Weight Watchers – Pros and Cons

Obviously, I decided to take a break from blogging. That break turned into an extended hiatus! So what have I been doing all this time? Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know the answer to that – I’ve been “up in the gym, workin’ on my fitness” (queue Fergie) and following Weight Watchers to lose the extra fluff that tends to creep up, especially after age 40! I am also working as a school nurse, as a sub…so my hours are sporadic – which I like.

Since I follow so many other Weight Watchers on Instagram, I thought it might be a good idea to share my experience here on the blog. I would also like to do posts on tips & tricks for keeping points low, etc. But first, why am I even doing Weight Watchers? (and no, this is not a sponsored post.)

I started doing Weight Watchers because I felt fat. I started back in March 2016. I had put on extra weight and even though I wasn’t hugely overweight, I was definitely over my comfort level, my clothes didn’t fit, and I just plain didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Therefore, I made up my mind to do something about it. *And that is THE BIGGEST STEP in weight loss (or anything for that matter), you have to make up your mind to make a change. You have to be determined to see it through. You have to put in the work. There are no shortcuts.

Since I had done Weight Watchers in the past, I knew it was a program that worked for me. I also knew that I should have a little bit easier time this go round because I have my hypothyroidism under control…which I didn’t before (and still managed to lose weight, albeit slowly)

I am not a meetings person, so I opted to do the program strictly online. This works for me, others may enjoy the interaction & support system you get in going to the meetings. So, on to my pros and cons –

PROS

(1) Easy to use app that is downloaded on my phone. It tells how many points you have for the day, it has a barcode scanner to see how many points are in packaged foods, it has an extensive list of foods & points available to look up if it doesn’t have a barcode, many restaurants are listed, and it tracks activity points.

(2) The WW app links up to my Garmin so my exercise/steps can automatically be configured to activity points. (You get points for activity & those points can be “traded in” for food. So, the more active you are, the more you can eat, and still lose weight. And let’s face it, if you are looking into Weight Watchers, it’s because you like to eat.) *hand raised* I love food. Hence, the food blog.

(3) It’s much easier to track with Weight Watchers than to calorie count (with programs like My Fitness Pal) because when counting calories, everything you put into your mouth needs to be tracked. With WW, I automatically know that all fresh fruits and vegetables are zero points (unless they are juiced or being put into a drink/smoothie). For example, if I eat a salad, I know that I only have to track things other than veggies – like cheese, meat, dressing, etc. If I were tracking calories, I would have to enter the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, etc. I think it is also a mental thing of “I’m hungry and if I eat this apple/orange it won’t cost me any points” leading me to eat more fruits & veggies and make healthier choices.

*There are other “perks” to the app, like online recipes, a community to connect with others, and other resources that I do not utilize.

CONS

(1) It cost money. That is what kept me from joining a long time ago. It seemed silly to me to pay money to track what I ate, when I knew it could be done for free. I have actually used My Fitness Pal, and it works well, and it’s free. But as stated above, it’s just not as easy for me. What can I say…I’m a lazy tracker. It basically comes down to about $20 a month. However, I’ve decided that losing weight was well worth that. I always catch the promos too, so I’ve never had to pay a joining fee.

(2) Not everything is in the app. This isn’t really a big deal, but if you make a recipe from scratch, you have to add everything into the recipe builder and then it will tell you how many points per serving. Or if you go to a restaurant that isn’t in the app, you have to use your best judgment on points based on what you’re ordering. As I said, this isn’t a big deal really, it’s just time consuming to add everything for a recipe, but I don’t see any other way to do it.

So…how much weight have I lost? I lost almost 30 lbs! I started March 3, 2016 at 150 lbs. (I’m 5’2″). On August 19th, I reached my goal weight of 125 lbs. When I stopped tracking with WW on 10/7/16, I was at 122.4. Anddddd……then the holidays happened. And I ate all the cookies and drank all the egg nog. I rejoined WW on 1/2/17 at 132 lbs. Today I am 127 lbs. I could be less if I would eat sensible on the weekends, but I basically splurge all weekend. So it’s 2 steps forward and one step back. However, I’m basically happy maintaining at this point. The moral to this story is – you have to maintain calories in vs calories out, because fat cells have an excellent memory & it’s SO much easier to gain than it is to lose! It truly does have to be a lifestyle change or it will be a constant yo-yo. I know people like to see awesome transformation/before and after pics, but I don’t really have any. When I felt fat, pics got deleted! And a loss of 25 lbs isn’t nearly as dramatic as a 50 or 100 lb loss…but it’s all doable! I firmly believe that if you follow the program, it WILL work. Follow just about any program, and it will work…but is it sustainable? That’s the key. It must be something you can live with. Weight Watchers makes me much more conscious of my choices.

This is the best I could come up with for now. It feels so weird posting these too. My girls are constantly taking selfies & on Snapchat…it’s amazing the difference in the times! Kids today are so narcissistic…says the mom who posts flexing bicep pics on Instagram. hahaha

My Experience with The Fast Metabolism Diet

You may have seen or heard about a new book The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.  She was recently on the Dr. Oz show and is a celebrity nutritionist to stars like Reese Witherspoon (Do you know who I am?!), Jennifer Lopez and Robert Downey Jr. The book claims that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 28 days…without starving, without counting calories, and without crazy exercise.  The cover says ‘eat more food, lose more weight’.

