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My Dad isn't too happy with WW diet

My Dad started on WeightWatchers a few weeks ago. He is 76 and has put on weight over the past few years probably because he has arthritic knees and can't get about so easily. He went to see his GP who realised he is really serious and so he is now going to WW on the NHS! He now weighs more than when he started.

Week 1 -3.5 pounds.
Week 2 +2 pounds.
Week 3 stable
Week 4 +1
Week 5 +2
Week 6 -1
Week 7 +0.5

He was obviously pleased the first week but he was told he wasn't having enough variety in his breakfast and not to have boiled eggs every day.
2nd week he changed his breakfasts and alternated with porridge and fruit but managed to put weight on. He was told it was because although he was within his points amount he was having too much bread.
3rd week - Changed to Ryvitas (half the points) and stayed stable. He was told off because he wasn't eating enough.
4th week - Put weight on. Still keeping to right amount of points but told it was because he ate oily fish for breakfast.
5th week - put weight on - he was told it's probably becaue WW ready meals are quite low in points so difficult to get to his points total.
6th week - his fault - he had a blackberry pie.

It just seems to me that there is always an excuse. Personally I look at his schedule of food and he said he is struggling to eat so much food. He is eating lots of fruit and plenty of variety and has to have bread or ryvitas to get it up to the total. He is having 3 boiled eggs with WW bread for breakfast to get the points up. This is a ridiculous amount of food.

Another man is in the same position and puts on weight every week despite doing it religiously with his wife.

I'm just thinking there must be something fundamentally wrong with the amount of food that he has to consume on this. Surely if he is satisfied with less and is having fruit, vegetables, fibre and WW ready meals and soups on less points then he could just take a multivitamin and he'll lose weight?

Last week the person in charge didn't even look at his points sheet as there were some newcomers. Maybe the problem is that there are too many in a class for them to dedicate enough time to each member? There are about 30 people in the class - is this normal?

What are other people's experiences?

Oh and the talks - one was about picnics - and lots of people left. There don't seem to be any informative talks on actual nutrition and it is making my Dad a bit despondent. He's trying so hard.
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Just a thought!! Is he drinking water? Experience tells me that unless you drink water you will find losing weight very difficult.

Get him to drink at least 2 litres a day while on the diet and I think you will find if he sticks to the diet then the scales will start to drop.

Aww, I'm sorry your dad isn't having much luck with ww. Perhaps he should give his leader a call and speak to her/him about it separately from the class - when I was going to a ww class my leader gave us her telephone number so we could call her if and when we ever needed to, so I assume this is standard practice?

Perhaps dropping his points by just 1 a day would make a difference (though this is my opinion and not necessarily the advice of a ww leader). I know that when I'm nearing on a new stone I need to drop my points by about 1 a day, otherwise my losses are very slow or just stop. This is something he could discuss with his leader.

I do agree that the classes are really big and it does mean that you don't get much time with the leader whilst you're actually being weighed, but at the meetings I went to the leader used to hang around afterwards and as far as I could tell she was happy to be there until she was no longer needed. If you dad stays for the meetings then perhaps he could have a long and proper chat with his leader after the group meeting?

