Sunday, 6 February 2011

Diet #11(a), Weightwatchers

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away, a teenage girl ate her bodyweight in chocolate. And Macdonalds, potato waffles, french fries (which I just mis-typed as french friends, which says a lot...), milkshakes, cakes, Kitkats, crisps, and wine. Breakfast was Poptarts (or Coco Pops for variety), cheesy chips, with mayo on the side for lunch every day! This (by now) twenty-something girl decided, as the scales reached 15 stone, to head to weightwatchers. Just in case you hadn't guessed, that girl was me, and this is where my obsession with dieting began. Photo to follow.

I LOVED weightwatchers. I measured EVERYTHING, and wrote everything down, every day, for six whole months. I never skipped a meeting, and I lost over three stone in that time.

Most importantly, weightwatchers taught me important lessons about healthy eating - making healthy choices, portion control, eating vegetables and drinking enough water, There are no fads - no soups or shakes, no mad detoxes. It fits in brilliantly with life and work, because you can still eat out - you just have to count whatever you eat.

A brief explanation for those who've never done it - it's very straightforward. Everything has a 'points' value, based on calories and saturated fat. The 'weightwatcher' is allocated a daily point allowance (based on their sex and start weight). So a slice of bread has 1 point, a small glass of wine is two points, a bowl of cereal has around 4 points, and a pret sandwich can have up to 18!! You can earn points back, based on exercise. Although I started originally on 24 points a day, and the more you lose, the fewer points you eat, so for this week, starting at around 10 stone, I'll be on 18 points a day.

Over the years, Weightwatchers has made small tweaks to the diet - first there was 'Switch'- comprising two plans - the 'core' plan, where you can eat as much as you want from a set list of 'core' foods, with a weekly points allowance for treats, plus the origianl points plan, and you could 'switch' between the two. Now, most recently, there is Pro-points - which takes out the blatant anomaly with weightwatchers. You could eat chocolate and drink wine all day, as long as you stick within the allocated points allowance. More realistically, say for 4 points, you could have a kit kat or a salmon fillet. It's obvious which one is better for you, and the new plan reflects that, with the points altered to reflect healthier choices.

I haven't had a chance to go to a meeting this week, so I'm going to do a two-parter - week one (this week) on the old plan, and then week two on the new plan - to see if there's any difference.

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