Good News! You’re At Your Heaviest

By Debbie Koenig

Never in a million years would I have considered hitting my peak weight a good thing. But a paper out of Cornell’s Food & Brand Lab suggests that nearly all of us are in the same boat this week — and that (yippee!) we’re all about to start losing. Their research, based on data collected from wireless scales in the U.S., Germany, and Japan, shows that January 3 is the day we weigh the most for the year, the result of weeks of holiday celebrations. Which is fine, since the research also suggests we’re on the road to shedding at least some of those excess pounds.

If you’re a Weight Watchers member, either a resolution-driven newbie or an old hand like me, you’ve definitely set yourself up for success in the next month. This particular study only looked at numbers from the scales, and didn’t examine whether or not participants were trying to lose weight come January. The statistics showed that people just…lost weight. And those who weighed in frequently lost the most, the quickest. It’s not hard to make the leap from there to this: Weight Watchers members will lose weight this month.

The key seems to be awareness, as frequent weigh-ins would indicate. But beyond that, Weight Watchers encourages awareness in several other ways. The program recommends that we members:

Keep track of what we’re eating. Journaling forces us to acknowledge every bite, no matter how much we may regret that second helping, to take ownership of our decisions. And it helps to have a record to examine. Before I became a Lifetime Member, back in the Stone Age when journals were recorded on paper, whenever I was struggling I’d read over weeks where I’d lost weight. By mimicking what I’d eaten in successful weeks, I would get myself moving in the right direction again.

Plan ahead. Whether we’re looking at a restaurant menu online or meal planning for an entire week, knowing what’s ahead helps us make smart decisions.

Think before we eat. This one combines the previous two: Take the consciousness that comes from tracking and the certainty that comes from planning ahead, and we impulsively grab a handful of chips much less often than we used to.

See what I mean? You’re already on your way. Good news!

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