One of the most popular and successful diets programs in the United States is the Weight Watchers diet.
Their plan is simple and comprehensive. It involves a little work from the dieter, but it is not overwhelming. The plan utilizes nutrition, psychology and support systems that together help the dieter achieve his goal.
They have a few plans. Here is the most popular one which is called the point system.
What do you eat? Basically everything. Each food gets points assigned to it based on the carbohydrate contents, fat content and fiber content. You get a small paper calculator and with a sliding center you can check the amount of points the food you are about to eat, gets.
You are also assigned, based on your weight and the amount of pounds (or Kg) you want to lose, the number of points you should eat each day.
It’s up to the dieter to decide what and how much he eats as long as he does not exceed the points allowed. So if you crave chocolate you can eat it, but know that you have to eat zero or low points food for the rest of the day.
This is a psychological break through. You do not have to deny yourself the food you like the most. You can eat everything – in small portions.
The second part of this program is to write everything down. We often feel we don’t eat much and yet the weight keeps going up. Writing down everything you eat makes you aware of what you put in your mouth and you might discover the “nothing” you ate is actually quite a lot. It is an excellent way to control your food instead of it controlling you.
The third part of this program is the weekly weigh-ins. You are asked not to weigh yourself every day. Our weight fluctuates because of different reasons; water retention, meal just consumed, constipation. This daily ritual is unnerving and disappointing at times. What you are asked to do instead is to come to their centers once a week and they will weigh you. No cheating, no leaning forward or back. The same scale once a week. Your weight is written down in a little booklet you keep, and you can watch the pound go away.
Following the weigh-ins there are support meetings run by their counselors. In those meetings you get together with people in the same situation as you and you share complaints and advice. The counselor follows a program which explains the basis of nutrition and teaches you ways to shave points off your diet by using substitutes and sharing recipes.
The best thing about this plan is that it is sustainable for a long period of time. Since you are the judge of what you eat and don’t deny yourself the foods you crave, you can continue on the plan for a long time. The goal is to lose no more than 2-3 pounds a week (about 1 kg.). It becomes a way of life and a way to control your weight forever.
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