I do hope he manages to find a solution, let us know how he gets on.
Aww bless your dad, it must be so hard for him when he's trying his best and not getting the support.
I totally agree with Icemoose about the water intake.
I'm a bit stumped about the weight gain, I'm wondering if the points have been worked out correctly. At the top there is a sticky 'work out how many points you're allowed a day', have a quick look at that and check that he's having the correct amount.
If he's struggling he really needs to be given time from the leader, perhaps he could hang about afterwards when they've finished and she can go through it then? 3 eggs a day sounds a lot to me and as for the bread, if he's struggling with making the points up just have normal bread, for a medium slice it's 1 point.
I think he really needs to sit down and work out which foods he really likes and build a menu plan around them. I personally wouldn't go for the ready meals all the time, I just think there's not enough and obviously they're low in points so it's leaving him with spare points that he's not using. There are some menu ideas on the sticky perhaps have a look through them. Also I find the shopping guide invaluable, has he got one of these? He'll be able to see how many points are in everything and plan meals accordingly. WW do say not to carry over more than 4 points a day as this can have the opposite effect and the body stores the food and can lead to weight gain.
Really sorry to hear your dad is struggling and if I think of anything else I'll come back on and let you know. We're always here if you or your dad have any queries about anything.
Wishing him luck and I hope he starts seeing the weight come off soon.
Unfortunately a lot of people fall into the 'if I eat less Ill lose weight trap' He HAS to use all his points for WW to work. The most he should carry over is a max of 4 a day. If he feels hes eating loads then maybe he should think about ditching the Ryvitas and WW meals and WW bread and eating meals and other foods which are higher in points. Get him back onto regular bread (a slice of Warburtons white is 1.5 points compared to 0.5 in WW) Try bagels maybe for a change? Theyre about 3 points. If hes a ready meals fan, try Tescos ones, theyre much nicer and Asdas, theyre lovely and higher in point too. To be honest I think if I was him Id worry less about the repetitions in his diet and focus more on points. Varying your diet if your plateauing is a good idea but the important thing for him just now is to use his points.

The important thing with WW is eating all your points. Some days I feel I eat a ridiculous amount of food but Ive lost consistently since I started in January.

Like every diet WW DOES work but only if you follow it correctly.
Thanks Marie - I hope he can find a solution too. I am really proud of him for deciding at his age to do something about putting on the weight. Trouble is my parent's generation haven't had education on nutrition but he does do everything the leader tells him and that is why he is frustrated (wish he'd do what I tell him LOL).

Dad has stayed after the meeting to talk to hethe leader and she looked through what he was eating and said she'd telephone him about it as she didn't have time in class. She didn't. She just told him the next week he wasn't eating enough. Maybe she just isn't very organised or can't cope with such a class size.

He doesn't want to upset her as he wants to go but doesn't feel he is getting any attention and proper information. This week she was on holiday and the relief was apparently much more informative.

After looking at what he ate last week I've told him to halve the bread, ryvita and fruit he is eating as he is having to go to the loo far too often and the consistency isn't good (sorry about the graphic detail). He'd already changed his eating habits and swapped fruit for choccies and sweet things. He's actually eating a lot more food than before he was on the diet so frankly I can't see that it can work at his points level.

Thanks icemoose - I totally understand the value of drinking water (I'm on CD) but if I tell him to increase that as well he won't have any time left in the day when he's not shoving drink or food down his throat or running to the loo.
Hi Starlight - my Dad actually mentioned having baps and the leader told him that was a no-no, although I did suggest this at the weekend. He always eats wholemeal bread but is clearly having too much fibre so I've told him to concentrate on getting going to the loo right and reducing fibre. I'll recommend bagels and see what he thinks. He might take note as it's come from this forum.

Pity he hasn't got any stores by him apart from Asda (and he likes to be independent and do his own shopping). I'll see if he'll let me try and plan a week's food out with him and try and make it so there's enough points but less volume and fibre.

Thanks for the advice too nails - but at 76 dad isn't going to suddenly start menu planning and actually cooking from scratch. He'll feign yawning and start saying "Boring, boring". He got out of his depth at the weekend when I tried to explain about soluble and insoluble fibre.

Looks like I'll have to sit down and thoroughly go through what I think he could eat instead - it's just that I'm only his daughter and he does so hate me knowing more than him. Still, I'll give it a try.

Thanks all for your help.
Aww it must be so hard for him to all of a sudden get his head around all this.
We're always here Sweetpea if you've got any questions etc.
Take care and wishing your dad all the best.
Hi there

I dont want to contradict what your dads leader has said but I cant see why shes told him things are off limit. The whole WW diet is 'sold' on the fact you can eat anything.

