Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weight Watchers Online

Since childhood, I have had a difficult time staying at a healthy weight (read: I've been at least a little bit overweight since I was a little kid). Before I got pregnant with Katie, I was within 5-10 pounds of an ideal weight. BUT, I gained about 50 pounds while I was pregnant. Though my weight fluctuated some after Katie was born, when I got pregnant with Benjamin I was only 10 pounds below my end-of-pregnancy weight. I lost 10 pounds early in my second pregnancy and then gained a total of 20, putting me at the same end-of-pregnancy weight I was the first time around.

This time, I lost my pregnancy weight by the time Benjamin was 6 weeks old (yay!), but that still put me 30 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Katie. At the beginning of the year, I decided I was going to make a concerted effort to get back to at least what I weighed when we got married, and hopefully about 5-10 pounds less. So in February, I bit the bullet and signed up for Weight Watchers Online. Since then, I have lost 18 pounds. It works!

For those of you unfamiliar with Weight Watchers here's a quick rundown: You get a daily points allowance based on gender, height, weight, age, activity level, and breastfeeding status (this is part of what attracted me to the program--they make extra allowance for breastfeeding to avoid compromising milk supply). Each food you eat has a points value. Staying within your allowed points should help you lose 1-2lbs. each week. I started off at 50 points per day, and am down to 48 since I've lost some weight.

At first glance, it might seem Weight Watchers has some incompatibilities with a real food diet. They recommended eating low fat/reduced fat dairy (and everything else) and avoiding fat which I am convinced is not healthy even if you want to lose weight. And, they promote artificial sweeteners as a good alternative to high-calorie sugar, which I definitely think is a major no-no! So, here are a few tips I've gathered from four months of following the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system.
::Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are SO good for you, and the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system allows as many as you want (for the most part--potatoes, corn, coconut, and avocado do count against your daily points allowance). I know my produce consumption has increased quite a bit since I started the program.

::Eat your fat. Most fats count as 1 point per teaspoon. However, I find that when I am more generous with fat, I end up eating less throughout the course of the day. For example, eggs with buttered toast "lasts" longer than eggs with plain toast. Since your body cannot properly absorb many nutrients without adequate fat intake, it's really important to make sure you get enough!

::Protein, protein, protein. Lean proteins do not usually take up too many points, but they keep you full for a long time. Eggs are only 2 points each, and make for a healthy, filling, and cheap meal anytime of day. :)

::Watch the sweets and empty calories. One thing I love about this program is that there is room for splurges as long as you stay within your points. Hello? I can eat ice cream a couple times a week and still lose weight? Yes, please! ;) But, empty calories really do add up and eat away at your points allowance if you don't watch them carefully.

::Measure everything. I have gotten in the habit of serving most of my food with measuring cups and spoons. That way, I'm not too generous with my portions. You have to stay within your points diligently to lose weight on the program (the little bites do add up even if you don't track them! ;)

I've been really happy with how successful Weight Watchers has been for me so far. It's $18 per month, but since it's helping me get back to a healthy weight, we really think it's worth it. I signed up through ebates and got a $10 rebate (plus an extra $5 just for signing up for ebates), making it even more affordable to begin.

How have y'all gone about losing your baby weight after pregnancy? Have any of you tried Weight Watchers?

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

Disclosure: The ebates link is my referral link. If you sign up through my link, I get a small kick back. Thanks for supporting Covenant Homemaking!


  1. I had done Weight Watchers for a few months right before getting pregnant the first time. I didn't lose it quite as quickly as I had hoped... about 9lbs in 3ish months I guess. It was the most success I'd had with any program/diet though! I did it by going to the meetings... I found that the weigh-ins were great for holding me accountable. Sadly, we had to drop it due to the cost.

    Luckily, I lost all of my pregnancy weight with my first baby within the first month after giving birth. Just from breastfeeding I suppose. I'm pregnant again now and I've been thinking of getting back on the program after this baby comes! In addition to any pregnancy weight gain, I'm wanting to lose about 20-30lbs.

  2. Nursing helped alot with my weight loss, of course, but I also did weight watchers too. It worked really good for me..I lost about 25 on it I think, but then the holidays hit and I got lazy on counting. I haven't really gotten back into it strictly after several tries. I think counting got old for me after a while. I need to be more self disciplined. :/