Weight Watchers launched an innovation to the program in early December, and as I was leading my meeting yesterday morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t yet shared anything about it! So here we go with a look into Weight Watchers 360.
To start off, the PointsPlus 2012 part of the program hasn’t changed at all. You still are given a certain number of PointsPlus per day, extras to use as you wish each week, even more for activity (and through the ActiveLink) and each food has a PointsPlus value. To add to the tried and true method of tracking, Weight Watchers has introduced two new pillars to the program.
The main reason behind this innovation (in my completely unendorsed words), is that science shows that willpower is basically crap. Sure, willpower will carry you through a certain number of tough food decisions each day, but the fact is that we are forced to make so many choices about food all day, every day, that no one will be able to make the right ones all the time.
So here comes the two new additions to Weight Watchers 360 – Routines and Spaces.
Did you brush your teeth this morning? Get into the shower before work? Put on clothes before leaving the house?
I am guessing (hoping) that the answer to all these things is yes, and that you probably didn’t have to put too much thought into it because it’s become a habit over time. Weight Watchers decided to study the habits and routines of the most successful members who have lost weight and kept it off, and came up with a list of 16 routines that we should all be doing every day.
Some of the routines are basics – like eat breakfast everyday – but some of them are things that have been great for me to work on, like making sure to have a snack with me before I leave the house and making sure to include fruits or veggies with every meal and snack. The idea behind it is that we know that people are more successful when they work on changes in groups and have that built in support, so each month, we introduce and work on a new routine and reflect each week on what worked and what didn’t.
The first thing we worked on was making sure to have a snack every single time you leave the house. This was something I was not at all in the habit of, and something that I truly changed during that month by putting some thought into it. I’m not going to lie – I definitely still have to remember and make an effort to bring a snack with me – it’s not a routine yet, but I have made a lot of progress on it. Over time, I am guessing that this will become second nature to me and won’t be something I have to even think about, at least I’m hoping. Having something healthy at arms reach that I enjoy but isn’t tempting enough to consume my thoughts has been a game changer a few times over the past two months.
The last piece of the puzzle with Weight Watchers 360 is taking control of your spaces – or of all the places that you eat and/or are around food. One meeting a month will be dedicated to taking control of a particular space, as it applies to the routine of the month, so it all feeds into itself.
For example, the routine of the month for January is Produce Power: Make sure to include a fruit or veggie with every meal and snack. Last week’s meeting was about reorganizing your fridge and making changes that can set you up to be more successful when you open that door to your fridge after a long day.
Some of the ideas we discussed in the meeting were:
- Prep and wash all fruits and veggies when you get them home from the store, and place them front and center in your fridge in clear glass or plastic containers.
- Put more tempting foods out of sight, in the freezer, and/or in opaque containers so they are harder to see.
- Put leftovers in single serving containers so you can grab and go.
- Get single serving treats to keep in the fridge rather than large multi-serving containers.
A lot of those are pretty self explanatory, but I honestly never thought to put treats/higher calorie things in containers that you can’t see through – I LOVE that idea because I really am so affected by what I see and it influences the decisions I make quite a bit.
Overall, I am really impressed with the Weight Watchers 360 program. I love that each month is guided by a routine, and it’s really been helping me to refocus and recommit to being healthy. Even for some of the routines that I have down pretty well – like eating fruits and veggies all the time – it’s forced me to look at it in a different way and realize I actually need to incorporate more veggies into my diet, and maybe a little less fruit. It’s so refreshing to look at a routine at face value, and then reflect how I apply (or don’t apply) it to my own life. I also love the emphasis on spaces, because I feel like making little changes – like sitting myself AWAY from the food at a party – make such a difference in how much I eat and how good I feel after the party is over.