As the clock counts down to a new year, we’re setting goals to live our best, healthiest lives in 2022. The question is, what’s the optimal way to go about achieving this? According to an ongoing six-month pre-post study with 153 participants funded by WW and conducted by Sherry Pagoto, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Connecticut, the best approach is a personalized one. After all, we do not share the same experiences—each body is different—so it’s important to have a weight-loss program that is just as unique as you are.
The fact is, a custom, one-of-a-kind wellness plan allows you to enjoy the foods you love while still prioritizing your goals, helping you to make sustainable, long-term choices. We chatted with WW D360 Coach Emily Bjerkness—a busy mom who, after struggling with restrictive diets in the past, believes in sustainable lifestyles, rather than quick fixes, to find out more about WW’s personalized approach to wellness, as well as its groundbreaking PersonalPoints Program, that delivers a revolutionary and truly individualized and livable path to sustainable weight management and healthy living. —Vita Daily
Hi Emily! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start!
I’m a D360 Coach and mom of four who is always on the go, and living my personal health journey. As someone who’s tried every fad diet in the book, my focus now is on building a sustainable, long-term lifestyle for myself and others rather than quick-fix solutions. I love encouraging my team to try new things and embrace failure as a way of moving forward.
As we approach/start 2022, many of us will have made a New Year’s Resolution to “lose weight”; is this a good/healthy goal to set, or is there some other verbiage/mindset we should be using/focusing on?
Over the holidays, a lot of us spend time with family and friends enjoying food we don’t often have and tend to be a little more sedentary than usual. My belief is to set realistic wellness goals as we enter into the new year. For some, that might mean maintaining your current weight throughout the holidays while for others the goal might be to move more each day. Goals don’t necessarily need to be weight-related.
Some people may choose not to track at all over the holidays and into the new year and instead focus on how they feel. Every individual is unique, and so is their wellness journey! The best goal is going to be the one that feels realistic and attainable for you.
No matter your approach though, be kind to yourself. Studies show that self-compassion is beneficial in achieving weight loss goals.
That said, if losing weight IS a goal, what’s the (documented/scientific) benefit of an individualized program versus a one-size-fits-all approach?
The beautiful thing about people is we’re all so unique! We all have different schedules, lifestyles, life experiences and body types and that’s why it’s so important to use a personalized approach. WW’s PersonalPoints program offers just that and no two programs are alike. It takes into account your personal goals and the types of food you LOVE to eat, and delivers a program that’s sustainable and realistic. One-size-fits-all approaches often don’t consider what might be realistic for you as an individual.
How and why do individualized programs work (particularly within the WW system)?
PersonalPoints offer a tailored approach for each individual. This means that users are more likely to stick with a program and see results.
With WW specifically, PersonalPoints ensures that you’re getting to eat more of what you love whether that’s avocado, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta) and you’re rewarded for making healthy choices.
The program supports you with more than just food choices though. In addition to food, we offer support with mindset, activity and sleep, too. Activity is another great example of our personalized approach; WW sets activity goals for you based on your current activity levels so there’s no overwhelming leap to a suddenly active lifestyle if you’re not someone who is active already.
As a WW Digital 360 Coach, what role do you play in helping us to achieve or wellness/weight-loss goals?
As a D360 Coach, my job is to give my team the tools and resources they need for success. My in-app content focuses on providing a variety of resources to help individuals rock their wellness journeys.
I share a wide range of content; everything from tips like scheduling your workout and embracing failure to some of my favourite recipes and more.
Most importantly, my role is to help create a community where members can get the support they need and we can help each other to succeed in our goals.
What is WW PersonalPoints? What makes WW’s new PersonalPoints Program ground-breaking/revolutionary … and truly individualized?
PersonalPoints is the latest program from WW. It’s the most personalized program that WW has ever offered. No two plans are alike, so members can achieve their goals and sustain them over time in a way that’s going to work for them. One amazing feature is that members now have the ability to get additional daily Points by building healthy habits through actions like being active, drinking water or eating non-starchy vegetables. Plus, members receive a personalized list of ZeroPoint foods based on what they love eating which might include avocado or brown rice. ZeroPoint foods mean you can enjoy as much of them as you like as often as you’d like. No food is off limits!
Final, personal question: health-wise, what goals are you setting for yourself for 2022?
My goal for the new year is to really make sleep a priority. After my kids are in bed I tend to stay up way later than I want to because I am looking to have a bit of time to myself. By doing that I’m actually taking time away from myself the next day because I wake up feeling tired and lacking the energy that I need to accomplish all of the things that I know will make me feel good.
I’m planning on setting a bedtime alarm for myself and actually sticking to it. When I get a good night’s sleep I have better decision-making ability, and can make the choices that make me feel my best!