I am 51. I've tried WW several times. Sometimes it worked for awhile but never in the long term for me. I am discounting that it does work for some people but I've learned that my weight issues are due to hormonal imbalances. No amount of just calorie restriction or exercise has helped effectively manage that.
Awhile ago, my brother did the Ideal Protein programme and encouraged me to try it. WOW! Am I ever glad that I did!
Between May 17, 2013 and September 15, 2013, I dropped 75 pounds. Since then, the weight has been coming off a lot more slowly. Everytime I carry a 30 lb container of cat litter to the basement, I think 'This is heavy ... can't believe I was lugging around more than 3 of these with me every day!'
I have tried so many kinds of diets, did Weight Watchers a few times... this is the first time ever, ever, ever that:
-I have not struggled with hunger;
-I have all along been thinking about how i will maintain this in the long run and can see the way forward
Weight Watchers is good for someone who is overweight because of plain old overeating. Ideal Protein and diets like it tackle the problem from another angle because it is not tackling the weight so much as to help bring the pancreas back into balance. The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin. If it is overtaxed or not functioning properly, problems like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome emerge. No manner of calorie counting or exercise can really be effective for long term weight loss if pancreas function is an issue.
I so 'know' the journey of struggling with weight... I feel like I have become an evangelist ... if there is somebody for whom this information might make a difference, I hope they can hear it.
Under the Ideal Protein approach, no exercise is recommended in the first 6 weeks of the programme so that all body energy can focus on adapting to the new way of eating. Also because the initial weight loss starts to happen so fast, it is said to be a huge burden on the body to both be doing the burning and trying to put out energy for exercise.
I am now into month 8 of the programme. I am just shy of a 100 pound weight loss. My exercise regime is walking my terriers for half an hour a day. The weight has been peeling off. In the first few months of the programme, I could literally feel heat in my body as the fat was burning!
The diet is one of several variations of what is a low carb/moderate protein diet. The science behind it has been around since at least the beginning of the twentieth century but for a variety of reasons was, until recently, dismissively treated by medical establishment. That's starting to change and a paradigm shift is beginning to happen.
Recently CBC radio replayed a 2 year old broadcast of a Michael Enright interview with Gary Taubes -- an investigative journalist who has been working bringing truth to light. The interview is in the 2nd half of the programme. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/201...iles---food-1/
Though Taubes does not endorse Ideal Protein (ip) specifically, his broad overview will give your sister a general idea of the big picture in the background of this programme.
The Diet Itself:
It is a moderate and not high protein diet. High protein can cause build up of uric acids in some people. The ip approach avoids that. It has 4 phases. The first is the weight reduction phase where you shed until you get to goal. The remaining three are graduated 're-entry' to long term maintenance.
In the first phase, you have 3 packets of Ideal Protein foods a day. Morning + lunch = an ip food with salad and vegetables. Supper = all your own food. Evening = an ip snack. In the remaining phases, you gradually eliminate the packets of food from ip and eat ordinary food. I personally will never go back to carbs. Because my 'manpanion' is a cattle farmer, my evening meals are often a steak! I get a bit bored with the packets by themselves. If your sister does decide to try the diet and she is interested, I can send her links to loads of recipes that lend themselves to a lot of creativity with the food such that you don't know that you are eating ip food.
The ip food is highly assimilable and bio-available protein. The vegetable selection comes from a specific list of choices all selected because they are low carb and alkaline oriented (avoiding acid build up).
There is no counting of points, calories, carbs or anything like that. You follow the protocols and the counting is done for you. Strenuous exercise is not recommended (the programme works on resting then balancing insulin and pancreatic function. Read things about metabolic syndrome X, and insulin resistance. It will give more of a picture of the science.
Having said that, following the protocols keeps you under 40 g of carbs a day and probably under 1,200 calories a day. It doesn't sound like much but because of the good quality protein + the 'ketosis' that it creates in the body, this programme gives such a high level of satiation. I can honestly say that there are very, very few times that I have experienced hunger or cravings. Generally have felt very satisfied and content from an appetite point of view.
The designer of the diet is a Dr Chanh Tran Tien from France. The diet is about 25 years old, has been in Canada for about 10 years and was originally formulated for atheletes and dancers. Chanh has his book available for free pdf download on his website. Can't say I enjoyed the book all that much.
Other good reading:
Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Phinney and Volek