T Nation

Using Weight Watchers to Gain Weight

I heard a good idea today that might come in handy for beginner lifter/eaters.

I was talking to another coach today and he came up with an amusing and interesting method of monitoring eating in clients. He found that a majority of the female clients he signed in the months of January and February were using “weight watchers” as their mode of dieting. At first [and/or last year] he would tell them to scrap that bullshit and put them on a Berardi/carb cycling method.

then after looking further into the weight watchers thing he saw that all it really was was a low sugar low fat diet method. If you pick good food you can eat a bunch [relatively speaking] but if you pick shit you dont eat much at all. So this year he took the female clients that were on weight watchers and just gave them new parameters. The ladies were already super familiar with the points systems and easily got up to speed.

Instead of keeping your points under a certain number they had to be right at a certain number. Also there are items that are worth zero [mostly raw veggies] and he said that they have to have 6 zeros a day. Basically using their already indoctrinated system to get them eating more of the right foods and less bread.

Then for a young high school aged client he gave him the little points book and said to eat double his Rx’d points per day.

So i reckon that if every beginner who just could not grasp Berardi’s stuff or carb cycling picked up a copy of the weight watchers booklet thingy and ate double the Rx we’d have lots of bigger beginners.

Thought it was a novel idea. Any one else notice the prevalence of this weight watchers dieting system?

-chris

Could you link me Berardi’s diet for beginners or the carb cycling please?

I’m still working on my clean bulk.

imo (and that’s just it my opinion) the weight watchers system is for unimaginative people with no self control and the inability to think on their own and interpret information in a useful way. As a former trainer I used to thrive on this type of behavior; until I came to loathe it.

With that being said what you’re basically saying is beginners should eat more food. Why do you think that the weight watchers template would be optimal? Do you think that weight watchers would prescribe the proper macro-break down for them to optimally achieve their given goals?

I personally think that it would work for a few to meet their goals but hinder a lot more than it would help. But I like where you’re heads at, thinking outside the box … always a good thing.

[quote]polo77j wrote:
imo (and that’s just it my opinion) the weight watchers system is for unimaginative people with no self control and the inability to think on their own and interpret information in a useful way. As a former trainer I used to thrive on this type of behavior; until I came to loathe it.

With that being said what you’re basically saying is beginners should eat more food. Why do you think that the weight watchers template would be optimal? Do you think that weight watchers would prescribe the proper macro-break down for them to optimally achieve their given goals?

I personally think that it would work for a few to meet their goals but hinder a lot more than it would help. But I like where you’re heads at, thinking outside the box … always a good thing.[/quote]

I agree, it is simply just a system of abstracting a singular goal of calorie deficit. No substitute for actual learning.

It’s not that the weight watchers template is optimal, it’s that it’s retardedly easy for someone to stack up their food/day. The way buddy had it going The macro break down was “OK” but not optimal. For him i think the deal was that he could this way get them eating enough veggies [aka zero’s] and then gradually introduce more “advanced” nutrition habits later on.

the way we got talking about it was that we were talking about achieving compliance in nutrition/training. for me training/coaching is kind of a field study for my future graduate work on human behavior. As such im always asking other trainers about how they achieve behavior change.

But yeah all it is is something i found randomly interesting and wondered if anyone else had come across similar unexpected methods.

I met another athlete [no coach] who had kind of reinvented carb cycling/calorie waving in an odd way. On training days he gorged himself with protein and carbs. Then on off days he would eat only 6 cans of tuna, 3 tbsp of olive oil and a EAS shake. first thing i could think to say was “Man, you must have some crazy shits.”

-chris

[quote]Avocado wrote:
polo77j wrote:
I agree, it is simply just a system of abstracting a singular goal of calorie deficit. No substitute for actual learning.

It’s not that the weight watchers template is optimal, it’s that it’s retardedly easy for someone to stack up their food/day. The way buddy had it going The macro break down was “OK” but not optimal. For him i think the deal was that he could this way get them eating enough veggies [aka zero’s] and then gradually introduce more “advanced” nutrition habits later on.

the way we got talking about it was that we were talking about achieving compliance in nutrition/training. for me training/coaching is kind of a field study for my future graduate work on human behavior. As such im always asking other trainers about how they achieve behavior change.

But yeah all it is is something i found randomly interesting and wondered if anyone else had come across similar unexpected methods.

I met another athlete [no coach] who had kind of reinvented carb cycling/calorie waving in an odd way. On training days he gorged himself with protein and carbs. Then on off days he would eat only 6 cans of tuna, 3 tbsp of olive oil and a EAS shake. first thing i could think to say was “Man, you must have some crazy shits.”

