Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Weight Watchers

I have separately written about my experience on Weight Watchers (rebranded "WW"). I will integrate some of that content into this blog.

I am a lifetime member of WW, meaning that I achieved and maintained my goal weight. Following WW helped me lose nearly 40 pounds.

WW provides me with a mechanism (SmartPoints) to quantify my eating, and hold myself accountable. SmartPoints act as a motivation to avoid bingeing, and teach me what foods I can eat when I am hungry. But I still struggle and have binge eating days. I am working on learning what triggers me to binge eat, and develop skills and tools to avoid bingeing when I am triggered.

I have read that diets and food restriction is counterproductive for addressing eating disorders. I have to focus on other strategies to find abstinence from my food addiction. I hope to be able to continue using WW to keep my weight at a healthy weight and focus my eating on healthy foods. WW is a very integral part of my overall healthy eating strategy, as it guides me about what foods I should eat, and how much.

I have found the following points to be the keys to my success on WW:
  1. WW is the only diet that has worked for me. Eating within my point range is all I need to do to achieve and maintain my goal weight.
  2. Weight loss through managing food intake is vastly more effective and efficient than attempting to do the same through exercise.
  3. WW is about improving healthy habits over time. An occasional lapse, binge day, or strategic break from tracking will not reverse a weight loss trend.
  4. In case of a lapse, resume the WW plan immediately. Never punish.
  5. Be strategic with eating and exercise: Pre-track food especially when eating out; have easy access to low-point foods; enjoy lean proteins; focus on high benefit exercises like strength training and high intensity interval training.
I am going to repeat here some tips I had posted elsewhere about achieving success on WW:
  1. Be very strategic about eating, and view every meal as an opportunity to further your goal. Research and pretrack meals (especially if eating out). Rely on freestyle zero-point foods and a lot of hydration. Have some easy go-to meals and low-point items you order at restaurants.
  2. Find out what number of points work for you. For me, I found that if I ate all my dailies, I would lose weight. If I also ate my weeklies, I would maintain; and if I ate my FitPoints, I would gain weight.
  3. Take some days off. Don't stress about Thanksgiving and Christmas, a special occasion day, or an indulgence while on vacation. And if you fall off the wagon and eat all the Halloween candy, just pick right back up the next day and resume the plan. 
  4. Build a community of supporters. This can be at WW workshops, friends and family, and online through Connect. This can also be watching YouTube videos about WW, or listening to WW-related podcasts.
  5. Envision what success looks and feels like, and what overeating looks and feels like. Is that high-points food really worth delaying your goal?
  6. Finally, most people on WW are trying to lose weight. But following the WW points plan is really about making better food choices by nudging us away from high-point sugar and fats and towards lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.

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