Healthy Swellness: Weight Watchers and “Help with the Hard Part”

January 19, 2015




The start of a new year always sends droves of us into the gym and starting diets. One in three Canadians make a health and fitness-related resolution, in fact. But without goals backed up with a plan that is one you can realistically maintain, well, we all know what happens to most of our resolutions. In fact, are you already struggling with yours?

Which is why I’ve always been a cheerleader for leading a balanced lifestyle. I try to eat real foods most of the time, and if I’m home I try to cook and rarely get take-out. And I feel like my approach is similar to the Weight Watchers philosophy. I’ve always been a fan of their concept as it focuses on eating real food, so it’s a program you can sustain in real life. And it’s not about drastically eliminating bad foods from your diet; you can have that chocolate cake, as well you should!

But there’s always those moments, when it’s hard to make the healthy decision and that’s where we can all use some help getting through the hard parts. This is why Weight Watchers is trying to help with the hard part by implementing the new 24/7 Expert Chat service. We all have those moments. With help from Weight Watchers, navigating a healthier lifestyle can be made easier with an abundance of tools, including meal planning, restaurant finders, and online fitness demos. And even though I don’t usually struggle with my weight (I mostly credit the metabolism I inherited and my running regimen), I do face challenges in day to day life that I’ve had to learn to navigate.

For example, as a freelance writer covering health, fitness, beauty, food and travel, I’m at media events several times a week. Temptation is all around: cute containers of poutine (a favourite of mine), flutes of bubbly (oh, there’s another favourite!), croissants, sliders, cupcakes, doughnuts, you name it. It sounds heavenly, but an appetizer here, a cocktail there, and I realized this would all catch up with me. And a few years ago at an event, I also became aware that I was often on autopilot, simply taking whatever was being passed around even if I wasn’t hungry, and eating it even if I wasn’t enjoying it. So I made a new rule for myself. I stop and ask myself if I truly want what’s being served before reaching for one of the canapes. And if I’m eating something and it’s not very good or I’ve realized I simply don’t want it, I put it down–I used to feel rude to, but I realized that no one even notices. But, of course, there are times I fail and just scarf down what’s in front of me. Those times, well, I don’t beat myself up over it; I just get back on track.

There are dinners, of course, too. Lots of them – both for work and for fun. More often than not, I eat only half of my main and bring home the rest. And I walk home from these dinners (in fact, I walk most of the time, although I’ll likely walk less now on days it’s very cold); every bit of physical activity helps, right?

Even tougher than these events, though, is when I travel, and I travel a fair bit. Both on press trips (where the meals are often plentiful) and on vacation, and being into food, I find it hard to not order and eat everything that catches my fancy. After all, who knows when I’ll be back in that city again? And, I actually haven’t found a way to get around this, other than returning home and eating a steady diet of salads the week I return.

Another biggie? Late-night snacking. I’m a night owl so I’ll often be working or just watching TV late into the night, and out comes the chips or cheese and crackers. And the only thing that works for me is to not have those foods in the house. So I allow myself to pick some up every two weeks (when I’d probably eat chips every night if I could). Note to self: Talk to Weight Watchers about what they recommend when it comes to late-night cravings. I think the next time I find myself in the kitchen at 1 a.m. searching for a snack, I’ll have to get some real-time advice from Weight Watchers’ 24/7 Expert Chat. More on that in a future post.

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