Weight Loss, etc.

I signed up for WeightWatchers on May 30th, 2008. As of tomorrow, I’ll be halfway through my trial period. This post is an update to what’s been happening, how much I’ve lost, frustrations I’ve met, and things that have helped me out over the last month and half.

Let me begin by saying that I’ve lost 8 pounds. I expected to have lost more than that by now, and I’ve been fluctuating between a 6 to 8 pound loss for three weeks. Am I experiencing a plateau? I’m not sure. But I’m going to continue and hope that the next couple of weeks bring me higher numbers.

One of the reasons I’m so irritated by the plateau is because I’m working out as well. (Although, I just started with a regular daily routine last week, so perhaps things will pick up?) But I feel like I should have lost more weight by now. Maybe not. Who knows.

All in all, this diet is much easier to follow and stick to than South Beach. I tried South Beach several years ago and while the diet works, I wasn’t able to stick with it and I felt like I was hungry most of the time. I was on it for about 4 months. I lost 19 pounds. The diet was trying, however. And I gained it all back.

The South Beach diet just wasn’t one I could stay on indefinitely. I feel that WW is.

One of the reasons I like WW diet is because of the bonus points you’re given on top of the daily allotment. There have been some weeks where I am doing just great and then BAM! we order pizza and I devour 3 slices in one sitting. There were two days last week where I blew right past my 21-point weekly allotment. One day I consumed a massive 45 points!

But that amount comes out of the weekly “bonus” points. And so you’re not beating yourself up quite as much as you might on other diets.

Another reason I like WW is that the product line is oustanding. Let me begin by saying that I’m not super keen on eating foods with a long list of ingredients, but I decided that this time I’d blissfully ignore my inclinations and just go with it. At this juncture, I have tried several of the packaged meals offered by Smart One’s. (Only the vegetarian ones, however. We prefer our meat come from local farms), I’ve tried several of the desserts, and a whole bunch of bread products. This has helped me get a grasp on point allotment. It also helps me feel full. (Sometime down the road, I plan to take off my training wheels and give up the packaged meals. I may continue to buy their bread products, however. You simply can’t beat a bagel for two points and a whole grain english muffin for one.)

If you don’t mind eating food with a long list of ingredients, I highly recommend trying out their pre-packaged meals.

I’ve learned that foods high in fiber and low in fat are golden. So, cheese glorious cheese? Not so glorious for the midsection. Incidentally, that’s been the most difficult thing for me to give up. I am a cheese lover. But when it comes to hunger and point allotment to fulfillment ratio, cheese ranks as one of the foods to avoid.

I’ve learned that you can have unlimited amounts of vegetables and almost as much fruit as you can stomach. (I love fruit, which could be another reason that South Beach proved difficult for me.)

Wine and beer? Avoid it. It won’t do anything to make you feel full plus, it messes with your metabolism (as does caffeine, actually. But I’m not about to give that up). Beer is higher than wine, naturally. But lite beer is better than regular. (I tend to prefer the dark stuff, so beer hasn’t been something I’ve touched lately.)

Salad dressing is the devil, for the most part. Seriously. In fact, I have joked and said that if every American went into their fridge right now and threw out every condiment, we’d be a lot thinner in only a month’s time. I think there’s truth to that statement.

If you’re a snacker, you have to figure out what type of snacks to eat. I have gotten through some salt cravings by making Newman’s Own popcorn (96% fat free). I usually add Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and I have myself a relatively healthy snack. (Well, if you ignore the sodium content in the Lawry’s. heh.)

My favorite snack, however, is a cucumber salad my mother made us when we were growing up. I’ll cut up one cucumber, add a spoonful of lite mayonnaise (or fat free), and some white balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on some pepper, and you have yourself a tasty treat. (This has gotten me from one meal to the next dozens of times over the last month. Plus, it’s awesome.)

In a nutshell the diet is working albeit slowly and some days I get really annoyed especially when my weight fluctuates. But putting on weight is much easier (and more fun but not as rewarding!) than losing it.

I am going to stand strong and readdress my situation when my 3-month trial ends. At that point in time, I’ll decide if i want to pay the month-by-month fee and continue, or if I need to figure something else out (like liposuction and a breast reduction). But I’m pretty satisfied with the way things are going, however, I’d be a LOT more satisfied if WW sent me free products and in turn I’ll write reviews and give them free advertising, because buying this stuff costs money we don’t have. I get email all the time asking me to agree to blog post sponsorship and I always say no because I worry about what I’ll have to agree to. But if WW came to me and asked me to do such a thing? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

That’s all for now. As always, feedback and/or suggestions welcome.


  1. Have you tried Lean Cuisine? I thought their meals were a lot better tasting than Smart Ones. Their butternut squash ravioli is so yummy and has a lot of veggies with it. http://www.leancuisine.com/Products/Details.aspx?ProductID=10729
    I’m not sure about the ingredient list compared to Smart Ones.

    Congrats on your 8 lbs. Its frustrating as hell to not lose, esp when you are paying for it, but at least it’s 8lbs you are no longer wearing. :)


  2. I like lean cuisine over the WW food also, it also oddly, tends to have fewer points. WW has always been the one and only diet that has worked for me, mostly because it was easy. But is very very slow, and if you exercise, it gets a bit slower in terms of lbs, but you should be loosing inches.


