Years ago I wrote about trying to lose a few pounds to better fit into a bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding. I dropped the pounds in time for the wedding by spending ridiculous amounts of time on the treadmill and drinking slimfast as a meal replacement.
Aside from that post a few years ago I never really followed up on my fitness journey, until very recently when I shared How I’ve Been Losing Weight, a few weeks ago. Spoiler Alert:This time the changes have been more sustainable, and I feel healthier!
Well, I’ve been doing WW (Weight Watchers) for over a month now, as of this post I have lost I have lost 12 pounds! And thought it might be a good time for an update, and what I’ve learned along the way.
My first couple of weeks on WW were eye opening, and I learned A LOT during my first month, both about myself, and nutrition in general. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been worth it.
9 Things I Learned My First Month on Weight Watchers:
These are my 9 biggest takeaways from my very first month on WW (Weight Watchers). Even thought my weight loss program of choice was WW I am pretty sure these tips will work with almost any weight loss program!
Do Not Allow Yourself to Get Intensely Hungry
Whenever you are trying to reduce your intake of food, you will just experience some level of hunger at some points during the day, there is just no way around that. But if you happen to skip a meal or let yourself become ravenous, not only will you likely be hangry, but I’ve found I often set myself up for overeating, and making poor choices when I finally do eat.
Errand day is the perfect storm for me, I often leave right after breakfast and don’t return home until early afternoon. I now know I have to pack a low point snack or two, and bring a bottle of water.
Keep Protein Bars On Hand
I am not a huge fan of protein bars, in fact I really need to be careful of how many I eat over the course of the week, because my digestive system is somewhat sensitive to them. But these are an absolutely wonderful on the go snack and occasional meal replacement to keep your energy up and appetite in check (especially on errand day 🙂 . You do have to be careful which protein bar you choose, and make sure to scan them, some can be very sugary, and pack a lot of calories which will cost you a good amount of your daily points.
Eating Better doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg
Years ago I did the South Beach Diet, and remember it hitting my grocery budget hard. But while on the weight watchers program, I am still able to do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi, in fact I was surprised by how many Zero point and low point foods I was able to find at Aldi!
I did make one little change though, I have found that I prefer to make 2 weekly runs to the grocery store, but I still stay within my budget! I do my normal weekly grocery shopping, with a midweek run to restock on fresh produce. I love Aldi, but have found fruits and vegetables tend to go bad pretty quickly, so I only buy what I will use within the next few days. If you would like to know more about my WW Friendly Aldi picks check out my list of my favorite Weight Watchers friendly products at Aldi!
Meal Prep and Planning are key to staying on track
When I first joined Weight Watchers I was immediately struck by how the points are set up to encourage eating natural, unprocessed foods. I was totally in the habit of grabbing a few Lean Cuisines each week for lunch on busy days. My Lean Cuisine Culinary Collection Chicken Ranch Club flatbread melt was a whopping 10 points, almost half of my daily point allotment! A little planning takes the guesswork, and last minute grab of convenience food, out of mealtime and keeps my daily points on track.
Adding Exercise to your Weight Watchers Program is a Powerful 1-2 punch for Weight Loss
One of my main reasons for wanting to lose weight was to feel better. I was sick of feeling sluggish, and I knew exercise would help with my energy levels, and provide many more positive health benefits, so I started a program that felt right for me and my current fitness level and dove in. Adding exercise to the weight watchers program kicked my weight loss journey up a notched fairly quickly.
Losing Weight Is Better with a Support System
Weight Watchers is a lifestyle change which can be difficult on your own. Being able to share and read tips in the Community forum on the WW app about diet and exercise, inspiration, or just to vent to others who know what you’re up against when you are struggling is a blessing, and totally makes the journey easier.
Eating out is still enjoyable
My husband and I don’t get out much, between the kids sports schedules and farm activities, it can seem nearly impossible to slip away by ourselves. But when we do manage to find a free evening, we like to go local restaurant/sports bar and have dinner and watch a game.
When I first started Weight Watchers I really didn’t want to miss out on our favorite date destination but I also didn’t want to feel bloated and miserable to next day. When we go out, I have figured out how to have a totally enjoyable meal, AND wine, without blowing a ton of Points. It is 100% possible to eat out while doing weight Watchers, and still progress towards your weight loss goals!
It takes time to learn how to live on the Weight Watchers Program.
I was watching a Youtube video a while ago and the Youtuber said “I will always remember my first week of weight watchers as the ‘Hard Boiled Egg Week’, because I felt like that was all I ate. For me, my first weeks were all about grilled chicken breast and salad.
Eventually, I started experimenting with different meals and snacks. I figured out for me personally, a 0 point snack is best enjoyed with a healthy option that does have some points assigned to it, for a more satisfying and satiating snack. I’ve never been a huge breakfast eater, so I can skimp on points there, and enjoy more mid-afternoon snacks, when my body is really craving something. This is what has worked for me, but it may not be what will work for you.
One of the best part of the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program is that it allows you to make it your own. There is no regimented diet to follow, but it takes time to learn the ropes, and develop a system that works for you. Learning the Freestyle Points for your favorite foods, Figuring out how many Points your body needs at various times of the day. Determining how best to use your Weekly Points. It all takes time.
You have got to give yourself some grace. There is no such thing as perfectly following a diet, we are humans, we make mistakes. Life happens, cravings happen, and hormones happen. One slip up doesn’t undo all the hard work that came before it, and you can’t let it sabotage the rest of the day, or even next few days. If you’ve done some unplanned eating, put it behind you and move on.
You are not too old, and it is not too late!
Probably the most important thing I have learned during my first month of weight watchers is this: You are not too old, and it is not too late!
For years I thought losing weight would be too difficult or nearly impossible as I age, Through the WW connect app, I’ve seen much older people have great success using weight watchers. I’ve never been a jogger, and told myself I am not a runner for years, but here I am starting couch to 5k, and totally loving it!
Often times our “limits” are just boundaries we set on ourselves. It’s the “I can’t do that”, “I’m too old” and “I missed my chance” that holds us back, and keeps us from reaching our goals.