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Technology Beats Temptation in New Weight Watchers Plan

Members get help from apps and gadgets on new Weight Watchers meal plan

HEALTH GOES STRONG
ROBYN FLIPSE

Back in 1963 when the first Weight Watchers plan was launched, women went to their weigh-ins wearing shirt-waist dresses. Now members will be wearing motion sensing devices! An added feature to the new Weight Watchers meal plan, called 360, relies on modern technology to make mindless eating a thing of the past.

Spokespeople from Weight Watchers said the changes are in response to research that shows we eat what we like, or brings us pleasure, regardless of our good intentions. This tendency to give in to food temptation feeds our "hedonic hunger," which is food consumption not driven by physiological needs. Our best defense against it is to control our environment so the food that is all around us doesn't control us.

This is a significant advance over reliance on willpower. Anyone who has ever ordered dessert after eating a full meal knows we don't stop eating just because we've had enough. That's why restaurants put their desserts on trays to be viewed once the dinner plates are cleared. Who can resist marble-swirl cheesecake or hot apple crisp?

The solution, according to Weight Watchers and plenty of solid science, is to learn how to avoid the many food traps that surround us until we can effectively ignore them. This means planning ahead for meals and snacks and keeping the right choices on hand or finding them on menus when eating out.

If you sign up for 360, you'll still have to keep track of the point value of your food choices – part of the Weight Watchers plan that has not changed in 50 years - but now you can get more support when making the hundreds of food decisions you face each day by using smartphone apps and website tools. If you buy the optional physical activity monitor, you'll get feedback on how much you move and the equivalent point value of your daily activity as well. That feedback is very motivational.

Regular meetings are still a mainstay of the program, but now you can join a group online in addition to attending a local gathering. The live meetings will be based on a new curriculum that includes greater use of hands-on demonstrations, practical portion control techniques and how-to survival tools when eating away from home.  They promise to be more interactive and engaging so you'll gain more valuable experience with each one you attend. 

With the new Weight Watchers 360 plan, the brand has gone from being the best diet around to being the best lifestyle program around. Now it's all about making changes that become so routine, they happen without thinking until finally, they stick. That means once you lose the weight, you won't have to worry about regaining it because you've got an entirely new way of dealing with food that's part of a new way of life.

That's really coming full circle.

For more on weight loss to keep you motivated, check here:

Changing Lifestyle is Key to Successful Weight Control

Calorie Control Means Weight Control When Eating Out

What Fad Diets for Weight Loss Have You Tried?

8 Ways to Lose Weight This Spring – SLIDE SHOW

5 Sure Steps to Achieving Weight Loss - VIDEO