I have accomplished a lot of goals in my lifetime. Losing weight and keeping it off is an area that I have really struggled with since my first child was born (yes that was 19 years ago, LOL). I can honestly say that I am a little bit of an expert at ways to fail on Weight Watchers. It really isn't the best thing to be an expert at, but maybe I can share some of my mistakes so you will succeed! I have lots of other Weight Watchers Recipes, Ideas and Motivation too…it isn't all bad, LOL.
10 Ways to Fail on Weight Watchers
Don't Attend Meetings
I know that some people will argue that doing only the online program works for them. There are probably a few people who can find success this way, but most people will do better by attending meetings. Something about having to weigh in with REAL LIVE people just motivates people to stay on plan more often.
Attending meetings has always been a challenge for me. The first several times I did Weight Watchers I lived in a tiny town and there wasn't a local meeting. I had to drive to get to a meeting. It was not convenient and I burned out of driving to the meetings. Now I live in a town that does have a local meeting. It is nice to be able to run across town for the meeting. The problem I have is that I am a HOME BODY. I don't like getting out in the evenings….so I have to force myself!
Don't Track Points
Anyone who has been successful with Weight Watchers will tell you that tracking is KEY to their weight loss. Tracking keeps people accountable. It helps to see exactly where you are at with points during the day. I usually start off really good and track every bite. Then I get lazy and cocky and think—hey I know what the SmartPoints are for most foods now so I stop tracking. Guess what…the scale always goes UP.
Using All the Activity Points
I like to get rewarded for exercising and activity points kind of seem like a reward to me. Feeling hungrier after exercise is also a problem for me so I want to use all of those points. The problem is that is has stalled or slowed down my weight loss when I use the activity points. My local leader has always encouraged us to forget about those extra points and just stick to our daily points in order to see the best success.
Not Counting Condiments
I have a little love affair going on with Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. I have been known to cook special dinners just so I can use Country Bob's, LOL. The issue is that the sauce isn't points free. It isn't a lot of points, but it adds up when I ignore it. The same is true for almost all condiments. If you don't count your condiments or you under count them it will show on the scale.
Staying active is really important for a healthy lifestyle. Weight Watchers is trying to promote a well-rounded healthy life. The plan encourages exercise. I try to stay active even if I am not actively dieting, but if I slack off I see poor results. My big issue comes when I get out of my habits. I can be doing a great job with my exercise and then I get sick for a week. BOOM…I am out of the habit and have to work hard to get back into it.
Eating Too Many Sweets
Overall I am not a huge sweet eater. I typically prefer salty crunchy foods. Nevertheless, I do have some weaknesses when it comes to sweets. For instance I could eat a whole batch of my Weight Watchers Chocolate Cupcakes. I advise you to NOT do that. They aren't that high in points if you eat ONE or two. Self-control can be an issue for me and I know other people suffer in this area too. The more sweets I eat the more it seems to trigger me to want sweets all the time.
Not Having an Accountability Partner
It seems easier to succeed at almost any goal if you have an accountability partner. If I don't have someone I can talk to about my progress (or failure, LOL) then I am just on my own. It is hard to do it all on our own. We need encouragement, support and even a shoulder to cry on sometimes.
Not Planning Out Meals
Trying to stay on plan without meal planning is really hard for me. I can only assume this is an issue for everyone. The weeks that I don't have a meal plan in place and the ingredients on hand….I gain weight. We end up eating out too much or eating quick convenience foods that are high in SmartPoints. If I plan out some healthy meals like my Weight Watchers Chicken Enchilada Bake that I know my whole family loves I can stick to the plan! Not planning out meals is a big way I fail on Weight Watchers!
Getting in a Rut
I can't eat the same foods over and over again or I get bored and will binge on something unhealthy. Getting in a rut with what I am eating can really cost me. It helps me to have my lists of 1 SmartPoint Snack Ideas and 2 SmartPoints Snack Ideas on hand so that I have lots of food options. Boredom can sabotage the best intentions.
We have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Weight Watchers agrees that you should eat breakfast. The days that I skip breakfast lead to overeating at lunch and snack time. It seems to start my day off wrong. If I am organized and make up a simple breakfast casserole that I can eat on all week then I will keep on plan!
How Do You Fail on Weight Watchers?
