Freelance Health: Weight Watchers

I’ve been thinking about starting a series of posts about healthy eating as a freelancer for a while now. When I started freelancing, I was a size 10-12. A few years of working from home and a lack of exercise (thanks to a lack of commute) has led me to being a size 16.  From various discussions, I know I’m not alone in this, so I thought it might be useful to go through the kinds of food approaches/diets you can take when you’re your own boss and working from home. It’s not necessarily about losing weight, more about being healthy so you can be the best possible freelancer.

So, this week I’d like to kick things off with one of the most popular diets – Weight Watchers.

I’ve had success with Weight Watchers a couple of times. Once when I was around 17, and once when I finished uni, at around 22.  Both times, I lost about two stone over 8-9 months. The basic concept is that you have an allocated amount of daily and weekly ProPoints you can use, and most foods have their own points (although many types of fruit and vegetables are 0 ProPoints).

Weight Watchers recently sent me a bundle of their products to try out, including:

o   Oaty chocolate chip mini cookies – Great for 4pm munches

o   Oat wheat crackers – herb and onion – Again, great for snacking in the afternoon. I’d probably prefer a plain version though

o   Sicilian lemon and elderflower cordial – Lovely and refreshing for the summer

o   Fruit Crumble Biscuits (Apple, Apricot and Peach) – These went down particularly well in my house, with me and my fiance.

o   Roasted garlic cooking sauce – Nice to try a slightly different sauce, and gave some chicken I had a nice punch of flavour.

o   Blueberry slice - Pleasant enough, but I probably wouldn’t necessarily rush out and buy them again.

o   Jaffa mini roll – Devoured during a girls’ night in. The most like the standard jaffa rolls

o   Fresh and Easy Everyday cookbook – Simple to use, and plenty of ideas for things to cook in the evening.

As you can see, there’s a great variety of food on Weight Watchers, and most of it is in the supermarkets. Additionally, they have online lists and books available for all other food, so you’re not just limited to branded products.

Now, I have to be honest, the recent changes to the diet (a new points system and weekly points) hasn’t worked for me this time around, possibly because I’ve yo-yo’d too much over the last few years. I also think I’m at a point where I’m tired of counting everything. But I know plenty of people who it has worked for. If you’re disciplined enough to count the points, it’s a diet you can fit around freelancing. Especially as they have a super-useful app and weekly points you can use for a splurge.

So, the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Easy to use. Once you’re set up, you can add all your meals easily either online or using the app.
  • Meeting support. For a lot of people, having the support (and pressure) of a meeting can help with weight loss.
  • Relatively affordable. Packages vary, but most of them are less than £5 a week.
  • Unlimited options. In theory, you can eat what you like, as long as you have the points for it.
  • Exercise motivation. You can earn extra points for exercising. Knowing you can eat a Kit Kat after a workout helps with getting your butt down to the gym.
  • Results. Many doctors actually recommend WW. That’s a pretty big recommendation.

Cons

  • Counting points. Sometimes, when you’re out with friends, the last thing you want to do is get your phone out and work out the points. If you’re going out, it’s worth looking at your options before you arrive.
  • If you’re used to the old WW, you might find the new one trickier. I know I have, and a few others have, but I think sometimes this is the body getting used to a different way of eating.

So, that’s Weight Watchers! What’s your preferred eating plan when you’re working from home?

One Comment

  1. Rosie Slosek
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 17:40:00

    Proper food and eating lots of vegetable soup in the winter.

    Reply

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