Newest Review: ... havent been able to attend the meetings for any reason I have never had a letter from Weight Watchers or from my leader saying 'we have mi... more
It works - if you stick to it
Member Name: suziedre
Advantages: It works
Disadvantages: You need to put the work and effort in; losing it is easier than keeping it off; £5.99 per week
I'm writing this as tonight, for the third time, I joined Weightwatchers.
I first joined Weightwatchers in 2003 and lost around 1 and a half stones. Then I stopped going. I put it all back on, and then some.
In summer 2007 I joined again. This time, I stuck at it for around 2 years. I lost almost 4 and a half stones, and went from a size 16-18, to size 10-12. I felt fantastic when I lost all that weight.
Unfortunately I moved jobs, and went from a job in the city centre that involved a lot of activity and walking, to an office job with a car park right at the front door. It also took me out of the area where my meeting was, and gradually I stopped going. I thought that I would be able to go it alone and keep the weight off.
In early 2009 I moved into my own home and found that shopping and cooking for one meant that my portion sizes went out of control. This, combined with a very stressful year this year, meant that I found myself comfort eating a lot. And so here we are again.
At my meeting tonight I discovered I have put on just over half of all the weight I lost back in 2007/8. I'm back up to a large size 14 now, and so enough is enough.
Weightwatchers has changed since I was last there. The plan I lost all the weight on, the Core Plan, is no more. This was a very strict plan that didn't allow bread - but unlimited veggies etc. It was hardcore, but it worked, and I found that the weight dropped off me. I found it quite easy to stick to at the time.
Now, the Weightwatchers system is based on ProPoints. ProPoints are calculated on the kcal, fat, and fibre in foods. Most people are allocated 29 ProPoints per day. When you join, you are given a small blue folder with booklets inside. The booklet contains recipes, information on what the ProPoints plan is and how it works, tips for exercise etc.
You also get a weekly tracker, which is a small booklet for you to fill in every day with what you eat. This means that you can keep track of every single thing you eat, and makes you aware of any random snacking that you might not even realise you're doing!
The folder also contains a circular piece of card. It comes in 3 sections - calories, fat, and fibre. When you eat anything, you can find how much it contains by looking at the packet. Using the card, you can then work out how much ProPoints it contains. I know I'm not explaining it very well but I would say that you don't even really need it if you have a smartphone - there are several apps which work out the ProPoints for you - all you have to do is enter how many calories, grams of fat, and grams of fibre are in the food. I can see that apps like that are going to become invaluable for me.
At the meeting, you queue up with the plastic Weightwatchers card you will be given when you join. This card has a chip which contains all the details on your weight, how much you have lost, how much you have to lose, etc. The leader will put this into the machine when you stand on the scales, then you get told how much you have lost/gained since the previous week.
Every time you lose half a stone, you get a 'silver 7'. This is simply a silver sticker in the shape of a 7, however it is very motivating to get one.
After the weigh-in, you have a meeting with your leader which lasts for around half an hour. During the meeting you can discuss healthy eating tips, eating out, exercise - any topic relevant to weight loss. I will be honest and say I find the meetings pretty dull - HOWEVER for some reason, they work. They seem to help spur you on and feel up for the week ahead. The leaders do encourage you to attend the meetings every week; you don't have to, however as you are paying £5.99 per week to get weighed, you might as well stay for the meeting. It's half an hour out of your life and it will help.
I find the best thing to help your weight loss is to put the effort in and plan your menus a week ahead. That way you know how many points you're eating every day, and will stop you edging over the 29 point daily limit. Fruit is free, so you can gorge yourself of bananas and apples and keep yourself feeling full.
I am not sure if this new ProPoints system will be as good for my weight loss as the Core Plan is. However, I am going to stick at it, attend meetings every week and see how I get on. I have size 10 and 12 clothes hanging in my wardrobe and I am damn well going to fit into them again!
Summary: Keep at it, be realistic, attend meetings, and you will lose weight
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