I heard a statistic on the radio this morning that 37% of New Year’s resolutions made are related to weight management. I don’t know the source of this stat, but it’s probably realistic. We all know many people who are focused on weight at this time of year, especially in light of the food coma we’re in following the holidays.
While weight loss is an ambitious goal, losing just 10% of body weight can have significant impacts on long-term health as well as how you feel every day. The trick is to find an approach that works for you, not just in the weight loss phase, but also in the weight maintenance phase. While people can be successful in losing weight, keeping it off is often the more complicated part as sticking with new eating and exercise habits has to be a commitment for the long term.
US News has an impressive review of the weight management programs that are most effective, and Weight Watchers tops the list. My husband’s work group decided to try out the program last fall as a team, and after assessing the program for them, I agree wholeheartedly with the US News assessment. Here’s why I believe it’s an effective approach for weight loss and management:
- The majority of fruits and vegetables have O points meaning you can eat as many of them as you want throughout the day (the exceptions are starchy vegetables like potatoes). This aligns well with everything we know about health, longevity and preventing chronic diseases — eating more fruits and vegetables is perhaps the most important thing you can do. For weight loss and management, fruits and vegetables are low in calories for the amount of food you get. Think of eating an apple. For less than 100 calories, eating a medium apple can definitely fend off hunger. Plus you get fiber to make you feel full and all the added vitamins and minerals that fruits and veggies provide. Because of how they’re positioned in the Weight Watchers program, you can reach for these foods anytime you’re hungry and do experience no guilt in doing so.
- The recipes they provide are flavorful and interesting. For most people, the idea of eating one more plain, skinless chicken breast is simply dreadful. Weight Watchers gets this, and has an amazing array of recipes with incredible flavor. You’ll never have to eat plain chicken breasts again.
- Not only are the recipes amazing, but they really are focused on great tasting, interesting ingredients that happen to be healthy. All the main entree recipes have a unique use of fruits and/or vegetables. Many are focused on whole grains that have great flavor like quinoa and farrow. While it may sound intimidating to cook with some of these ingredients if you’ve never used them before, the recipes are approachable and easy to prep.
- Weight Watchers offers an in-person support group experience, an online assortment of tools, apps for iPads and phones. The tools and options are endless, and can be customized into a plan that works for you as an individual.
- Research suggests that one of the key success factors for losing and managing weight is journaling or documenting what you eat and how active you are. Weight Watchers provides options for this tracking in a user-friendly format.
There’s no one plan that works for everyone, but if weight management is on your mind right now, Weight Watchers is worth checking out.