The Bottom Line Weight Watchers works but it requires focus and commitment, but so does everything that you really want in life, right?
1. Journal journal journal. You absolutely cannot keep track mentally of what you consume on a daily basis. You are bound to forget that handful of pretzels or that snickerdoodle. Write it down and own up to eating it. BITE IT WRITE IT!
2. Drink drink drink. Sip water all day. Eventually it adds up to the required 6 glasses you need. Not only will you feel more full at mealtime, your body will be happy because it is hydrated.
3. Have a glass of soda when hunger strikes. This is a personal tip I use to curb hunger. A diet Pepsi is sweet enough to curb my longing for a treat and the carbonation will help you feel satisfied.
4. Buy precut, pre-bagged finger veggies like carrots and peppers. Then when you feel a need to gorge on food, you can gorge on these for crunch and for a satisfying VOLUME of food. This only works if you need massive quantities of food, not if you have a chocolate attack.
5. Buy bagged salads. They are infinitely better than a head of iceberg lettuce. It adds a touch of gourmet flair to your meal and gives you more vitamins and nutrition than plain old varieties of lettuce. And they are delicious. Shoot for baby greens and arrugula blends.
6. Buy grape tomatoes instead of large beefsteak ones. They look better tossed in salad, they are sweeter and they don’t need to be cut. Also, they are good snacking foods!
7. Buy I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter butter spray. It is very low in calories and provides the same great taste as regular margarine.
8. Use Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone for point values of tons of popular restaurants and for snack ideas. Her website is www.dwlz.com
9. Air pop your popcorn instead of buying microwave popcorn. Then add the butter spray and you get TONS more popcorn for less points.
10. Buy Skinny Cow flying saucers when you want flavor variety for your dessert. Weight Watchers, I’ve found, only come in vanilla and chocolate. Skinny Cow brand comes in those two flavors AND coffee, strawberry, and strawberry cheesecake. And all for just 2 points!
11. Use the Weight Watchers Just 2 Points bars for your treats! They are delicious and they are packed with fiber.
12. Buy the Weight Watchers Fruities treats. A whole pack is 2 points. And they are the perfect treat for the movies.
13. Cook with fat free chicken broth. It adds flavor and is no points.
14. Don’t deprive yourself. Don’t switch to skim milk in your coffee. Simply pour yourself a cup of coffee instead of a mug of coffee and then measure 1 points’ worth of creamer!
15. Buy a scale. I genuinely recommend the Weight Watchers scale. It weighs in grams and in ounces (and I have used both settings). Nothing is more of a reality check than actually seeing what 4 ounces of chicken really looks like!
16. Measure everything! Measure your creamer. Measure your margarine. Measure your rice! Going overboard just a little on things adds up in the end.
17. Don’t cut up all your food at once when eating. Cut each piece as you go along. This seems simple but sometimes it is easier to cut up your entire piece of chicken at one shot but don’t do it! Cut as you eat!
18. Make cauliflower your friend!! When cooked until soft, you can mash it and add lots of fun stuff like reduced fat cheese, garlic, broccoli… and then you can bake it!! It has the same consistency as mashed potatoes!
19. Handle buffets better by only eating things that are special for instance, instead of gorging on the sausage and peppers (ordinary) or the baked ziti (also just ordinary), help yourself to the dishes you wouldn’t normally prepare yourself! This way it is more of a treat to be at the buffet and not just another meal. Have picatta, marsala, any fish, the filet mignon…. Whatever is unique to you so that your indulgence is not wasted on the ordinary.
20. Eat more shellfish! Shrimp is unbelievably low in points especially for the volume you get! And it’s good for you! Enjoy scallops too! These are low fat high protein and LOW POINT alternatives for dinner.
21. Don’t deprive yourself of indulgence. If you really want that dessert (cheesecake, carrot cake, etc) order it to share with someone. Then take the FIRST bite and while you are appreciating that, let the other person eat the rest and save the LAST bite for you! In essence, you really only taste the first initial bite of something and you really only remember the last so save yourself all those calories and fat in between!
22. Find a friend you can share your successes and setbacks with. This person does not have to be on program, they just need to be there for you when you need someone to talk to and bounce things off of. I found that the friends I made at my meetings were the best to talk to!
23. Recognize that each moment stands alone and that no one binge or one gorged meal wrecks anything! It is part of living and learning and that a bad eating decision doesn’t have to snowball into a weeks long or months long setback. It’s like riding a bike, when you fall down, you get right back up!! You don’t walk the bike 10 miles up the road and THEN get back on! You get back on right away! Consider each moment as just that and know that you never really go OFF program. Weight Watchers allows you to incorporate setbacks into your lifestyle without punishment and guilt.
