I have been wanting to write this post for a while – what my results and experience have been with Weight Watchers versus the 21 Day Fix and the BBG (Bikini Body Guide). Let me first say that I have been a Weight Watchers lifetime member since, oh, 2002, so I’ve been with that program about 15 years. I actually did Weight Watchers ten years prior to that in high school but didn’t make lifetime (meaning I achieved my goal weight and maintained it for six weeks). I lost some weight, went off to college and well, didn’t come back until after I got married (I know – most people lose weight before their weddings – what was I thinking??)
I lost a good bit of weight the second time – about 15 pounds. I did pretty good keeping that weight off, coming back after every pregnancy and dropping some, though not all of the weight. The last couple of years I have stayed about 10 pounds above my goal weight at Weight Watchers, though, not able to inch the scale downward.
You see, with Weight Watchers, you get your daily allotment of points to spend on whatever foods you want, along with a set of extra points to use during the week. And here’s the thing – you can literally eat all your points in candy if you want to (***Weight Watchers by no means condones this***). And you can use all your extra weekly points in one sitting if you desire as well. Plus, all fruits are “free,” meaning zero points, so you can have, like, seven bananas in one sitting (not that you would).
So as a person who loves candy, cake, ice cream, cookies, etc., there was a real temptation to, if not eat all my points in sugar, to make sure that I always had a few points for a treat. But the thing about treats for me is that it’s really, really hard to stop. Like I have some real food addiction going on in that I am never satisfied with say, a 1/2 cup serving of ice cream. Give me a bowl, baby. So I would always go over my daily points, quickly burning through my extra weekly points and then I would either stay the same or gain a little weight, try to be “good” the next week, lose a little, then relax and gain etc. And that has been my world the last 3-to-4 years.
It’s not that Weight Watchers isn’t a great program. It’s worked for me well in the past and I do believe in it. It’s just that I think I needed a change. I mean, 15 years is a long time and you know the saying… if you do the same thing expecting a different result that’s the definition of insanity, right? It was time to branch out.
So I tried all these crazy diet schemes to try and jump start my weight loss: intermittent fasting – lost some weight, but gave me insomnia; food combining – not realistic over the long-term; low-carb – gave me anxiety (mama needs carbs); and even one that had you have 4 protein shakes a day – just yuck.
Then one day this past summer I stumbled onto the BBG. I saw photos of all these girls having these amazing results and transformations. I wanted some of that. I wanted to be transformed. And the creator, Kayla Itsines, ate carbs! Glorious carbs!
The BBG also seemed really doable – it’s three 28-minute workouts a week (I can do that), no gym membership (love that), you just walk the other days (already an avid fan of walking) and rest on Sunday (just like the Lord? I’m in!)
So I embarked on my BBG journey. And then two weeks in, after watching me sweating and grunting my way through push-ups, burpees and squat jumps, my non-fan-of-working-out hubby joined me. So we have pushed and punished ourselves through 12 weeks of I’ll just say it – grueling workouts.
So where does the 21 Day Fix come in? Well, let’s just say the BBG will get you into shape, but – for me anyway – it’s not been a magic weight loss bullet in and of itself. I ignored the diet part for about the first 10 weeks, lol. Oh, I counted calories for a week or two there, but I wasn’t eating for weight loss or nutrition and calorie counting is a pain. So I was toning up and I initially lost an inch all over, but then my progress stopped. And then I started gaining weight which was very, very discouraging considering I was doing all the workouts consistently.
I kept seeing little quotes and things on Pinterest and the internet like “you can’t out-train a bad diet” and “abs are made in the kitchen”. I’d been intentionally ignoring those. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to be the exception because here I was working my buns off and I now I had to give up my food? Nuh-uh.
So I trolled the internet to find meal prepping ideas and meal plans that maybe I could implement (let me tell you, there are a whole lotta meal plans out there where all you eat is chicken, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Bleh.) I also looked into the BBG Help Guide which gives you healthy guidelines and a sample meal plan, but I needed more than that and less than a tedious points system like Weight Watchers or calorie counting program. But I found a video where this fit, but normal-looking lady showed her day’s meals on the 21 Day Fix. It looked like a reasonable amount of food – and good food, too – there was even wine and chocolate AND there were carbs… I was sold!
I bought my containers off of Amazon for around $9. The 21 Day Fix website sells them, too, and I may one day buy an “official” kit, but for now I’ve found enough info. off of the web and youtube that I have it mostly figured out.
And so far… I really like it. It’s been 12 days and I am seeing much more progress in the way of inches lost (I’ll update later on the weight loss – I am steering clear of the scale for now). I’m down another half-inch on my waist which is ahhhmazing! I’ve been carrying more weight in that area these last few years, so it’s nice to see those rolls shrinking.
I don’t think I will be at my goal in 21 days by any means – I think the three weeks is just a jump start to retrain you how to eat – so I will be using this until I reach my goal and then I will go on the maintenance plan which gives you a bit more to eat.
For now I am enjoying learning which foods fill me up and those that don’t so much. Because this is really not just about creating a calorie deficit as will counting calories – it’s about eating well and eating the correct proportions (which is where the little containers come in). I’m also figuring out the whole “treat swap” part of the program (cause I love me some treats). You’re allowed three a week and I thought that meant in addition to the food you get, but nope, turns out you have to trade. That’s why it’s only three a week with the portion equivalent to one container (like a carb). And that is actually a beautiful thing because there is less temptation to empty the whole ice cream carton into my bowl and use up my weekly points like I did with Weight Watchers (just kidding… kinda).
So I’m going to post again once the 21 weeks are up and how my weight loss progress goes after that. I’m hoping to have a good report in a few weeks – and maybe a transformation pic to share? We’ll see how brave I’m feeling…
In the meantime, those are my thoughts on three great programs (I will always be a Weight Watchers girl, but I am hoping to never need it again). I hope this helps you with your fitness and weight loss goals. I wish you the best in your journey no matter what path you choose, just pic one and get to it. You will only regret it if you never start.