Ouch! It was tough going in week seven of our E-commerce Exposed review of online diet clubs. Just when our reviewers thought the scales had tipped permanently in their favor, menu snafus, PMS and birthday cake undid a lot of good work.

Our four reviewers — Jacquie, Kristy, Michele and Rachel — dish out the skinny on their personal weight loss challenge. Only one of the women in our group lost a pound … one didn’t lose anything, and two of them gained weight! And none of them are satisfied with their experiences this week.

But diet pitfalls only make these ladies more determined to claw their way to the peaks of good health. Here’s what they have to say:

Jacquie P.

Pennsylvania

Starting weight: 192 pounds

Pounds lost so far: 8

Reviewing: eDiets

I’m up one pound, my first gain since starting the diet. Due to PMS, I cheated and ate some chocolate candy, but for the most part I stayed within the calorie range of my eDiets plan. I also completed every last one of the nine scheduled workouts I intended to do during the week.

When I logged onto eDiets and printed out a new menu, it looked a little different.

“Ah, finally,” I thought. “some new meals and recipes.”

There were dinner entrees like peas and pasta, rice and vegetables, dinner salad, tomato and broccoli casserole on the new week’s menu plan.? But these weren’t side dishes. No. These were the whole dinners for four different days.? I started wondering, “Where’s the beef?”

Looking at the breakdown of the meals, I discovered that eDiets had reduced my daily calories from 1,500 to 1,400 and the fat grams from 33 to 30. I felt like I was being punished. What an outrage! eDiets was rapping me on the knuckles for gaining a pound. I can live with the 30 grams of fat a day, which is about what I’d been eating. But with the amount of exercise I’m doing, a woman my size definitely needs more protein and 1,500 calories a day, not 1,400, to lose weight slowly and safely. I may not have a degree in nutrition, but I’m working my behind off here and this is the thanks I get? (Did I mention that I have PMS?)

Many other women are posting messages on the eDiets boards saying they experience monthly water weight gain even though they’re following the program. I think eDiets could greatly improve by taking this into account when planning menus. eDiets should encourage members with supportive messages rather than reducing their calories and basically telling them to get with the program.

I’ve decided to just stick with what works for me.?I’m adding chicken and fish to some of those dinner meals and I’m going to continue my heavy-duty exercise program. I will lose that extra pound I gained!

Kristy McGarr

Waukesha, Wis.

Starting weight: 168 pounds

Pounds lost so far: 9 1/2

Reviewing: New Image Weight Loss

Everything is going well. Unfortunately, I didn’t lose any weight this week. But I just started a new job and have been incredibly busy. I am starting to feel some muscles in my legs, which is a big improvement.

I really like the New Images support system. They e-mailed me and asked me how I was feeling, how I was doing, and how to motivate myself more. I would almost just join for the support mechanism.

My goal is to lose 2 pounds for next week; I believe I can do it!

Michele Luzetsky

Kennett Square, Pa.

Starting weight: 205 pounds

Pounds lost so far: 7

Reviewing: ABC Weightloss.net

I am in a big slump with the ABC Weight Loss Plan.? I managed to lose another pound this week, and I’m back to 198 for a total of 7 pounds lost. But I didn’t follow the diet plan too much this week. It’s so boring, and the site gives me no support. I really wish there were more sample weeks, or if you could know exactly how many calories and fat grams are allowed on this plan. One thing I really don’t like about this plan is that once you get the information on the diet, you’re on your own.

I went to the gym three days and worked out for 45 minutes each day. I really like the gym and feel so good after I go. This week, I’m going to try to go four days and also include an aerobic dance class and a yoga class. I only walked one day last week, but I’m going to try to keep the walking up to every afternoon also.

Well, I’ve got to get out of this slump, so I’m going to try to go back to the original one-week food plan from ABC. I said I was going to do that last week, too, and it just didn’t work out … I’m more motivated now, so I hope this week will be much better.

Rachel Frazer

Avondale, Ariz.

Starting weight: 190 pounds

Pounds lost so far: 7

Reviewing: Cyberdiet

I actually gained two pounds this week. There were a couple of birthday parties this week and I had some cake, although I didn’t think I ate two pounds of cake. Anyway, I’m going to try to buckle down again this week.

I intend to step up the walking this week and I hope next week will be better. I have modified my diet more. I substitute things I normally eat in a more nutritious manner — per Cyberdiet’s recipe exchange — but I need to limit my portions more to compensate for my lack of exercise. Anyway, I hope to do better next week!