If you have stopped losing weight on Weight Watchers or started to “plateau” this article will outline some steps and ideas that will help you get to the next phase of your journey. (If that is what you really want deep down!)
It is helpful to think about your path to weight loss and better health as a series of steps and stages. This will help you keep perspective and not be frustrated. Weight Watchers is an incredible resource to help you get you started down the path of getting things in control. It teaches you to make better decisions, and teaches you the critically important skill of portion control. It successfully puts you into step one of the process!
It is likely that regardless of where you are now, the money you spent on Weight Watchers was well worth it. At most you might have spent a couple hundred dollars getting you started down a path that literally could add years to your life. And also quality years! Which brings us to step #1:
1. The single most important thing to do if you have stopped losing weight, or even started to regain some weight is to not beat yourself up.
So often at PEERtrainer we see people who have a deeply embedded version of what “should” be true in their path to losing weight. People think to themselves that since they are following the system, they should be losing weight. It doesn’t matter if you are twenty or two hundred pounds overweight.
You didn’t get to this point in a straight line. You are not going to lose it in the same manner. Regardless of how much weight you have lost, there are some skills you have learned and it is important that you keep them in mind.
The first skill that you have learned so far is portion control. It is impossible for us to overemphasize the importance of this or the difficulty of this. Almost every single person that starts the weight loss process has no understanding of how much food or how many calories they are consuming. When you start counting points (points plus is the latest marketing twist on this) you start getting a handle on how much you are actually eating.
This process can take a long time, and as long as you have started this in good faith, consider it a big big win. It is likely that there are other wins as well. As you are reading this, stop and ask yourself “what do I know now that I did not know when I started Weight Watchers?”
You might even want to write your answer down in the comments section below. (You can do this anonymously.)
2. The next step you want to take to blast through this phase is to figure out how permanent the changes you have made to your diet are- and are they working? Weight Watchers is an effective program because they give you a lot of room to work within your current reality. The problem though is that even with the new Points Plus Program it is possible to not eat well and still follow the system. It is harder than before, but based on the public logs we see at PEERtrainer, people can still follow the system and not engage in fundamental diet change.
Have you started to incorporate a lot more vegetables in your diet? How much have you reduced your sugar intake? It may be that the power of simple portion control has stopped working and you need to move to the next stage, and get a lot more aggressive with change, not restriction.
You can only get so far restricting yourself. It is like a beach ball that you push under water. At some point it will come flying back up. The yo-yo diet cycle that you are probably familiar with is almost completely a result of this. One stops the yo-yo cycle by permanently shifting your food choices. The great thing is that when you make some choices and start eating new foods, it will give you the freedom to really indulge every now and then and not be a slave to portion control.
The free PEERtrainer Cheat System download will give you some great ideas on how to make some of these changes.
One controversial observation is that the Weight Watchers Points for fruit has changed with Points Plus. There is some confusion about the exact rules, but essentially Weight Watchers now allows or encourages high fruit consumption. This is great as you get started, but as you progress through your stages, you need to keep an eye on your fruit consumption in relation to your total sugar intake.
3. You think discipline is your problem. This is something that we see ALL THE TIME. People are basically kicking their own butts by thinking "it's all in my mind, and I just need to be more disciplined." People keep restricting their diets, AND rev up their workouts. This is usually a recipe for disaster.
It creates a vicious cycle where you start working out too hard, and then need the cheesburger and coke. You get into a mode where you are burning sugar and not fat. You need to invert this and get into a mode where you are burning fat not sugar. The combination of a dramatically higher green vegetable intake, combined with a slower pace of exercise will really help you break through the plateau.
The Weight Watchers Points system has taught you portion control. That is something that you will always know. The shift in exercise and diet are really building blocks on top of this. As you make this shift, you are entering a new phase of your process.
4. It hasn't really become intolerable to you. This is something else that we see with people who are stuck on Weight Watchers or any other program or plan. Their weight loss is not a priority because the pain has not become acute. This may or may not be true for you, but if it is it can be one of the biggest and hardest stumbling blocks to overcome.
You may be thinking for example that your husband or wife isn't going to leave you - and you already look much better than you did, so why not have the ice cream? Deep down, you're really ok with the weight you are and you're not really motivated, you haven't made the decision (de-cide) to cut off all other possibilities to do something different.
This is a reality for many people. We have been in situations where we have really pushed this question, and the answer from some people was that it truly had not become intolerable. That was their decision, and totally fine.
5. This is another very interesting bit of reality for many people. It is possible that you still love the coffee and lunch get-togethers fraught with food binges because you crave the friendship more than your health.
We all want a place to commiserate and where our spouses don't have to listen to us. (Where everybody knows your name?) Most of the places that you can actually find someone that understands you are over lunches, cocktails and food. It may be that you need the understanding and interaction so badly, that you just deal with the extra pounds.
6. The final observation that we have for many people on a plateau is that you have the belief that this is so and this is what should be. We see people say "I'm 60, I've had kids and this is what happens when you get older". You have no one in your life that's older that you've seen be fit, energetic and happy and even if they are, you don't want to be married to the gym 3 times a day.
This is 100% changeable. If you have the belief that it is too late for you, you are 100% wrong. It is never ever ever ever ever ever too late to make changes and have those changes mean something. This article will help you change that belief:
Recipes To Help Take You To The Next Level:
PEERtrainer Point Of No Return Program (When you know what to do, but need help doing it!)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I'm gaining weight on the Weight Watchers Points Plus Program, what do I do?
A: There could be any number of reasons this is taking place. It is possible that you are not counting your points correctly, and you are in fact eating more than you realize. Most likely you have hit a place where your body is not getting the nutrients it needs, and is retaining weight as a way of protecting itself. If you are not eating a diet that is "plant strong" weight loss is a lot harder.
You also should consider reducing the gluten in your diet. Some people respond extremely well to a reduction in all forms of wheat and gluten. Weight Watchers has taught you to increase fiber and protein. If this is not working for you, you need to increase your greens dramatically, reduce your sugar (and fructose!), and experiment with gluten reduction. Weight Watchers has also taught you to decrease fat, but this can be incomplete advice because some fat is actually good. Any animal fat or processed oils are incredibly bad for you because they are very difficult for your body to process. Other fats like Coconut Oil are actually good for you and help you speed up your metabolism and give you energy.