Does Weight Watchers Really Work?
There are so many diets out there today and weight loss methods that it just makes your head spin. I have to say though that there is one that honestly does work if done correctly and that is the Weight Watchers diet. Yes you have to count points but trust me it is not as big of a hassle as Marie Osmond makes it out to be in her own weight loss commercials. While her program pushes prepackaged food that is LOADED with sodium, Weight Watchers teaches you how you can still eat a satisfying amount of food and lose the weight! There is only one hitch to the diet, you must be determined to lose the weight! If you are not you will lapse back and go back to the way you were eating before. How do I know? I joined about 4 times (it's okay you can laugh, I think it is pretty funny myself)!
The first time I joined Weight Watchers it was March 2008 and I was getting married that November. My mother and I were going wedding dress shopping the last weekend in May so I knew I had to do something about my weight. I am 5'8" and at the time I was 180 pounds (which came as a mortifying shock the first time I got on the scale at Weight Watchers). I had tried dieting before, but always on my own, and it had never lasted long. Also, some of that weight had been put on recently so it was a little easier to get off. Even more to my advantage I still lived with my folks and my mother had decided to join as well so I had a buddy to get through this with, and an even bigger plus my husband (then fiance) did not join but followed along with he program, talk about support! We all had the same goal in mind, to feel that we looked our best at this wedding.
Immediately my diet had to do a 180, and what a difference it made. I actually felt better in general and felt like I had more energy because I was eating foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, etc. Believe me I hate saying no to myself when it comes to food, shopping, etc., but even I reached a point where I would look a potato chips and not really want them anymore because I did not want that feeling of greasy food sitting in my stomach like a rock. I did however still eat an amazing dessert once a weak to reward myself for staying on track!
This is where I did not agree with my Weight Watchers leader. She would go on about when you look at a piece a cheesecake you should say to yourself, 'don't I owe it to myself not to eat the cheesecake?' Uh...no. After a week of drinking so much water I want to explode, eating salad until you don't want to look at tomatoes any more, and weighing out my chicken/meat before every meal I definitely deserve a trip to the Cheesecake Factory. And that is what I did. I would weigh in on Saturday morning, continue to eat well during the day and at night my fiance would take me out to the Cheesecake Factory. I would order the lettuce wraps, a coke, and we would split a piece of cheesecake, I would be back on track the next day and by the next Saturday morning I had still lost weight!
Mind you, Weight Watchers is not for anyone who is looking to lose weight super fast (which usually results in gaining it back even faster), usually a person can have a big loss in the first week then you usually average out at losing one to two pounds a week after that. And yes sometimes you gain a little or (my favorite) stay the same with no loss/no gain (which can be even more aggravating than gaining). But the slower it comes off the longer it stays off. I began in March and by that last weekend in May I had lost 15 pounds! So it was definitely a plus when I tried on the wedding dress of my dreams and the smaller of the two sizes presented to me fit like a glove. By the time November 8, 2008 rolled around I was at my lowest recorded weight ever of 157 pounds, so you can see my weight loss definitely tapered down after a while, but also that was because I was happy when I reached 160. I felt that I looked great and that was all that mattered. Of course a week before the wedding for some reason my mother could not get the zipper to go up but later we chalked that up to adjustment issues, because on my wedding day one of the best sounds I heard was when my best friend was zipping me in and I heard that zipper go from bottom to top with no hesitation in between! It looked even better than when my mom bought it! So as you can see this program really worked for me because I was determined to follow it, and aside from my cheesecake indulgence (which I did count under my flex points allowance) I rarely strayed from my program.
Okay so I lost the weight, fabulous. I went down to Disney World as a new bride with my new husband and have to say after all those months of eating by the book we went a little crazy. Disney World by the way has some of the best treats in the world. I was incredibly found of the ice cream at Ghiradelli's in Downtown Disney, and my husband grew a fondness for Minnie's cookies which probably weighed about 1/2 pound; and we both liked to split a package of coconut Mickey heads when we had our lunch. Needless to say our digestive systems rose up in rebellion but we beat them back down into submission. We were simply not use to junk anymore, our bodies wanted our healthy lifestyles back, and that is what Weight Watchers does, it trains you on how to eat right and do what is best for your body. Maybe we don't always make the right decision, but we certainly cannot say that we do not know any better.
That was my experience the first time, what about the other 3 times? Well chalk that up to laziness and lack of a goal good enough to keep me on track. After I got married I got comfortable and the weight came back so I went back, lost a couple pounds and slowly began to hit snooze on Saturday mornings rather than waking up, finding the smallest/lightest amount of clothes that I could decently wear in public to get weighed and driving myself one city over. I joined again last summer when I knew we were returning to Disney for our anniversary, that may have lasted three weeks before the pressure of work, grad school, and life in general got the better of me and I stopped going. I tried again this past January and again maybe 2 or 3 weeks before it went ka-put. Today I hover around 170 and have to admit I'm pretty content however I don't know how eager I will be to try on that J. Crew bathing suit I bought for my honeymoon this coming summer.
So again this program does work if you have a goal that means enough to you. I feel that I looked my best on my wedding day and I do owe that to the Weight Watchers program. I also owe the fact that I no longer keep ice cream in the house to Weight Watchers, despite how much I cheat now I still will not eat ice cream like I used to knowing how much of my daily calorie intake it devours. And more than likely I will be rejoining again soon to try once again to lose those pesky ten pounds, but we will see. Truly the aggravation is not so much not losing weight at a quick pace, it is watching my husband follow the program along with me and watching him lose weight at a quicker pace!
Any brides-to-be looking to look great this program is for you! Do not assault your body with sodium loaded diet food, those only increase your water retention after a while. Do yourself a favor and learn how to eat the way you deserve to eat, but never forget to let yourself have a reward!
*The Weight Watchers cookbooks are filled with great recipes! I bought my husband the Grilling book and he loves it!
This is not your average diet, the recipes are filled with fresh and delicious food! Try it out!