Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've had lots of success on Weight Watchers in the past year, and people are always asking me what tricks I use to stay on plan so well. Considering this is my third go of it, you'd think I'd know by now. I'm what I like to call a "repeat offender".

First of all, any advice I have applies to me. That doesn't mean it'll work for you. I know other people who have been extremely successful doing it their own way. So take all of this with a grain of salt (0 points).

For me, meetings are a must. Even if I have a bad week, it's better to face the music than skip a week. Skipping one week leads to two, then three, and a downward spiral back into old habits. The first time I did WW in 2008 I lost almost 30 pounds in 16 weeks doing WW at Work, then the summer hit and I quit going to meetings. Over the next 12 to 18 months I gained it all back!

Secondly, I have no will power. That means all foods that are tempting must GO. This is easy for me because I do both the cooking and grocery shopping in our house, so I have complete control over what I see. For me that means no Cheetos, no Girl Scout cookies, no Ben and Jerry's, no Wavy Lays and ranch dip. NOPE. I can't stop once I start, so it's not coming into my house. I know people who can eat one serving of ice cream (that's a half cup by the way, or about one muffin wrapper) and stop. I am not one of those people.

Third, I need to come face to face with how many points are staring at me. I write the points on every new item in my fridge and pantry. It helps me memorize them faster and I'm less likely to eat without tracking. Especially when first getting started, this is really helpful. I know the points of pretty much everything I eat these days, but my cousin is visiting this weekend and she just started about a week ago, so I went through and marked everything for her. It's hard being new to the plan and at family functions where you feel really self-conscious calculating everything!

This shoe rack hangs in my pantry. The sticky notes are labeled with how many points the item is.
*Notice that my husband's microwave popcorn isn't labeled. That falls under the category of "not even worth it".

I've set up rules for myself to help avoid my pitfalls, such as:

  • No snacking in front of the television.
  • Don't eat out of the box or bag. Measure out a portion.
  • Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds.
These simple rules have helped curb excess calories I used to consume daily!

If I'm truly HUNGRY (light headed, stomach growling, cranky) I eat something with protein- deli turkey or string cheese or even black coffee if that's what's on hand- instead of snacking and snacking and snacking. It is much better to eat when you need it than trying to wait for the next "meal time" and then overdoing it.

Like I said before, this is my third time restarting the program. Quitting the first time was stupidity on my part, thinking I could maintain the program without meetings or tracking diligently. The second time I became pregnant, so I had to quit. The third time feels different, though.

Part of the reason I think is Points Plus. The way it emphasizes eating natural, unprocessed foods really clicks with me. I'm all for avoiding gimmicky foods (the pantry picture being the exception, not the rule) that advertise low points, low fat, low calories, whatever, and just eating REAL food. Now when I want a snack, I reach for an apple or banana or even flavored water. My little girl is nine months old now, and she's very interested in what I'm eating. I want her growing up learning to love great food, not stuff out of a box. If she shouldn't be eating it, I shouldn't either!

I love Weight Watchers, their philosophy, the support system. There's a reason why it's the plan that's been proven time and time again to work. Think about it- your skinny friends do all this stuff anyway (unless they're the ones who have super awesome metabolism that need to be bludgeoned, like my husband). You think it's an accident that they're skinny? They just got lucky? Nope. They just learned better habits than we did. And we can learn them too!


  1. What are your go to snacks in your pantry organizer?

  2. I should probably do a whole post just on that!

    My ultimate goal is to snack on natural power foods, most of which go in the fridge. My go-to items are apples, grapes, clementines, bananas, carrots, celery, string cheese, and yogurt. But we all know that shelf-stable snack items are going to make their way into our houses, no matter what.

    I have an issue with all the artificial sweeteners and preservatives that go into "diet" items. I try not to eat them if I have other options, but I still eat them. My goal is just to make sure that's not the bulk of what I'm eating. But it's called convenience food for a reason! I don't always have time to run to the store to get fresh fruit.

    So, in my pantry I always have:
    granola bars (Fiber One 100 calorie are my favorite)
    single serving microwave popcorn (Although I'm very interested in the brown bag method that's on Pinterest all the time right now. Might try it later and include some "recipes.")
    Weight Watchers snack cakes (the devils food are awesome when you need a hint of chocolate)
    oatmeal (I like the high fiber kind. Very filling mid-morning when you don't think you'll make it to lunch!)
    low fat Wheat Thins or Triscuits (Count them out into snack bags, so you don't overeat. Great with Laughing Cow cheese. Did you know it doesn't have to be refrigerated? Scary, right?)
    Pretzel thins (I don't like regular pretzels, but I like these. The big bag at Sam's is a great deal!)
    Thomas' Light English Muffins (I buy them BOGO at our grocery store every few weeks and put them in the freezer. I go through about a bag a week.)

    If I have any other thoughts, I'll post them!