Ah the points. The whole system is based on points. You get a points allowance for each day based on height, weight and age and all foods have a points value based on the amount of protein, carbs, fat and fibre. Mine's 32 at the moment, the minimum points you should have is 26. You then get 49 extra points to spread over the week, you can use it to either supplement your daily allowance or use it for a big blowout. This was a godsend in my first week as it was my birthday so there were cakes, treats and a couple of meals out. I just built them into my points and still managed to lose 5lbs the first week. It takes a bit of getting used to and you have to remember to record what you've eaten (snacks, sauces, butter with stuff etc.). You also can't carry points over from the day before if you don't use them, you have to use them or lose them!
So, what do I eat normally? Is it just dust 3 times a day? Well, no. Here's a fairly typical day along with points values (I'm sometimes a bit more lax with my evening meal so that's where the points rack up for me):
- Breakfast: Detox tea (0), fruit (0), WW oaty bar (2)
- Lunch: Ham salad (3), Quavers (2), fruit salad (0)
- Tea: Quorn southern fried burger (3), potato wedges (6), veg (0)
- Snacks: Fruit (0), yoghurt (3), carrot sticks (0), celery with cottage cheese (2)
- Drinks: Water (0), cups of tea with sugar (1.5)
I go to the meetings and pay weekly. I have to admit I don't know that I find the meetings THAT thrilling, though the woman who runs them is really nice and helpful, but apparently you're 50% more likely to lose weight if you attend meetings so I'm there! They weigh you at the meeting too. You can also pay monthly and get access to Weightwatchers online which gives access to points calculators, online tracking, the Weightwatchers mobile app and menu lists. I use an android app that I downloaded from the Amazon called Ultimate Value Diary Plus for £1.99 - not Weightwatchers endorsed but it seems to do everything I need and works for me. I can track my points, search their database for points values, scan barcodes of packaging to get points values of foods, calculate points values and monitor my progress. All handily on my phone which is always with me.
As well as healthy food, Weightwatchers have a food range. Some stuff is nice, some just isn't. I've tried a few bits and pieces and I like the ready salted crisps, crackers (even though they're really thin!) and caramel wafer bars. Some of the readymeals are ok too and I keep them in the freezer as a back up but to be honest I'd rather stick with normal food as they do taste very ready meal-ish.
In terms of exercise, I haven't been doing anything strenuous. I walk to and from work most days (which according to Google maps is 3 miles a day) and I sometimes walk Pearl on a night but as she's so little we don't normally go that far. This isn't any different to what I was doing before though. I feel like my skin looks better too and I feel less tired, probably because of all the fruit, veg and water I have!
I wouldn't say I've found it easy so far because eating chips, chocolate and pizza every day would have been easier but I'm not struggling to stick with it and lose weight like I have done when I've dieted previously. My boyfriend says I'm a lot less moany than when I've tried to lose weight in the past too and I think this is down to the fact I can still have the odd treat here and there but build it in to my points and still lose weight. There is a bit more planning and calculating than normal, and you do need to exercise some self control but I think the calculating points helps as it makes you stop and think about what you're eating. It's working for me and I'm losing between 1lb and 3lbs each week so it's coming off gradually but I've still got a bit of a way to go so I'll updated again at my next (fingers crossed) 14lb milestone.