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Weight Watchers is the oldest and largest slimming club in the UK. It prides itself on being based on encouraging people to eat sensibly, and it doesn't categorise foods as wicked, or tell you that you can't eat certain foods on certain days.
Currently, the Weight Watchers diet is based on points; briefly, foods have points values, foods with saturated fat in them have higher points values, and you have a certain number of points to eat per day. I've found this makes me think much more carefully before ordering chips. The points you can eat varies according to your weight and sex, and you can earn extra points by exercising.
I have a bit of a chequered career with slimming clubs. I tried a couple that I didn't like, and then lost 3st with Weight Watchers some years ago in Liverpool. Sadly, I lost heart after one Easter weekend when I partied non-stop and discovered I'd gained so much weight I didn't have the courage to go back. And slowly, the weight went back on.
Now in London, I started with Weight Watchers again 18 months ago. I lost about a stone gradually, and then became pregnant with my second baby. So I left the club, rather regretfully, and now he's five months old, I've started again at a Weight Watchers meeting near my home. This second time I've lost 9 1/2 pounds so far (in about six weeks).
If you have health problems, or, like me, are breastfeeding, you are advised to ask your doctor before starting. (Mine thought that it would be a good idea for me).
Like most slimming clubs, you pay a weekly fee (currently £4.50), and you have to pay even if you miss a week. This is designed to encourage people to come along to the meetings, but I've always resented it. The leaders encourage you to ask questions and ring up during the week if you're confused about something.
Winter's always a difficult time to slim. A salad full of 'free' food might be delicious in June, but isn't much fun in February. Weight Watchers sets a lot of store on making the most of 0 point vegetables. I've been cooking lots of 0 point soup and 0 point curries, based on recipes from the booklets they give you each week. The booklets also provide you with set menus for each day if you prefer a structured diet, or space to write down exactly what you eat if, like me, you can't abide being told what to eat.
This is, to be fair, an expensive way of losing weight. Although there are some clever ideas in the Weight Watchers diet, the basics (eat less, eat more vegetables, and reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet) are not exactly rocket science. But I find that going to the meeting, and especially listening to the talk and chatting to other members, provides me with encouragement and inspiration for the following week. When I've just tried dieting at home, it's become very boring after a while.
Which means it's critical that you get on with your leader. They're all different, and it's a matter of personal preference. But in most places there are several different meetings, so it's worth trying them all over the first few weeks to see which leader you like the best.
Finally, of course, points mean prizes. Fabulous little shiny 7 stickers each time you lose half a stone (be still my beating heart!). And I am told that there's a keyring when you lose 10% of your body weight. Which would be a lot for me. When you reach your goal weight, you get a key for the keyring, and become a Gold Member. Gold Members do not have to pay as long as they attend every now and then, and receive a gold star after they've kept their weight off for a year. So there is some support for the endless problem of stopping dieting and putting all the weight back on.
Details: Get cooking with Fresh & Fabulous and show everyone what good food should really ... more
taste like. Full of wonderful recipes from the best of Weight Watchers cookbooks, this book will help you cook up fantastic meals that are full of flavour. Make the most of summer ingredients with Prawns with Lime and Chillies, Chicken with Olives and Oregano, Chargrilled Vegetable Tabbouleh or Fig and Raspberry Clafoutis. Brighten up winter with a Hearty Turkey Casserole, Stuffed Pork Loin, Balsamic Roasted Red Onion Pizza with Feta or Cream Hearts with Passion Fruit. Whatever your fresh ingredients, or whatever the occasion, there is sure to be a recipe here that suits your needs and is perfect for your family and friends. Ideal for: Those wanting to cook healthy meals and lose weight, whilst experimenting with their dishes and recipes. This paperback book has 175 pages and measures: 15.4 x 13.4 x 1.2cm.
Details: Weekends is a fabulous collection from the best of Weight Watchers cookbooks. ... more
Full of amazing and delightful recipes that all serve four people or more, it is great for those weekend get-togethers. From fantastic brunch and lunch ideas, such as Mushroom Sloppy Joes, to delicious supper dishes like Sunday Chicken and White Pork Bourguignon, there are so many ideas here to help you cook brilliant food. We've even included party food like Sesame Prawn Toasts -perfect for Weekends. This is a delightful collection of recipes from Weight Watchers. This latest 'Mini Series' is handbag sized and thus perfect to pick up on your way home from work. Small but perfectly formed, each book is themed with a selection of recipes for delicious meals that are healthy too. Ideal for: Those wanting to cook healthy meals and lose weight, whilst experimenting with their dishes and recipes. This paperback book has 175 pages and measures approximately: 15.4 x 13.4 x 1.2cm.
Healthy Cooking Made Easy. The Weight Watchers WWS4-420MS Stainless Steel Cookware set is ... more
conveniently sized and perfect for easy and healthy steaming. Steaming your food helps retain nutrients and flavors without adding oil or butter. The riveted silicone soft-grip handles are comfortable and ergonomic. These pans are dishwasher safe and include a lifetime warranty.