This Tips For Getting Started On Weight Watchers post is not officially associated with Weight Watchers (WW).
For recipe ideas for when you’re on WW, check out all of our Weight Watchers posts.
I’ll be honest. I don’t believe in diets. I think you need to make healthy lifestyle changes. A diet won’t do that for it. A diet is something you do temporarily and something that is very restricting.
Like those no carb diets.
When you take a break from it, you binge on carbs, and undo all your progress.
That’s why I like Weight Watchers and have a ton of tips for getting started with Weight Watchers.
But the tips, and the program, are more of a lifestyle change. WW helps you to eat right, pay attention to what you’re eating, and figure out how to maintain that lifestyle.
Before this starts, I do want to put it out there that I’m not a part of Weight Watchers. I do have access to the website, thanks to a friend, and I did grow up watching my mom on the program, but I don’t go to meetings and I don’t work for Weight Watchers.
I’m also not a doctor. All these tips and any recipes are based on my own personal experience and may not work for you. I don’t and cannot make any health claims (and don’t want to get sued by anyone, so that’s why I need this disclaimer).
Before starting any diet, be sure to check with your doctor to decide what diet and lifestyle changes are best for you.
Moving on …
9 Tips For Getting Started On Weight Watchers
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Figure out your daily/weekly points.
Part of the program’s success is based on tracking your points. Your number of allotted points is based on your height, weight, age, gender, goal weight, and activity.
So if you and your husband are both beginning the program together, you won’t get the same number of points.
The points also vary per program. Weight Watchers has a ton of plan options (Freestyle, the new MyWW Plans: Green, Blue, and Purple, and more — the program does change a lot). So you have to choose the best plan for you.
You will get daily points, but you will also get an allotment of weekly points. That way, if you end up having a cheat day and you go over your daily points, you can borrow from your weekly points.
If you don’t eat a lot in one day, you will actually be able to have some Weight Watchers rollover points (up to 4) into your weekly points for the week.
Weight Watchers also has FitPoints. Those are points you earn for activity. You can use them towards food, but you don’t have to.
You can get your points allotment on Weight Watchers’ website.
Plan your meals.
Once you know how many points you are allowed to eat, you want to choose foods that are filling and nutritional. This is where I like the Weight Watchers Freestyle program.
In the past, when my mom started, she had to use points for fruit. Then, 100 calorie snack bags came out. Would you choose 1 point for an apple or 1 point for cookies?
Screw the fruit. Let’s have cookies!
So, when the Freestyle program came out, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and chicken were zero point foods. That really helps you choose a banana as a snack instead of a chocolate bar.
If you meal plan, you are going to have a better chance of sticking to your points.
If you know you are going to have a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries (0 points) for breakfast, you can make that as soon as you get up. It’s better than not being sure what to eat and grabbing a sugary cereal and ruining your day before you are even out of pajamas.
You can get the complete list of 0 point foods, which is used in the WW Freestyle plan, and use that to calculate points for meals.
You can also log into the Weight Watchers website and use the recipe builder to determine the number of points in your meals. Be sure to sit down and play around with that before cooking. If you see the points are too high, remove something like cheese, or swap ground beef for ground chicken.
And if you don’t cook usually and need a little bit of help, there are a ton of Weight Watchers Cookbooks available for purchase. Once you start making recipes out of the cookbooks, you’ll be able to start creating your own Weight Watchers recipe.
Get a calculator.
When my mom was doing Weight Watchers, she would break out her calculator to figure out how many points were in each meal. Not a regular calculator. A Weight Watchers calculator. It calculates points values easily and quickly (but it does not track personalized daily and weekly values, so you’ll want to pick up a notebook to track that).
The calculator is palm sized, so you’ll be able to put it in your purse. When you’re grocery shopping, you can quickly flip over a package, calculate the points, and decide if you want to buy that product or not.
Eat your vegetables.