Asdas Heathly Options stuff is lovely. Some of their meals are 8/9 points each as opposed to Tesco or WW who average 6 or 7

I definitely think he needs to focus on what he likes and point that and not worry too much about eating WW stuff. And ofcourse remind hiim if he needs to use points he can always have a treat - choccie biccies or something.

If you need any help at all, feel free to post here again, even if its for ideas for higher point variations of his stuff. Have you also, as someone said, checked hes on the right number of points? :)
My dad's happy again - he lost 2 pounds this week. Thankfully the relief leader was on again too so he felt a bit better informed. He's cutting down on wholemeal bread, ryvita and fruit to try and get his, ahem, toilet habits less frequent and explosive and I'm going to print out this thread too to pass on everyones' ideas.

Thanks for you help everyone - it is much appreciated!
I definitely think he needs to focus on what he likes and point that and not worry too much about eating WW stuff. And ofcourse remind hiim if he needs to use points he can always have a treat - choccie biccies or something.
My Dad wants to make sure he doesn't get into the habit of eating stuff like biccies (he's always been an 'all or nothing' person) and wants things to be off limits so he doesn't return to unhealthier eating.

Just an update on my Dad and his diet:
I've changed the volume he eats as he was having 3 boiled eggs in a morning and things like WW soup with 4 slices og WW for lunch. I think that, irrespective of the points values, that is way too much food by volume for an elderly inactive person to eat.

Since having a major operation he had changed his diet anyway and was eating healthy items but on WW was then eating even more food than he was before he started. He had already substituted and now far prefers fresh fruit to choccies and other goodies.

After his initial 12 week course paid for by the NHS he was heavier than when he started due to going down and up and down etc. I think this is either not the diet for him or the points are just too high for someone who is not active.

However he has now mixed the points and core plans and did it himself for a week and lost half a stone which he has now kept off. So I think for him the answer is that his body just does not need all the food the WW leader says he does. I've bought him the first pair of scales he's ever owned and he says he feels much better doing it himself. (I keep an eye to make sure he isn't doing anything daft though).
Well done to your dad Sweetpea!

My dad tried the WW men only meetings for a while, but couldn't manage all the points :( The leader wasn't great either and when he needed encouragement to keep going she just told him off for gaining a pound, that was it, he never went back. So, well done to your dad for sticking with it!
My Dad wasn't told there were 'men only' meetings - mind you, he is 76 and lives alone so does like to socialise with ladies :D.

He is doing the diet by himself at home now and is doing okay. He has never had scales before (which is probably why he let his weight get out of control) but now just checks his weight daily as it makes him feel more in control. I've explained about fluid retention to him but he's like me and wants to weigh himself whenever he pleases. Works for him.

I think the problem with his WW group was that the leader was rubbish. When he lost weight she wasn't happy that he had the same breakfast every day - when he added variety she told him off for putting weight on. He just couldn't win really. Might have had something to do with her hot flushes. Maybe she didn't realise her moods were affected too.

My Dad wasn't impressed because she never took the time to answer questions probably due to their being about 30 people in the class. Her talks were never infomative about food and their nutrients but based around stuff like picnics and parties. He wasn't impressed that the people who take your money were actually quite fat themselves and sat down at a desk sucking WW sweets and selling WW biscuits either. Lots of people used to arrive, get weighed and then leave (probably because her talks were rubbish) but £5.50 is a lot to pay for people to just get weighed. There were quite a few in the class whose weight was up and down like my Dad's but clearly the leader thought they were all doing something wrong from the kind of things she'd say to them.

I think if there had been a different leader his story would have been very different - he liked the relief that covered when she was away for a week. I suppose it is very important for the leader to be very good and it can make all the difference.

The good thing is he is doing fine all by himself now and he is actually taking responsibilty and control of his own diet. He'll get there!

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