I have probably been a member of Weight Watchers a dozen times since the early 90s. Like many people I would make my New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, sign up at the local meeting center, attend a few meetings, and then lose my motivation. I just didn’t like writing down every single component of every single thing I ate, then calculating the fat and fiber grams, or the “points”.
BTW, “Points” or the offical PointsPlus, is how Weight Watchers calculates foods, taking into account a food’s protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. Lean proteins and high fiber carbs have lower PointsPlus values than fattier foods.
Well, this year is the 50th anniversary of Weight Watchers, and their newest program goes way beyond tracking points. Their new program, aptly called Weight Watchers 360°, is a breakthrough approach that challenges members to not only track their food intake (PointsPlus), but also to manage those daily routines and spaces that sabotage weight loss. The new program encompasses three pillars:
· Tracking. Track food with PointsPlus, record weight and physical activity. (This part is what exists now, but spaces and routines are entirely new.)
· Spaces. You create and commit to an action plan and bookmark tips under these six environments: home, shopping, workplace, eating out, travel and occasions). You can get prompts in panic moments like “is fast food your only option?” when you are in the airport.
· Routines. You choose three routines (16 available) to follow every day (e.g., eat fruit with every meal). Record success daily.
I received a 3 month trial of Weight Watchers 360 to try, and while I confess I wasn’t as vigilant with it as I should have been, I used the tips on the site to remind myself to drink water every day, snack and veggies and fruit (still working on that one), and I reduced the amount of packaged and frozen foods we were eating and started making better choices at the grocery store instead of just grabbing what was familiar and convenient.
And lost TWENTY POUNDS! I was 204.4 when I started and today I’m 183.8. WOO HOO! I still have a long way to go, but just that 20 pounds has made a huge difference. I can walk quickly up the basement stairs instead of taking them one stair at a time and being out of breath at the top.
You don’t have to be perfect on the Weight Watchers program. You just have to set goals and try to meet them every day. If a goal isn’t working, drop it and make another one. There’s no judging! Of course, you can’t just eat as much of anything you want and wonder why it’s not working. Measuring out a cup of cooked spaghetti or weighing a piece of chicken takes an extra minute, but when you fill the other side of your plate with healthier carbs and lots of veggies, you enjoy that spaghetti or chicken but you don’t end up stuffed and sorry you ate it in the first place.
The best part for tech fans like me is Weight Watchers Mobile. It’s SO AWESOME. Remember the old Points Slider you had to take to the grocery store and use to figure out the Points of something after scrutinizing the nutritional info on the package? No more! The mobile app has a BARCODE SCANNER you use to get the PointsPlus Value instantly!
For those of you who have been on Weight Watchers in the past, remember when you used to have to count the Points in every piece of fruit you ate? No more! Weight Watchers tells you to eat a “reasonable amount”, so you can’t eat a pound of grapes or 4 bananas and wonder why the scale didn’t budge, but a morning banana, a handful of grapes for a snack, and a sliced apple after dinner is FREE FOOD.
I’ve got another post planned where I want to explain Power Foods and the Simply Filling Technique from Weight Watchers, so watch for that soon. If you haven’t checked out Weight Watchers lately, I highly encourage you to go to http://www.weightwatchers.com/ and see why Weight Watchers is still recommended by doctors (including mine!) and nutritionists (including one I met with last year) as a safe, healthy way to lose weight and keep it off.
I picked some related articles for you to read for more info, including Dr. Oz talking about Weight Watchers 360 on his show, recipes from a food blogger, and a great deal on Weight Watchers magazine – only $4.99 a year! I was really happy to get this opportunity to work with Weight Watchers, especially considering I lost 20 pounds in the deal Check it out for yourself!
EDITED TO ADD: I wrote the draft of this post on April 20th and sent it to the PR rep just to make sure it was what they were looking for. I’m publishing it today, April 24th. My weight is 182.6! That means I’ve now lost 22 pounds, woo hoo!!
disclosure: I have received a free 3-month pass to experience Weight Watchers online. I am not being paid to use or endorse Weight Watchers and thoughts are my own.