24. Make informed decisions. Use the points calculator to figure out exactly how much something is valued at. Don’t guess. Knowing exactly how many points a food item is allows you to fit it into your daily intake without sacrificing it and without overdoing it.
25. EXERCISE! Exercise works to benefit you in many ways. It helps you to lose weight, build muscle, burn fat, AND it enables you to eat more if you choose to! Activity points can be added onto your daily intake so the more you exercise, the more you can eat (but seriously, make it a heathly intake so that you can truly benefit).
26. Build more activity into your lifestyle. Walk more, climb the stairs more, stretch your legs more. MOVE MORE! Any movement is better than no movement.
27. Experiment with new recipes. Be creative in the kitchen (like I said with the cauliflower!). Try root vegetables, try different squashes, try different potatoes, try flatbreads instead of chips.
28. Buy reduced calorie light bread.
29. Drink flavored hot tea as an afternoon indulgence. It is no points!
30. Order your Chinese food steamed with your sauce on the side. You will be able to eat much more and you will feel so much less bloated from the MSG and salt.
31. For a sweet treat, try to find Barry’s Bakery French Twists. They are one point each and are a true sweet treat!
32. Treat yourself to frozen yogurt (there is a Weight Watchers brand that you may be able to find at a shoppe). It is fabulous and treat yourself to the chocolate sprinkles!
33. Switch from skim milk to Skim Plus if it is available in your area. It tastes great and it packs more nutrition.
34. Buy Fat Free, Sugar Free Jello chocolate pudding to satisfy your nighttime chocolate cravings. It needs NO time to set when mixed!
35. Weight in at meetings. Don’t skip a weigh in if you think you gained weight. You must own it!
36. Prepay for the 10 weeks. It makes a mental difference on your commitment level.
37. Don’t hang out in your kitchen. You will only hear the pantry calling for you. Move to the den!
38. Avoid buying the junk food if possible. You truly can NOT eat it if it isn’t in the house. Save your indulgences for when you eat out. Make them special instead of the norm.
39. Eat a small protein within half an hour of exercising. This helps your body’s metabolism work better.
40. Avoid those quick energy bars as snacks. Eat them only if you plan on using that energy for activity! If not, it is nothing more than an empty carb that you could probably have better enjoyed somehow else.
41. READ LABELS when shopping! Make sure you check the fat content and the carbohydrate content. You don’t want to eat TOO much sugar! Bring your points finder with you to help you make the right choices for you.
42. Understand serving sizes. If the label says that a serving is 40 grams, then measure those 40 grams out so you familiarize yourself with what 40 grams actually looks like.
43. Do NOT punish yourself for a weight gain one week. That sets off a snowball effect that could take you YEARS to get under control. Instead, try to change one thing in the next week to counteract your gain.
44. STAY FOCUSED. Your goal is to lose weight and get healthy! The occasional trip to McDonalds is ok and the occasional chocolate bar is fine but IN MODERATION. Keep focused on the end result and the good choices will counter balance the poorer or weaker ones in the long run.
45. Don’t think of yourself as constantly “on a diet”. This is a setup to failure because it categorizes you and if you decide to have something not considered “dietary”, then you feel like you cheated. You NEVER cheat! You DECIDE! Weight Watchers is built in such a way that it incorporates every food into a point value and YOU get to DECIDE how to spend those points. But trust me, using your points daily for McDonald’s is going to be a slower weight loss than grilled chicken points.
46. You cannot eat unlimited amounts of zero point foods. 0 + 0 + 0 does not necessarily equal 0. Every food has calories and if you eat unmeasured unlimited amounts of zero point foods, they ultimately total up to a calorie count that warrants a point. Just be careful.
47. Use Weight Watchers.com for help with recipes! They have wonderful ideas for low point recipes that I have used.
48. Try Weight Watchers.com etools to figure out the point values for your home recipes and for online journaling if you hate writing down your food and are married to your computer! Online journaling has a database of food point values so it makes it easy to figure out your daily points.
49. BUY THE FOOD COMPANION. This is priceless. I use it as my bible. You may also want the Dining Out Guide.
50. Live your life! It isn’t about what you eat and don’t eat, it’s about making food choices on your own and putting the power in your own hands. It’s CONTROL. You control what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. Just account for everything and you will see where you can cut back, eliminate, and enhance and you WILL lose weight!
Good luck to you! Weight Watchers is there to help, not just as a business but as a support group. Find that great leader that inspires you and you will succeed.