If I had to list the number one question I receive from Weight Watchers members, it would be this, “Why am I not losing weight on Weight Watchers Freestyle?” Let’s explore this together.
Are You Not Losing Weight on Weight Watchers?
Last week I received this email question from a reader named Sheri.
I’ve been faithfully following the WW program for months and I’m so frustrated that I’m not losing weight. I’m not overeating. I’m walking 3-4 times a week. I need to lose 40 pounds so I’m not even close to my goal weight. One week I might lose a pound, but then the next week I gain it back and I haven’t lost much overall. What can I do? Why can everyone else lose weight and not me?
Can you relate to Sheri?
I know I sure can. It’s so frustrating to feel like you’re doing all the right things and still not losing weight.
Why You Aren’t Losing Weight on Weight Watchers/WW Freestyle
I’m going to tell you the truth and it is probably not the news you want to hear but there’s no point in sugar coating it.
You are eating too many calories.
I can hear your but…but…but!!! (And I get it because I do more than my fair share of but-butting.)
But none of those buts really matter.
- You might have low thyroid.
- You might have arthritis.
- You might a lower metabolic rate because you have a history of dieting.
- You might have stinky genetics.
You might be following the WW program perfectly but if you are eating too many calories for your body, you aren’t going to lose weight.
Weight loss seems complex but at its most basic level it’s super-simple.
If you are stuck and not losing weight, it’s because somewhere, somehow, you are eating too many calories.
It’s not that the WW system isn’t working for you.
And by the way, there is no “starvation mode” according to weight loss research doctors so set that myth aside. If we put you into a deserted island with no food, you would lose weight.
An Action Plan for When You Aren’t Losing Weight
If you are not losing weight on WW, here’s your action plan.
- Get real. This is the grand-daddy solution. Look at your diet like someone from the outside would look at it. You’re overeating (for your body) somewhere. If necessary, bring a copy of your food log to your doctor, a dietitian, or your WW leader.
- Weight and measure your servings. A research study showed that dietitians overestimated their food intake by about 30% and these people are experts. You are probably under-counting something.
- Eat more protein and lower carbs. Research shows the same calories with a higher portion of protein seems to promote weight loss. You aren’t going to get a huge benefit here but it will help a little. Make sure you eat some fat every day, too.
- Get a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or other tracker if you don’t have one yet. This will give you a reality check about how much you move. I list some of my recommendations here.
- Check your goal weight. Maybe it’s not realistic for you. If you have a history of dieting, a goal weight 10-15 pounds above what the charts say might be healthier for you. Talk with your doctor.
- Your splurges are killing your weight loss. This has been a big one for me to get real about because I have a history of binge eating. One eating binge can counteract WEEKS (no joke) of healthy eating. So you feel like you’re doing great because you have all these days in a row of eating healthy or even under-eating, but a binge or cheat meal or splurge of a couple thousand calories can mean you are still into the range of overeating.
It’s not true that “everyone” is losing weight and not you. I know it seems that way, but if it were true why would I get all these emails from people not losing weight? Give yourself some grace.
Finally, don’t give up. I know it’s frustrating but don’t let quitting be an option.
Do you struggle to lose weight on Weight Watchers? Share about it in the comments below.