When you think Weight Watchers, do you think of some old-fashioned concept where groups of moms gather around, obsessively counting points in the hopes of losing a few pounds?
Well, my friend, things have changed. As someone who’s struggling to drop some added poundage over the last year or so, I’ve recently jumped on the Weight Watchers bus. And so far, it’s pretty great.
Here’s the thing: I love to eat. There’s nothing better than trying out a new restaurant, or making a new dish I just pinned. Because of that, low-carb, Paleo and Whole 30 style plans — where most, if not all, of my favorites are off limits — just don’t work for me.
Some background: I’ve been trying to lose weight for about a year now. When I graduated college, I was pretty slim but slowly have added roughly 15 pounds to my frame. My goal (according to my doctor) is to lose 20 pounds overall. I lost roughly 10 last summer, but the steady stream of holidays, moving stress and eating out with friends and family have packed those lost pounds back on.
Which brings me to Weight Watchers. Since the start of the year, I’ve been back to my old tricks that helped me originally shed the weight: working out 2 times a day, low-carb, high protein breakfasts and lunches and cutting back on sugar. After roughly 3 weeks of this, I saw exactly 0.5 pounds of weight loss and was frustrated and ready to give up. One day, my sister and my mom started talking about their online Weight Watchers program. They had each recently joined and had success with it. They suggested I try it out.
At this point, it was more of a Well, why the hell not kind of situation. So I started tracking my points using the app roughly a week ago.
My weight loss so far? Roughly 3 pounds.
Now, I’m not here to depict WW as some miracle that everyone should go out and join. The weight isn’t an insane amount, and it is only the first week. But, it does seem to have some major benefits, especially if you’re tracking every calorie in and out, like I was with my Fitbit, and still not losing weight. I think it has to do with how they delegate points in the system, which takes into account things like fiber and sugar content.
It’s also easy to use. Depending on your height and weight, the program will give you the number of points to have each day. You can use the app to track your points, and nearly every major food is included into the WW app’s database. Exercise earns you more points, and fruit and veggies have 0 points, so you’re encouraged to fill up on those.
And I think that’s where the success really lies with the program. Overall, you don’t really get that many points. I get roughly 30 a day, which isn’t much when you consider that a single Greek yogurt can cost you 8 points alone. But because I don’t want to starve all day, I load up on veggies and fruits. For example, this week’s breakfast was a huge helping of unsweetened applesauce (0 points) followed by a mini wheat bagel (3 points) and tablespoon almond butter (3 points). For lunch, I had a cup of wheat pasta (5 points) that was beefed up with steamed zucchini, carrots and green beans in a rosemary sauce (1 point).
I don’t feel hungry, and I can still eat what I want. Plus, being able to earn more points really motivates you to go for that run in the morning so you can eat twice as much pizza that Friday night. I can balance out the day how I want to too, so my breakfast and lunches tend to be low in points so I can use them for dinner. It forces you to create a balance, which I sorely needed.
I’m not saying you must go out and join right now to drop weight, but if you’re like me and struggling with your 2016 resolutions, maybe check it out. Hey, Oprah even just came out with an ad noting that she dropped 26 pounds on the program while still eating bread every day. Any lifestyle that lets me do that while staying healthy is okay with me.
If you have any questions, or would like to share your tips for success, let me know in the comments or tweet at me @KendalGapinski.