I'm So Done with WW and Rapid Weight Loss Programs

Weight Watchers Alumna

Many years ago I joined a Weight Watchers program through my work. What I liked about it was the group experience of placing a focus on eating better. Here's what I didn't like:  public weigh-ins(there were 3 women in my group who were extremely overweight and they were embarrassed; counting points (it felt very one size fits all); regular up-selling of WW products and pressure to become a lifelong member (why would I need to be a lifelong member if their program taught me how to eat well?) . It was my only experience with WW  and I did not become a lifelong member.  

Rapid Weight Loss Pain

 I wish I could tell you how many women have told me about their experiences with medically-referred supervised weight loss programs that led to rapid weight loss, or worse.  One woman lost 100 pounds on a medically supervised hospital based weight loss program that consisted of a liquid diet.  She not only lost her weight; she lost her gall bladder. Oh, and within a short period of time those lost 100 pounds reappeared.  

Another woman was given a medically supervised diet that restricted her to 500 calories a day for three months.  She gained 7 pounds during the three months.  Clearly radical dietary techniques didn’t work for these women. 

Deconstructing Overweight

Obesity is a complex condition.  It is not something that can easily be resolved by radical restrictions, as these two examples illustrate.  The NY Times recently posted an article on the results of tracking the 2008 team on the Biggest Loser, and the results are similar. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html?_r=0

In my experience working with many women and some men over the years, I’ve identified several characteristics common to overweight people:

  1. weight gain is gradual and progressive; a few pounds here and there over several years
  2. yo yo dieting; weight loss on a restrictive diet; then regaining weight
  3. frustration and hyper focus on weight and criticism of the body
  4. loss of confidence
  5. low energy
  6. eating for stress, boredom, frustration
  7. talking about food constantly - what to eat, what foods will be at the party, etc.
  8. eating watching TV, on the computer, walking, driving, etc

What I’ve described are the behavioral aspects of obesity and overweight that I have observed. Then there is the issue of what to eat.  Nutrition has become over analyzed and deconstructed by science, the food industry and the media.  Focus on healthy eating has spawned an industry of food products that supposedly are healthy, and they may be, but they may also include many unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. 

Nutrition Is Amazingly Simple

Forget all the science and hype on the latest health foods if they are packaged in any way.  I stood behind a couple checking out of Whole Foods recently and counted over 20 protein/energy bars in their shopping cart, each one costing over $2.00.  It may be a convenient way to get some protein, but it’s not without many additional ingredients that hold the bar together and preserve its contents. One would do much better nutritionally by making small packs of almonds at home. It would save quite a bit of money as well. 

If you keep it very simple and eat clean foods in their original form, like fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans and legumes, you will get the nutrients you need to keep you from feeling hungry and the weight will begin to come off. Not feeling hungry is key to weight loss which is why diets fail so often.  Hunger happens for various reasons; lack of nutrients, not enough quality food, and behavioral aspects.  If you are able to get the physiological triggers for hunger settled down, i.e., having adequate nutrients, then you can begin to work on the behavioral side of things. 

Next Steps

Perhaps you read this post and totally get it.  But then you say, wait, I know how to buy these foods, but I have no idea how to prepare them and make them taste good.  If you find yourself in this position, I can help you with some very simple cooking techniques. Contact me for support.