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.........
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