So many adults remember sitting at the dinner table when you were young, having your parents hound you to eat your vegetables. You wanted to feed them to the dog, hide them in plants, or just whine until your mom let you leave the table.
With Weight Watchers, you really want to eat your vegetables.
Vegetables are filling — and don’t cost you any points. So you can have a hearty salad every day for lunch — with mixed greens, radishes, olives, onion, tomatoes, and grilled chicken, with a squirt of lime for dressing — and that is 0 Freestyle points.
That’s actually very similar to Pete’s favorite dinner, so it’s nice to know that what we are already cooking fits into the program.
Pete and I go for a walk every night when he gets home from work. It takes us about 45 minutes to do our loop. I really like walking, but if you have something else you like to do to get moving, do that.
Sync your fitness tracker with your Weight Watchers account and it will keep track of your FitPoints.
If you are really jonesing for some chocolate, mow the lawn first. Or go swimming. Or take a run on the local trail. Earn yourself some points back and you will still be able to fit some sweets into your day. Or you can make our 0 Point Sugar-Free Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.
And, small aside. We actually have a list of apps to earn you money with your fitness tracker. So not only will working out earn you WW points, it’ll earn you money too.
Don’t restrict yourself.
If you want carbs, eat them. Just don’t give in to your cravings and eat an entire loaf of bread.
I love bread and I love cheese. But I also love these 2 Ingredient Dough bagels. That makes a bagel that’s only 3 Weight Watchers Freestyle points. A regular bagel from a bagel shop is approximately 11 points.
So have a bagel if you want it. Just make sure it’s one for 3 points, not 11. Because that extra 8 points is a lot.
The more you try and stop yourself from having sweets or cheese or carbs, the more you’ll think about them. And if you keep restricting yourself, you will eventually give up dieting. You’ll feel so restricted, get frustrated, and give up.
If you are worried about temptation, do like me. I don’t buy chips or cookies. I know I will eat them if they’re in the house, so I make sure to leave them at the store when I go grocery shopping.
If you do want some snacks, there are a ton of Weight Watchers snacks available. Keep those in the house. Label them with the number of points per serving so you can quickly figure out if they’re worth eating or not.
I love water. I always have a water bottle in my purse, on my desk, or on my nightstand. My dad bought me a really nice water bottle and I got a straw top for it. Keeping that always full has helped me drink enough water daily.
Weight Watchers suggests you drink six 8-ounce glasses of water a day. It can be a lot, especially if water is boring for you.
I have a really great idea, though, if you want to curb your soda craving. Use a Soda Stream to make carbonated water. Squeeze in a lemon wedge, then drop the slice of lemon in your drink. Give it a little swirl. It’s delicious, 0 points, and will give you the taste of soda without the calories and points.
I also love crushing up raspberries or cutting slices of strawberries for my water and making fruit-infused water. It’s refreshing, curbs your sweet drink craving, doesn’t cost you points, and adds towards your water count.
You’re not going to eat grilled shrimp one night for dinner and wake up with a bikini body the next morning. That’s not how it works. You also can’t cheat every day and expect to see changes either.
And you might see a ton of weight come off at the start and then hit a plateau. These things happen. That doesn’t mean you should go back to eating steak for dinner every night and ice cream for dessert afterwards.
Just keep going.
Know you can do it alone.
You don’t have to officially join the WW program or go to meetings. These tips tell you how to start Weight Watchers on your own. Why? Because that’s how my mom did it. She didn’t go to meetings (in fact, they actually told her she didn’t weigh enough when she did try to sign up).
My mom was a great influence on what I eat and how I cook. And she did it on her own, so that’s what we do. If we can, you can!
Need some Weight Watchers recipes?
Having some Weight Watchers recipes available to you is a really big help. So, we have a few WW recipe lists below:
Weight Watchers Points Lists:
These points lists will help you decide when you’re eating some sweets.
Which of these Tips For Getting Started On Weight Watchers did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments.