Last week’s meeting was about acknowledging what works for us in the program. Lots of great info came out of that meeting. One member commented that she had been going crazy with grapes the previous weeks. Turns out you can have too much of a good thing. I know this as well – if I eat too many high glycemic fruits I pay for it. Even though fruits are zero points you can have too many and they can add points on. If you still want to keep fruit in your program just try to pick more lower GI (glycemic index) ones like berries and less high point ones like bananas or watermelon.
Several of us commented that sleep is very important to the weight loss journey not to mention just general health. I know for a fact that weeks where I didn’t get enough sleep that scale (as well as my general well-being) reflected it. Make sure you get at least 6 or more good solid hours of sleep.
One member had a wonderful insight (I do like where she comes from – she makes me see things differently and for that I thank her). She sees each meeting as a class. It is a refresher on what she needs to learn. What a wonderful way to look at things. I was really surprised that I, as a trainer, didn’t think of that. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees and you need someone else to point it out. I’ve always said my favorite part of training is when I too learn something.
One member said that she used to say “well I only lost __ lbs.” but when she picked up a 5 lb. bag of flour it reminded her of just how much she lost and what she had been carrying around. Sometimes we need those tangible reminders to see what is working for us.
We then listed all the things we know work on the Weight Watchers program:
- Number one thing mentioned was – Tracking! Indeed I had fallen off the tracking bandwagon and last week really saw the results of it. This week I got back on and look forward to my weigh-in today. Tracking really is the strongest tool in our arsenal You can’t change your bad eating habits if you don’t know what you are eating. We think we know but we can easily block out that candy bar or bag of chips if we don’t write it down!
- Exercise – just move. It doesn’t have to be at the gym just add more movement to your daily routine and the effects will show.
- Portion control – along with tracking these two really make a big difference.
- Water – drinking it not only fills you up but your body needs it. I read an article once that said most of us walk around dehydrated – we just don’t get enough water.
- Setting small OBTAINABLE goals – instead of looking at that final number and thinking I can’t possibly lose __ lbs. Focus on the first 5 lbs, 5%, 10%, etc. Not only are they easy to set and reach when we celebrate at the meetings all of us feel good.
- Setting REASONABLE expectations – if our expectations (I’ll lose 4lbs this week) are set too high we really are setting ourselves up for failure and get easily discourage. Don’t sabotage yourself that way.
- Forgive yourself – this segue ways perfectly from the previous point. If your expectation is set too high – learn from it, forgive yourself and move on. We are all human, we are going to make mistakes but the best thing we can do is learn from it first and then forgive ourselves.
- Don’t deprive yourself – this is one of my favorites. So many people start off with good intentions and try to cut every bad thing out of their diet (no sugar, no salt, no chocolate, no……) That is great but not very realistic. Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too. Just make sure you track it, acknowledge it and forgive yourself if you need to. Giving into those occasional “goodies” (whatever yours maybe) makes doing this program a whole lot easier than those “diets” out there that make you give up everything. Goes back to being realistic with expectations.
- Honesty – I liked this one. Let’s be honest, we aren’t always so honest with ourselves, our tracking, our exercise, etc. We are only fooling ourselves but really we aren’t because we know. Be honest in your tracking, exercising, etc. even if your honesty is that I didn’t track this week or I didn’t exercise as much. Just keeping yourself honest will let you see patterns and figure out how to do things different or better next time.
- Healthy Checks – making sure we get all of those in (love seeing the smiley face). I was one who didn’t believe that the 2 teaspoons of healthy oil was important. I knew that oil was high in fat what on earth was Weight Watchers thinking? But I remember how things changed for me once I started doing that religiously. Good lesson for me to learn that they have researched this, tested it and it works. What I was doing wasn’t so don’t think I know better.
And I’ll add to this that Meetings is definitely one of the things that work. They are now my Saturday morning class. I owe that to myself. I love the wisdom that comes out in each meeting. I love learning new things or being reminded of old ones. For me it is an important part of my program and it is part of what works for me.
We are all just works in progress but hopefully we can use some of the great wisdom documented here to help us with our progress.
First off I most apologize for being so behind in my blogging. I could give you plenty of excuses (legit ones even) but I won’t insult your intelligence. I made choices in my life and blogging the last couple of weeks just wasn’t one of them. There I owned it! Okay onto the good stuff.
