Yeah, this isn't my first time dieting. I dieted a couple years ago, while I was still in college. Take Shape for Life is actually a really nice program, and it worked really well. I lost around 75 lbs in under a year, all with minimal exercise. It involves a strict meal plan, eating 6 times a day, and (once you're comfortable) some light exercise.
In the weight-loss stage, you eat 5 of the plan's meals a day. The food isn't bad, though it's definitely not as good-tasting as the bad-for-you foods you crave. There's a large variety of bars, soups, drinks, desserts, and more. My favorites include the hot chocolate, scrambled eggs, orange shakes, and peanut-butter bars. Everything is under 120 calories and packed with protein, vitamins and nutrients. And you can add whatever spices or sugar-free syrups you'd like (I love adding cinnamon and vanilla extract to my hot chocolate).
The 6th meal (which can be eaten at any time, really) is your chance to splurge and get some variety. You can have all the vegetables you want, as well as a lean cut of meat. Unfortunately you're not supposed to have dairy, fruits, or grains (and definitely no sugars), so you're still limited to some extent.
But then, that all depends on how fast you want to lose weight. If you stick to the plan religiously, you're taking in between 600 and 1000 calories a day, which is less than your body usually burns in a day (especially if you're overweight). If, however, you deviate from the plan, you won't lose weight as quickly. And believe me, the weight does drop pretty quickly when you stick to the plan.
Some cons are the price of the food...it's a little on the expensive side ($15+ for 7 meals). Then again, diet food tends to be pretty expensive, so if you're serious about it, it's probably comparable. Another con is that they're primarily soy-based, so if you have allergies to soy or have issues with estrogen, it might not be for you.
As anyone will tell you, consult your physician before starting any new diet or weight-loss program. They can usually give you advice on what's best for your body, tips on not overdoing it, and warning signs that you need to stop/change.
So, have you dieted before? What's worked; what hasn't? Anything you can recommend?
I'm personally aiming to lose 150 lbs. Once I hit a milestone or two, I'll probably post pictures.
Wish me luck!
Some D Books I've Read:
A Distinctive D Artist: