Whether you’re counting calories or carbs or points, everyone does it differently.
And in a lot of cases, it’s refining what works and what doesn’t per person. Even identical twins on WW can eat very similar foods, exercise the same, and their weight might fluctuate from week to week.
For me, I’ve counted calories in the past with success, however it was constantly this game of how low can I go. With adding in exercise, it was worse because I was doing the bare minimum for my body (because 1200 actually isn’t enough, the one number fits all concept is a complete bs ‘standard’ that doesn’t work for everyone) and what I was consuming wasn’t enough for doing more exercise.
I had followed a 1200 calorie is goal for food sort of lifestyle for several years. I actually dropped down to 800 calories a day for a long time. This was a big mistake as after I got to a certain weight (by starvation), when I started eating normally again, the weight was back.
And I wasn’t eating differently. I was still monitoring my calories and eating 1300 most days. I kept lowering my calories in different ways, changing my food, adding in more exercise, exercising three times a day, etc.
It was too much to maintain, and also not working.
So I had to figure out what worked for me in a different way. I had gotten back into 1200 calories to lose the weight again and was considering 800 a day on some days (intermittent fasting) on certain days ‘just to get to my good weight’ and then I’d ‘fix myself later’.
But the truth was when you do that bare minimum, you lose energy, you break your metabolism, you’re always hungry, exercise is much harder and the weight is actually harder to keep off once you’ve reached goals. It’s simply not maintainable for most people.
People need to forget 1200 as a calorie number. This might be okay for “Sara” who is 5′ and very lean and doesn’t really exercise or actually move throughout the day. But you might not be “Sara”. And I can say that if you’re eating just 1200, unless you’re eating nothing but spinach and beef, you’re not getting enough iron without supplements. You’re not getting essential vitamins and nutrients you actually need for your body. If you use something like My Fitness Pal and try to hit all your marcos (iron, vitamins, potassium) without supplements, you’ll probably find it near impossible on 1200 calories. (Someone will probably come with some form of ‘this could work’ eating beats and beef liver at 1200 calories but….listen, we’re not eating that every day and it is not just about macros. Put your micro-nutrient and calorie calculator down.)
I don’t want to go into too many details but WW, I feel, has saved me personally from that continual not good for me mindset.
How WW has changed things for me:
- I no longer am afraid to eat because I’m hungry and “I’m out of calories.” If you know this feeling, you’ve hit 1200 calories for the day and you can’t eat any more and you’re looking at even an apple…an APPLE… and can’t eat it because it’s “over your calories”. Stop doing this to yourself.
- I can promise I eat a more now than I was before and still losing weight, at a healthier pace than before as well.
- I have more energy for the exercise I choose to do, because my body is now being able to get fuel it needs.
- The support from other WW members, even on YouTube (and I hear have great members on Instagram and Facebook and WW’s own Connect) is very kind and not pushy and helpful. I found most other spaces to be a bit critical if you’re not doing exactly as this one person does who lost and maintained forever. Even WW members differ in how they approach it and still manage to find success.
- While my weight loss has been slower compared to what I did to myself in the past, the process of getting to where I want to be has been actually enjoyable and I know I’m feeling like this is the right way. My body has fuel. If I had done this instead of what I’d done before, I probably would have been better at keeping weight off and maintaining.
Not that anyone reading this has to try WW and I’m sure other people have found success doing 1200 calories or low carb or something else. This is simply what has worked for me and my thoughts on knowing for my own body, what I was doing before wasn’t working, wasn’t maintainable for forever. I’m basically happy with what I’m doing now and ready for keeping with it for the rest of my life. And I can do it because I can still enjoy life, food, activities, etc., and still loose or maintain the weight I want to be at.