Our March 10th meeting was all about all about measuring. It was a great reminder (especially to me since I’m on maintenance and have gotten a bit lax in my habits) to all of us that after doing the program for a while we tend to loosen up. Our challenge was to take a look at how we measure our portions.
Lots of things can get in our way (just like getting in the way of blogging) and they keep us from measuring (or tracking, etc.). Life gets busy, too many commitments, we eyeball or guess at sizes, in a hurry, eat out too much or use incorrect measuring instruments. As one person pointed out if you’ve been eyeballing your measurements it tend to get a bit bigger over time. What started out as a quarter cup can especially sneak up to a half cup without us realizing it but we are only tracking the quarter cup points!
Some suggestions were to use a smaller plate. Almost every chef/cook I’ve ever talked to or watched on TV will say that you “eat with your eyes first”. This isn’t all about Martha Stewart and presentation (although that isn’t to be discounted) but we can actually trick ourselves out by using smaller plates, bowls, etc. Our leader, Pat, gave us a prime example. In a normal size cereal bowl she placed 3/4 of a cup of cereal. It looked like there was hardly anything in the bowl. Our minds might think we are getting cheated or that won’t satisfy me so I’ll just add a little more. She took the exact same cereal (and amount) and then placed it in a smaller bowl it looked like a bonus!
Measuring is important. Sometimes you are over doing it but other times you might be surprised to find out you aren’t giving yourself enough. Some suggestions to help you stay “on the level” with your measuring:
- Use the proper tools (like the very attractive Weight Watchers Easy Measure Spoons)
- Level those measuring spoons (1/2 cup is not a ROUNDED 1/2 cup)
- Ask servers about the portions (servers/waiters can be your best ally)
- Track those extra BLTs! (bites, licks, tastes = they add up)
Our leader, Pat, remarked at our next meeting that she focused on her dairy creamer in her coffee. She had not been measuring it and had just been guessing by the color of the coffee as to when to stop. She was really surprised to find out that she was using too much. Also she discovered that if she used Half & Half instead of dairy creamer it got lighter a lot sooner (so less tablespoons). Nice to know even those who have done the program for years need reminders to measure.
…I eat food and break out in fat! This was a quip by our leader Pat at last week’s meeting. But it’s true for those of us at Weight Watchers. (I’m not trying to make fun of anyone who has a true food allergy – they are very serious and should be very carefully watched.) Last week’s topic was eating out. How appropriate since one member mentioned that her husband was taking her out to eat – again! He felt she had worked hard enough over the years she deserved to not have to cook. He felt he was being kind to her but she was worried that she couldn’t keep on her WW journey eating out all the time.
She had good reason to be a bit worried. Studies have shown that everything from portions to how food is made in restaurants is always MORE and not in the good way. Portions are usually 2-3 times the amount they should be and lots of fattening things like butter and oil are used instead of healthier options.
So what can you do? Only eat a salad at your favorite place? Don’t go out at all? No, there are lots of tips and tricks you can do to keep on your journey, enjoy the food and still eat out. Here are some of the suggestions our group came up with:
- Think about what you are going to eat ahead of time
- Check to see if they have a web site and review the menu
- Have a salad first (dressing on the side)
- Use your mouth! Tell them you are on Weight Watchers. I’ve done this and often found that the waitress (or in one case the chef who actually came out and suggested the point value of items for me) has been there done that and can make suggestions.
- Ask how things are cooked. Steamed veggies sound very healthy but one place mentioned that they put butter on it afterwards which changes things.
- Split a meal with someone else.
- Use the kid’s menu – smaller portions of meals and they are cheaper!
- Many places will let you substitute healthier options for some of those less healthy sides.
- If you have something like syrup for waffles or pancakes – do it like you would salad dressing. Ask for it on the side and then dip your fork into the syrup and then into your waffles/pancakes.
- If eating out with several people suggest that you all share (ala family style). I’ve done this often at Chinese restaurants so everyone gets a taste or small portion of several great tasting dishes.
- Get your “doggie bag” early and immediately put half of the portion in there and pack it up. If you only have half the portion on your plate you are less tempted to eat the whole thing.
- Decline breads – lovely as they maybe the carbs do add up.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water and not soda. Unsweetened iced tea is also an option.
- Look for the right words in the menu – broiled, baked, steamed, etc. are much healthier than fried, au gratin, battered, etc.
- Pour salt or ketchup (just like one of the Real Housewives of Orange County) over the remaining food so you aren’t tempted to eat more than you should.
Follow these suggestions and you can still eat out but you’ll eat smart.