You've heard me talk about NotBlondeHusband, but now he's joining me here and will be posting from his point of view! So please be nice to him and show him some love on his first post!
Let's start with a confession: I'm a dude and I need to diet.
There's some stigma attached to the statement. Diets are for girls. It's "girly", particularly in the UK, to go for a drink with the lads and to pick a light beer or a glass of wine or a spirit with a diet mixer over a pint of your usual or a spirit and "full fat" mixer. If you grab food of course you grab the biggest burger or kebab you can find, why would you ever order chicken or a salad?
I've slowly been gaining weight over the last 10 years, over the last two years I've gained 20+ lbs. While I still play football once a week, it's been longer than that decade since I was playing proper competitive sports and burning all the excess calories that a typical "lad's diet" gives you. I'm generally not very good at moderation. If I feel like a bar of chocolate, I'll have it; of course regular Coke tastes better than diet crap, so I'll have that too; that salad is never going to come close to that burger, so it's not really a choice. Blondie and I are also terrible influences on each other. Both had a long day and don't feel like a trip to the shops? There's nothing wrong with a third takeaway in a week then...
Unfortunately, I've finally realised that I'm not at the age my body can handle that anymore, so it's time to try the alternative. Which is where Weight Watchers comes in.
Two weeks ago if you'd asked me my opinion of WW I'd have probably told you it was a bunch of overweight, middle-aged women sitting in a church hall commiserating each other when they put on a couple of ounces a week, calculators out ready to work out the calorific content of that rice cake they're holding. Not really my scene, and not something I could see fitting in the diary of a busy person. As it turns out, I wasn't even close.
Meetings are optional, you can manage your diet entirely online. If you need support, there are forums. If like me, you don't have time for that and just want to spend 5 minutes a day planning your diet you can. Want to eat from meal plans, that's fine. If like me you like to cook your own food the recipe builder lets you work out what your favourite recipes cost you and you can adapt and update them with lower cost alternatives. You can even search for recipes online and edit them to swap out ingredients you're not so fond of.
There is an element of point counting but it isn't really an onerous task. Weight Watchers own products have pro point values attached. Anything else you stick into a database and it tells you exactly what it costs you. You have your daily allowance but you also get extra pro points for "treats" throughout the week. I don't know what kind of things women use this for, but at 3 pro points a bottled beer or 6 pro points for a pint of lager it's more than enough for one decent night out at the pub a week.
So what has this meant for me? There's no point sugar coating it, to begin with I was hungry. I don't think there is a weight loss diet where you're not hungry to start. I was overeating before so obviously eating a normal amount felt like not enough to begin with. Two weeks in this isn't an issue any more. I eat a bowl of cereal for my breakfast instead of some junk and try to snack on fruit and veg. I can even still have a bag of crisps as a snack. Lunch is usually a healthy sandwich or something I can eat on the go. Dinner can be relatively normal. Last night I even got burgers. My biggest concession is cutting down on sugary drinks but I've even managed that. Watching the football midweek is pretty much the same without the two or three beers that I would sometimes have.
It is frustrating sometimes. I would kill for a pizza right now and the low point equivalents to that just don't cut the mustard. When I'm out and about it would be easier to grab the first thing to hand rather than think about what you're allowed but the iPhone app lets you check exactly how much that takeaway sandwich will cost you. So far, at the end of the week it's been worth it. After two weeks I've already lost over 5% of my body weight. I don't mind a little frustration when the results are so obvious. I've still a bit to go but I'm definitely sticking with it.
We still manage to eat pretty well. I'll stick up some examples of meals as we go along.
Transatlantic Blonde and NotBlondeHusband were provided a free trial of Weight Watchers Online to review.