No matter the program or strategy you’re using, weight loss can feel like an uphill battle. But it doesn’t have to! If you’re new to Weight Watchers or have been struggling to find success in the program, avoiding these 10 common Weight Watchers mistakes can be a game changer. 

These tips may seem obvious to some, but they are the most commonly cited by Weight Watchers members who have found success in the program. Little changes can yield huge results! For more Drizzle tips on Weight Watchers, check out our WW fast food survival guide, popular Weight Watchers kitchen accessories, and loads of Weight Watchers-friendly recipes.  

1. Guessing at Point Values

One of the most common mistakes is guessing the point values of your food. This can happen if you don’t find a food in the WW app and so you assign it points based on a comparable meal or what you think the value might be. 

This is a slippery slope because, as we all know, hidden ingredients can add up to big points fast. Getting into a habit of underestimating point values can lead to you eating way more points than you’re recording, hindering your progress big time.   

2. “Eyeballing” food measurements and portion sizes

Along the same line, eyeballing food measurements when cooking or portion sizes when eating can also cause you to eat way more points than you think you are. It’s important when you’re cooking at home (a great idea on Weight Watchers!) that you use measuring cups or food scales to keep your recipes compliant. 

While you can weigh your portions at home, this gets tricky when you’re eating out. A very useful tool for Weight Watchers is to learn how to measure portion sizes with your hand. For example, a cut of meat roughly the size of your palm is about 3 ounces while one ounce of cheese is the size of your thumb; and a fist full of pasta or fruit is one cup.

Chicken Pibil served hot in a bowl and with tortillas in a dish
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3. Eating too little food

We’ve been so conditioned with the “calories in vs. calories out” mantra for weight loss, that undereating is a common mistake on any diet. While in theory, being restrictive of calories should lead to weight loss, most of us have learned all too well that it usually backfires, leaving us hungry, hangry, and vulnerable to overeating later in the day. 

Living in a perpetual state of hunger will not only make you more likely to bingeeat, but it also leaves you with low energy, making it difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) to exercise. While there’s no hard and fast rule for how many calories one should be eating, it’s important that you feel satisfied from whole and balanced foods after eating. 

4. Drinking too many calories

Drinking too many calories is dangerous in two ways, according to Weight Watchers. For one, our favorite coffee drinks, juices, and sodas are often loaded with calories, sugar, and fats and simply cannot be a regular part of a balanced Weight Watchers diet. 

Beyond that, sipping our calories, even in healthy smoothies, can leave us feeling less full than chewing the same foods. According to researchers, the act of chewing itself increases the production of hormones that fend off hunger and signal we’re full.

5. Omitting entire food groups from your diet

If there’s one thing that’s consistent among the many diet fads that have come and gone, it’s that they tend to blame entire food groups for rising obesity. We’ve seen carbs, fats, animal products, and just about anything else villainized, and diets popping up that say to avoid them entirely if you’re ever going to lose weight. 

The fact is, our bodies need healthy fats, complex carbs, natural sugars, and protein in their proper amounts to stay satiated, fuel the brain and immune system, balance hormones, and aid in post-workout recovery. Aside from withholding vital nutrients from your body, restricting whole food groups can lead to yo-yo dieting, causing weight to return once you reintroduce those foods to your diet. 

6. Mindless snacking

Making zero-point snacks at home or staving off hunger with our favorite healthy snacks from Trader Joes, Walmart, and Costco can be a lifesaver in the Weight Watchers program. Healthy snacking can prevent binging and fuel exercise efforts. It’s important to be mindful of snacking, though, because even low-point and zero-point snacks can add up in calories. 

To prevent overeating snacks, have a strategy for when to eat them (WW suggests 3-4 hours after a meal), and be sure to pick snacks that have fiber and protein to keep you full longer, like whole grain crackers and cheese or Greek yogurt and fruit with a dollop of nut butter. 

7. Not meal planning

Meal planning is one of the most important strategies for success in the Weight Watchers program. Planning your meals for the week takes the guesswork out of shopping, meal prep, and cooking, ensuring you always have a healthy option at hand. 

In addition, planning for challenging situations (such as eating out with friends, at a party, or when traveling) using Mental Rehearsing can mean the difference between success and failure in this program. Knowing what you’ll do in these situations—whether through exploring restaurant menus before leaving the house or knowing what to say to a friend offering you food outside of your point budget—is half the battle. 

8. Not tracking what you eat

Tracking your food points is the basis of the entire Weight Watchers program, so it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to get in the habit of tracking as you eat. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of saying “I’ll enter it later” but forgetting to do so. 

Or maybe you want to “take a day off” from tracking, but that day turns into two, and then four, and before you know it, a week has gone by. Keep yourself accountable for tracking every meal and snack as you eat them. You will thank yourself later!

9. Not getting enough water, exercise, or sleep

It’s easy to become hyper-focused on what we’re eating and how our points are adding up—and in all fairness, that is a huge component of the Weight Watchers program. But losing weight is about more than just what we’re eating. 

It’s equally important to ensure you’re drinking enough water, exercising, and getting enough sleep every night. Our bodies truly cannot heal or lose weight without these healthy habits. The Weight Watchers app allows you to track water, exercise, and sleep, so don’t forget about these features!

10. Obsessing over the scale

Our final tip for success is to forget about the scale sometimes! Obviously, weight loss is our goal, and Weight Watchers encourages weekly weigh-ins, which are instrumental in monitoring our progress and adjusting our goals. But there’s so much more to this program than a number on the scale. 

Our bodies will naturally fluctuate in weight, and everyone will hit a plateau at some point on a weight loss journey. It’s important to measure our success in other ways too, like noticing whether our sleep quality is improving, that we’re able to play with our kids more easily and for longer, and whether we feel more vibrant and healthy overall.

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