I was a born dieter. I walked out of the womb looking for cheap diet tricks the way a bookie hustles bets. By the age of 10, I was a veteran of both the Scarsdale and cabbage soup diets, and completely addicted to Tab. Inevitably, I’d return to the Taco Bell diet, my favorite of all.
I tried and failed to get a grasp on my weight, ricocheting from restrictive eating plans to covert cans of condensed milk that my mom kept on hand to make the Spanish custard, Flan. Nothing worked. So when my parents suggested Weight Watchers™(WW), with it’s “sensible” approach to weight loss, I jumped at the chance. I was so excited I even dressed up for the occasion.
Then I got to the clinic.
My heart sank as I lined up for mandatory weigh-in, and further still when I learned I’d reached 100 pounds. Knowing my friends weighed 80, gave me a sudden craving for Praline’s & Cream ice cream. Clinging to hope, I scanned the meal plan looking for the delicious food I’d enjoy while magically losing weight only to find….
The menu was as inspiring as a walk on the beach in a bikini. There was the predictable Melba toast and cottage cheese along side “ounces” of tuna and “half-cups” of rice. I wanted to be thin, but I didn’t want to battle guilt every time I snuck 6 ounces of turkey instead of 4. I perked up though when I saw I could have WW ice cream for dessert. I wondered if eating one three times a day constituted a diet. If it’s made and endorsed by Weight Watchers™, it must be dietetic, right?
Not so much~
Weight Watchers™ prepared foods and desserts (along with all manufactured food) contain ingredients that may make it challenging to control your appetite. Take their Peanut Butter Caramel Bars. At 80 calories, they contain over 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sure, calories matter but what matters more is the kind of calories. Two teaspoons of sugar will skew your metabolism and increase cravings making you want more. It’s also unhealthy. One hundred calories of nuts on the other hand, will stabilize your appetite, nourish your body with vital nutrients and fortify your willpower.
And here’s the thing about willpower: It can’t be conjured strictly in the mind. It also needs the cooperation of your body. In order for your brain to gather its grit, it’s essential that you balance your blood sugar, which is difficult to achieve while eating refined sugar.
If you feel irritable, headachy or shaky between meals, you may have an unstable blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. And if you struggle to lose weight even after reducing calories, it’s possible your metabolism has been hijacked by sugary, processed foods, including low-fat, low-calorie “diet” foods that promise thinness.
If fat-free cookies are sabotaging your ability to lose a few pounds before summer, I’ve got something that may help you. I’ve pulled three videos from the archives that’ll explain how to achieve metabolic stability, helping you gain control over your impulses and cravings. As you practice these habits, you’ll find that the ripple effect will lead to healthier choices, allowing you to feel and look your best.
I realize that WW works for many people and I think that’s great. What works for you is what’s best. But it didn’t for me. And when I look back on my years of self-loathing, feeling flawed for lacking the willpower to sustain a diet, I feel sad for the wasted time and the slow erosion of confidence my battle engendered. My insecurity affected every area of my life, leading me to make terrible choices across the board. It was only when I decided to stop dieting and embraced a whole foods style of eating that I found the solution. This first step relieved me of my burden, taking me on the path to the life I have now. I’m so grateful.
I’d love to hear about your journey to health! Do you struggle with your weight, ping-ponging between diets only to be left feeling hungry and frustrated? Have you found a prescribed diet that works for you? Or have you abandoned dieting for a mindful approach to eating that includes a variety of whole foods? Please tell me your story in the comments below…
Wishing you peace and great health!