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The Cost of Four Popular Diets

At any one time more than a third of the people in the US are on a diet. This is big business for mass market diet programs. Many people are opting to join different weight loss programs for support or the ease of choosing foods. But with these diets comes a cost and you need to make some long-term choices. What do you do after you stop these diets and now have to rely on your own cooking and purchases. Do these programs teach you portion control and what to buy to maintain your weight or continue to lose weight?

The four top diets that are commercial diets are the Atkins, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and The South Beach Diet. All of these diets either provide the meals and you add some vegetables and snacks. Some of these diets also have supplements and cleanses that they offer and some have food that is with the diet label.

Weight Watchers

The Weight Watchers diet is considered the big dog of diets. The diet encourages good eating habits and behavioral changes. The diet teaches portion control, gives you support and helps with exercise and attitude. This diet allows you to choose your food from a variety of categories. The average cost is around $750 or about $90 a pound. The diet claims that you should lose eight to nine pounds. These costs include food, group meetings, and access to the Website


NutriSystem differs from Weight Watchers both in cost and the diet program. All the food you buy is pre-packaged and portion controlled. You have over 160 different choices and they are delivered to your door. You can save 15% if you buy at Costco or WalMart. The average cost was about $550 and they claim that you can lose up to 8 pounds per month. This breaks down to $66.


The Atkins diet is hard to gauge because you provide most of the meat of the diet. The Atkins diet offers food products that the average person will still spend about $950 per month. The diet is mainly a high protein/low carb diet, with meat and fish being the main food. The diet does claim that you can lose up to twenty-one pounds in the first stage and up to 12 pounds in phase two of the diet. This will break down $45 per pound in the 1st phase and $79 in Phase Two.


This diet is one of the most expensive along with the Atkins. They both are around $1000. The South Beach diet also claims that in the first phase you can lose up to 17 pounds in the 1st month. This breaks down to $55 a pound. Once you get off of the induction phase your costs remain the same because of some of the pricey proteins that you are eating but the cost per pound jumps to around $109 per pound as you will still lose weight but only 8 pounds per month after the first.

These diets are at the upper limit of cost and have about the same success rate as other diets. Eating sensibly and with proper exercise and eating habits you can lose weight at the same clip and save some money.