I’m excited about the launch of Weight Watchers newest Program: Weight Watchers 360°. This new program is designed to allow us to systematically, yet simply, find the healthy lifestyle that will help us not just lose the weight, but learn to keep it off. Sound good?
While the PointsPlus aspects of the plan all stay the same, meetings will become much more focused on:
1) Tracking. Becoming more aware of our food/activity choices and making better ones.
2) Routines. Helping us establish the healthy routines and habits, such as beginning the day with a healthy breakfast and including a fruit or vegetable and some protein with every snack, and eating only at the table.
3) Spaces. Teaching us how to manage our food environments when at home, at work, traveling or in restaurants. For example, keeping tempting foods our of site and healthy options in plain view and reviewing the menu before going out to eat.
These strategies are key in helping up manage the many food choices (200 plus) we are faced with each and every day. To lose weight and keep it off in this food centric, out-of-control, super-size, all-you-can-eat environment we need a slew of healthy habits/routines that are so ingrained, we don’t even have to think about them. We just do them. Things like beginning the day with a brisk walk and healthy breakfast and having a big glass of water whenever we feel tired or hungry.
Because the truth is that a lot of the behaviors that cause us to gain weight are mindless habits that are totally influenced by our environment. (If you don’t believe me, read Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, PhD, from Cornell. It will change the way you see food forever. It did me. I changed lots of little things that have helped me eat less in a way that feels easy and effortless after reading this book.)
Here’s an interview with Wansink to get a “taste” of what I mean:
You’re Doing What You’re Designed To Do, So Stop Beating Yourself Up
We know now that our brains and bodies are designed to eat food when we see food, which worked perfectly for thousands of years when food scarcity was a major concern. But now our world has changed – food is everywhere – but our biology hasn’t!
It’s only natural that given these circumstances we are apt to gain weight. So, stop beating yourself up. You are not broken.
I love this quote from Weight Watchers CEO, David Kirchhoff on his blog Man Meets Scale, ”Blaming people for being obese seems like blaming someone who lives in a bad neighborhood for being mugged. Yes, we can learn to protect ourselves in our bad food neighborhood, but ridiculing the victim is hardly a winning path to defeating the obesity epidemic.”
How Do We Succeed At Losing Weight and Keeping It Off?
Well, according to Kirchhoff, we need the following:
- Becoming more mindful of what we eat. Research has shown us that keeping a food diary is remarkably effective in helping us tackle issues related to 200 daily food decisions.
- Learning to make food tradeoffs we can live with. Deprivation always fails us. There is only so much misery that we can bear. However, if we start choosing foods that taste great, are naturally filling, and provide bulk, we can better avoid the misery.
- Taking accountability and control when we feel out of control by employing tools that give us a way to shake off the shackles of being a victim to our food environment.
- Learning to rebuild our personal food environment, at home, in the office, in our cars, etc., we can create a place where we avoid temptation by throwing it out the window.
- Recognizing that the best kind of willpower is the discipline to have a plan before we enter a scary food situation, then we can be amazed by how much more in control we are when we enter them.
- Recognizing that simple, easy to do routines can help to make healthy behavior second nature. Boiling the ocean never works. However, implementing a few small changes at a time can have a profound multiplier effect on our other behaviors.
And Weight Watchers 360 is designed to support us in doing just that!
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