DonnaLou Baner of Gridley, IL, a small community of about 1,400 people that's 25 miles from the nearest grocery store chain, followed Weight Watchers for 15 years. The program helped her lose weight initially, and even maintain that weight-loss, but in the end it just wasn't tenable.
"It just got to be more and more complicated, and more expensive," DonnaLou said. "In the morning I'd sit down and enter in what I thought I wanted to eat, and then I'd have to go back and, if it was more points than what was allowed, I'd have to go in and readjust. It was just harder to do."
The Cooking Light Diet, though? Leaps and bounds easier for DonnaLou to incorporate into her active lifestyle.
"One thing I like about the CLDiet is that I can just go in in the morning and open my email, and it shows me what the options are," DonnaLou said. "And if I don't have ingredients I can go into history or  and say, 'Oh, I've got all the ingredients for this recipe.'"
DonnaLou says that the comprehensive approach of meal planning on the Cooking Light Diet also gives it a leg up over the points system utilized by Weight Watchers.
"The Cooking Light Diet plans my meals and plans my menus and figures in all the calories," DonnaLou said. "With Weight Watchers, I had to do all the meal planning and then figure out how many points were in each meal, and then use their system to figure that out. And then if I was over my points I'd have to go back into my menus and figure out what I was going to cut out, or what I could substitute to drop the points. This is just seems a lot easier to me."
And DonnaLou and her husband Steve will need easy-to-use meal planning this spring and summer, as they'll be traversing several states en route to Mexico for a selfless mission in their trusty camper.
"We support an orphanage down in Mexico, so we're going to be driving from Illinois trying to get into Mexico with a camper and our little dog, so it's going to be a whole new adventure for us," DonnaLou said. "But another benefit that I see [with the Cooking Light Diet] is that I can take the whole thing along and if we stop at a grocery store I can say, 'I've already got the grocery list right here on my phone.' And we can go to a grocery store and just pick out the ingredients we need for a few days."
When they do take the Cooking Light Diet on the road, DonnaLou says she and Steve will be inspired by all the vibrant recipe photos in her plan.
"I really love the pictures of the food," she said. "They're just so appealing and appetizing. It just makes me excited to fix them because I see how nice they can look and how tasty they can be. So I think that's another big benefit. It's really inspiring for me to see a picture of the food I'm going to be fixing."
The Baners have given a nod to the CLDiet over Weight Watchers because of how easy it is to use anywhere and because the food images are beautiful, but their praise of this new healthy lifestyle extends even further. There are three main advantages to using the service that DonnaLou says will have them subscribed for a long time to come.
"Health-wise, the plan uses a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables," DonnaLou said. "And the preparation is pretty basic but still very tasty. Time-wise, I can go in at the end of the week and you've already sent me menus for the whole next week and it's just already there. When I go to the store I have my list of what I need to prepare the meals for the next week so I don't pick up extra food necessarily thinking, 'Oh, I might need this for a meal or snack.' I just go and buy what I'm going to need. And that's been a cost-savings for us. I just know what I need, and that's what I buy. And then I come home again. I've learned to shop differently, so it's been good."
We're glad the Cooking Light Diet is working well for you, DonnaLou! Safe travels to Mexico.
Are you interested in any of the benefits DonnaLou says the CLDiet has on her life? Join today to make the healthy lifestyle plunge!
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.