Weight Watchers and Diabetes

I love weight watcher’s newest program. I’m finding people are having great success with weight loss and feel better about themselves as they are finding it much easier to stay on program than years past. There is one group of people that will need to be very careful: Diabetics!

One of my patients had come in to the office distressed because she had joined weight watchers and was eating on program but her glucoses kept going up and up and up. After doing a dietary recall with her, it turns out she was eating lots of items off their zero points food list without taking in to account the amount of carbohydrates she was consuming. Certain items, such as fruits for example, even on the zero point list CAN NOT be consumed in ginormous quantities by diabetics without having subsequent excursions beyond your targeted glucose range.

So the big point is that even the zeros in the zero point list can add up if you are not eating from the list responsibly! Stay on program, track even your zero point foods. You should be looking at your daily food log and mentally take in what you have consumed. What can you do better tomorrow? If you really find yourself on a zero point binge, make up for those extras by earning yourself some fit points for that day.

The problem with food replacement systems.

There is plenty of advice out there and plenty of weight loss systems that promote their products. Some of these come with a ginormous cost and very little comparative reward or satisfaction. What do I believe to be the biggest problem with these systems?

Well, besides the cost and the fact that many are barely palatable, many of these are total or near total food replacement systems, and so these companies are completely dependent on you never learning how to eat properly. Do you understand what this means? These companies make their money by keeping you dependent on their food products and never truly changing your underlying eating habits that caused you to gain so much weight in the first place. They are treating a symptoms and not the cause. It’s like taking pain medication for a toothache but never actually fixing the tooth!

My advice, beware of companies offering complete, or near complete food replacements systems-particularly ones with a high cost. You might be successful while on the product, but if you never learn how to control your eating habits you will very likely gain much of your weight back as soon as you stop using the product. This can lead to terrible feelings of failure and negative self worth which in turn contributes to a cycle of emotional overeating and weight gain.

Those who are most successful and keep the weight off long term actually lose their weight gradually. The weight didn’t go on in a day, a month or even a year so don’t expect healthy weight loss to happen in such a small amount of time either. Instead, set yourself up for success by slowly learning to create and enjoy wholesome meals, manage portion sizes, reading food labels and trying new fresh fruits and vegetables-these are natures snacks!

Where to begin?

How do we reach our goals? Sometimes they can seem so far away and just thinking of the steps needed to get there becomes overwhelming.


When we allow that panic to set in, we allow our fears and doubts to take control. We begin to tell ourselves “I can’t” rather than “I can.” We start thinking about past failures, automatically allowing our negative self talk to set us up for failure yet again. Avoid negative self talk, trust me, you are listening and you will believe those words that pass through your mind!

Don’t linger on decisions that will bring you towards wellness. Have you been thinking of joining that gym down the street for several months now? Well guess what, you have been thinking about it for several months too long! Make a decision and commit. The time to act is now.

I truly believe people can return from the depths of self neglect and obesity no matter how far gone they believe themselves to be. You just need to work on it one step at a time. Don’t look up at the stair case, look down at the step your foot is on and move it forward one step at a time. Eventually you will not be so fixated on how far away the top of that stair case is, instead you will be looking behind you and feel amazed at how far you have come.