I realize that this post might piss some people off, but I had to say it.
I hate Weight Watchers and over the next few blog posts, I’m going to give you my top 3 reasons why you should run, not walk, from this program and others like it!
Let me be clear, I don’t hate the idea of people wanting to get healthy, reach a happy/healthy weight, and make positive change in their lives. I’m all down for that.
I’m not even saying you can’t lose weight on their program.
What I’m saying is that when you really look at the approach and food that’s promoted and “allowed” on Weight Watchers, it ain’t all that healthy AT ALL!
To be fair, I want you all to know that another lifetime ago, I did Weight Watchers and my mom has been an avid Weight Watcher devotee for as long as I can remember.
I also spent quite some time researching their “new” PointsPlus program.
I really wanted them to prove me wrong and show that they finally “got it” when it came to health and healthy weight loss. After all, they state that their new program:
…is based on the latest nutritional science, and factors in the way your body actually processes food. Combined with the proven advantages of the Weight Watchers approach, the program helps you make healthy choices.
Is that why they still have folks counting calories (outdated and yes, that’s essentially what PointsPlus is, just with a cuter name), eating McNuggets, and consuming crap food products they create that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, soybean oil, and yellow #5/blue #1? (I researched their ingredients) REALLY!?
I can feel myself getting all steamed up just thinking about it!
There is so much WRONG with what they are teaching folks but for today, let’s just focus on the first issue and the top reason I hate Weight Watchers:
Reason #1: Counting leads to crazy! (The Counting Game is the new Crying Game).
Any kind and any form. Why? It doesn’t let you ever get the chance to let your body let you know what it needs, traps you in a numbers game, and fails to heal your relationship with food (which Honey, if you are struggling with your weight, that is a huge part of the problem).
I used to count calories, points, fat grams, carbs. None of it worked long term, none of it taught me how to eat in a way that really nourished me, none of it taught me a damn thing about real health.
It actually made me feel a little crazy because I was always adding and counting up numbers. Kinda neurotic. Eating was more of a points game than a pleasure-rich, nourishing experience (which it should be). All that counting and “watching” is a recipe for an eating disorder to boot!
Today, I don’t count any of that (although so much of that damn thinking is still a part of me because I did it for so many years).
And guess what?
I am thinner, happier, and way damn healthier. Trust me, healthy fats and nutrient dense calories are NOT the enemy; processed foods, food additives, and that crazy counting mentality IS!
So what to do instead of count calories or points or whatever cute name you want to give it?
Here’s three tips to get you started:
1) Don’t count, nourish- Eat a whole foods, heavily plant based diet. What does that mean? Eat foods that you can pronounce, that don’t have 16 syllables, and that you and your body can recognize as food. And eating a heavily plant based diet does not mean you have to go vegan. It just means that what came from the ground takes up most of your plate or blender.
2) Eat those foods as meals, not a bunch of snacks or points! When I did the WW and calorie counting thing, I remember spending my day adding numbers on sheets of paper to see if I had blown my limit or if I had enough left to get another snack. I didn’t want to blow my limit but damn it, I wanted the max I could get!
It was kinda like being a shopaholic and calling your credit card company all day to see if you could get a just one more purchase in before the sales lady says, “Your card was declined.”
If you instead lovingly prepare (and if you are eating out, choose quality food) and consume it calmly 3 times a day, you don’t have to count all damn day. You listen to your body, you eat when your hungry, you stop when you are full, you get in touch with your wise self. You don’t worry about if you got your max or ideal number of points in; instead you learn to trust your body again. Wow! Can we say empowered!?
2) Start working on your relationship with food. Hello, any relationship worth having takes love, time, and some introspection. The one we have with food is not different; in fact it might be one of the most difficult to get in a sweet spot with because of the mixed messages we (especially women) get about food and our bodies.
Start asking yourself:
Great books like Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth can really help you start digging deep on this topic.
Another great resource is booking a Ready, Set, HOT Breakthrough Session with yours truly; I have had so many women tell me that that session provided amazing insight on where their relationship with food was out of alignment and allowed them the space to start getting clear about it. (It gets even better when I actually get to coach peeps one-on-one or in groups!)
There is so much to cover on this topic so be sure to tune in next week as I explore reason #2 and how WW is out of alignment of its so called “four pillars of healthy weight loss.”
What are your thoughts? Did you break free of the counting game? How did you do that?