I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who has only been on Weight Watchers one time. In fact, I have a couple of friends that every few months they are ‘back on Weight Watchers’. What they mean is that they are back to tracking their calories. When you track calories you know when you’ve consumed the number you’re allowed in order to reach or maintain the desired weight. In other words, you know when you’re done eating for the day.
First of all this blog is not about dissing Weight Watchers. It has worked for thousands and will continue to help thousands more get to their target weight. But the magic of Weight Watchers lies in the food tracking that is required.
In the weight management program that I offer at work I have a client who was working very hard to lose weight. Her goal was to lose a total of 30 pounds within a reasonable amount of time with a healthy loss of one to two pounds a week. When she came to her weekly coaching session with me she always said that she had done well. She had increased her physical activity, was drinking more water, and had met her goal of eating five fruits and vegetables a day. Our meeting, however, always ended in disappointment for her because for some reason the scale would not budge.
Sensing her discouragement I asked her to track for one week everything that she ate using one of the on-line calorie trackers, and bring the results to our next meeting. She was reluctant but agreed.
The following week when she came to her coaching session she had a print out of the previous week’s food diary. What an eye-opener it was to her to find that everyday she went over the calorie requirement for losing that one pound a week. She had been diligent about selecting ‘good’ foods and staying away from the ‘bad’ ones.
Her new goal was to track her calories. Once she became disciplined with the practice she started seeing the weight drop by a pound a week and she ultimately reached her goal.
Some of the’Good’ Foods Are A Little Slippery.
All of the low-fat, fat-free and ‘lite’ foods that are on the market make it hard tell the good foods from the bad. We think we are consuming fewer calories when we eat these products and that’s not the case. Plus, eating more fruits and vegetables is a good goal but if those foods put you over the daily calorie limit that pound is going to stay put.
Americans weigh more, on average, now than they did before the creation of all of these reduced-this and lite-that products. That’s enough right there to tell us these gimmicks don’t work. To lose one pound a week you have to 1) consume 3,500 fewer calories 2) burn 3,500 more calories or 3) do a combination of one and two.
If you have lost weight and have reached a plateau where you are stuck or if you’re having trouble getting those first few pounds to shake loose your best bet is to get down to the dirty work of food tracking. The on-line free tools that are available make it easy and fun!