Another Diet Plan in Sheep’s Clothing?


When Weight Loss Products Jump on the Non-Diet Bandwagon

It’s always “interesting” (mild word for my true feelings) to see the television ads that come out every January, touting old and new (mostly old) weight loss plans and products. You know the players — they’re there every year, reaching out to people who are often desperate to lose weight.

This year, it’s really “interesting” to see some of those old players try to fall into step with the growing sentiment against weight loss diets.

Lean Cuisine Ditch the Diet 10-Day Try-It

Take the new Lean Cuisine Ditch the Diet 10-Day Try-It campaign (video below). I can’t get beyond their initial page on Facebook without giving them access to my profile and contacts, so am in the dark about exactly what kind of advice they are giving with this program.  The gist of it, obviously, appears that they are trying to hop on the non-diet bandwagon, albeit with a product that has always been associated with dieting.

Much like Special K is doing in co-opting body positive messages, including Marilyn Wann’s famous Yay! scale, as part of their Special K Weight Loss Challenge(TM).  But I digress.

On the face of it, Lean Cuisine’s campaign doesn’t seem that awful. They’re encouraging people not to diet and follow their plan that surely includes at least one Lean Cuisine meal a day.

The nutritionist in me cringes a bit at that, knowing that a steady diet of such meals is likely to leave someone low in important nutrients for good health, and maybe too high in other nutrients such as sodium.

Yet, the realist in me knows that many people eat so poorly (due to chronic dieting and other reasons), this could actually be a step up, especially if their other meals are well-balanced, and the Lean Cuisine meal is supplemented with vegetables and maybe other foods to make sure a person gets enough to eat. If it’s not enough, they may find themselves facing hunger pangs later on. Given the diet mentality that likely afflicts many people who would follow this plan, that could be a set-up for overeating.

The Big Question

The big question I have, and can’t see on their Facebook landing page, is whether the advice that accompanies their plan is not just another diet plan in sheep’s clothing.  Telling messages would be if the advice is focused on losing weight, rather than helping a person put in place a sustainable plan for healthy eating that truly supports health and well-being.

Has anyone signed up to “try-it,” and if so, would you be willing to share with me details about the effort?  If so, email me at  Thanks!

One response to “Another Diet Plan in Sheep’s Clothing?”

  1. Harriet Krivit says:

    All good points about this new Lean Cuisine approach, Marsha. BTW ,”picture’s say a thousand words”. Their ladies pictured are always model thin still presenting unrealistic goals for the average woman. And of course one must add more veggies and protein etc. not to “white knuckle” it…as far as hunger is concerned. But, Progressive Soups proudly uses the “diet” word in their latest soup diet adds. Still haven’t eliminated BPA from the cans lining. Everyone in all of these ads has so much happy energy with what they’re consuming? What’s funny is from these ads from we go to some young beautiful woman ecstatically savoring a Hershey’s or Dove chocolate describing her almost sexual experience as she bites into “it”…ah, and never showing the lady eating a second one. Like the Lean Cuisine portions…miniscule amts.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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