The idea of Weight Watchers is that you lose weight in a healthy, sustainable manner without having to resort to extreme measures or banning your favorite foods. The key to speeding up weight loss when following the plan is to stick to it closely, remain compliant with the guidelines and make small tweaks to accelerate your progress.
Pick Up Your Points
Your first step is to figure out how many points you need. Each day you need a certain number of points that correspond to food you will eat. To work out how many points you need personally, you'll have to sign up to Weight Watchers online or attend a local meeting where the group leader will help you calculate exactly how many points you should be aiming for each day.
Forgo Flex Points
Each week you get 35 additional points to spend as you see fit. These could be distributed evenly over every day or saved for one or two nights out. Flex points aren't essential, though -- while you can have them, you don't need to. An easy way to speed up progress is to cut out or reduce the number of flex points you allow yourself.
Make Good Choices
The points system is based partly on the calorie content but also on the amount of protein, fat and fiber in foods. Foods that are high in protein and fiber take longer to digest and burn more calories in the digestion process, compared to fats and sugars. This means that two foods with the same calorie content could have different points values depending on the macronutrient profile. Pick mainly high-protein, high-fiber foods to hit your points total, rather than eating junk foods. You'll feel much fuller and more satiated with these nutritious whole foods, even though you're eating the same number of points.
Strength in Numbers
Attend Weight Watchers meetings in your area. Even if you signed up online, it's worth going along to local meetings whenever you can. According to the American Psychological Association, attending clinic-based groups and having a good social support network make it much easier to stick to a diet. You get to meet other members, discuss your progress, motivate each other and can come away with some helpful hints on how to overcome any potential dieting obstacles.
Nothing Comes Free
Weight Watchers classifies certain foods as free. These are foods that are very low in calories but filling at the same time and include egg whites, salad, most vegetables and fresh and frozen fruits. The calorie content may be low, but that doesn't mean these foods are calorie-free. Eating several of these each day could mean you're eating an extra 200 to 300 calories over your daily allowance, so cut the free foods, or at least reduce the amount you're eating.
- Today's Dietitian: Web Exclusive: Weight Watchers’ PointsPlus Reconfigures Points System
- American Psychological Association: How Social Support Can Help You Lose Weight
- Weight Watchers: Press Room: New -- Weight Watchers FlexPoints
- WeightWatchers.co.uk: Use Zero ProPoints Value Foods to Your Advantage