I lost 50 pounds in 4 months
How did I do it? Weight Watchers.
Obligatory spiel about me not being a nutritionist and please seek advice from your doctor. There are affiliate links in this post but I am not an affiliate of Weight Watchers.
Back to the story, I’ve been on Weight Watchers before, and I’ve been on other diet programs but this time it’s different. I don’t think it’s because the program is different (though it is easy to follow), it’s because all those times in the past when I tried to lose weight I had the wrong idea, I was playing the game by the wrong rules. I thought to lose weight that I had to constantly eat salads, that I had to do intense long workouts, and that I could never eat out. Those are all wrong.
First of all, here is how Weight Watchers works. All foods have a point value and you’re given a pool of Daily Points to eat (36 points for me at my current weight). In addition, you have an optional pool of Weekly Points (42 points at my current weight). I use the mobile app to search for foods or to scan barcodes. I went with this program because a friend was having success on it and it seemed easy to follow. It has one rule, stay within your points and you lose weight. Easy.
Have a realistic goal and timeline
I found that losing on average 1% a week has been a very realistic goal for me. If you weight 300 pounds then you’ll probably lose 3 pounds a week, if you weigh 240 pounds then you’ll probably lose 2.4 pounds a week. Adjust your expectations as you lose weight. Even though losing my first 50 pounds took 4 months, the next 50 will take me longer. If you have 100+ to lose then it will take you 1-2 years to get it all off. I even threw my numbers and 1% estimates into an excel spreadsheet and I estimate that I’ll hit my end goal weight in October of 2018. Realize that it took time to come on and it will also take time to come off, there is no quick fix. I’m in this for the long run.
You can lose weight without intense long workouts
What’s my workout plan? I started with walking 20 minutes a day for 3 days a week. As I lost weight, I increased it. Now I walk for 40 minutes for 4 days a week and I park on the far opposite side of the building when I go to work, forcing me to walk more. Doable right? To be fair, this might have to change when I’m 140 trying to get down to 130, I don’t know. But at my size, just walking works. I have a Fitbit which is linked to my Weight Watchers app. Fitbit tracks my steps and the Weight Watchers App turns that exercise into Activity Points that I earn. The specific model I use is a Fit Bit Charge 2 and I’ve replaced the band to be the rose gold magnetic band pictured in the middle below. It’s pretty and comfortable and very useful in motivating me to walk more. It even regularly vibrates to remind me to go walk.
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Adjust your activity level based on your weight loss
To make sure I stay on track to lose about 1% of my weight a week, I increase (or occasionally decrease) my activity based on my weight loss. In Weight Watcher’s terms, I’d adjust my required Activity Points up or down (roughly 1 points per .1 pounds off from goal). For example, let’s say I’m 240 pounds which means my weekly goal to lose was 2.4 pounds. However if on my weekly weigh-in I lost 2.2 pounds then I would add 2 additional Activity Points that I need to earn for the next week. And on the opposite end if on my weekly weigh-in I lost 3 pounds then I’d lower my Activity Points by 6 for the next week. This way I keep a healthy and steady loss with minimal ups and downs.
Stay within your points.
Try your best to stay very close to your daily points. The Journey tab within the Weight Watchers App will give you a healthy eating zone. My Daily Points today is 34 points to eat and my healthy eating zone is between 31-41 points. I’ll try to get as close to 34 as I can. If I go over it’s only by a few points. I almost never eat all my Weekly Points, since to me those are for special occasions and emergencies. I also make sure to walk enough to hit my Activity Points and I never eat my Activity Points. Every day that you eat within your healthy eating zone, you earn a blue dot.
You don’t have to give up fast food.
I have Panda Express once a week and I still hit my weight loss goals. Yes, Panda is junk, don’t judge, it’s my fast food of choice. This works because I don’t feel deprived and I track any fast food I eat. You have to be honest with yourself for this to work. And tracking those fast food points will give you insight into how bad some foods are and as a result help you to change your behavior. As an example, when I do go to Panda Express, as one of my entrees I get Mushroom Chicken (5 points) instead of Beijing Beef (17 points).
Related: How to start a blog
My clothes don’t fit
This isn’t a tip about how I lost weight, this is a tip on finding clothes that fit as you get smaller. Now that I’m quickly shrinking out of my clothes, I need some more to wear every few months. I’ve found Stitch Fix to be very convenient and easy to use. Stitch Fix is an online styling service. You fill out a style profile about what you like, what you don’t like, your sizes and budget. Then a personal stylist picks out 5 items and mails them to you. You keep what you like and you send back what you don’t. I’ve found it to be very convenient and really exciting to get.
Read more about my weight loss journey and how Walking From Zombies Helped Me To Lose Weight (60 Pounds Gone!)
For those that are plus sized and also like to travel, read up on my Tips for Plus Sized Travellers. My blog isn’t about weight loss but this is my personal journey and plus-sized travelers are rarely acknowledged.
Related: Travel discounts and deals