Have you failed on Weight Watchers before? Do you relate to any of my 10 ways to fail on Weight Watchers? What problems have you had when trying to lose weight? The good news is that even if you “fail” on Weight Watchers…you (and I) can always start over. Each day is a fresh start and can be another chance to improve our health!! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter…I am posting a new Weight Watchers recipe every week and you can get some free motivational cards to keep you on track. You've got this!!
***Check out all the info about the NEW WEIGHT WATCHERS FREESTYLE PROGRAM!!
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Anna Severino says
Hi… I love your article and agree with most everything you have said. I have been on weight watchers since July 2016 and have lost 82 lbs (with just 8 more to go until goal) and I have never attended a meeting… not everyone needs that.. I am perfectly fine being accountable to myself because at the end of the day no one else is responsible for me losing weight except me.
Hi Anna!! Thanks for stopping by. WOW…your lose is incredible!! I agree that some people don’t need the meetings…but I think you are in the minority and very lucky that you can be accountable to yourself!! I wish I was that diligent. You are an inspiration!
I have been lifetime for 12 years. I was determined. I had 3 different kinds of cancer. I had radiation, chemo, surgeries, lost my hair 2 times. I had no control of my life for 9 years. I had to be on steroids & gained lots of weight. When I joined weight watchers, I knew I was now in control. For 12 years I have stayed in control and lost 70 pounds. And have kept it off. I have tracked every day all these years. I LOVE W.W.
Derinda, your story is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I would love to write a post with your story? Would you be interested?
Derinda Needler says
Yes, I would be honored for you to use my story
I will email you directly with more info!
Great article. Especally like the positive comment that every day is a new day to start over.
Thanks Kathleen! Appreciate you stopping by!
Hi Kathleen, Great article! It hits close to home for me. I am doing weight Watchers agagain. I do really good to start with and then I get to comfortable with my self and my routine. I self sabotage. I might stop measuring my food, or add a few more of something that I don’t count. Then the next weigh in still shows a loss. So I think to myself well I ate all that and still loss so the next week I continue and add more and bam the scale is up, a lot. I then get frustrated and want to quit. It’s hard at times. I’m down 35 pounds and I will make my goal! I haven’t come this far to only come this far!! Thanks. For more inspiration, it was so needed!!
Lori, you are doing amazing..what an inspiration!! Thanks for reading.
Kelly McKay Myers says
I disagree with using the activity points (now fitpoints). Everybody can use a different amount and be successful – you have to experiment to see what works best for you. Whenever somebody seems to be doing everything right but still not seeing results my leader asks about fitpoints and suggests increasing intake – it usually does the trick.
Hi Kelly…great to hear what is working for you!
I love your post and I agree with all of it. I would love to add one more thing. I found myself in a rut but eating too many zero point foods. Zero points doesn’t mean zero calories so eating 8-10 fruits a day really put me in a standstill on my journey. Now, I’ve made a modification that works for me. I count each fruit as 1 point. The old WW program used to count all fruits as points, bananas were 2 points.
Derinda Needler says
Yes, I remember when fruit had points. & tooang fruits will make you gain or at least not lose. I find I eat Brussels sprouts, squash, broccoli, but I have to be careful with that because I. On blood thinners & green veggies are full of vitamin K. Just can’t seem to win.
If you need to give your fruit points, then that’s what to do, if that helps you.
With they freestyle now, I get mixed up. When they went to smart points, I stayed on points plus. It works well for me, & I pretty well know the points.
My first w.w. was crazy.
5 fish meals a week
2 beef meals
Had to make my ketchup out of tomato juice.
Didn’t count points, just tracked, but I lost 35 pounds back then. This was the dinoraur age. 1972! 😅
Such a great post and needed right now! Today! I started (again) 9/19/17. I lost 22lbs in 2 months. I’ve gained a little and am at 19lbs total lost now, I was up 2lbs this week and that really hit me. I’m not winning right now. Overall, yes, but not right now. Not tracking, not meal planning, not active. But as you said, tomorrow is a new day! I can start fresh tomorrow! Heck, I can start fresh right now! Working on the menu when I found this. Thank you!
Hi Wendy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I just ate a big piece of cake….so am feeling horrible about my week!! But I am getting up tomorrow and starting fresh! Thank goodness for new days. Take care!!
