Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Diets are Mean!

I recently saw a flyer at my school that said "Diets are Mean!" It was an advertisement from a Weight Watchers group that was started at my school. I've caught some of Weight Watchers other slogans like "Live or Diet" and "Stop Dieting, Start Living." These didn't appeal to me as much as "Diets are Mean!" but they share the anti-diet message which is a strategic marketing choice for Weight Watchers. My only problem is that in mind Weight Watchers is still a diet. Weight Watchers is the most appealing diet plan to me compared to Jenny Craig, Nurtisystem, etc but it's still a diet. From what I have read about Weight Watchers the focus is more on teaching you about portion control as opposed to restricting your food intake or providing you with pre- cooked meals.

I try to stay away from dieting and focus on portion control. In my experience dieting has been quite unsuccessful. I would lose the weight and it would come right back. I'm not really satisfied with my portion control right now. So, I'm actually considering trying weight watchers with the hopes that I will learn how to better control my portions. I think that with continuous exercise and portion control I will reach my goal weight before the end of the year.

I'm interested in your thoughts on the ad campaign. Do you think Weight Watchers as diet?
If you tried weight watchers please share your experience!
What has been your experience with dieting?

Interested in my Posts related to Nutrition? Check these out:
No Excuses: Addressing the Barriers of Health in the Black Community
Eat This, Not That: Avoiding Hidden Calories in Fast Food
Healthy Soul Food???? Yes, it exists!!


Never200 said...

I have been on weight watchers before and I definitely do not consider it a diet. It teaches you how to eat healthy by focusing on high fiber and low fat choices, portion control. If you plan your meals right, you will not be hungry and will stay within your point range.

The only criticism I have is that the points formula considers only fat, fiber, and calories. But if something is high in GOOD fats like olives or avocado (which i love) it is still high in points.

I also love that when you exercise you get additional points. Make sure you get a portable calculator, good luck!

Fitness Goddess said...

Do you feel that after you stopped counting points you were able to maintain the eating habits? That's my biggest concern about WW. I hope to be able to maintain the habits cause if not it will be similar to the dieting that I tried.

todoni said...

Hi there! I love your blog! It has lots of interesting info, I will link it to my blog. I also talk about fitness, glad to see there are more us!

todoni said...

Before I would diet to loose the weigth just to gain it back. I do not have any experience w/ WW and mostly agree w/ you on the issue.
Dieting does not work and I do believe in portion control. Last year I was introduced to "clean eating" since then I lost weight and was able to keep it off w/ a combination of weight training + clean eating. Clean eating is about portion control and healthy eating.

Shaniqua I. said...

I agree with the slogans and ads that that you talked about in your blog. It appears as if you have to stop eating the foods that you love and eat foods that may not taste as good, but they are healthy. I don't consider this living at all and this is what I believe prevents people from actually staying committed to dieting...I have tried dieting in the past when I was active on a softball team but I could never stick to it because I was never satisfied by always eating salads, drinking water all the time and etc.
I have never tried Weight Watchers but I tried the Slim Fast Diet plan, but that didn't work out to well. Weight Watchers and portion control seems like a better way of dieting because you can still eat food that you like, but just a smaller portion of it. With this, along with a little exercise, I don't think dieting would be that bad.

Anonymous said...

I have never done WW before. I considered it in the past though but never quite took that step. I do consider WW a diet. You aren't restricted from particular foods but you do count points. Points/calories - almost the same difference to me. I would imagine the number of points you get per day basically correspond to a certain calorie range that will help you lose weight. I think it is good though that the focus is on portion control and making good choices instead of a crazy fad diet type thing.

Anonymous said...

I've tried WW at least 4 times in the past 5 years formally. In my most successful bid I lost 17 pounds over 2 months. The methodology is effective but not necessarily sustainable. You've mentioned portion control, and, yes, that is a big part of it. But making the right food choices is equally significant. Finding healthier, lower-calorie substitutes is a key factor in the success of the program. And now there are two plans to choose from -- one is the Points plan where you're given a range of daily points based on current weight and age and every food item as well as exercise has a points value; the other is called the Core program and that allows you to eat whatever you want from a restricted list of food items without counting calories or points, though portion size is still important. (Geez, I should be a counselor for these people since I know so much about the programs!)

I've failed at most attempts, usually dropping out after a 5-pound loss and gaining it back plus some (because that one roll on my stomach was kind of lonely). I'm usually gung ho for the first few weeks, but then I get tired of keeping track of what I'm eating. Or I decide that I can eat a cheeseburger and fries but nothing else yet still be in my points range. Soon enough of course the teaser bites of junk food lead to full blown bingeing. And I'm back where I started. I've tried Points and Core. It's all about your lifestyle, but most of the people I know who've been successful with WW followed the points plan. I still have all the tools, recipe books, etc. Supposedly the weekly meetings and weigh-ins are a huge factor in succeeding, and I believe there have been studies to attest to it. But bottom line, you have to be motivated and consistent. No matter what plan you choose (and, yes, I have experience with all except for gastric bypass). There are a number of online sites that offer support and they're free -- is one of my faves. There are two women in my office who've each lost over 30 pounds and have kept it off for nearly a year now. We all joined WW at Work at the same time. That could have been me!

ul2mate_ivy said...

I have a friend that tried Weight Watchers and she lost weight but the food that she was eating really did not look satisfying AT ALL. We would go to lunch together and she would have a small piece of chicken, a few spoonfuls of rice and an apple. I can only imagine what kind of mood I would be in if I had to eat like that every day.

Fitness Goddess said...


thanks for breaking down weight watchers for us. That is really helpful information.
I'm slightly familiar with spark people, it seems like a really cool site.

I'm hoping that I can find food that satisfies me...