Making the Right Call

A new weight-loss study can be motivation for all of us.

By Adam Kraemer

I very clearly remember that when I started on the Weight Watchers plan everyone I saw suddenly in my head became a potential candidate. “He could stand to track his intake a little better.” “She probably doesn’t need that sugary drink.” “That couple seems to think I’m staring at their food. I am staring at their food. Whoops.”

Of course, not everyone needs Weight Watchers. Some people are thin, either by physiology or because they already acquired good eating habits somewhere along the way. However, a lot of people aren’t. And scientists say the number is growing. In fact, I heard on the radio last week about a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association noting that fewer people are trying to lose weight ( than they were 10 years ago or 25 years ago. So if you’re doing right by Weight Watchers, give yourself a pat on the back.

Or if you’re busy tracking your FitPoints®, have someone else pat you on the back in your stead.

Myself, as you know, I’ve done great following the Weight Watchers plan. And then I’ve done not so great failing to follow. And then I discovered there’s actually a song by the group Missing Persons called “Walking in L.A.”, the chorus of which is “Nobody walks in L.A.” However, I’m glad to say I’m doing much better now, thank you. Turns out you don’t need a destination to walk. And the weird looks people give you are just incentive.

But the day I heard about that study, it got me thinking once again about how many people could benefit from a simple points system. And then it inspired me to make a smart food choice. Am I going to share it with you? Probably. Am I getting really good at photographing food? Definitely. (See photo.)

First, some backstory:

I was born on October 10…you know what? That’s maybe too much backstory. I’ll skip ahead.

My new company shares an office park with Symantec, the computer antivirus people (ironic, since apparently, I get 30 sick days). And Symantec has a cafeteria. With really good food. Every day there are options in the following categories: Breakfast, Comfort, Grill, Global, Latin, Deli, and Soups. I promise you that’s true. Given, we don’t get the Symantec employee discount, but they still let us eat there. Maybe for that reason.

Anyway, last week, I neglected to bring lunch from home (read: ran out of things that didn’t require a full kitchen to prepare), so I decided to treat myself to a Symantec meal. I don’t know if it was by cosmic design or not, but every single thing on the menu that day was really high in SmartPoints® values. The Grill food, for example, was “Bleu Cheese Burger served with curly fries.” The Latin food option was some sort of a build-your-own taco bowl. The Comfort option — well, Comfort options are rarely low-calorie, am I right?

And then I saw it — nestled away between “fried everything” and “all the fat a growing panda could need”: shrimp pad Thai. Now, yes, I know it has noodles. And sometimes they’re heavy on the oil. And the peanuts. But “stir-fried” and “fried” are not the same thing. And shrimp is not pork. (You probably knew that.)

Of course I also was very good and didn’t eat all of it. Partly because I knew that I didn’t need to finish it in order to enjoy it and eat my fill. And partly because I only subconsciously noted that they threw a lot of jalapeños into the mixing bowl. It was good…up to a point. And that point was when I’d officially used more napkins to mop my brow than I did to wipe my mouth. I did not ask for a to-go carton.

But the point is that I was faced with a bunch of non-healthy options and one mostly healthy option and I went with the mostly healthy one. And I ate half of it. I’m okay with that. And it keeps me off the JAMA list of people who have stopped trying to lose weight. And soon, I’ll be able to feel my tongue again.

Talk to you soon.

Follow Adam on Connect @adam.k

Read more posts from Weight, Don’t Tell Me