Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What I learned at Weight Watchers

Yes, I actually went to Weight Watchers because I gained weight over the winter. I've been trying to lose the weight on my own, but I realized that I needed some support. Don't get me wrong, I eat well; my meals are healthy real food meals. However, It's the quantity of good food that I eat plus the snacking that puts on the extra weight on me. For the past 2 months , I've been losing 3 pounds and gaining it back on the weekend. I felt out of control.

In desperation, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. The lecturer was interesting, helpful and inspiring! I learned a few tips that I think will get me on track .

First of all, the lecturer  was older and  slim ( I liked that) , and she said she was a vegetarian ( like me).I was very curious to hear what she ate and how to start to approach trying to lose weight and stay motivated.I find as I am getting older, I have less discipline and patience for the thought of  food deprivation.

 I learned that on Weight Watchers you do not have deprive yourself-
Although Weight Watchers encourages eating what they call Power Foods ( real food like vegetables, beans, fruit, nuts, chicken, fish, etc.) , you can make your own choices.

If you want a cookie or ice cream you just have to account or it.

It's like a budget. I get 26 points ( each food is assigned a point value)
If I want to eat ice cream, I'm going to use up many more points than eating an apple or banana.
In fact, fresh raw fruit has a zero point value.

The main message at tonight's meeting was to record everything I eat daily! By doing that, you are supposed to become much more aware of what you are putting in your mouth. She said that in the course of a day, we often eat small things that we don't even realize.

So, even if you pop 2 M and M's  in your mouth, even if you lick the spoon, or taste the soup you are preparing, you have to write it down .At the end of the day, you can really see how the little tastes of this and that you ate or polishing off the crust of your child's sandwich all add up and interfere with weight loss.

Most of the people at the Weight Watchers meeting only had about 20 pounds to lose, and they were doing great. Everyone was saying how much better they feel with their weight loss of 10 pounds or 20 pounds ( so far) . There was one man there who had lost 100 pounds and was very very proud of his accomplishments ( he should be) . The leader said to focus on the reason you decided to come to the meeting and then think about it every time you want to snack.

I received a booklet with the point values of a variety of foods as well as some suggested daily menus to get me started. I bought a little Plan and Track journal to record my food. ( or they give you a weekly paper one for free) .

A few members who had been attending for a while and had had some weight loss, shared that recording what you eat every day so you are aware of what you are actually consuming was their key to success.

So to sum it up -
1. Record what you are eating and it's point value ( or you use calorie value)
2. Don't guess the point value of a food- look it up then choose wisely. ( a brownie is 10 points- a banana is 0)
3. Make a food plan- get rid of the junk in the house( yes, you will eat it)
4. Carry healthy food with you in a baggy ( 10 almonds, or a hard boiled egg, a fruit, etc) when you will be out for a long time and become tired, hungry, or stressed. Be prepared.
5. Stay focused on the reason that you wanted to come to Weight Watchers ( fit into my clothes that are way too tight, get ready for the beach, feel more comfortable, etc.) Staying focused on your reason for following a food plan will help. So what if it's a holiday or birthday, don't get into old habits. Choose wisely.
6. Drink 6 -8 glasses on water daily
7. Be aware of bad habits like eating when not hungry, or eating unconsciously, or finishing up the kids food, etc.

My goal for this week:

  • Eat my allotted point value each day
  • record everything I eat 
  • plan my menus in advance so I know what I'm going to eat
  • be prepared when I go shopping or will be out by packing a low point snack ( banana? veggy sticks? a hard boiled egg? ) 
  • drink the encouraged 6-8 glasses of water a day
  • eat power foods ( real food as opposed to processed or prepared) 
The lecturer stressed that it is important to know what you are going to eat in advance, otherwise you might just grab whatever is around when you are hungry, tired, or stressed out! That makes sense!

My Sample Menu for Tomorrow: The Weight Watchers points are actually called Points Plus and personally my meals are all gluten free and vegetarian.  This overnight oatmeal is a timesaver and so delicious. 

mason jar of overnight oatmeal with cinnamon and blackberries
                                      Click for recipe:  Weight Watchers Style overnight no cooking required oatmeal-

Breakfast:  This oatmeal is creamy rich and delicious - No need to cook oatmeal. The overnight version is just assembled, put in the fridge overnight and it's ready in the morning.  Eat it cold like a parfait

Overnight oatmeal , 1 add teaspoon of ground flax seeds, 6 berries   for a total of 5 Point Plus                         

Bowl of salad

Large tossed salad ( cabbage, romaine, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, kale)                      0 Points Plus 
1 TBSP. of flaxseed oil  and freshly squeezed lemon juice                                                3 Points Plus
1/2 cup cooked chick peas                                                                                                   2 points Plus
1 cup of my homemade vegetable soup (  Detox Soup)                                                    1 point Plus

mason jar lunches of salad and beans
         I make my salads in advance in Mason jars for the week in advance: see salad shortcuts 

Snack: Celery sticks and 1/4 cup of humus                                                                         2 Points Plus

omelet with fresh herbs and feta
                                                                    Herbal Omelette 
1 cup of my homemade vegetable soup ( is warm and filling)                                           1 Point Plus
Herbal Omelette ( 2 eggs) with fat free feta cheese 1/4 cup                                                5 Points Plus
chopped dill,  chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and mint                                            0 Points Plus
1 small sweet potato                                                                                                            3 Points Plus

Snack:   3 cups of Air popped popped corn                                                                        3 Points Plus

5 glasses of water throughout the day

Total: 26 points plus

I will be planning my meals all week and weighing in Next Tuesday. I'll keep you posted

Read my other article : Lunch in a Jar

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  1. The freedom to choose what you want to eat is what I love most about Weight Watchers.

    1. I agree- so whatever diet you want to follow- vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Atikins, or normal eating- you can lose weight following the good tips of advice and support from Weight Watchers

  2. My husband and I started tracking what we eat and it really is eye-opening. I've also found that it helps me to make better decisions when I eat with purpose rather than mindlessly picking at food.

    1. You are so right. When I stop to look up a point value rather than guess, it's always much higher than I realized. a little brownie can be 10 points! yikes

  3. this is really great information, Judee! I used to belong to WW back in the day and was very successful on the program. then menopause hit. I hate cooking and preparing so I use medifast and nutrisystem. I found I could lose weight on any program but sustaining it can be tough. A food journal really is the key. Good luck!!

  4. I did the WW plan for a while and it definitely helped me work out my food better, I'm now planning on my own using calories instead of points

  5. Weight Watchers truly is the best way to eat. My mom started doing it in the late 60s-early 70s. You eat real food. What could be wrong with that? Thanks for sharing at #AnythingGoes.

  6. I love the salads in the jar. What a clever idea! Weight Watcher is a healthy way to loose weight. I joined over 6 years ago with my middle daughter. She was trying to have a baby and her system was really out of whack. Her Dr. actually advised her to join. I could stand to lose weight so I went with her. She lost a lot of weight. I only ten pounds, but it took me down a size. I have been able to stay there, but recently I have gained as well. I have the same problem as you. Eat healthy but love to snack. I had a hysterectomy in Oct. and I've heard that you usually gain weight after that as well. Darn! No excuse, summer is here and I need to get out and exercise more. Thanks for sharing with SYC. Oh and after her weight loss she did get pregnant and we have our sweet Saydee.


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