My 11 Rules for Weight Watcher Newbies

1.      Weight Watchers : It’s 99%Mental & 2% Math

Changing your lifestyle is as easy as you make it, but something needs to “click” in your mind that you are embarking on a lifetime journey for the better.  If you think this is a “diet” where you can lose weight for 6 months and stop then your head might be in the wrong place.  Think of this as a “new you”.  You may not be able to change everything at once, so many people ease into it rather than charge like a bull.  You are learning a new set of skills to keep you healthy and establish healthy habits.  A bit like learning to play golf well, it is a skill that must be learned, practiced and adjusted over time, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of adjustments.  Practice makes perfect – DON’T GIVE UP!

2.      Celebrate Small Wins

Set a personal goal which is achievable in the short term, say 10lb away which you can focus on rather than the final goal, which can seem impossible; but lots of people get there; why not you?  I set myself hundreds (well as many as I could) of micro goals, like every time I lost 5 lb, or when the scale showed double or triple numbers and patterns like 222.2, 244.4, 234.5 as well as decades (when you pass through from the 30’s into the 20’s etc) as well huge milestones like 400’s to 300’s or “Twoterville” 300’s to 200’s or “OneDerland” 200’s into the 100’s.  Don’t forget there are other milestones like crossing through designations on the BMI chart.  I missed my celebration for going from Obese to Overweight but won’t miss the one for going into the “Normal” range.
There is also a term called Non-Scale Victory (NSV) you will find lots of people celebrating this.  It is when you find something of significance which is not related to the number on the scale, like going down a dress or pant size, someone recognizing that you have lost weight or some other recognition of your journey.  You should absolutely look for and celebrate your NSV’s as well.

3.      Don’t Panic

Don’t let the scale rule your life.  Some people lose faster than others.  Any loss is a move in the right direction.   You are also going to get everything wrong to start with – that’s OK this is a journey, you will learn.

4.      Get on Connect

Connect is the WW social media app.  It is NOT Facebook or a political hate zone etc.., it is a supportive and nurturing “safe zone” with NO JUDGEMENT.  Take a look around, search for and “follow” some of the rock stars of WW (see the end of this document) who provide support and offer advice on what works for them.  I am online only and Connect proves to be my library of knowledge, learning what worked for different people and what didn’t.  I was a “lurker” for quite a while before I posted my first post, but I was soaking up as much knowledge as I could and learning from everyone who was willing to share.

5.      Take Pictures

Take front and side (and back) photographs of yourself, for comparison.  Take the same shot each month. You will be so glad you have them to show your journey.  I didn’t know I should, so I didn’t and now I really wish I had pictures.  You don’t need to post them, but they will document your journey.  If you want to post them later you can, but only if you take them in the first place.

6.      Take Measurements

Write them down.  You will be surprised by how many inches you lose when the scale has stalled.  In my case, my scale wouldn’t budge for a few weeks at a time but then I noticed my face was thinning or I was one hole closer to the start of my belt, new pants, new shirts… I needed a whole new wardrobe.

7.      Clean It Out

Empty your house (including your fridge and secret stash) of unfriendly and “trigger” foods and replace them with your new shopping list including apples and bananas.  If you don’t have any chocolate or candy in the house you can’t eat any.  You will thank yourself later.   Remember, if you are hungry you can eat a banana or an apple; if you don’t want an apple or banana, you’re not hungry!

8.      Fat Pants

Yes, I said it…Plan to keep one set of your clothes, like a pair of jeans so you can step into them a few months from now and see the dramatic changes.

9.      Plan to enjoy Celebrations

Birthdays, Christmas and special occasions are part of life.  You still need to be conscious of the outcome, so don’t go eating a gallon of ice cream and 27 beers, but be mindful that you are going to add a few pounds and take them off over a couple of weeks and get back on track.  Remember, this is a marathon, so little bumps don’t have much of an impact as long as the direction overall is down.  I added 5lbs over Christmas but lost 2lb a week during January.  I didn’t panic, I just knew that I would just recover.  I never put a date on meeting goal, I just know that I will get there eventually.


Thanks to Mike: @fatdag ( we have this mnemonic When You Are Out Of Points Stop Eating Points.  When you think about it, it makes total sense.  The WW formula sets a limit of points, for your weight, height, and age.  If you stay within the points, you should lose 1-2lbs a week.  If you run out of points STOP EATING POINTS.  I like to think that when you are no longer hungry, stop eating till you’re hungry again but WYANLHSETYHA doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as WYOOPSEP.

11.  Find a BUDDY & a HERO

If you are doing this on your own, get on Connect and find a buddy to work with and bounce ideas off.  It will help if they have some things in common with you, like roughly the same weight to lose, similar age and situation etc…  If you have a spouse or significant other they can be your buddy, it will be much easier to work together.  You should also find a Hero, at least one to follow who is super motivating and successful that you can strive to emulate or take some of their advice and experiences they often spread  There are many like-minded groups (or Tribes) on Connect; whether it is geography, age, gender, weight range, food types and the like… there are hundreds of interest groups you can associate with… check out some hashtags like #weightlifting, #BBQ, #wwbros, #(your state), #military – most anything you have an interest in you can find a group of people who are interested in the same things.


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