I was coaching one of my weight loss clients today, and she said she really liked the sound of the new Weight Watchers program Beyond the Scale. She asked me what my thoughts were on the new program and if I supported her using it.
Without reading even one piece of Weight Watchers literature on the new program, I could have gambled my entire year’s earnings that there would be three concrete truths about the program.
Truth #1: The new program—just like Points Plus, Flex, Core, Simply Filling and every other program in the history of Weight Watchers—is based on eating less than you need each day to maintain your weight. For the program to work, it must get you in a calorie deficit. There is no magic, no one way to do this.
Truth #2: The new program—just like all the previous programs—is based on motivating you to move more.
Truth #3: The new program pushes you away from fun food and into the arms of whole food.
In reality, this was a pretty safe bet. Weight Watchers’ Beyond the Scale program launched this month, but it’s not a new concept. We have to remove the veil, the magic and the mystique surrounding weight loss to understand that it’s really just about eating at a deficit (consuming fewer calories than we need each day) and generally moving more.
The goal is for you to get from where you were at the beginning of your journey to where you want to be, and to stay focused and interested throughout the whole process. You need to entice yourself to do the same behaviors over and over again to achieve your goals. The Weight Watchers program is just one tool that could help you do that.
You might join the program and find that for a few months it helps you stay engaged in the process of eating at a deficit and really focus on brushing up on your good habits. Then you might find yourself no longer wanting to do it, or you might decide that you have become too comfortable with it and you’re not actually getting to where you wanted to be. So switch it up! Maybe choose to count calories or track your macros. The method is irrelevant.
The point is, if your goal is weight loss, you must be in a calorie deficit in order to get there. The way that you choose to do that can easily be changed at any time.
Weight Watchers is great at creating interest and enticing people to join, to get involved, by rolling out new programs. It’s a brilliant strategy to refresh something that over time can become quite boring.
Say that you and your spouse have been married for ten, fifteen, maybe even five years. At some point, things might get a little bit boring in the bedroom, so you might go out and buy yourself some new lingerie. You’re still with the same partner, but now it seems more exciting and more enticing.
The same principle applies to new weight loss programs. They’re all going to reduce calories. They’re all going to promote moving more and eating whole foods as often as you can. But the way that you go about doing that can be more exciting, just by having something new to focus on.
If you’re reading this post or others like it to learn more about the Weight Watchers program, then chances are you want a fresh, new start—something new to focus your attentions on.
If Beyond the Scale helps you get you from where you are right now to a point that’s closer to your goal, if it creates interest and entices you, then it works. If you feel bored and you don’t feel like you want to do the work, then it’s time to switch to a different tool. It’s more about getting to the ultimate goal than it is about finding one tool that will get you from start to finish.
I have swapped out the tools I used to create a deficit many times to keep myself interested in the long journey. I did calorie counting, and counting points. I did the Simply Filling plan, and the Core plan. I counted macros. Those were all tools in my toolbox. They were not what caused me to lose the weight. What caused me to lose the weight was eating at a deficit and moving my body more. All of these programs were just different ways I went about making sure that happened.
Remember, your loyalty is to your journey and your goals, not to a program or a company. You’re allowed to switch tools to achieve your goals. In my past attempts at weight loss, I believed I was a failure for feeling bored or disinterested in the method I was using. I thought I had to stick with one tool for the whole journey. This time, I gave myself permission to do whatever I needed to do to make it to the next level. I found the freedom in this flexibility to finish the journey.
You are not a failure. Cut yourself a break. Give yourself a little love, and realize that changing things up is part of the process. It doesn’t mean you’re being wishy-washy or jumping ship. In order to get to your ultimate goal, you’re going to have to create interest and enthusiasm. Just your marriage or your relationships, you have to keep your health and weight loss journey enticing and interesting.