David Kirchhoff, president and CEO of what must be the most famous weight-loss support group and corporation in the world, joined us this morning to tell his personal story and explain how Weight Watchers is now reaching out to men.
His book, "Weight Loss Boss: How to Finally Win at Losing - And Take Charge in an Out-of-Control Food World," is about Kirchoff's story, and offers tips on slow, steady weight loss and maintenance.
The numbers are scary. More than one-third of all Americans are obese. Forty-five million say they are trying to do something about it. Until now, most of the focus has been on women- their weight struggles, their diets. Now Weight Watchers is going after the guys, with a very high profile and outspoken spokesman.
Charles Barkley has jumped on board, saying he can't believe he's getting paid to lose weight. The retired basketball player told ABC's "20/20" in May that he's lost 42 pounds while serving as spokesman for the program. As the first male public voice for Weight Watchers, Barkley says the program lets you be a he-man while getting healthy, which is exactly Kirchhoff's point in his new book.
He talked to George Stephanopoulos this morning about how he got involved with Weight Watchers, how he came up with the idea to target men, and if he's really seeing more men in the Weight Watchers meetings.
Kirchhoff was 34-years-old when he was at his heaviest - 245 pounds. It was only by happenstance that he joined Weight Watchers. He started as an employee of the company and thought it was just a nice perk of the job. He reached his goal weight of 203 pounds in 2009, and has maintained that weight (within 2 pounds) since then.
But ladies, don't think your husband will only join the program if it somehow relates to a job perk. Kirchhoff gives you tips on how to gently push your guys into jump-starting their weight loss regimen and becoming their own "Weight Loss Boss."
Top 5 Tips to Becoming Your Own Weight Loss Boss:
1. Don't go solo. It's not as easy to hit the snooze button when you know you're meeting a friend for a power walk through the neighborhood. A weight-loss partner, like a friend or a spouse, can provide motivation and accountability. Also, seek out social support. From posting updates on Facebook to creating a weight loss blog, sharing your experiences can be motivating to both you and your followers.
2. Focus on foods that fill you up and slow you down. We all like to get the biggest bang for our buck, so why not target meals and snacks that give you the most food for the least amount of calories. Pick foods with bulk that take a while to eat, such as salads, broth-based soups and oatmeal, and make them bigger by adding fruits and vegetables. For snacks, look for low-calorie, high fiber options that take a while to eat, such as grapes, sliced apples and fat-free popcorn.
3. Put on an awesome tool belt. Having the right tools and resources by your side will make losing weight easier by creating additional accountability and controls, such as a scale, pedometer and mobile apps that support a healthier lifestyle. Weight-loss programs such as Weight Watchers can also provide the additional resources you need to lose weight effectively and learn how to keep it off.
4. Shift into autopilot. Build a routine around a newly formed healthy habit, such as starting your day with a 30-minute session on the treadmill. To get these new routines into autopilot, make sure you have an incentive to do them, such as using that time on the treadmill to catch up on your favorite show you recorded on DVR.
5. Kick willpower to the curb. Temptation will eventually win, especially if poor food choices are easily available. The key is creating a healthier environment. Banish your trigger foods and replace them with healthy favorites. For example, try replacing that stash of chocolate in your desk with almonds, fruit and beef jerky. Healthy, high-fiber snacks, packed with protein, can satisfy your hunger and help keep you feeling full longer.The "Good Morning America" broadcast piece mistakenly identified Valerie Bertinelli as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. She endorses Jenny Craig. We regret the error. Also Read