Try not to sweat the small stuff.
Weight watchers has totally changed my life. Weight Watchers
- I've been on for about a year, and have lost 60 pounds.
- I love the program, but I wish I knew a few things before I started.
- It's important to learn the ins and outs of Weight Watchers and talk with other members.
- It's also important to fill your pantry with items that will help you.
- Above all, don't sweat the small stuff.
Like many people, I've tried everything to get "healthy."
I've tried cutting carbs completely, but remembered I'm Italian and that's pretty much illegal. I've tried intuitive eating, but realized my body constantly craved Chinese takeout. I've tried eating mainly "whole" foods, but realized I was just eating a ton of grains and carbs because, again, I'm Italian.
My mom had done Weight Watchers when I was growing up, so I was super familiar with the process. When she was feeling unhealthy, she always lamented that she needed "to get back on Weight Watchers," as if it was the only way she'd feel better.
So, with my mom's ringing endorsement — along with tons of others — I began Weight Watchers in the summer of 2019. And to my absolute shock, it worked. In about a year, I dropped 60 pounds, 50 of which came off in about nine months.
It hasn't always been easy and, even with my mom to guide me, the program, especially with its changes, can be daunting at first. I wish I had known few things going in, so I'm here to impart this wisdom onto you.
Just a note that everyone's experience will be different — this is just mine. When it comes to weight loss, you have to do what is best for you and what is advised by your doctor.
Get the tools, but don't go overboard.
The awesome and the intimidating thing about Weight Watchers is you have to figure out what's right for you. Nothing is off limits, and nothing is required. But, it can help to be stocked up with a few key tools before you go in.
A food scale to measure meat, for example, helps you figure out the exact points of your meal, which keeps you from eating too little or too much. Meal prep containers are essential to storing big batches of healthy, homemade treats. Similarly, keeping low-point foods — like , Kodiak Cakes, Western Bagels, Quaker Oatmeal Packets, cans of tuna, beef jerkey — on hand helps when you need a quick fix.
That said, you don't need to blow your paycheck on stuff you may not use. Start by replacing some common pantry items with lower-point equivalents. Start fresh, but start slow.
Read up on the more confusing elements.
Like any diet, there can be some things about Weight Watchers that you may screw up if you don't know better. For instance, fruit is zero points but if you put it in a smoothie, it becomes a point-filled food. Eat one piece of bread during breakfast and one during dinner, and it could be fewer points than if you ate them together.
Some of this will honestly be trial and error, but talking to other members about their experiences and reading up as much as you can is your best defense against rookie mistakes.
Get some support.
I personally don't go to Weight Watchers meetings because, if "Sex and the City" is to be believed, I'll meet a man, eat half a Krispy Kreme donut with him, and then break his heart because of differences in the bedroom. Actually, I'm mostly just scared of people.
Tons of people find so much joy and support in weekly meetings. If that sounds like you, I urge you to give it a shot. If you're more like me, though, there are lots of online resources that give you the same sense of community.
The "connect" social network on the Weight Watchers app is a great way to ask any questions you might have and share funny anecdotes and photos during your journey. You can also use Instagram to connect, and even find recipes, tips, and tricks from like-minded people who want you to succeed. (I actually got myself a finstagram just for my weight loss stuff and I'd highly recommend it.)
Something that people don't tell you before you start this program is that weight loss and a healthy lifestyle are amazing, but it can also feel incredibly isolating. Having that support from people who get it is validating. And it will keep you from talking your partner's ear off if they're not on the program with you.
Don't be afraid to go to meetings and talk to other members. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images
Figure out meals you can eat a million times without becoming bored.
I've realized that I can eat one of two different breakfasts every day and not get bored. Mine are oatmeal, fruit, and non-fat Greek yogurt or an English muffin with a hard boiled egg, Laughing Cow cheese, and hot sauce.
Knowing that I have one meal out of the day figured out frees my brain up to think of lunches and dinners. Plus, knowing I have one meal planned keeps me from reaching for sugary treat when I'm hungry.
When in doubt, simple is best.
People on Weight Watchers are honestly the MacGyvers of diets. They can find a way to make any kind of comfort food light and plan-friendly, and I've had a blast making lighter banana bread, enchiladas, mac and cheese, and more.
But sometimes, trying these recipes can get overwhelming and, personally, my body doesn't react well to tons of dairy or carbs, whether it's full-fat or not.
When in doubt, it's best to keep it simple — lean proteins and veggies are your friends. I always have chicken breasts and some kind of frozen veggie in the freezer because that will likely be lower in points than any kind of concoction I try to cook.
Keep it simple.
Comparisonis the thief of joy.
Remember that community of people I mentioned before? It's a double-edge sword.
My first week on Weight Watchers, I felt like such a badass. I had been tracking and measuring to a tee and I was so motivated. Then I got on the scale on my weigh-in day and … nothing. I had been working out and eating well all week for what felt likenothing.
Being on Instagram and seeing everyone dropping four pounds in a week while I had nothing to show for it sucked. I was baffled why I hadn't lost weight right away.
But I quickly realized, thanks to that same community, that everyone's body is different. I would go on to have those four-pound weight loss weeks and I would go on to have weeks where I'd gain two pounds. So did those people I was comparing myself to.
If you sit there and agonize over what other people are losing, you'll get nowhere. Their body is not your body and your progress isn't theirs. What you probably don't see are the weeks that they don't lose either and the nights they go HAM on some queso and chips. Don't worry about how the plan is working for others — focus on you!
Track your "splurge" meals.
The biggest mistake I made when starting Weight Watchers was giving up on weekends. I would just assume I used all of my "weekly points" on some take out on Friday night and call it a day without tracking it. But because I didn't track it, I would still see those weekly points there, and then feel OK to eat a bagel with brunch on Saturday. And a mimosa. And some bacon.
That's not how it's supposed to work. You should totally feel free to use your weeklies (seriously, use them!), but you should also be tracking everything if you want to be on the program — even if it wipes out all your weeklies and then some. Otherwise, you'll trick yourself into thinking you have more wiggle room than you think.
I am all for taking a few days off for vacations, holidays, or your own wellbeing. But in "normal weeks" track those points, even if it stings.
Try not to sweat the small stuff.
I've spent my fair share of time crying on the scale, despairing out over a meal that ended up being triple the points I planned, or agonizing because the only option at lunch was least 30 points.
Somehow I am still here to tell the tale.
Everything seems incredibly catastrophic and important at the time, but honestly, life sometimes gets in the way of your eating plan. It can feel so upsetting when you know you've worked so hard only to see your progress sabotaged by a rogue cookie craving.
But it's also important to remember that, although we often say life is short, it's also very long. You were put on earth to do more than lose weight and ultimately, that late-night ice cream with your partner may be worth the splurge.
While no one wants to have roadblocks, sometimes life gets in the way. The important thing is not to let a roadblock derail you completely. It's imperative that you accept your lumps and move on ASAP.
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