love going back on the diet for another month down the road; rinse, repeat.
Phew! That's a lot to answer; thanks in advance for the help! Any advice is very appreciated.