Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weight Watchers Might Have Potential

I'm not a fan of commercial weight loss plans for two simple reasons.

1. Many of them are high-priced scams promising things that aren't realistic.
2. Long term weight loss requires a lifetime commitment to whatever program you choose and few if any commercial plans fit that bill.

Without a doubt, if you talk to those of us who have lost weight and kept it off, the key factor is a lifestyle change that can be sustained forever.  However, the average person wants to lose a lot of weight quickly, and then embarks on whatever the "flavor-of-the-month" is in terms of weight loss programs and fad diets.  Too many times its an expensive endeavor that is uncomfortable and difficult to maintain for any extended period of time, yet time is one of the major keys with for successful weight loss. End result, money is the only thing that is lost.  Thus, the statistics for losing weight are depressing and downright dismal for actually keeping it off.

But there are exceptions...

Weight Watchers (I have never participated) seems to show a positive degree of success for a significant number of their clients.  In fact, I have talked to participants who are applying the concepts such that they are able to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are required to successfully lose weight and keep it off.  An article by Nanci Hellmich of USA TODAY underscores this trend.  She profiles the results of a study that indicates that Dieters lose twice as much weight participating in Weight Watchers than they do by getting advice from their Doctors.

Of course, if you've ever gotten weight loss advice from a Doctor, its usually not very exciting or inspiring.  Nothing like an overweight Doctor who smells of smoke handing you a stack of papers describing some bland diet that no one can stomach. (Note: My Doctor is nothing like that and is one of my best supporters!)  But really, diet and exercise just sounds like @#$% to the average overweight, couch-potato American.  Without any pizazz and excitement, there is very little motivation to even try.

So is it that Weight Watchers is so great or that Doctors are so bad when it comes to the weight loss game?  Probably both.   

Sooooo, I'm not ragging on Weight Watchers!  If it works for you - great.  Just make sure that before you start down that path, that its a road you are willing to travel forever.  The weight loss journey has no end - unless you want the weight to come back. 

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