Thursday, 31 March 2005
Weight Watchers' Core Plan, Fears vs. Experience
Topic: Core Plan
Now that I've been on Weight Watcher's Core plan for a few weeks, I'm taking a look at some of the reservations I had about it, and how it's worked for me in practice. Maybe it will help others who can't decide if they'd like to try it.
1. Fear: I'm afraid I'll chafe and rebel at the thought of some foods being "forbidden."
What has happened: When I've wanted something that isn't a core food, I've used some of my 35 Weekly Points Allowance (WPA's*) and had it. Mostly, and surprisingly, I just haven't wanted them.
2. Fear: I can't control how much I eat if I don't count points and measure portions.
What's happened: For the first week or so on Core, I continued to count points (without aiming for a target), while I ate until I was satisfied. Some days I ate more than my Flex target, some days less. I think having been on Flex had changed what I consider a reasonable portion, and that helped. On Core, when I'm hungry, I eat. But I try to be sure that I'm actually hungry, not just bored or having the munchies. If I really, really want to eat when I'm not hungry, I do, but I count WPA's for what I eat, even if it's a Core food, like popcorn. I think that paying attention to actual hunger is a good skill to develop, to do this for life.
3. Fear: 35 points is not enough for the things I cannot, will not, live without, like wine, bread and cheese.
What has happened: I usually only use about half my 35 WPA's. When I want those things I "can't live without," I have them. I just don't want them that often. And a small amount is usually enough. The only time I use all my points is when I go to a social event where it's hard to control the menu.
So far, Core has been very easy. It doesn't feel like I'm dieting. I'm never hungry, because when I feel hungry, I eat. I thought I'd find the foods weird or boring, but I've enjoyed them, and so has my husband. It feels like I'm really giving my body what it wants. One day I can't get enough vegetables, the next day I may want lots of fruit, or meat or carbs. I just go with it. I've been eating lots of beans and legumes, and even learned to like couscous. Sometimes I have a baked sweet potato for breakfast.
I'm losing just slightly faster than I did on Flex, like 3/4 lb per week instead of 1/2 lb per week.
If you've been curious about Core, but hesitant to try it, I'd say, give it a try for two or three weeks. You can always go back to Flex if you don't like it, or find it doesn't work for you. I might go back on Flex sometimes, if I had some special events coming up, or was traveling, but in general I believe I'm a convert to Core.
*On Weight Watchers'; Core Program, you select your foods from a list of healthful, filling foods. You are also given 35 "points" to spend on foods that aren't on the list. The idea is that no foods are forbidden, but some must be limited in quantity. Foods are assigned a point value based on their calorie, fat and fiber content.
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