Friday, May 02, 2014

Double-tracking: Weight Watchers and Lose It!


 

I probably won't keep this up for long, but out of curiosity, I have been double-tracking in Weight Watchers and Lose It! to see how many calories I'm getting in a given number of PointsPlus. It really depends on the food, of course. A 250-calorie bag of almonds has 5 points, exactly 50 per point.  A teaspoon of olive oil is 40 calories and one point.  The 3 ounces of steak I had on my salad yesterday was 236 calories and 3 points, for 79 calories per point.  For me, it works out to roughly 50 calories per point in the course of a day. 

It would be possible for someone to eat so many fruits and vegetables that they were getting thousands of extra calories, but I doubt that they would want to eat as much other food if they did. My husband and I were trying to imagine how someone could binge on fruit. I have never eaten more than one banana in a day, and bananas seem to be the most binge-worthy fruit -- sweet, relatively high calories for fruit, and easy to eat.  Seedless green grapes seemed like another possibility. I think I'd be sick if I ate more than a cup of grapes, though. Same for vegetables, though I remember hearing in a Weight Watchers meeting that some people would got a 1-pound bag of baby carrots and munch them all day.  Their bellies must be more iron-clad than mine, that doesn't even sound palatable.

I think it's interesting how Weight Watchers changed the way they talk about fruit from the last time I was doing the program. When they introduced the 0-point fruit, they talked about it as "free" fruit. That made a lot of people upset, because it obviously has calories. This time, the materials say that a "reasonable amount" of fruit has already been precounted into the PointsPlus allowance, to encourage members to eat it.  There isn't a definition of "reasonable," but I'm sure it doesn't mean eating a bunch of bananas at a time or a whole pound of grapes.

I'm trying to spread my points fairly evenly through my meals and snack, instead of doing what I remember a lot of Weight Watchers talking about -- eating as many low- or no-points food all morning so they could have a bigger dinner and dessert.  Whenever I tried that, I would be so hungry and grouchy all day that the evenings would be a disaster. I would rather have a bigger breakfast and lunch and a lighter dinner.  I'm also spreading my weekly points out through the week, rather than trying to hoard them.  However, I did find something I need to try to stretch out my points a little:

I accidentally bought three of them, so I hope they work well.  I think these will be great in the summer when zucchini are everywhere.

8 comments:

  1. If you are getting 50 calories per Points Plus then you are probably eating a lot of zero point food. I've been double counting WW points and calorie counting at My Fitness Pal for over a year. I would say that over that time if I look at the day as a whole -- including zero point food -- then I average about 39 calories per Points Plus. I think that if you don't count zero point foods in it, it will average less. You can model this by imagining a food that is say 300 calories and is all protein. That is 75 grams of protein and is 7 points. On the other hand, that same calories if all carbs (0 fiber) would be 8 points. And, if all fat, it would be 9 points. So that would range from 42.9 points per calorie (all protein) to 33.3 points per calorie (all fat). Of course, if a food is higher in fiber the points will be less. That same 300 calorie all carb food if it has 10g of fiber in it would be 7 points.

    BTW, if you look at the Track Healthy Checks on your online tracker and mouse over Fruits and Vegetables, it recommends 5 servings a day unless a nursing mom or over 350 pounds. It didn't used to have that limitation of 5 servings a day.

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    1. I'm not eating any zero-point foods other than fruits and vegetables. I also have been trying to eat more lean protein. I do count vegetables in my calories and they do have calories.

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    2. I can understand limiting fruit, but not veggies (other than starchy ones). I don't think anyone ever got fat on broccoli (unless it was covered in cheese).

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    3. Yes I think it is the fruit that gets some people in trouble. On my calorie counting that I do on My Fitness Pal I record everything, both fruits and veggies since I like to count those calories.

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  2. Are you saying you are counting everything (I think you should, not counting is diet mentality and more WW games, in my opinion).

    People over eat fruit all the time. The biggest culprit is juicers. When I see the quantities, it is really high (and stripping out the fiber).

    I have to really watch fruit. It is not that I personally eat too big of servings, I could eat one serving each of too many fruits. I usually eat two servings a day and try for the highest fiber with the lowest sugar. I personally stay away from bananas, grapes, watermelon.

    Long, long ago Curves also had a free foods list and got rid of it because people were eating too many green (nonstarchy) veggies. And too many of anything can lead to major GI discomfort. I always pictured bushel baskets. Would love to know how much those women were actually eating.

    When I am substituting green beans for noodles (for example) I pile my plate high with the green beans. Ditto with zucchini/onion/mushrooms which I use a lot. I do not worry about measuring. But again, if you are counting, I suggest counting everything. Because either you are counting or you are not. Need accurate data.

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    1. I am doing the program as written. When I said I was counting, I was saying that in my calorie counting (which I have stopped doing, because it's too much work to double-track), I did figure the calories for fruits and vegetables, which were used to calculate my points-per-calorie.

      I don't drink fruit juice, but even if I did, that would have to be counted, as WW clearly says that only whole fruit has 0 points. I just mentioned the fruit because it was interesting how WW changed the explanation of why fruit was considered 0 points.

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  3. Okay, your spiralizer has inspired me to get my mandoline out and figure out how to make "noodles" with it. I'm sure there's a way. I just haven't had the will to experiment!

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  4. I have also been going to WW, and if one follows program as intended, the weight will come off. For most people weight loss isn't about giving up certain food groups entirely, it's eating less. It's worked for me.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07