Diets are rough.

Both on the body and the mind. And yet they’re incredibly popular. Here is a question about Weight Watchers:

ADRIANA’S QUESTION

I am in my 40s, sluggish, and tired of being overweight.

I have joined and re-joined Weight Watchers a hundred times over the years out of sheer desperation. People who come to WW meetings have lost lots of weight only to gain it back on. This depressed me and the result was that I only went to maybe two meetings and quit. I have tried everything, including Bernstein, which made me puke the first day. I never went back.

I am currently doing WW online, which basically means I am tracking every morsel of food online which has proven to be very helpful. I also track my activity/exercise. Every week I weigh in and it keeps track off my weight loss. But because I’m diabetic I can’t have all the WW sweets that I may like to sometimes indulge in.

One of the things I have found most helpful on WW is the message board.  I am interacting on a message board made up of about 25 women. It’s a great sounding board and source for ideas, encouragement and challenges. For some reason the group I have online are fit, active women who have lost 30+ pounds and are maintaining. It’s actually inspiring to me.

What can I do to continue on my journey towards weight loss?

– Adriana

MY RESPONSE

Adriana, you are hardly alone. In Canada, $60 billion is spent annually on weight loss products and services. Sixty one percent of Canadians are overweight, and 50% of women (25% of men) are on a diet.

When I analyze any diet, I ask myself the following questions:

1. What research is this based on? And who is funding that research?

2. Are there any nutrient deficiencies?

3. What are the diet author’s credentials?

4. What is the diet’s sustainability? Can it be sustained long term?

I like that you’re finding support through Weight Watchers online, but there are some other very important things to consider.

The things I like are the fact that you are keeping track of what you eat, and the online support you receive through the message boards. I like the weigh-ins and the keeping track of your activities.

My main problem with Weight Watchers is their overall concept of food and the way that they condition you to think about your food. The points system isn’t the way your body functions. According to Weight Watchers, you could blow all your points on desert and then just not eat for the rest of the day.

This is not only extremely unhealthy but dangerous for you as a diabetic. You need to really consider the QUALITY of everything you eat, and specifically keeping your blood sugar levels steady instead of focusing on “points”. Your body depends on certain nutrients and if you’re just getting the calories but not the nutrients, your body is going to crash.

Normally I would steer people away from these sorts of diets completely. But if you can continue with the online support while staying mindful of always working towards a lifestyle change and a healthy view of food, I think that would be ideal. A quick fix diet is only going to have you gaining all the weight back, but understanding what the role of food should be in your life is going to help you over the long term.

You can do it!

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