The Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Program
Weight Watchers has been around for decades, and has been consistently successful for people who are willing to follow the program, and adhere to the rules. Initially, it was something like the diabetic exchange diet, where you selected from exchanges of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Then the program was updated, to emphasize more fiber, and less fat in your daily diet. The most recent version is the best yet. It does not prohibit you from eating any particular foods or drinking any type of beverage you might prefer. Instead, you are motivated to select healthier choices by making the healthiest selections contain fewer points, and less healthy choices contain disproportionately more points. So, while what you eat is totally up to you, if you stick to foods that are higher in protein and lower in sugar and saturated fat, you will use less of your daily budget of points. You are totally in control of making the plan work for you. Nothing is off limits.
Your weight loss goal is also totally up to you. You can start small (say five pounds or so), and then when you're ready, you can set your ultimate number. But it's not all about a number on the scale. Your goal can be to get back into your skinny jeans, look good in a swimsuit, have more energy to play with your children, eat a more balanced diet, or just feel more comfortable in your own skin. All are valid goals. Weight Watchers is designed to result in a safe rate of weight loss, which is usually around 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Participants usually experience a faster weight loss rate in the first few weeks, as the body adjusts to a change in eating habits. As long as you stay on the program, weight will continue to drop until you reach your goal. At that point, you will be advised on how to maintain your new target weight, usually by adding points to your daily and weekly points allotment.
Your plan is also personalized for you, based on your starting weight and other characteristics. You start the week with a certain number of points, plus a cushion of extra points if you happen to go over your daily target. You can use this cushion any way that you want, by splitting them up over the days of the week, saving them all for the weekend, or even not using them at all. There is only one small catch: your cushion points don't roll over to the next week if you don't use them. You start each week with a fresh set of points. Also, your daily target points will change over time. As you take off pounds, your target will be recalculated to stay in line with your reduced weight, so that you can continue making progress. As an added insurance policy of sorts, Weight Watchers requires you to take a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement each day, as well as consult with your personal doctor to make certain that any specific, individualized dietary needs are considered.
You have choices not only in your food selection, but also in how you track what you eat. You can use an online tool if you have a digital subscription. It is by far the easiest way to track your intake, because the computer program does all the calculations for you. You simply enter the food name in a box, hit enter, select the portion size and meal time, and finally click on the tracker button. Alternatively, you can use a tried and true paper-and-pencil method. If you choose this method, you will need to look up your food choices manually, and do all your own math. Still, if this is what is comfortable for you, you can be absolutely as successful tracking this way as with tracking online.
Another key component to Weight Watchers is fitness. Being more active will boost your energy, and it is a critical part of maintaining weight loss. Plus, you have the opportunity to earn additional points, which means that you can eat more food on a daily basis, and still keep taking off weight. And you don't need to join a gym or buy any fancy equipment. All you need to do if find little pockets of time in your daily routine, where you can move more. It is important to find something that is fun that you can do regularly. This could be something as simple as walking your dog, playing with your children, or taking the stairs rather than the elevator. It all counts towards your fitness goal. Also, being more active will help you be more comfortable in your clothing, boost your energy, reduce stress, and elevate your mood.
New to Weight Watchers this year is an emphasis on finding time to recharge and enhance your overall well-being, in addition to just weight loss. All sorts of activities are included in this portion of the program, and they are extremely personalized. You might decide to start taking a nap every afternoon, start a mini-journal of your thoughts and feelings, sign up for an art class, or even visit a nearby museum. By making time for yourself, you are validating that you are worth it, and it will change the way you see yourself. There is more to weight loss than just eating smart and improving your fitness. Taking time out for yourself matters, and is a key part of the new program.
Putting it all together, the new Weight Watchers program is about eating well by making smart choices based on a new formula of points, improving your fitness level, and finding time for yourself to have some fun and restoration. In my opinion, it is one of the best versions of the program that has been released to date. By following the program, you will feel better, look better, and have more energy. All in a way that is personalized to meet your individual needs.