Why I chose Weight Watchers

Someone asked me why I chose Weightwatchers instead of the other diets going around.

It was a pretty simple decision based on the following:

  • I think the only way to lose weight is to eat less and move more.   Take in fewer calories and find ways to burn more of them each day.   It is really just that simple.
  • Atkins and South beach are, in my opinion, fad diets.  I know that Atkins has been around for many years, I just don't think it makes a lot of sense.   Like the commercial for Quaker Crisps says "A pound a Bacon and a steak are ok, but stay away from the broccoli!"   I think people eat too many carbs, I just don't think you should dramatically cut them out.
  • I needed a change in my eating lifestyle, not a radical change in what I ate.     I was more concerned about portion control and changing my eating habits gradually.    WW provided me a way to learn how to eat better.
  • I didn't want to get stuck buying "their" food.    I am cheap.    I buy frozen dinners when they are on sale.   I couldn't see spending $30 a day on meals that I would eventually stop eating due to the cost.   
  • I needed it to be computer friendly.  I work from home and spend 15 hours a day in front of a computer.  I needed the program to be accessible by computer so I could track and help set habits.

And lastly, my wife had already done Weight Watchers.    I felt that her knowledge and support was going to be a big asset in my success.

If your currently searching for a program, I recommend that you make a list of things that are important to you and find a program that fits.    I don't think anyone will be successful on program that doesn't fit their style.    Someone, like myself, would never be able to give up bread, so Atkins would just end up being a painful journey towards failure. For exercises I used the T25 program and it worked for me nicely!

 

Favorite Snacks

One of the things that I quickly figured out is that I am a late night snacker.  In order to survive on this plan, I need to make sure I set aside 6 to 8 points for some tasty snacks.

Here is a list of my favorite so far:

  • Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs - Oreo Cookie   2pts
  • Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs - Chips Ahoy  2pts
  • 13 Doritos and a bunch of salsa - 3 pts
  • 29 Reduced Fat Cheezits - 3 pts
  • 1 Single Serving Bag of Fat Free Popcorn - 1pt
  • Apple with fat free carmel - 3 pts
  • Slimabear Ice Cream Sandwhich - 2pts

Now I know that most of that looks like junk food, but at this point, I figure that I am still ahead of the game.    Take the Cheezits for example.   In the past I would open a box, read a book and down about 4 or 5 handfuls.  The equivalent to 1000 calories.  Now I count out my allotment, put it in a bowl and eat it one at a time.   I get the same enjoyment and find I have a lot less heartburn.

I think the thing to remember when you are on any diet program is that you cannot go cold turkey and quit eating the things you love.  You need to find a way to eat them in smaller amounts so your brain doesn't suddenly realize that your missing out

 

On your diet, Size Matters.

I don't know about you, but one of the hardest things to come to grips with on a new diet is that you eat less food.      Diets are all about portion control and most of us have never heard those two words together in a sentence.   If you don't learn to control the portions, you will never be able to control the weight. Nutrisystems and Jenny Craig use portion control as one of the main ingredients of their weight loss plans. 

One of the things that has helped me is the current craze for smaller sized versions of normal food.   There seems to be a plethora of smaller sized versions of the foods we love. 

Take Goldfish for example.   These are a favorite snack to munch on.  Salty and fun to eat.  I recently discovered that they have a Mini-Goldfish version.  What is great about these is that I get almost 81 of these small goldfish for about 2 pts.   For regular size goldfish I would only get about 18.

81 Goldfish!  My brain immediately thinks "Wow, how is he going to eat 81 goldfish"

Now on the other side are the energy bars like Pria.    Every time I look at them and calculate out the points, I just can't think of eating something that is so small with so many calories.

You see, when choose what you eat, it is important to think about how your brain is going to look at it.    The larger the portion, the less likely your brain will rebel and think you are not eating enough.   Your brain is hardwired to recognize anytime it thinks you might be starving to start packing on the pounds just in case.   While I have no scientific proof, I think you scare your brain when you start putting less on the plate and it works to convince you that you need to eat more.  I really think dieting is about controlling what your brain thinks about how you are eating.

Here are some suggestion and tips how to "Mini-Size" your portions:

  • When making cookies or cupcakes make smaller sized versions.  My daughter just made me cupcakes for my birthday.   She made them in a mini muffin tin so each cupcake calculated out to 2pts a piece, instead of the 5pts.    I can pop 2 in my mouth as a desert, I save a point I would have otherwise spent and my brain thinks I just had 2 cupcakes.
  • Chocolate fanatic?  I find that regular old M&M's satisfy my chocolate fix better than anything else.    I get about 15 M&Ms for 2.5 pts.  If you eat them one at time they satisfy the craving.    Can you imagine how many pts I was eating when I used to fill a bowl full of these and have them on my desk?  *shudder*
  • Use the "Bunches" Theory. (my own wacky theory I just made up, so read at your own risk) Try to eat foods that provide the same number of calories but do it with multiple items of that food.  Grapes, beans, corn, are examples of this.    I also tend to cut up my chicken or steak into pieces before I eat because I can make a 4oz portion of steak look bigger if it is cut up on the plate.
  • Choose your foods wisely.     When I was looking for a good tortilla chip to use with Salsa, I found that the best portion bang for my calorie buck was Doritos corn tortilla.  I get about 14 chips for 3pts.   When calculating out the Light Lays tortillas I only got 7 chips for 2pts.      I went with more chips so I would always feel like there was enough to eat.
  • Eat Slowly.    Even though you have more items, it pays to eat them slowly.  The slower you eat, the easier it will be for your brain to decide it is full before you eat that portion

 

Secrets

A couple of secrets I wanted to share about going on a diet and making it work:

  • Vegetable make great replacements for high calorie foods.   I am now a green bean lover and am working on adding green pepper and squash to my diet. I find that a huge side of vegetable makes the plate look like it is overflowing with food. Easy way to keep tracking your eating and vegetable intake is to use 21 Day Fix and its meal plan.
  • Water is your friend.   I still don't drink enough but find that the more I drink, the less I crave food that is not good for me.  Drink a lot of it.
  • How you eat is important.  29 Cheezits eaten one at a time is more satisfying and filling then scarfing down 2 handfuls in 25 seconds.    Popcorn also tastes better if you spend more time enjoying every kernel.
  • How you think is important.  If you constantly think that you are on a diet, you will fail.   I am not on a diet, I am using a system to help me eat healthier.

OK, not very big secrets, but things that have helped me be successful over the past couple of weeks.