Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff: Your Diet is Never 'Done'
David Kirchhoff Before and After
As our interview draws to a close, I bring up the thorny issue of maintaining. If with all her power and grace, even Oprah can’t keep the pounds off, how can the average person expect to maintain her weight loss over the years?
“We as a society still have a view that obesity is something that can be cured it 12 weeks. But it can’t. So it doesn’t work that way. If you struggle with weight – which is most of us – you will always struggle with weight. I know that’s true for me, and the fact that I know that is a relief. I know that I will always have to make a point to work at my health. There is no point where you are done.”
David Kirchhoff’s Tips for Weight Loss Maintenance:
- Avoid the mindset of crash dieting, something that you can only stick to for 2-3 months. Whatever you’re doing should be something you see yourself doing for the rest of your life.
- Stop relying on willpower to soldier through difficult situations. Instead work on developing habits that become second nature. And manage your personal environment that keeps temptation away from you.
- Avoid being deprived. If you’re miserable and hungry, you will start eating. If you looked at the amount that I eat, you’d be shocked. I’m a huge believer in eating as much as possible for as few calories as possible. I eat a small oatmeal portion every morning but I stuff it with berries.
- Love the foods that love you back. Foods that take a while to eat, keep you feeling full, have relatively few calories.
- The weight will come back. People will fall back on their patterns or habits. The question is when that happens, how fast do you course correct? Do you make a decision to throw it all away or do you make a choice to re-establish healthy habits?
Weight Watchers is turning 50 next year, but the methods have changed significantly since the days of group weigh-ins. While the 80’s may have touted gems such as half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, the point system changed all that to target ‘mindful eating’ rather than specific foods (which means it can apply to diet restrictions and cultures – there is a pilot program running in China).
“The universe of food is open to you,” says Kirchhoff. “You just need to be smarter with how you make your choices.”