Yep. I’m a Weight Watcher. It may not be glamorous but it’s working for me and I love it! And now that I feel I’ve got it down, I wanted to share my ten favorite Weight Watchers hacks with you!
Want to see how WW for a busy breastfeeding mom? See my honest article (with lots of app screenshots) here.
Here’s the deal with Weight Watchers, and one of the core reasons why I love it: it works, long term. It’s not a “lose 10 pounds in 10 days” kind of diet, and us WW-ers love to say that it’s a lifestyle, not a diet. Still, you’ve gotta customize the plan and figure out all the little tricks to make it work for you. No one will happily stick to a plan when they feel miserable and deprived all the time. These hacks work for me – they either save me time, let me feel indulged without the guilt, or keep my mind clear so I can focus on other things in my busy life.
I do have affiliate links in this post. I buy these things and they help me be successful, and I hope the same is true for you too! Weight Watchers has not given me anything to write this, and I am a paying monthly member.
I don’t know how I survived before meal planning. I need to know what I’m eating every day for every meal, especially now that I’m also feeding two little kids. Not only does this save me time in the kitchen, but it helps me build my grocery list and ultimately save us money too. I have an article about real simple meal planning which you can read here. The point is, you need to have a plan so you don’t blow your budget by 10am.
Protein is Key
I love carbs. And fruit. And, hell, I just love food. But even when I was staying within my points early on, I wasn’t satisfied unless I got a lot of protein. Part of that may be because I’ve upped my cardio regimen, and part may be because I’m still nursing my toddler. Whatever the reason, I know now that I must have an ample amount of protein in my diet throughout the day, or I’ll be hungry (and may not make good choices).
My favorite options for lean protein are a homemade protein shake (my favorite is my 2SP horchata-style recipe with this vanilla cupcake protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, frozen bananas, and cinnamon); tuna packets; deli turkey breast; grilled chicken; and sunny side up eggs from my chickens.
Set yourself up to be successful by doing as much planning and “helping of Future Me” as possible, and it’ll really pay off.
Track Your Dinner in the Morning
This goes along with the meal planning above; if you’re like me, having those numbers to focus on can be addicting! I hate getting to the end of my day and realizing that I under compensated for my dinner. I’m a late night snacker (and you can still lose weight if you play your points right), so I need to save a few for after dinner.
Now that I meal plan, I know I can enter in my dinner on that morning (usually when I track my breakfast). That way, I can see how many points I have for the rest of the day to play with, and dinner is already deducted.
And as a SAHM, that often means that by 10am I’ve planned my evening wine.
Look Up Restaurants and Make Adjustments
You can definitely still go out to eat like a normal person when you’re on Weight Watchers! If I know that I’m going out that night, I can research the menu so I already know what to get and what it’ll cost me, points-wise. I also am sure to ask for dressings and sauces on the side; no extra cheese or butter; and I drink lots of water to help compensate for any additional sodium the restaurant may add.
In the WW app, scroll all the way down to find the option to “Browse Restaurants.”
My Sweet Tooth’s Secret
I could not live this lifestyle if I always felt like I was starving, or like I gave up everything I loved. That includes wine, sushi, tortillas, and chocolate! I absolutely love dark chocolate and have some on a regular basis (read: pretty much daily). But while I didn’t have to give up what I wanted, I did have to make a little adjustment. This Weight Watchers hack for my sweet tooth has been so helpful!
I get a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips; depending on the brand, they’re about 12 chips for one Smart Point. I can eat them one at a time, or even spread them throughout the day, to get that chocolatey satisfaction without draining all my precious points. And one bag will last you a long time.
Everyone will tell you that you need to drink more water, and it’s true: not only do your cells need it to function regularly, but drinking water helps keep your body flushed (no pun intended) and get rid of additional sodium you’re holding onto.
But I get so bored with plain old water, so I drink a cup of green or matcha tea after my morning coffee. I feel good knowing that I’m boosting my metabolism while getting in some more ounces of water. And this time of year, icing it down and drinking it from a tumbler is divine!
My other go-to is the little flavor packets – I like the lemonade, green tea with honey, and passion fruit flavor. I’m careful and actually only use half a packet per 20 ounces, so one packet goes a long way with me.
And hey, if you’re like me and sometimes need to feel inspired to drink water, get yourself a cute cup. I also do better to keep my water super cold, and I drink more when I have a straw for some reason.
And as a side note, if I get the munchies in the afternoon I’ll drink some water and wait five minutes. A random craving will go away or I’ll get distracted, but if I truly need to eat then the feeling will persist.
Take Measurements and Photos
It may seem like torture, but you need to set yourself up for success. And I mean mentally. So part of that is giving yourself a starting point, a “before”, a comparison.
It helps so much on those tough days to really get to see a side-by-side of how far you’ve come. (Because you see yourself every day so you don’t notice those changes!)
I take photos – front facing, and to the side – and measurements about once a month. I keep the photos in a private album, and keep track of the measurements in a notebook.
And can I also say, please don’t hide from the camera just because you don’t look like a photoshopped supermodel. You’ll regret it later. Be present in your own life no matter what you look like, or how far you feel from where you’d like to be!
What’s “NSV”? Non-scale victory! This is anything that isn’t a number down on the scale. It can be something significant like completing your first 5k or fitting in a smaller size jeans, something life-changing like getting off of medication or not being pre-diabetic, or something silly like better gas mileage! Celebrate those NSVs, from the big to the seemingly small, because all these things are real and they help us on our journey.
The Power of Connect
Celebrating isn’t as much fun if you do it alone. That’s why Connect is one of the most powerful tools that you have with WW. Connect is like Facebook, but better. It’s within the WW app and is only accessible to current members. You can post questions, rants, and photos; celebrate NSVs together; and even search hashtags! We laugh at memes, give each other ideas on recipes, and we’re all in this battle together.
Forgive and Love Yourself
So you binged. You didn’t track. You haven’t worked out in … years. That’s all ok. But look, the only thing that’s certain on this journey is that you should be on your own team. No matter what happens, you gotta love yourself. Forgive yourself for the screw-ups, learn from a mistake or a setback (remember this is all about data), and remember that this is just as much of a mental shift as a physical one. Give yourself grace, try to make one good change per week, try new things, and learn to love your beautiful body and mind. ‘Cause this is for life.
Whether you’d like to lose a little extra baby weight the healthy way, or your situation is a matter of life and death, I hope that I can help you on your own journey. These Weight Watchers hacks are ones I use on the regular and they help me stay on track, and happy! Please reach out to me if you’re struggling or need someone to share your journey with you. I’m in no means an expert, and I certainly am a work in progress, but I’m here and willing to help! I’m on Connect as – who else? – realsimplemama.
You can see the Weight Watchers website here.