  3. That cucumber treat sounds glorious. How many points? One? .5?


  4. I’ve never tried WW, but I wanted to lend my support. I just found your website today.

    I also like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice.

    Congrats on the 8 lbs lost!


  5. You guys rock! I will absolutely try Lean Cuisine. Thanks!

    Kizz: the cucumber thing is 1 point tops. (Depends on how much mayo you use and which variety. I think the fat free is less in points but not as tasty as the lite variety.)

    Healthy Choice, you say? I’ll give that a shot, too.

    I wondered about the weight loss and working out. I seem to remember hitting a plateau around 148 on South Beach, too. Maybe my body just doesn’t like going below 148. Oh well. It’s got no choice.


  6. Don’t worry about the plateau, especially if you’re working out! Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you feel like you’re getting stronger then that’s probably the reason for the plateau. Ultimately weight loss is determined by your ratio of caloric intake to caloric expenditure. If you’re taking in fewer calories plus burning off more calories by exercising, then the net will be that you’re burning calories, and that’s a good thing! Plus, the more dense your muscles become (i.e., higher protein, less fat content), the more calories you’ll have the capacity of burning in the long run.

    Congratulations to you! I’ll bet you have that much more energy, too!


  7. Ditto on Lean Cuisines being awesome – I can’t even go back to Smart Ones or Healthy Choice. Plus, the WW points ARE printed on the package (hidden on a side panel) so you still don’t have to even pull out your Points Finder.

    I’ve hit so many plateaus and you really just have to stick with it. I’ve heard a lot of arguments against that “muscle weighs more than fat” thing but I think in WW meeting it was so that we don’t rely on that as an excuse. I found that during what seemed like plateaus where I was working hard but not seeing much movement on the scale, it helped to track my measurements as well. Clothes would fit better week to week even if my weight looked the same on the scale, so taking out a cloth measuring tape kind of confirmed those changes. It can be kind of time consuming when you’re rushing around all day though, so just an idea.

    Just remind yourself of all the other things that are changing – do your clothes fit better? do you feel better? are you healthier? There are way more benefits than the number of pounds you lose, so when you find that number isn’t budging, it may be time to focus on those other things instead and track your weight as a marker rather than a confirmation of your hard work.

    I write long comments, huh?


  8. Did you try the six-meals diet plan? The six-meals diet plan provides the 2,400 calories necessary for the average American through six meals per day of up to 400 calories each. Although it is hard to believe that eating twice as many meals as usually can be healthy and make you lose weight, this diet may bring real benefits according to its creators. I read about this at http://www.projectweightloss.com.


  9. Measurements are the key. I know a lot of medical doctors/nutritionists who rely on them more than actual weight loss. There is a lot of evidence out there that things like your waist measurement are key indicators to health problems, so if you reduce THAT number, you are doing yourself a world of good.

    I am interested in reading about your WW experience. I am getting ready to do my Master’s in Public Health with a focus on nutrition issues and my mother is a nutritionist, so all this weight loss and weight maintenance discussion is really interesting. Have you seen a doctor about weight loss? I mean, I always thought (when I was a teenager) that it was silly unless you were seriously obese, but my mother is seeing more and more people that are in their late 20’s/30’s who are keen to learn proper nutrition to enable them to take good care of themselves and their families. They are often sent over to her from doctors.


  10. have to agree with you on salad dressing. starting this past january i’ve really been trying to change the way i eat, and i had always given myself a big pat on the back in the past any time i ate a salad, always with dressing. looking at the fat content was MIND BOGGLING. and a lot of the low-fat/fat-free ones just up the sugar (one i bought-ken’s steakhouse brand-without reading the label had 12 grams of sugar per tablespoon). the kraft fat-free ones are ok but kinda bland, but blanchard farms makes a low-fat (2g of fat per tablespoon i think, and i find i often use less than a tablespoon) sundried tomato dressing that is really REALLY good.


  11. As a vegetarian I am all about watching what you eat but the best way to lose weight is to get fit. 30 minutes 3 days a week is what you need. There are easy ways to get it to like this http://buzz.prevention.com/move-it-and-shake-it-with-wii-fit/#comment-677


  12. Salad dressing is amazing in how bad it is. I don’t even know what you have to actually put in it to make it that bad. Especially when you eat out, things that would seem to be the best, end up just as poor or worse. I remember when we used to to Ruby Tuesdays every now and then and get a turkey burger, only to later find out it was the worst thing to order. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a conspiracy. :)


  13. Couple of thoughts:

    1- Salad Dressing: Since I can remember, my salad dressing of choice has been fresh squeezed citrus ( lemon, grapefruit, orange ), some garlic / peppers, and a teaspoon of olive oil – whisked. sometimes i thin it out a bit and then emusify in a blender. it tosses exceptionally well. if you go for something like a kalmata olive oil, you can use 1/3 as much and impart great taste.

    2- Cheese: you don’t have to give it up, you can just change how you consume it… if you go for stronger flavored cheeses, you’ll use less. i.e: .25oz of aged extra sharp cheddar has as much taste as 1 oz of decent or 2-3oz of mediocre; greek feta tends to be strong and salty vs. french/bulgarian which are light/lemony/buttery. also, something like a fresh smoked mozzarella can be sliced thin and impart a lot of texture/flavor without using as much as regular. vegan ‘ricotta’ might be an alternative too – its usualy just lemon juice + pressed extra firm tofu.

    you food snob friend


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