Derinda Needler says
Track,track,track—u must always track. I have tracked every day for 12 years. To me its just like breathing!!!
I really enjoyed your post. About 5 years ago my wife and I were on the points plus plan and had great results, in a year I had lost 100 pounds total (I say total because during this period I fell off the wagon several times and had to re-lose probably a combined 70 pounds that I regained during the course of that year…I hate thinking that the total loss could have been approximately 170 had I not fallen off all those times), my wife had lost 60 pounds and was literally 1 pound away from her goal weight when we fell off completely. My mom and sister came for a visit, which, of course just REQUIRED that we go out to eat all the time. Immediately following that I started a new high stress job, which made it all the harder to get back on track. We are just today starting back on it with the freestyle program and I’m bound and determined to stick to it.
I completely agree that exercise is of the utmost importance, I did find that exercise without eating those activity points actually slowed my weight loss last time around, and that for me was a hindrance, as I noticed bigger losses on the weeks that I did not exercise much. However, I feel that the overall benefit of doing the exercise was better than not, I was stronger and had much better stamina in the long run.
Weighing in is a must, not only does it keep you accountable, it keeps you informed of what your body is doing and how it is reacting to your dedication (or lack there of) to the program. Not to mention, as you lose, your daily points will often go down as well. I am a very large guy, I had 71 points on the points plus program, after losing 100 pounds, I STILL had 71 daily points, whereas my wife who is much smaller than me started off with 30 points and after losing 5 pounds dropped to 29, then progressively down to 26 points.
My big weakness is sweets, I can’t seem to get enough. On our first go round I was hoarding my daily points, skipping breakfast and having lighter lunches, then whatever points I had after dinner, I would binge on dessert to finish up my daily points. For some reason that was actually working for me and not seeming to affect my losses, but I can recognize it as an unhealthy habit nonetheless. This time around I will be trying to make sure that I disperse my points more evenly throughout the day.
We did and are again doing the online program and it worked well for us at the time. We had each other as accountability partners and my sister in law, as well am my mom and sister were also doing the program so there was a lot of talk and accountability going on (however I still failed in the long run). I do see a benefit of the meetings, I just can’t, at this point, force myself to weigh in in-front of anyone else other than my wife.
I also agree with counting condiments, just out of curousity I ran points on mustard (I eat a TON of mustard), I found that 2 tablespoons are free, but 3 tablespoons equal 1 point, this is good info for me to know. I also found that if you are going to eat 2 or more portions of an item, don’t assume that if a hot dog in a bun is 7 points, that 2 of those would be 14, sometimes it’s 15, and if you’re really lucky, sometimes it’s 13 depending on what the item is. We got really good at “figuring” points, meaning that we could look at the nutrition facts and guess the point value, often times we were right, but that’s a dangerous game to play. I hate tracking my food, but that too was a downfall of mine, you start to forget breakfast stuff by the time dinner comes around I found, then you are guessing at how many points you have left, and that’s not good. I always justified it by saying that I never eat my weekly points or activity points so if I’m over that’s ok cause I have spare points..
I guess overall I am glad for the failures because I can see the pitfalls this time around, and they will lend to my success.
Hi Pete, thanks so much for sharing your journey! I think you and your wife will rock it this go around. I have been the same over the years…yo yo with the same pounds!! I have found out the hard way that double the portion doesn’t always double the points…it is even more a lot of times! My favorite bread is 1 point per slice..but 2 slices is 3 points! Let me know how things are going…you can join my WW FB group…great group of people and good accountability! https://www.facebook.com/groups/WWrecipesideasandmotivation/?ref=bookmarks
It’s all very true, and all are very good points.
Carol M Herm says
I can’t lose weight, even on weight watchers and that’s the best. I’m working at accepting I’ll always be fat.
Carol I am so sorry you are feeling so frustrated and defeated. I have felt the exact same way so many times over the past 20 years. The most success I have had came after I finally decided to love myself at the size I was at that time and change my outlook and the reason I wanted to lose weight. It is a daily struggle and I know I will never be thin and will always struggle and have ups and downs with my weight. My goal is to just be at a healthier weight so I am around to see grandkids. Please don’t give up on yourself. You are worthy NOW and you can do anything you set out to do!