I gained weight during the last sixteen months of Covid restrictions. Not only that, but I was already above my fighting weight before all the isolation and social distancing started. So, about a week ago, I signed on with an app that is very popular in helping people lose some of those pounds. Here is my analysis so far.
To cut a not-very-long story short, I am not impressed. The TV ads presented this as a weight-loss system unlike all the others. It promised to be based not on denying oneself of favourite foods but on psychology. Yes, science! One of the ads has an attractive woman declaring how much smarter she feels now that she knows what she has been doing wrong all these years. It’s as though she never really knew how many calories were in potatoes.
Well, here’s the skinny, so to speak. It’s all about calories.
The app does present some daily instruction in the form of bite-sized truisms and rah-rah encouragement, and I admit to finding some of that helpful. At the same time, it all boils down to itemizing and registering everything the user eats and drinks. The app then turns all that into calories and a red/yellow/green approval gauge. It’s not that simple, but that’s how it seems to me.
Another portion of the system involves physical exercise which for me involves walking. The app is still tied in to the 10,000 steps per day concept which has since been debunked. I go for a good long walk every other day and when I do 6,000 steps is a good day. The step counting plan fails to take into account age and/or height and/or gradient and/or the outdoor environment.
Related to this is the temperature and the breathability of the air. I cannot walk outside when the weather is too hot, too cold, or full of smoke from wildfires. Two of these are currently a problem. When the temperature is consistently over 30C and there are wildfires to the west, north, and east, I am staying indoors. There are also wildfires to the southwest, but given how much smoke is in the air I doubt if that contribution matters much.
Anyway, today I tried to keep to the calorie count. I had coffee with creamer, blueberries/yoghurt/granola, water, lettuce/cucumber/wraps, green tea, a lemon square, and mixed raw veg with ranch dressing. That was it. I was already close to the calorie-count maximum. So I decided a glass of wine was in order. That’s what put me into the dunces corner. So, I had another couple of glasses.
They don’t actually ask you what you drink, but when you add it in to the system the calorie count goes way up. Your diet goes from good to bad in a hurry.
I shouldn’t be surprised because I have walked this path before, but I was drawn in by the ads that made it seem like this was a different process. In my few days of participation I have found that very little is different. Don’t get me wrong, I like the rah-rah and the informational tid-bits. But in the end, they wanted this old lady to go from 0 to 60 in very short order, even though I had my pace set to a tortoise instead of a hare.
The bottom line (no pun intended) is that I need to exercise more, drink less alcohol, and eat fewer calories. Got it. But, I think I already knew that. I never did get to know the group that was supposed to keep me motivated, but that’s probably because I didn’t check in with them. I’m not even sure that I had a group because I was still in the first free two weeks of the program.
I did, however, contact the online support person and told them that it is impossible for me to meet the prescribed exercise goals. They told me how easy it was for me to change the settings on step counting. I told them they should make that “get out of jail free card” more evident. They said they would pass my message on.
Having said all that, if any weight-loss system works for you, stick with it. My experience is not representative. I think what I am looking for is a potato-eaters and wine-drinkers plan. They should also give me lots of time to use up all the muffins, wine, and potatoes I already have in my fridge. Oh, did I forget to mention the muffins?
I don’t think there’s an easy solution. Trying to loose a bit myself. Diets usually don’t work because they don’t focus on health but on a fast weight loss based on starvation, restrictions, a calorie reduction way to drastic and so on. In other words: unrealistic goals that – when you fail – makes you miserable. Who needs that. Counting calories works for some and that’s fine. Saw a diet with out carbs at all. What’s left then?! Unrealistic.. I respect your effort and hope you reach the goal you’ve set for your self. 😊
I was disappointed that this one was not much different from the others I have tried. It didn’t match up to the hype.
Eat more protein, drink more water, get a bit more sleep and exercise. Easy Peasy.
Right. Got it.
If you really look at the adds, there is no one over 45 in their commercials. I don’t think they factor age into their plan.
I had not noticed that! You are quite right, Lynn. Hmmm.
Anne, ya had to bring this up, right? As my jeans get tighter and everything seems to be larger. Yes, I am also a product of Covid 10 (or 15?). And, seriously, we do eat quite healthful foods here. A mere touch away from vegetarian actually. However it is portion control for me first and foremost. And age surely enters in and I am approaching 78. What? 78? Well, why should I worry over a few added pounds? I hold out hope that they will sustain me through my old age. I can’t even use wine as an excuse as I don’t drink. Exercise is definitely lacking due to inability to do many physical things. I believe I will just get some looser-fitting clothing and enjoy! Lynn is right about the actors in the commercials being pretty darn young. And if anyone belongs to AARP, even they direct a lot of their articles to folks in their 50’s which is pretty youthful in my opinion.
Thanks for the smiles this morning, my friend!
I am glad I brought a smile today, Mary Beth, but sorry to have brought up a touchy subject.
I had noticed that about the AARP (and CARP) too! The people on the covers of the magazines all look well below retirement age or at least have afforded treatments to preserve their youthful looks.
So, yes, lets all just get looser-fitting clothing and enjoy life.
Got a good chuckle from this…the fight is real!
I’m happy to cause a chuckle, June.
Senior here who gave up the wine but not the desserts. I do walk on a treadmill when needed to balance outdoor exercise, but it still doesn’t make up for desserts. 🙂 Years ago, I went on a very low, and I mean very low, carb diet, and the pounds fell off. The only problem is it’s not realistic to maintain especially when you enjoy carbs. 🙂
I used to have a treadmill but sold it when I realized it was causing more guilt than weight loss. Now, I’m learning to love my body as it is, and sometimes I love it with carbs.
I ‘think’ this treadmill is at least 25 years old. I’m glad I bought top of the line or I can’t imagine it would be still running. Of course, walking 20-30 minutes a day doesn’t exactly wear it out either. 🙂