Yipee! I lost three pounds this week. They say for the first couple of weeks, the WWer might lose a lot, but after that it’s more like 0.5-1.5 lbs. a week, and any more would actually be unhealthy. I’ve been attending with a friend who’s been hard at it since October, and she reached her first big goal: 15% of her body weight, so we both felt like celebrating. There are about 50-60 people at our meetings, and as a group, we lost 57 pounds this week. There was a lot of “three cheers” support going on, and I’m sure that’s part of the fun of working with others on a common goal.
This week’s pep talk was on eating “filling foods,” which is defined as those foods with enough fiber and nutritive value per ounce to make them of positive value. Pretty much all fresh fruits and vegetables fall into this category as well as all non-fat, non-sweetened milk products and many lean meats and whole grains. A cup of most vegetables is 0 pts; most fruits are 1 pt. We humans all need about 5 servings of those two categories, but that’s not bad. You can get those in for just 3-4 points. We all need two servings of dairy…that’s trickier. For 4-6 points you can get in 2 servings of 1% fat or skim: milk, cottage cheese, or cheese. Two servings of lean protein are even more expensive: 6-12 points for your choices there…and that’s just the start! You could blow your entire day’s budget on a couple of pieces of pizza or a grande wet burrito! Somewhere in there you need 2 tsp. oil (2 pts.) and 6 glasses of liquid (water or any 0 calorie drink, for 0 pts). Throw in a multivitamin, and by the time I’ve met my nutrient needs (which—granted—are pretty minimal at 18)…BINGO, I’m pretty much out of points. That was a most disturbing realization, and at first I thought I’d probably dip into my extra points every day. But you know what? By the time I ate all the good stuff, I wasn’t hungry anymore, so I’d skip the 2 pt. whatever that I thought I might have for a bedtime snack if need be! It really worked!
Alan and I have read elsewhere that people need to eat approximately 3 pounds of food a day to feel full, and so it’s much more in how fat-laden the food is rather than the amount that can make the difference. (I’m talking normal people here, not obese people with a food addiction or other problem.) Also, sugar causes more highs and lows in our metabolism, so avoiding sugary foods and filling up with more high-fiber foods that take longer to metabolize prolongs the sense of well-being before you start to feel hungry again. (Duh…I know you all know this anyway.) One of the WW mantras is: “If you’re hungry, you’re more susceptible to bad choices.” Boy, ain’t that the truth…not only concerning food, but concerning so many things in life. I think if I would stop to figure out what I’m missing or wanting when I’m tempted, I’d have a much better chance of getting my true needs met and avoid making bad choices!
All week in my spare time I was studying the point counter and made a quick guide of all my favorite foods, trying to learn how to estimate points faster. WW also has some handy guides for how to eyeball amounts: 1 c. is approximately the size of a tennis ball; a small side dish is about the size of a computer mouse, a 3 oz. serving of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand. This helps when you can’t actually take a measuring cup to everything you want to eat.
In all, after years of dieting on my own and never really learning how to eat in a truly healthy way, I am delighted with WW. Of course…I’m still honeymooning. I’m sure it won’t always be new and exciting! 🙂