Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Teachable moments

Late yesterday, someone who I only recently met, but who apparently had been filled in by someone about my weight loss, asked for my opinion on the new Weight Watchers zero points program.

I don't really know that much about it other than what every person who watches TV knows - there is a new "point system", some items have zero points, and Oprah is involved.  And I had run across a very funny tweet when this system first came out  from some who said something like "I don't think #WeightWatchers is aware of how many bananas I can eat!"

I told the person that I hadn't used any program per se and that I wasn't all that educated on the Weight Watchers plan, but I would look at it and give my opinion if they wanted it - which they did.

So the first thing I did was pull up a list of the foods you can eat that have zero points.  And looking at that huge list in front of me I actually said "WHHAAATTT?" out loud.  I scanned through my head and started laughing as I thought of my meals the day before:

Breakfast: 2 eggs
Lunch: Pre-bagged salad (lettuce, shredded carrots, cabbage), crabmeat and a banana
Dinner:  Boneless, skinless chicken breast, lentils and steamed broccoli
Snack: Non-fat Greek yogurt

So, according to Weight Watchers, I ate ZERO POINTS the entire day.  Well DAYUM, I should be totally skinny, right??!!

So, me being me, I first got all judgey and disgusted.  I mean, really - you think you can just chow down on a few bananas, a can of refried beans, some grapes, and as much chicken as you want ON TOP OF your meals and lose weight??!!

Then I started thinking more about it.  So many people struggle to lose weight.  They try fads and unsustainable diets - like cutting out carbs completely.  Women are cooking separate meals for themselves when they eat with their families.  And what happens?  IF they lose weight they gain a lot of it back.  Because the way they are eating doesn't translate to long term sustainability.

So what I *think* was the idea behind this zero points program was not to encourage people to eat vast amounts of food thinking they can lose weight, but to teach better choices.  So if you've used most of your points that day and you're still hungry - you can grab some baby carrots, or some yogurt, or an apple INSTEAD of saying "Fuck it", eating a bunch of Doritos or a pint of ice cream and then hating yourself afterwards.

This program is also translatable to "real life".  So you had a zero point day yesterday (like my example) - tonight you can eat some mashed potatoes or add some cheese on your turkey burger without guilt.  And no more separate meals - teaching kids, letting them watch you make healthy choices, like eating chicken breast with a HUGE salad and at night having a snack with them of fruit - that's a good thing.

I think most people would get that you can't just eat tons of zero point foods.  Many people have a hard time tracking calories accurately.  But when you have a certain amount of points to spend which makes it more likely that you'll chose something off that list of healthy foods - that can't be a bad thing, right?  That list teaches - you're out to dinner and are asked what side you want, and you choose the zucchini mix instead of the rice pilaf to go with your point-laden steak and you feel good about that choice,  not deprived.

So I think for some who want/need a program to go by, it could work - as with all plans you have to stick to it.  

Besides, who coukd really eat 6 ears of corn at a sitting? 

Me.  I totally could.  LOL

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