I’ve been battling “a few pounds” for most of my adult life. Each year, it seems, I added on a couple extra pounds and my jeans’ size increased slowly from an 10 to a 16. Then the 16’s started to feel a little tight and I decided that was it.
I’d tried a lot of weight loss programs in the past from Slim Fast to low-carb and I never managed to stick with any of them for more than a few days or a week at the most. Needless to say I never lost more than a pound or two.
I knew a friend who was attending Weight Watcher’s meetings and I decided to give that a try. I really liked that I could eat regular food and not have to rely on shakes or bars or live for weeks on end eating nothing other than salads without dressing.
At the first Weight Watcher’s meeting, you fill out a short survey to determine the number of food points you’re allowed to eat each day. This is based on your age, your current weight, your height and your activity level throughout the day.
In the Weight Watcher’s program, each food item is assigned a number of points. You write down everything you eat to keep track of the points each day. Your goal is to use the total number of points you’re allowed each day. You cannot carry them over to the next day if you don’t use them.
However, you are also given 35 extra points to use each week. Think of these as fun money. You don’t have to use them but you can if you want to. You can use them all or just a few of them. I use them when there’s a special occasion like a birthday or lunch with a friend. You can’t carry them to the next week but they can be used throughout the current week as you want.
Weight Watchers also assigns points to extra activity you do throughout the day. If you do aerobics or ride your bike, you can earn extra points which will allow you to eat extra food. You can’t include activity you do every day as part of your normal routine. This is supposed to encourage you to exercise.
In the Weight Watcher’s program, there are no forbidden foods. If you’re careful for the day and have points left over at the end of the day and decide you want to eat a candy bar, you can do that! If you really want a cheeseburger for lunch or a slice of cheesecake for dessert, you can use your 35 extra points to allow you do have those treats.
It’s really very easy to find out how many points each food has. You can look the number of points up on the Weight Watcher’s website or you can check their points guide books. If you can’t find the food online or in a book, there is a handy slide rule you get with your first meeting that lets you figure out how many points a food is based on the fat, fiber, and calories it contains.
For the most part, vegetables have zero points so it’s very easy to add a garden salad to your dinner to fill up. You generally want to include more foods that are high in fiber and less foods that are high in fat in your diet.
Many foods in the grocery store are now being labeled with the number of Weight Watcher’s points they contain. Many Progresso Soups have this information and the Smart One’s frozen dinners contain this information as well. If you attend the Weight Watcher’s meetings, your leader will bring a variety of Weight Watcher’s products available for you to purchase. They have cookbooks, DVDs, pedometers and a wide variety of food items that are labeled with the number of points they cost.
The Weight Watcher’s meetings are really fun. At each meeting, you receive a booklet with a few recipes and tips to get you through the week. One week might be filling foods. The next week might be exercise. Your leader will speak on the topic of the week and ask everyone for their ideas and suggestions.
You weigh in at each meeting to track your weight loss. As you loose weight, you receive little rewards to motivate you like stickers or a key chain or charms. Everyone cheers and claps when you loose weight and no-one is a bit judgmental when you don’t. We’ve all been there.
I’ve been in Weight Watcher’s for about two months and have lost a little over twenty pounds. I still have a ways to go but I plan on being a Weight Watcher’s member for life to help keep me on track. I’ve never had this much success in losing weight before in my life.
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