After six weeks on Weight Watchers, I've lost 5.8 pounds (8+ at home, but 5.8 on the WW meeting scale). I think I've still had only one week when I really didn't go over my allotted number of points, though this week is shaping up to be the second. Over the two weeks of Christmas and New Year's, I had a 1.2 gain, but lost it again by the following week. I was pretty pleased with that. I definitely overate for a couple of days when my brother and family were here the week before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and on New Year's Eve. I ate beyond satiety, and even felt kind of miserable due to the crappy carb/sugar overdose on a couple of those days. I didn't count points for three of the days -- just entered 99 points and sort of "gave up" -- though I didn't go on to eat everything in sight that day or the days after. Unlike my usual modus operandi, I started counting again the day after Christmas, and have counted every day since. Somehow, counting points doesn't make me as obsessive as counting calories. Maybe they don't seem quite as concrete. Or maybe it's because it isn't an exact system. When I've counted calories in the past, sooner or later I ended up thinking, "Ohhh, I have 50 calories left for the day...what can I eat?" whether I was hungry or not. For the past several weeks, I've had some desserts, crackers, pretzels, and the like here and there, but I enter the points and that's that. Perhaps it helps that I don't have any points left over at the end of the day? I don't know. Whatever the reason, it's working okay. I'm not focused on food 24/7, and I'm not feeling terribly deprived about staying away from the treats at work. We went to a potluck last night and I ate the beans and pita I brought (in case there were no vegan main dishes -- which was the case), a big helping of the yummy cole slaw I brought, and a hershey kiss. I didn't even feel like having a bit of anything else on the table, except a spoonful of hummus that I added to my pita. Now, there wasn't any fabulous looking homemade cheesecake or anything sitting there, so that definitely played a part. I'd like to think that trying to lose weight isn't playing havoc with my "normal(ish) eater" status.
Making really delicious vegan dinners that my family AND I will eat is helpful. Rather than trying to cook something for them and something separate for me, I've been looking for recipes that seem pretty lowfat, but likely candidates to escape the "ewww, what IS that?!?" comment. I also don't sit there with my boring beans and greens, watching them eat pizza or something. One of my successes from this past week was Red and Green Lentil Enchiladas from Peas and Thank You. I left the cheese out of half of it, and spinkled cheese over the top of the other half during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. My 9-year-old actually had seconds! I can't ever make enchiladas stay together, so I just tore the corn tortillas into small pieces and then layered it all like a casserole. It really was quite yummy. A couple of them also liked the stuffed butternut squash I made, but tasty as it was, it really didn't keep me full for very long. It was something like 9 points a serving too.
That's a complaint I still have about the Weight Watchers points system. I've entered some really healthy, lowfat recipes into the recipe builder and had them come out to 16 points a serving. That's a big chunk if your daily maximum is 26 (without using extra or exercise points). It seems kind of silly that an extremely healthy vegan dish could have more points than pizza! In my WW meeting last week, we were discussing planning. I raised my hand and said that I spent 20 min or so every Sunday planning my week's dinners, making a shopping list, and entering the recipes into the recipe builder so I knew how many points were in a serving. I commented that sometimes vegan recipes I thought were really healthy turned out to be pretty high in points. The point I was trying to make is that I then planned the rest of my day's food to be lower, but the leader went off on a tangent about how beans are full of fiber, but also high in calories. Really? 110 calories in half a cup of beans -- with lots of fiber and virtually no fat isn't what I'd call high in calories! It's far healthier for you than a chicken breast! Argh.
They also handed out free samples of a snack bar you can buy at your meeting. Whoa. It was "only 2 points!" but had a list of ingredients as long as my arm. Scary ingredients. WW is really missing the boat here. They have a real opportunity to teach people about eating for health, and they're hawking foods that are full of artificial crap. If they are going to sell snack bars, why not make a bar like the Kind bar or the Larabar? In the 1970s, WW made people eat liver, for pete's sake! You can't tell me they couldn't convince people to move toward a less processed diet. Oh, sigh. If I were in charge of the world...
I watched this video, and found it really interesting, though it really only makes the point that I'd already kind of figured out -- that I mentioned in my last post, actually. If you are pre-disposed genetically to being overweight, the only way to lose weight and keep it off without going hungry is to eat only healthy food. The more pre-disposed to overweight you are, the less processed food you can eat, even healthy things like whole wheat pasta or bread. The think I liked about the video is that the doctor is very non-judgmental. He just states it the way it is.