Since I've been following Weight Watchers 2009 Momentum Plan for a month now -- and since I'm actually taking the time to (re)read all the books that come with it, I figured it couldn't hurt to "review" each week's materials. Because I am a firm believer that the program only works if you go to the meetings (after all, if you could lose the weight at home, you would have already lost it, wouldn't you?), and because I don't want to give away any secrets to non-members, I'll just go over it on a light sense. Although the intent isn't necessarily to drive you to a Weight Watchers meeting if you're not already going, I truly do believe in the program and think it will do virtually anybody who tries it a world of good. (If you'd like to read all my postings related to the Momentum in one click, follow this link. If you'd like to read about Weight Watchers new materials, follow this link.)
Activity Basics -- START MOVING MORE
One of the changes that took place when Weight Watchers switched to the Momentum Plan is that they modified the Good Health Guidelines to now include "at least 30 minutes of activity a day on most days of the week." Weight Watchers has almost always (at least as far back as the eighties) included a push on activity, right down to the four-way approach they have at the beginning of their materials and on their flip charts we use to teach the members; but this is the first time they've included it in their Good Health Guidelines.
What does that mean?
Well that's a good question, but next to the actual food plan, the Good Health Guidelines are probably the most important part of Weight Watchers. As I tell my members, the intent is to be healthy, not skinny. If you lose the weight but damage your health, what good was it? So, in addition to getting the correct number of points, there are other criteria that are also vital.
If we look at the 2008 Good Health Guidelines from WW website, we find these:
- Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.
- Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.
- Have some healthy oil (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.
- Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dried beans each day. Many dairy products are also good sources of protein.
- Limit added sugar and alcohol.
- Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.
In 2009, they added the activity guideline, which pushed it up in importance. I think it's more symbolic than anything else. Nonetheless, it does continue to show Weight Watchers is concerned with health, not just "diets."
What's in Book 2?
The books is divided into six sections:
- Get Ready
- Get Set
- Three walking plans
- Your next steps
As you can see right away, the main focus on activity is tied to walking. That makes a lot of sense because:
- It doesn't take a lot of preparation
- You don't have to buy expensive equipment
- It's effective
- You can do it anywhere (well, except in Texas where they hate sidewalks!)
- It's a good starter for people with very little activity in their lives -- especially if they're overweight
In section 1 of the book is a quick introduction to why exercise is important. I personally would consider that "no-duh" type of thing but then again, I would consider many things that others don't a "no-duh" type of thing.
This section consists of a "readiness quiz" to see if you're indeed ready to begin any sort of activity. Remember, that a good number of people who come to a WW meeting are sedentary and ANY movement could be a problem. In addition to the quiz, there are tips on how to warm up and cool down.
Here we basically learn about Activity Points, which one can earn for activity; and how to swap them for more food if one wishes.
This section, the longest one of the 32 page booklet, goes into more detail on time spent exercising, intensity of the exercise, and what type of exercise you'll choose. It also discusses fact and fiction about activity.
Three walking plans
Well, it's just that. Three walking plans to get you started, build up, and become an "expert walker."
Your next steps
This is a very small section that tells you how to actually put all this into play and promotes Book 3: Stay Ahead of Hunger.