Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weight Watchers, It Works!

My wife and I started Weight Watchers on January 11, 2013. Obviously, the primary goal is to lose weight and it is working.  As of today, we each have lost about 20 pounds each, so about 2 pounds  a week, which is a healthy amount to lose each week.

Weight Watchers is not about watching calories but uses a points system to help with weight loss.  A male weighing about 255 pounds has a daily point target of 48 points, a set of weekly 49 points and finally when you exercise you get so many points to use later that week based on the amount of exercise you do. For instance, if you do 40 minutes of elliptical training you earned 4 points.  Your primary goal is to use your daily points and if need be dip into your weekly points.

With Weight Watchers, you track your points each day and your weight once-a-week.  In addition, you can track some body measurements since you may not just lose weight but you are probably losing inches as well.  In some cases, in a particular week you may not lose weight but you may gain weight and the only indicator that things are changing with your body are the different measurements.

For tracking, you use the Weight Watchers web site and if you have a smart phone you can use the Weight Watchers application.  There is even an application for doing bar code scans of products at the store to determine their point value.  Newer products are probably not in the scanner tool but you can enter the fat, carbohydrate, fiber and protein values to get a point value per serving.

The cool thing about the points plan, is that you look at serving size and later when on maintenance after losing the weight you want, it will help you remember what a is a reasonable serving size.

There are times when using all your points can be tough, since you want to lose weight and try to eat less then you should eat.  One thing that helps is if you have a partner and you are working together on the points.   My wife and I each have our own accounts and we do breakfast and lunch separately, but dinner we do together.  We usually end up with between 18 and 20 points for dinner and it can be tough to fill those at times.  We bounce ideas off each other and come up with a plan for dinner.

The one thing we have a tough time figuring out is pasta and other items that are based on dry uncooked servings and what you have to measure out is cooked.  Still working on this one but we work around it the best we can.

I started to workout on the elliptical trainer about three times a week and built up to 40 minutes until March when I had to have surgery.  Since the surgery I have not worked out but I am still losing weight and I find that I am not hungry and usually pretty full 95% of the time.  If I need something extra like chocolate or peeps on graham crackers, I can do it since there are weekly points.  You just have to watch that you don't over do it and stay within the points.

I was a little reluctant to try Weight Watchers but wanted to lose weight and support my wife in her weight loss goals.  It is working and easy to use.