The Eating Season Begins

It is that time of year.  The eating season begins.  Ok, I mean the holiday season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is this upcoming Thursday and then it is seemingly never ending food challenges until the New Year.

Thanksgiving food 2015

Last year, I posted my tips for eating during the holidays.  I won’t repeat those tips, but do suggest checking out that post if you are looking for ideas.

As many of you know from my earlier posts, I have been struggling and off track some the past few months.  I am finally getting back in gear.  Last week I did well.  I still was a little higher on calories per day than I wanted to be, but I was over 200 calories a day less than the week before.  So, I will call that a win.  The week was often frustrating as there wasn’t much movement on the scale.  But, Sunday morning, I weighed myself at home and was done 1.7 pounds from the day before.  Go figure.

I really didn’t do anything wonderful Saturday.  I actually ate out at Panera.  My overall calorie co [Read more…]

Weight Watchers Fresh and Anything Else New?

This is the time of the year when the mind turns to whether there will be anything new at Weight Watchers.  Historically Weight Watchers has typically made program changes in early December and often rolls out other new things around the same time.

Last year, we had the major Beyond the Scale program as well as SmartPoints that debuted in early December.  In addition, there were other new things such as the changes to the website and to the mobile apps.  Also, Weight Watchers debuted home delivered meals with Chef’d last November.

So, what is in store for this year?  I am often asked if I think Weight Watchers will make changes to SmartPoints.  Typically, Weight Watchers only does major changes every 4 or 5 years and occasionally does minor ones as needed.  Given that, I never expected any major changes to SmartPoints this year.  While I think some tweaking is warranted, I don’t expect to see it.  And, the rumor I heard was that there will be no changes to SmartPoints itself.  Now, that is rumor and I have no way to know whether there will or will not be changes.  But, if I had to bet, I would expect no changes.  Now, there could be minor changes particularly to things that aren’t SmartPoints. So there could be changes to apps, or the website, or to messaging and so on.  In past years, during PointsPlus there were years there were no changes to PointsPlus but there was a change of emphasis as to what was discussed during year.  I would expect to see some sort of things like that, but I have no information.

However, I have heard about  Weight Watchers Fresh.  I got this information from a member on a message board.  And, this is not a rumor since there is an actual website giving out the information.  I will say up front that this appears to have limited availability and is not available in all states at least based upon information on the website. [Read more…]

SmartPoints – Good or Bad?

It is almost a year since SmartPoints and the entire Beyond the Scale Program debuted.  This is a good time to ask:  Good or Bad?  It is time to assess the new program (well, not so new now).

When the new Beyond the Scale program started I was favorably disposed to it. I liked that SmartPoints discouraged eating sugar.  Lots of people liked the changes. Others hated them.  In fact, during this year one of my post popular posts which has gotten a lot of search traffic is What To Do If You Hate SmartPoints.

During the past year the SmartPoints part of the program has stayed the same, but there were some changes to how FitPoints were used.  Initially, Weight Watchers discouraged swapping FitPoints for food.  You could do it, but the powers that be didn’t really want you to do it.  Then, a few months in they changed to a more neutral position on swapping FitPoints.  They also instituted a baseline before you could swap FitPoints for food.  Basically you were supposed to earn about 3 FitPoints (roughly 3000 steps) in a day before you could swap additional FitPoints for food.

So, 11 months into the new Weight Watchers program – is it good or bad? [Read more…]

November Weigh In

I had my November weigh in yesterday and was up .4 pounds to 143.2 pounds from what it was a week earlier when I did my October weigh in.  I was a little irritated by it, to be honest, since I had a good week and felt I should have lost.  I mentioned to the leader (who was weighing me) before I stepped onto the scale that I expected a gain and wasn’t happy since I had eaten well.  She asked me how I deal with that.

I said that the main thing that helped me was that I weigh almost every day so I see the daily fluctuations and realize sometimes those kind of fluctuations happen.   If I didn’t weigh daily, I would be much more shocked to have a good week and then have a gain.  Weighing almost every day, I see how the fluctuations can occur even if my eating is fine and look at the big picture more than anything else.

So, I was OK with the weigh in.  I do very much want to have a good loss at my December weigh in.  By then, I am hoping that most of the remaining come and go swelling from surgery will be gone.  And, I hope to continue to build on the past couple of relatively good weeks.

I will say that while the last two weeks were fine — I had a calorie deficit, they weren’t perfect.  I still am not back to the activity level I want to be at.  And, as I mentioned in my post yesterday my average daily calories is higher than it was a couple of years ago.  I am doing better now than I was earlier in the year, but I could be doing better.  Those are things to work on during the remainder of this month.

Eternal Vigilance After Weight Loss

There was an interesting study recently published that talked about what happens after weight loss.  It is easy while losing weight to think about the “end” as being when we get to goal weight.  There is that assumption that if we can just get there, then we can stay there.  Especially if it has been so hard to lose weight, it seems that we will never gain weight again.  How often did I say to myself that “I will never let myself get fat again.”  And, yet, I did.

There are many theories as to why that happens.  Maybe it is genetics.  Maybe it is metabolic adaptation – the body burning fewer calories than would be expected after weight loss.  Maybe it is just that I am a flawed person who lacks self control and discipline.  No, I don’t actually think that the last one is right. But, all too many people do still think that and they tend to think weight loss and maintaining it is easy.

I posted awhile back about the recent Biggest Loser study which talked about metabolic adaptation. And I posted about Weight Watchers response to that study.  I did feel that study and other research I’ve read on the subject makes a good case that people who have lost weight typically burn fewer calories than people of similar size and characteristics who were never overweight. [Read more…]