Zero Points Fruit!
pic from blog.americanfeast.com
Can I say that I am actually pretty psyched for the new Weight Watchers plan called Points Plus?! I feel like PointsPlus is WeightWatchers meets Michael Pollan. "Eat food, mostly plants, not to much." And WeightWatchers is actually endorsing food!
Why is this such a big deal? For one thing, on the old plan was all about getting your daily points. For example, in losing mode, I got 21 points. Since I hoarded points like I do gift cards, I would pass on the banana (2 points) and go for the sugar free jello and whipped cream or 2 Weight Watcher's fudge pops or the skinny cow for the same number of points. In other words, I would pass on actual *food* to eat diet "novelties" instead. All common sense went out the window. It was no wonder that I never knew how to eat until satisfied. (I swear they really do put some additive in there to make you crave and eat more.)
So now, with this new plan, we are "rewarded" (though I hate to think as more food as a reward....but you get my meaning) anyway, we are rewarded with more points by eating food, actual food, not processed franken-food.
What it comes down to is that the Weight Watcher's science people are nudging people to balance out the types of calories that one eats by taking protein, carbs, fat and fiber into account rather than calories, fiber and fat as they did with the previous model. Since not all calories are created (or burned) equally, this makes sense. Ask any runner that bonks during a run where their calories came from that day and they'll most likely tell you they ate too much protein calories and not enough carbs. It takes more energy (and time) to burn protein over carbs, so when running a race, it makes sense to grab the carb that is going to burn fast, but if losing weight and feeling full longer is the goal, then choosing food with lean protein and high in fiber is the way to go. These are fewer points than say high carb (refined sugar), high fat foods. Really?
On this new plan, we get more daily points and we get more weekly points, but the food point values (in some cases) also went up. Especially in the high carb, low protein areas. Also, points plus (P+) are no longer calorie based (per se) but now based on carbs, protein, fat and fiber. Since we know not all calories are created equally, this makes sense.
While I am excited about this plan, the part that still concerns me is that we are still talking about food as nutrients rather than the whole food itself. There is a balance that is needed and I think that comes from really listening and feeling and identifying with the energy that goes into (and out of ) our bodies. Sitting with it. Feeling satisfied.
When I was originally following the plan, I never really got the whole "eat until satisfied" feeling. The people of Okinawa call this practice, Hara Hachi Bu – eat until 80 percent full.
I hope that this new plan will help me, us, whoever is on WeightWatchers practice mindful eating and that Hara Hachi Bu becomes part of our everyday, our every meal. Until then, I'll get out my tracker and write every bite down.