Win by Losing

May 2008


If you’re looking to shed some pounds before summer arrives, give Weight Watchers a try. You eat real, grocery store food and learn how to incorporate restaurant meals and special occasions into your weight-loss program. You also learn how to keep the weight off for good. I lost over 50 pounds during the last nine months, so the program definitely works.


Weekly meetings last 30 minutes and include a weigh-in at the beginning, followed by an open discussion of a pertinent weight-loss topic. Last week we talked about triggers – events, people, and situations that prompt poor eating choices. Attending a baseball game would be an example of a trigger that could encourage overeating. A potluck gathering would be another. At the end of the meeting, awards are given out to those who have reached a milestone. Milestones can be large or small – losing 50 pounds or losing 5 pounds.


The two major advantages of the program that make weight loss a reality are 1) You learn how much to eat and 2) You focus on a short term goal each week. First, most overweight individuals have learned to eat until they’re full – not just satisfied, but full. The habits of always cleaning your plate, mindlessly eating in front of the television, and eating the little bit left in the pan because there’s not enough to keep are habits many people don’t realize they have. With WW, you keep track of everything you eat and learn to stop eating when you’re no longer hungry. At restaurants, the rule of thumb is to eat half of the meal, and take the other half home. It works wonders. You begin to realize that we just don’t need as much food as we’re used to eating. The other ingenious part of the WW program is the weekly meeting. You get weighed once a week, so you focus on that for the six days leading up to it. Every time you eat, you think, “I better not eat this chocolate cake because otherwise I won’t lose any weight this week.” It’s amazing how easy it is to say no to food you don’t need when you know you’ll be weighed in a few days.


Members generally lose 2-3 pounds the first week and quickly become addicted to eating better. Seeing immediate results just for choosing healthy foods is powerful motivation. Holiday weeks are tricky and may lead to a little weight gain. But you know why you gained weight that week, and you just start eating right again the following week. You get right back on track toward a healthier life of which you have control.