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Mindful Eating

Why Weight Watchers (WW) is still a diet

This is probably going to come as an unpopular opinion: Weight Watchers is still a diet.

Why Weight Watchers (or WW) plans are still a diet. How they're affecting your relationship with food, and what you can do instead to live a healthy and balanced life without a diet plan. #weightwatchers #ww #intuitiveeating #weightlosstips #weightlossplans

If you’ve ever looked up “best diet of [enter year]”, Weight Watchers is likely to come up.

Diets are intended to help people lose weight. It’s likely the reason you started a diet in the first place; to help you shed a few pounds, or multiple.

So it should really come as no surprise that Weight Watchers is still considered a diet. I mean, it’s right there in the name. You’re watching your weight with this diet program.

This program has constantly been evolving and rebranding itself. Now myWW+, you’re sorted into a color-coded program that assigns you a points limit for each day.

It’s pitched as a lifestyle diet, allowing you to eat whatever you want, as long as it falls within your points limit.

Now I know things have changed since I was on Weight Watchers myself, five years ago, but there are still underlying reasons why it’s still can harm your relationship with food.

5 Reasons Why Weight Watchers is Harming Your Relationship with Food

1. Makes you think about food 24/7

You don’t need to think about food 24/7. Becoming obsessed with your tracking app and constantly calculating how many points certain foods are is turning food into the enemy.

Or, vise versa, glorifying certain foods that are less points than others.

2. Makes you think of food as good or bad

When you begin to think of food as good or bad, it inadvertently makes you feel like a good or bad person for eating that food.

I was on Weight Watchers {multiple versions} for five years. I saw anything high in points as a bad food, and anything low in points as good.

This feeling started to harm my relationship to food because I was either making food out to be the enemy and consequently fearing that food {high points}. Or I would think certain foods like low fat, reduced fat, etc. were better because they were low in points.

3. Makes you feel bad if you go over your points limit

If you’ve been on any sort of diet for any period of time in your life, you understand that feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when you go over your points, calories, macros, etc.

You instantly feel guilty, ashamed, and start to wonder what’s wrong with you. Why you can’t seem to stick to a simple plan.

So you vow to do better the following week. You’ll really pay attention to what you’re eating and make sure not to go over your limit.

But inevitably, it will happen again, and you’ll once again be beating yourself up for going over that limit.

This viscous eat, repent, repeat cycle is one that tends to come from any form of dieting.

4. Forces you to choose foods you may not otherwise want to eat

Anyone who’s currently on Weight Watchers and has made it this far into the article is probably saying, “But Danielle, WW is a lifestyle. I get to choose what I want to eat.”

To that I will say, but do you really?

I used to say that same exact phrase when I was on WW. I thought because every food was available to me on the plan, that it meant I could eat whatever I wanted.

In the end, I started to realize that I didn’t actually have that control. I was still at the mercy of my points limit for the day.

I would choose not to eat certain foods because they were too high in points. Foods like avocado or nut butters because they were 6 points out of my 32. So even though these foods are healthy fats I avoided them because they ate into my points limit for the day.

Again, this was five years ago, so the points value could have changed, but the principle is still the same.

5. Can take away the joy of eating

Reasons 1-4 bring us to the culmination of how Weight Watchers as a diet can harm your relationship to food. It starts to take all the joy out of eating and cooking.

When you’re eating based strictly upon your points or calories limit for the day, you’re no longer thinking of food in terms of a source of nutrition.

That means does it nourish your body and your mind? Sometimes we get so hung up on whether or not a food is nutritious just for our bodies.

With a diet, you get so focused in that area and don’t consider how a food can be nourishing for your mind. Does it bring you joy? Does it make you feel excited and happy when you eat it?

Which leads us into why you should actually give intuitive eating a try over another diet in 2021.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Intuitive Eating

If this is your first time hearing about intuitive eating, I highly suggest going to read this article: Mindful Eating: What is it and how to practice it. Then come back here to read five more reasons why intuitive eating can start to heal your relationship with food.

1. Frees up your time

Not only are you no longer thinking about food, but you’re also not spending all of your time tracking everything you eat.

Save brain space and your own actual time when you make the switch to intuitive eating.

2. Food is not good or bad

Here’s the crazy thing with intuitive eating. This practice doesn’t consider food to be good or bad.

Food becomes a neutral resource. It becomes something that you eat to nourish your body and your mind.

Seeing food this way allows you to start to choose foods based on your cravings and hunger cues.

3. No longer feel guilty

One of the best parts, at least I think so, about intuitive eating is that you no longer have to feel guilty for anything you eat.

When foods are no longer good or bad, it starts to release that guilt. Also, you’re not tracking anything you eat, so there’s no points or calorie limit you have to stay within.

4. You have absolute food freedom

Like I mentioned earlier, Weight Watchers makes you feel like you have the choices, but you really don’t. Because you’re still playing by their rules of how many points you can use during the day.

When you make the switch to intuitive eating, you have absolute food freedom. You get to choose what you want to eat based on your cravings and hunger cues.

There’s no points limit to follow, and no food is good or bad, so your choices are absolutely limitless.

5. Brings back the joy to eating

When food is no longer a points value or a calorie, you can actually start to see food as a resource that nourishes your body and mind.

You have the opportunity to view food, in any setting, as something that brings people together. Or brings you back to yourself.

You can now start to enjoy the flavors and textures and smells of food again.

Need a Support System?

If intuitive eating seems like an exciting, but scary venture, you’re not alone!

When I first made the switch to intuitive eating, five years ago, it took me time to actually even make that decision.

I was so afraid that intuitive eating would mean I wouldn’t know how to eat healthy any more. That I would gain all the weight back that I had lost in the past.

Both of these things couldn’t have been further from the truth.

It’s why I created Eat for Life Collective. I wanted to create a community and a support system for those of you who are ready to take the leap into intuitive eating.

This is the space where guilt and shame around food and your body go away. It’s where you can finally start to feel fully connected and confident in your food choices, in your body and how you feel about both of these.

You can join for as little as $10/month. Less than what you’re likely spending on your Weight Watchers app.

So here’s to a happy, balanced you!

joining the eat for life collective

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