Weight Watchers: Not Just Your Mom’s Diet

I hated diets. Every other week I was going back on one, I swore…until I ate a cookie, or forgot to order my caramel macchiato with skim, or ate a handful of fries at happy hour. Then it was always back to the downward spiral of binging until I felt remorse and a little squishier than before.

Then came Weight Watchers, and I realized that dieting doesn’t have to be absolutely miserable.

I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s all sunshine and daisies. Changing your eating habits is not fun. It takes me a good 2 weeks to get in the dieting mentality, and I bitch and moan during all of it.

I want to eat all the time. I don’t want to look at nutrition facts or give up bagels or happy hour. I just want to feel better and get some sort of instant gratification, which is just not the way the game is played. If you want anything good, you’ve got to be willing to work toward it. And so, you suck it up and deal.

With WW you’re looking at three key nutrition facts: fat grams, calories, and dietary fiber. You’re allowed a certain number of points per day, depending on your weight at present, and you spend them however you want. If you really want that bagel, go for it. It’s 6 points without shmear. Budget ’em wisely. You also earn more points for yourself to eat by working out, AND you get a weekly budget of 35 Flex Points with the Flex plan, which can be spent however you want in addition to your daily allotment.

The great thing is that veggies save you, because they’re practically no points. Green vegetables (all types of salad greens, green beans, asparagus, green pepper, broccoli, etc.) are zero points, so eat up! Fruits aren’t too bad, apples and oranges are 1 point each and bananas are 2 a piece. You can have a cup of grapes, a cup and a third of strawberries or a cup of blueberries for one point each as well.

Basically, you’re trying to learn how to fill yourself up with food that’s actually good for you. Maybe it’s easier to eat a protein bar for 5 points than sit down and have three scrambled eggwhites (1 point) with green pepper and onion (no points) and 2 slices of dry wheat toast (2 points), but you’d be surprised how full you’ll feel after that extra ten minutes of effort.

There are great WW resources online, including their own website. Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone, www.dwlz.com, has a list of restaurants and point values for items on their menu so the math is done for you. You can also Google generic Points values for foods and double-check that a chicken breast is 3 and a cup of skim milk is 1.

I’m not advocating that everyone needs to be on a diet, or that this is ideal for everyone, but it did work for me and helps me maintain my weight without feeling as though I’m starving. Also, I don’t weigh myself because I find that numbers depress me or stress me out. I gauge my dieting success by how my clothes fit and how I’m looking and feeling. Feel free to ask any questions if it’s something you might be interested in!

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