Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Bit Disenchanted

With a daily average of 33 "points" on WW (not counting any earned for activity), I find that I am sometimes hungry. Each point is worth about 50 calories, so that's 1650 calories a day for me. It's not exactly 50 per point, but that's a fair approximation. Anyway, I find that I AM hungry with that many points, but not terribly hungry. I want to be hungry for meals anyway -- food tastes so much better if I am. The real restriction for me is that I can't really eat anything "extra" without being hungry. If I "spend" points on a cookie, that's less nutritious, filling food I can eat. So even though they SAY "you can eat anything you want", you really can't if you don't want to spend part of the day hungry. At my points level, anyway. I imagine that if I used 33 points a day on healthy, nutritious food only, I might not really be all that hungry. There haven't been too many days like that, though. Unfortunately, a few of my days have been 60 or 100 points, while others have been 21. Not very smart or healthy of me.
Honestly, I've averaged something like 40 points a day since I started and I've still lost 5 pounds. I think I've gotten away with such a high average because I'm usually quite active. Aside from purposeful daily exercise, I usually get 10,000-12,000 steps a day on my pedometer.

I was a bit disappointed in our last WW meeting because the leader actually brought up the stupid 1 point hot dog! Here I was thinking that WW had changed over the past 6 years since I first joined, but apparently, it hasn't changed all THAT much. The discussion was on how to provide variety to prevent boredom with your meals, and we were talking about sandwich outsides, fillings, and sauces. Someone had mentioned a hot dog bun, which she said you could really fill with anything, but if you wanted a hot dog, what was the best kind to buy? I wanted to yell out "one with no nitrates", but didn't have the nerve. Someone suggested a turkey dog, and the leader said you'd think that, but no! There was a FAT FREE 1 POINT HOT DOG out there! I was glad that a member challenged the leader by asking about all of the crap you'd put in your body by eating a fat free hot dog, but the leader took the easy way out. She said WW isn't here to tell you what to eat because that is up to you. They are simply here to help you know what you can eat and stay within your points. I thought that was a rather specious answer. As a leader, I would assume she is there partly to provide a healthy example of the way to maintain your weight loss. Apparently not.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Weight Watching

I have a confession to make. I joined Weight Watchers. I know, I know -- I am now kicked out of the "intuitive eaters" club. My coworker was joining and I went along. I was prepared to hate it, but I have to say that I am very impressed with the changes they've made in the 6 or so years since I previously joined (for a whopping few weeks). The amount of "points" I have to spend on food is enough to keep me from going hungry, provided I don't eat a bunch of fat or sugar filled foods. I suppose that could be said of any "diet", couldn't it? Fruits and vegetables are now "free", except for peas, corn, and potatoes. It does seem a bit out of whack that a baked potato and a big mall pretzel both have five points, but the point system has been overhauled mostly to the good, as far as I can tell. No more encouraging people to eat 1 point hot dogs.

I was really happy with the leader the first week. She talked about how she doesn't cook so she eats in restaurants twice a day every day (whoa...) and eats whatever she wants, not just dry chicken breasts and salad. She went down a bit in my estimation this week when she discussed getting rid of things in your environment so you won't eat them. I know it makes sense -- Brian Wansink showed in his book about mindless eating that people ate more m&ms when they were visible -- so, out of sight, out of mind. Or out of kitchen, out of mouth. BUT, again you have the problem of not being able to throw out all of the m&ms in the world. Sooner or later, you'll be faced with a buffet and you may stuff yourself with multiple desserts, dips, chips, and other foods you haven't seen in weeks or months -- if you haven't made peace with food.

I was going along well til we went to a part on Saturday night. I took some vegan chili so I'd have something to eat, but ended up overeating because I took a few spoonfuls of other things and got overfull. Can you say TRIGGER? I had a few small spoonfuls of desserts and was even more full. Then more people -- with more desserts -- arrived and I had some MORE desserts. I estimated my point intake that day to be about 100 (when I'm allotted 26 per day plus 49 "extra" per week, plus points for activity). However, because I felt accountable to my coworker and WW, I was able to put it behind me and not continue with that behavior for the rest of the week. Rather than throwing in the towel, I ate intuitvely on Sunday. That meant that I actually ate only 21 points. You really aren't supposed to eat fewer than 26, but I honestly wasn't very hungry (perhaps because I overate on Saturday night?). We went out to IHOP for breakfast and I ordered one of the "healthy" omelets. There wasn't anything vegan on the menu that was healthy, and I figured it wouldn't kill me to eat some egg substitute. That was around 9:30am and I wasn't hungry for lunch until 4pm!

On Monday I still wasn't very hungry and ate under 26 points. I ended up with a four pound weight loss for my first week, which surprised me. I ate normally on Tuesday and Wednesday, and so far today. I've been doing fairly well with the McDougall diet, though I can't give up my one Lindt truffle a day or my coffee. I've discovered that I love broccoli and other cooked vegetables with spaghetti sauce (meatless, of course) and hot sauce over them. Mmmmmm.........