Jan 16 2018

I’ve Joined Weight Watchers: My Thoughts So Far

Today I want to talk about Weight Watchers. Before we begin, though, let’s address the obvious. At the beginning of each year people are all about their New Years Resolutions – and this year I’m no exception. Yeah sure, it’s easy to dismiss the whole notion of resolutions as a frivolous often fruitless pursuit. Not so long ago, I was a non-believer – rolling my eyes (on the inside) when I heard people talking about their resolutions. Thought I was too cool for that stuff (insert sarcastic tone). But I was a twat. Truth is, resolutions are no different than having goals in life – and I don’t think anyone would say that having goals is a bad thing.

One of my “goals” in the new year is to drop a few many extra pounds I’ve been carrying around. I’m not going to go into the history of my journey to a healthier self in this post but maybe one day I’ll tell you all that story. Suffice to say, I’m no stranger to “diets”.  At this point in my life, however, it’s about living the best life I can live and not what size jeans I wear. Quite frankly, aesthetics are an after thought. I could care less about fitting into some external, contrived notion of how I should look. I want to be fit for my daughter, future children and family. Another concept I’ve rolled my eyes at in the past is Weight Watchers. I had the air of superiority when it came to “dieting”. Oh, I didn’t need anyone to tell me about nutrition. I knew how calories work…what’s healthy and what’s not. I knew about exercise. Oh yea, I knew alright…I guess that’s why I was the picture of perfect health, right? Not. (Does that expression show my age?)

This brings me to the subject of this post. I needed something to make my fitness journey easier – tracking calories is just too time consuming. A few of my friends had recently joined the Weight Watchers program and they suggested I give it a try. So I’ve swallowed my pride, pushed my ego aside and decided to give it a go.

 
Weight Watchers and Eating Healthfully
 

Weight Watchers (NEW) Freestyle Smart Point System

According to Weight Watchers, their new Freestyle system is designed to “focus on health, not on calories”. It certainly sounds like what I was looking for. But before signing up, I should confess that I had (mostly) negative preconceptions about Weight Watchers. It’s a program that has been around forever. Back in the 80’s, I remember “older” (to me when I was child) ladies “counting their points”, measuring their food and preparing for the dreaded “weigh-in” every week. It’s no secret that WW has gotten a bad wrap over the years. I remained hopeful, though. The fact that is has been around for so long, must mean that there’s something to it, right? I decided to find out.

Based on their re-vamped approach, Weight Watchers assigns you a point value taking into account your age, gender, height and current weight. It does not take your goal weight into consideration when making this calculation. Compared to the former version of the point system, those familiar with WW may notice that they have less points. For example, the new lowest daily point allowance is 23 points whereas under the old system, it used to be 26 (or thereabouts). These lower allowances are to account for the addition of (generally) healthy “zero point foods”, meant to encourage people to make better food choices. I’ll talk more about them in a minute.

 

Weight Watchers Going Digital

Upon joining, I was happy to discover that Weight Watchers has developed an App which, among other things, helps you to track your points and your weight. Once you sign up, you set your weigh in day (mine is Tuesday) and all of your points will update on that day. The App nicely displays your daily points as well as your weekly flex points. What are flex points? Everyone gets an extra 42 points a week to use as spillover – for that cheat meal, celebration or all food-related event.  In addition, you now have “rollover” points – meaning, you can carry over up to 4 unused points each day. The App also keeps track of those.

I’ve been using it for two weeks now (since signing up for WW) and have found the inter-face to be user-friendly and convenient. In addition to being able to find most foods in their data-base (unless it’s something very specific) you can also add your own recipes. Yay!

Here’s an example:

 

Weight Watchers Points Veggie Omelet

 

 

Here’s another (more depressing) example:

 

Weight Watchers Points Cake

 

Does Weights Watchers work?

After only two weeks on the program, I cannot offer a comprehensive assessment at this time (but will do at some point in the future). Based on my own personal experience so far, however, I do think that the WW freestyle approach encourages healthier food choices. Let’s say my allotment is 30 points a day. I’ve got to make each point count. So, when faced with the choice between an Apple which is 0 points and a pack of chips which is 5 points (1/6 of my daily allotment), I’m gonna go for the Apple.  A simple illustration but you get the gist.

