The WW™

You can read my take on WeightWatchers™ or what is now rebranded as WW here

I joined WeightWatchers™ because I was looking for some accountability. I’m pretty smart so I know how you gain weight and how you lose weight. There are lots of contributing facts but it really does boil down to input and output. The struggle is less about the mechanics and more about the psychology.

It didn’t hurt that they were offering a promotion that if you lost 10 pounds within a certain amount of time they would give you 3 months free. I like a carrot and a bargain and I needed some accountability so it seemed like a good fit but I really had no idea what the program was about or how it would work.

The Freestyle plan is based on the idea of portion control and balance but without restriction.  food is assigned points from zero to 20+ based on the makeup of calories, carbs, fat, sugar, and protein. You are assigned a certain number of points each day to use and a bank of points each week to draw from at any time during the week to supplement your daily points.  You can also earn additional points with activity.  Nothing is off limits but the way the points are assigned, you get more bang for your “buck” or points if you will, by eating more whole foods which are either very low in points or zero points.  Almost all fruits and vegetables are zero points.  skinless chicken breast meat, eggs, and fat-free turkey, fish, and shellfish are also zero points.

Your day could consist of a little bit of junk food that absorbs all of your points or a whole lot of healthy whole nutritious food. It teaches you to plan for your indulgences while building habits around portion control and healthy eating. You never need to deny yourself, you just need to plan for it and you never need to go hungry because there are zero point foods and a bank of weekly points and activity points you can use when needed.

There are other aspects to WW™ that are beneficial as well. The coaching at the meetings has been very inspirational for me. I have heard this varies from location to location and some people may need to shop around for the right workshop coach but I was lucky.

There is also a lot of support online. WW™ has a social media component in their App called Connect that is good. It could be better, it’s a little easy to get lost in there but they seem to be trying to improve on it by adding groups. There are also tons of Facebook groups that are not technically WW™ affiliated but created by people who are active in connect.

The app is easy to use and the food tracker is comprehensive.  You can build recipes, save favorite meals and search restaurants. You can link your app to your fitness tracker or if you are an iPhone/apple watch user like I am to apple health to get your step count and exercise for fitness point

 Finally, one of the biggest aspects I liked about WW™ was that at the time I was joining they had announced they were moving away from the use of artificial sweeteners in their products. Their program does not say you cannot use or eat anything. However, I have always been strongly opposed to artificial sweeteners because they are a huge migraine trigger for me and I have read so many studies showing the other horrible health risks they are. I liked that this was a lifestyle program that was founded on the principles of a diet created for the treatment of diabetes and was evolving based on nutrition science. It felt balanced, unrestricted, and safe.

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