Casey at the Bat

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You have to love Casey Conrad when she stands in front of about 60 people in a seminar and says, "I'm a pretty blunt person."

Conrad, one of our advisory board members, spared no expense when she gave a session on successful weight-loss programs for women. In her seminar, Conrad broke down the emotional and sociological aspects of the choices women make when they are dieting.

A lot of diets have a computer-based component in which women (and men) can chart their progress and food intake. Women, Conrad says, like to write things down in a journal, not sit in front of a computer and type in their results. (Men love computer programs, Conrad says.) Women do, however, love to use the Internet to look up information, Conrad adds.

Although Conrad praises Weight Watchers as the most successful diet program around, she cautions that it only measures the quantity of food eaten. A quality weight-loss program should measure the quantity and the quality of food eaten as well as the time at which the food was eaten. Two food groups that should be immediately eliminated when dieting are junk food and alcohol because they produce dead calories, Conrad says.

Calories, by the way, should never be discussed with women who want to lose weight, Conrad adds. Women are also keen on justification, she says. Clubs should make a weight-loss program affordable for women so that they can justify paying for it, Conrad says. (Men do not need help justifying their purchases, she says.)

Conrad says she's not a fan of pre-packaged meals or meal replacements. In terms of preparing food for families, Conrad says women still do the task 99 percent of the time. Her math may be a little off, but the point is, Conrad thinks women do most of the food preparation in their families. With that in mind, women do not want to make a meal for their families and one for themselves, Conrad says. Regarding pre-packaged meals or meal replacements, women can't serve them to their families, and they don't learn what's good or bad for them, she adds.

Lastly, Conrad says that eating the same thing over and over in a diet is not healthy. People love food, and a diet needs to have a variety of tasty options, she says.

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