This intentional design also has an advantage over calorie counting. How? Well, someone who is just looking a calories (ignoring nutrition), may say to themselves: I can have a large chocolate chip cookie for the same amount of calories as a banana. But if you are on the WW point system, that banana, despite having the same caloric value as the cookie, is a zero point food whereas the cookie most definitely isn’t. Ya see how that works? For people who have a challenge making healthy choices (but who like the idea of working toward a target) then the program can really work. Making sure I stay within my point allowance for the day appeals to the perfectionist in me. And although tracking the points does take a little time (you’ve got to plug your meals in) – it’s quicker, and easier IMO, than calorie counting.

 

Will I continue the Weight Watchers Program?

Yep. I’ve signed up for (and paid for) the 3 month package where the starter fee is waived.  Depending on how it goes, I’ll probably extend my membership. In the meantime, I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress with the program – probably via a monthly update. I’ll also be sharing some of my Weight Watchers smart points friendly recipes exclusively over on My Mommy Years. So if you’re reading this post on Beauty Isles, be sure to follow me there if you are interested! Talk soon, beauties.
 
 

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9 comments

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  1. My best friend lost around 3 stone on Weight Watchers about 10 years ago and has more or less stuck to the principles of it ever since and she’s maintained the loss – it’s a lifestyle now rather than a diet. Best of luck with it! xx

    Beautylymin

      • Kimmy on January 17, 2018 at 8:47 am
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      • Reply

      Good on your friend for such an accomplishment! You’re definitely right and it’s about lifestyle. I’m lucky in the sense that I actually enjoy heathy foods, I just tend to over indulge sometimes in those as well as the not so healthy type. Right now I miss curry mutton but I’m avoiding red meat so….I actually used to be a vegetarian for 10+ years and started gaining weight when I began eating meat again.

  2. First of all, I love that you used the word twat! LOL! Now onto the post, good on you for giving it a try to be healthy and not because you want to be skinny. My MIL has been on and off WW for years but I think it never really worked for her.

      • Kimmy on January 17, 2018 at 8:45 am
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      Thanks. Hehe. I love that word. Generally, I don’t have an issue with healthy food more like portion control so hopefully this helps with that. 😊

  3. I think a regimented program like WW is a good starting point to form new behaviours – and I like that they make it easy now with the app! But I think a lot of the add-on products like their own brand of food are too much of a crutch. Sometimes counting points and calories become very time consuming – I hope you’ll find a happy middle ground. 🙂 Good luck with this!

      • Kimmy on January 17, 2018 at 8:55 am
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      Thank you! Yeah I think that’s how I’m viewing it, as a jumping off point. I needed some kind of change. Like I was saying in another comment – for me it’s not necessarily what I’m eating but how much. I actually enjoy foods that others may turn away from – I’m that person that’s excited about kale and lettuce wraps. My portions had just gotten out of control and I probably indulged in sweets a little too often (developed a major sweet tooth after Daughter was born). So for me it’s all about portion control right now which is why I can benefit from the tracking system. Also, I don’t feel pressured to buy any of the weight watchers products in order to do the program. I’d actually forgotten that they even made their own “food”. It’s never been mentioned and no one who I know who follows WW buys anything of the brand products either. I think their own food thing used to be a bigger sell than it is now cause it’s not featured on the App, in online recipes or anything. Which is a good thing cause I agree with you, that type of packaged food thing isn’t the way to go! xo

  4. The app looks fantastic. I did WW about 5-6 years ago, maybe more. I had notebook to carry around and a big book to look foods up in. It worked, but I lost interest before long since it was such a hassle.

      • Kimmy on January 23, 2018 at 10:36 am
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      I can see how that would start to become a hassle. The app is definitely much easier and I actually enjoy logging my food/exercise in – its like a game lol

  5. Good luck with your weight loss journey 🙂 Can’t wait to hear your updates and see how your doing x

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

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