By Jackie Stinson
I lost 67 pounds following the Weight Watchers plan. I lost this weight in just less than 30 weeks. You can expect to lose about 1-2 pounds per week by following the plan. I found that I lost a little more than that for the first few weeks because I made so many healthy changes. Then, it tapered off to the 1-2 pounds per week amount. I have kept it off for about five years, so I can attest to the fact that if you stick to the plan you will lose and you will keep it off. The program was designed for you to be successful.
What is a healthy weight loss rate?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy weight loss rate is exactly what you can expect to experience with Weight Watchers: 1-2 pounds per week. There may be cases where doctors recommend a different level of loss, but these cases are typically extreme. If you ever have questions specific to your situation, talk to your doctor. I saw a doctor just as I was starting Weight Watchers. First, he told me how much he advocated the program for his patients. Then he told me that I could safely lose two pounds per week.
I will be the first to admit that I wanted quicker weight loss. I mean, products on TV were telling me every single day that I could lose up to 10 pounds by this weekend! However, having experienced so many “diets” and so much failure, Weight Watchers was the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. I made real changes to my food choices and exercise. You may find yourself in the same situation. Maybe you’re thinking that you want to lose more than the recommended healthy weekly rate of 1-2 pounds per week. My advice is to consider the long term. You’re not interested in a fad diet that will help you lose five pounds this week by consuming only liquids and then gaining back those five plus another 10 in the weeks following. Weight Watchers is sustainable and losing the weight gradually – just the way you gained it – is the best thing you can do for yourself.
What does it mean to lose 1-2 pounds per week?
It’s time for a little math to help explain what it really means to drop 1-2 pounds per week. Keep in mind that when you’re following the Weight Watchers plan, all of these calculations are already done for you. You’ll track every day with the many resources available to you and simply follow your PointsPlus guidelines. But it is important to understand how you’ll actually lose the weight each week.
Losing weight is a simple formula of using (or burning) more calories than you consume. Here is how the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention explains this:
One pound equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you want to lose one pound per week, you have to expend 500 more calories than you consume each day. For a weight loss of two pounds per week, you’ll need to expend 1,000 more calories than you consume per day.
When you join Weight Watchers, you’ll complete a profile and talk about your weight loss goals, so again, this will be calculated for you. There are so many resources to help you succeed.
How does Weight Watchers help you lose 1-2 pounds per week?
There are a number of ways in which you will lose the weight. It’s easy to look at a mathematical formula and be logical about it. However, if it were as simple as a calculation or logic, we’d all be thin and there would be no reason for any of us to lose weight. There are other factors to consider. Weight Watchers has considered them all and has tools to help deal with each of them.
Food is probably the most important factor to consider, for obvious reasons. Most of us have issues with our weight because we’ve made poor choices with the food we eat. That was definitely my situation. Plus, there is so much conflicting information about food that it becomes hard to figure out what exactly we should be eating.
On the Weight Watchers plan, you’ll become more aware of what you’re eating. Believe it or not, just that awareness will make a huge difference in your life. Weight Watchers has assigned point values to the foods you eat every day. When you join, you’ll be given a PointsPlus budget based on your gender, height and weight. You’ll eat each day until you’ve reached your total daily PointsPlus budget. Point values are given to foods based on its carbs, fat, fiber, protein. Nothing is off limits or forbidden on Weight Watchers. You’re not limited to certain foods or food groups. You’re in control of what you eat. The only rule is to stay within your PointsPlus budget. You can see how this will help you to make healthier food choices. For me, it was a no-brainer. I love to eat. If I chose foods with lower PointsPlus values, I could eat more. So, I found myself making better choices simply because I wanted to eat! The beauty of this is really the control you feel over food. If you want some pizza, have it.
Your Food Environment
Another important way in which Weight Watchers will help you lose the weight is by helping you understand and control your food environment. There are areas in which we can exert a lot of control, like our homes. For example, I do not allow ice cream in my house. That sounds a little harsh. But I know for me, it’s a trigger. That means that if ice cream is in my freezer, I will eat the entire container. I won’t be proud of myself for doing it, but I will! There are a lot of tips for controlling your environment and removing triggers. If you have certain trigger foods, it’s probably best to keep them out of your home.
But we live our lives outside of our homes as well. Weight Watchers has an arsenal of tips and tools to use for those environments too. You’ll learn to develop habits other than the ones that have led you to an unhealthy lifestyle or unhealthy routines.
Change Your Habits
Speaking of routines, you may need to develop some new ones. I had so many bad routines and habits when I started the Weight Watchers program. There are great tips and tricks to creating better routines and habits in your life. For example, have you ever tried to change so many things at once that you end up changing nothing and feeling like a failure? Weight Watchers provides help and guidelines so that you’ll make small, sustainable changes. Over time, you’ll have a whole new set of healthy routines.
You know all of those diet advertisements on TV that tell you that you can lose weight without changing anything you’re currently doing? They’re lying. In order to make real changes to your weight and health, you have to change some of the things that you’re doing. Weight Watchers has a four-step plan to change your habits. You’ll create a plan of attack for the habits you need to change.
First and foremost, I have never been one who loves going to the gym for hours. However, you know that in order to be healthy and have longevity, you need to move. Weight Watchers provides a ton of tips about getting more activity into your day. Maybe it’s just parking a little farther from the mall or taking the stairs. There are also fitness and exercise demo videos to watch so you can learn routines to do in the comfort of your own home. Maybe it’s not that you don’t like exercise, but that you haven’t found anything that you love!
Besides the improvement to your overall health, exercising more means eating more! You can earn Activity Points for the exercise you do. It is especially helpful if you know you have an upcoming event and you want to indulge. It definitely encouraged me to move more if it meant I could eat more.
One of the greatest things you’ll get as a Weight Watchers member is support. It can get lonely and sometimes frustrating when you’re trying to lose weight. There can also be times where you need a little boost of motivation. Whether you subscribe to Weight Watchers Online or if you go to meetings, you’ll get the support and inspiration you need. I attended meetings and was constantly encouraged by the leaders – who have lost weight using Weight Watchers – as well as the members of the group. It was a real community. There is also a community online. It’s especially helpful if the fridge is calling your name at midnight – get online and read the message boards for 24/7 inspiration and success stories!
With all these tools, no wonder why with Weight Watchers you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. This is healthy, easy, and permanent weight loss.