The Advantages and Disadvantages of the TOPS Diet
The meal plans that TOPS recommends are great. They help people understand nutrition and give them the freedom to choose what foods they could eat. Not requiring any calorie counting is a good feature that many like about it.
TOPS Sample Menus
Using the Exchange System
Here’s a one-day sample menu based on the Exchange System.
For breakfast, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1 cup skim milk, coffee, 1 orange
For lunch, 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 2 oz turkey, mustard, 2 cups raw vegetable salad with 1 tablespoon low-fat dressing, 1 medium banana
For dinner, 3 oz baked chicken without skin, 1 medium-sized baked potato, 1 cup steamed or boiled asparagus with 2 tablespoon sour cream, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup salsa
For snacks, 1 cup plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt, 1 chocolate chip granola bar, 17 grapes, 1 sugar-free candy
Using The MyPlate Guidelines
Here is a one-day sample menu following the MyPlate Guidelines.
For breakfast, 1 cup oat cereal, 1/2 cup non-fat milk, 1 medium banana, 1 slice whole-grain bread with 1 teaspoon margarine (toasted), 1 cup prune juice
For lunch, rye bread sandwich with 2 ounces tuna, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, 1 tablespoon chopped celery, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise; 1 medium peach; 1 cup non-fat milk
For dinner, 1 large roasted sweet potato, 3 ounces chicken breast, 1/2 cup succotash plus 1 teaspoon margarine, 1 whole-grain bread roll with 1 teaspoon margarine, 1 cup tea or coffee, water
For snacks, 1 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup dried fruits like apricot
One problem that may arise regarding this system of meal planning is not eating a well-balanced diet. It works because you would lose weight but at the expense of not having a balanced diet.
The eating plans do not strictly teach about portion control. Each individual needs to figure this out using online calculators. But people may not like this idea of keeping track what they eat.
This diet plan works. The journal Obesity published a study that monitored the progress of 42,481 TOPS members. The weight lost of members who renewed their membership for 1 to 3 years was 5.9 to 7.1 percent of their original weight.
Another study showed that members who remained with the program for 3 years kept the weight off successfully.
For a diet program that works, TOPS is fairly affordable, about $90 per year. Other weight loss programs will cost you a lot more.
The TOPS club is also known for having a vibrant community support group. The club has created a community where members can meet face-to-face or have interaction via an online community.
The members of the community are recognized for their weight loss achievements. The culmination of this rewards system is the awarding of one TOPS king and TOPS queen. There is also a group for helping people who have already lost weight to keep it off permanently. This is called the KOPS or the “Keep Off Pounds Sensibly” group.
Photo credits: 05Com via Flickr, CC by 2.0