-chris[/quote]

lol … glad to hear you were initially interested in the man’s shits! hahaha … The way you just described it, it wouldn’t be a bad way to INTRODUCE a beginner to a better diet and gradually add on to it; kind of like weening them off the teet of eating shit to eating for their goals.

When I was training people (I trained in a private gym in S. Carolina … met some pieces of work) it was a case by case basis as far as motivating them and I had to use different techniques routinely. The real hard cases I had to kind of ween them in ways that are similar to the weight watchers idea but I stayed away from any type of point system. TBH never really thought about it. I think I made a woman cry because I told her that weight watchers was shit (not that harshly).

Educating people about proper nutrition to achieve their physique goals is almost as bad as explaining the intricacies of global economics to a five year old with ADHD.

I see it as reverse engineering, you know what it takes of X amount of a specific food to maintain or lose weight. Just multiply by the amount of points that they assign to that food and you got it made.

The beauty of WW is that it makes you aware of what you’re eating and enables you to make better choices.

Bob

An ex of mine used to do Weight-Watchers and initially I poured scorn on it. Then later I realised that it was actually teaching her a bit about nutrition in a way she could understand.

I think the fact that she could talk to her friends about it helped with it too. Maybe women also relate better to this kind of thing as they are more focused on calorie counting and diets in general??

The basic principle that you can eat a small amount of crap food, or loads of healthy stuff for the same daily total cals, I think helps people understand a bit more about what their food choices are.

I think anything that helps educate people about what they should eat and helps with their overall compliance is a good thing. It’s just a shame that many never progress beyond counting WW points and realise that they can do it for themselves.

My ex’s eating habits are loads better than they were and I def think that WW helped push her in the right direction. It just made her think about why certain foods had a high points value which, although obvious to us, is not something alot of people really think about on a daily basis.

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
I see it as reverse engineering, you know what it takes of X amount of a specific food to maintain or lose weight. Just multiply by the amount of points that they assign to that food and you got it made.

The beauty of WW is that it makes you aware of what you’re eating and enables you to make better choices.

Bob[/quote]

Yeah that is exactly how fella that i talked to was using it. Basically as a weening system. I suppose some people just have a different way of interpreting/learning. The other thing is he could arrange it so that they didn’t under eat. they had to get to a certain number of points.

the more I think on it the more it sounds like [what i think] the zone diet [is/might be]. But I honestly dont spend enough time talking to crossfitters about food to know shit about the zone diet. Looks like no fun to me.

I like broad rules like “eat only things that had parents and things that are green plants.” which is how i’ve found that very basic carb cycling [very AD essque] is the easiest way to achieve compliance. I think its because people dont feel like they are “losing” any of their favorite foods. they just have to wait till squats day to eat them.

-chris

[quote]Lift and Eat wrote:
An ex of mine used to do Weight-Watchers and initially I poured scorn on it. Then later I realised that it was actually teaching her a bit about nutrition in a way she could understand.

I think the fact that she could talk to her friends about it helped with it too. Maybe women also relate better to this kind of thing as they are more focused on calorie counting and diets in general??

The basic principle that you can eat a small amount of crap food, or loads of healthy stuff for the same daily total cals, I think helps people understand a bit more about what their food choices are.

I think anything that helps educate people about what they should eat and helps with their overall compliance is a good thing. It’s just a shame that many never progress beyond counting WW points and realise that they can do it for themselves.

My ex’s eating habits are loads better than they were and I def think that WW helped push her in the right direction. It just made her think about why certain foods had a high points value which, although obvious to us, is not something alot of people really think about on a daily basis.[/quote]

I agree. I think it’s all about conceptualizing nutrition for some people.

When you think about changing habits and lifestyle change the first thing is to bring new or unknown concepts into the reality of that person. And the easier and more rudimentary you can make tat reality inoculation the better i guess.

To use an exercise related example; I had tons [between 5 and 11 so far] of young kids on sports teams that come to train [either on the team or individual]. Thing is, many of these kids realities have not involved much previous physical activity. As such I literally get kids that cannot run, jump or throw.

Teaching them say a snatch with the stick; I had a kid who could not get his feet off the ground. But through what I though was clever use of duct tape and a cattle prod, and a little compassionate coaching, we got him jumping like jack sprat [not sure Mr. sprat was known for jumping].

Any how I suppose that would be the take-away here is that at least a WW booklet and a double or triple “points allowance” would get some beginners to put food in their mouth.

That being said I worked out my “weight loss points” and it turns out I could drink a mickey of scotch a day and still have points left over for a subway salad.

-chris