 

Fact or Fiction?

Welllll….it’s true that you do not have to count calories, you do not have to workout everyday, and you do eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day.  {But}You also must go without caffeine (she doesn’t even want you to have decaf coffee and tea since it contains a little caffeine.  She suggests water and naturally decaffeinated herbal teas), wheat, sugar (except from fruit) and dairy – and no artificial sweeteners either, except for stevia.  You need to drink lots and lots of water too.

(Tuna and apple salad. Recipe from book)

You eat real food, all day, every day...but they must be the correct portions.  I learned that my concept of portions is very wrong. You must make sure that you are having 1/2 to 1 cup of grains (depending on the phase you are in), 4 ounces of meat or 6 ounces of fish, 1/4 cup nuts or 2 T. almond butter on Phase 3….these all seemed normal to me. No problem.  Except when I actually started to measure stuff out.  4 ounces of meat….not very much.  2 T. of almond butter?  Scant.  NO caffeine? Lord help me.

The phases I am referring too…the diet is broken down into 3 phases.  Phase 1 last for 2 days and consists of mainly carbohydrates from fruits and whole grains (brown rice/quinoa/steel cut oats etc.). Phase 2 is also for 2 days, and is low carb and low fat. This was definitely the hardest phase for me. You have to eat lean proteins (egg whites, lean meats) and lots of veggies.  Phase 3 is the best, and it lasts for 3 days. During Phase 3, you get to have carbs, whole grains, and healthy fats (think avocado and nuts!). Here again, portion control is key.

So how did I fair?  The diet is a 28 day program.  Honestly, I lasted 9 days.  I blame it on Mother Nature. Not PMS, but the stupid weather! It turned cold and rainy, after being 80’s and sunny, and on the 3rd day of rain and grey skies…I broke.  I was cold and miserable and had a cup of coffee.  Now, that shouldn’t have totally derailed me, but I have that mentality of…’well, I already screwed up by drinking that coffee, I guess I will have some crackers.’ Then later in the evening, I was like ‘well, I’ve really messed up now, so I might as well have some chocolate too.’  And just like that….I was off the wagon.  And now I am kicking myself for being so weak! In the first week, I lost 6 POUNDS! I was losing a POUND A DAY for the first week, but then it slowed down.  I knew it would, but when the scale was only decreasing by .2 for 3 days, that also led to my destruction.  Again, stupid on my part…I should have stuck with it.  The scale was going down, even if in small amounts.  Here are my stats for the 9 days…

6 lbs lost
Inches lost – 
1/4″ loss on arm
1 1/2″ from belly
1″ from butt
1/2″ from thigh
1/4″ from calf

That’s in just 9 days! I can’t believe I quit.  SO…my plan is to start again. I’ve already loaned the book to my sister, but there is a great app that I used on my iPad everyday. (It was offered free of charge by SheSpeaks, but I had already purchased it on my own.)

Fabulous blueberry oatmeal smoothie with avocado!

It is great for planning your meals, tracking your food and water, and planning is the KEY to success with this.

(steel cut oats with blueberries and cherries)

The more meals you have prepped and planned for, the greater the likelihood to succeed.  I would recommend getting some meals in the freezer before ever starting the diet (frozen oatmeal, however, not so good!), and stock up on your favorite veggies. If you like vegetables, you will probably do great with this. If you prefer wine, cheese and chocolate like me…well, it’s going to take will power! I would say this diet is similar to the Whole 30 diet, except there are specific phases that you follow.

Basically, it’s no miracle – you eat real food, in the correct amounts, drink water, and exercise at least 3 days a week. Even though there is the app, I would still recommend reading the book before starting.  The book goes into what to expect each week, mentally and physically.  She is pretty dead on with what you will experience, and backs up her plan with facts that made a lot of sense.

I also learned a lot, just in the brief time I followed the plan.  One, I definitely need to keep drinking water. I can tell a difference in my {gross!}cellulite on the back of my thighs – it was very much improved and I think the weight loss helped, but the water I think was a large part of it too.  Two, I need to continue incorporating whole foods into my diet and stay away from the processed junk!! I am continuing with the sprouted wheat bread that Haylie recommends, and found that I really like gluten free rice crackers.  My dairy weakness is cheese and yogurt, but I have decreased my families consumption of cheese.  I was already drinking almond milk, and I will continue with that.  Hopefully, when I tackle this program again, I will be more organized and ready for it.  The whole point of following the plan for the full 28 days is to “re-set” your metabolism, and turn your body into a fat burning machine 🙂 That’s exactly what I need!

Learn more by checking out The Fast Metabolism website, following on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’ve also got a Fast Metabolism Diet Pinterest board if you want to check out some of the recipes I’ve got pinned.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/FastMetabolismDiet. I received the book free of charge to review. All content is my own.

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