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Ask the experts: Carolyn Gilbert


receptionist for Weight Watchers in Thomson

How does your program work?

It's not rocket science, it's just exercise and calories. We average about 55 people during the peak season. Then, it dwindles to around 10.

What do you tell new participants?

We explain the point system, tell them what to look for in the grocery store, give them a guide for eating out. Nothing is off limits, but it's all about portion control. It's not about being skinny, it's about being healthy.

What do you see is the most difficult part for the average person?

Portion control. I see people at buffet restaurants, and they have this huge salad. They say "but all I had was a salad," but it was loaded with cheese and meat and fatty salad dressings and carbs and stuff like that. And there was so much of it.

What's the No. 1 change you recommend people make if they want to lose weight?

Again, portion control. And eat lots of fiber, fruits and vegetables. Do the things you were taught all your life. Only eat a moderate amount of sweets and alcohol. Alcohol is really bad, because you are only drinking away your points, and that's stupid.

What advice can you give to help people stick with it?

Accountability. After reaching their goal weight, people need to continue to come once a month and weigh in. It keeps you accountable. The support group is good, too, because it helps you see that everybody else is in the same boat as you are.

Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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