Friday, December 18, 2015

Is it Worth it?

That is what we talked about at the Weight Watchers meeting I attended this morning....  sometimes, even though I am a meeting room receptionist, I just like to attend a meeting as a member.  And today I did just that... I am still feeling my way around this new SmartPoints program so I went to a meeting to connect with other members that are getting used to the program as well.

It is a meeting that I used to attend regularly when we still lived on the boat, and before I started working for Weight Watchers.  This leader has become a good friend and her meetings are lively and well-attended, and it is fun to get together with other members as one of them.

 

I think I mentioned in my past post, that the SmartPoints values of foods are now based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein.  In the previous program, Points Plus values were based on carbohydrates, fibre, fat and protein... so there have been some big changes when it comes to the numbers.

Yes, some things have not changed at all... fresh eggs are still 2 points, and 5 ounces of red wine is still 4 points... but there have been some significant increases and decreases, and today we talked about some of them, and what it means to us in the overall big picture.

Here are some examples from the Pocket Guides of both programs:

Increases:
  • Dried apricots, 1/4 cup have gone from 2 points to 4 points
  • Raisins, 1/4 cup have gone from 3 points to 6 points
  • Chocolate, any type, 1-1/2 ounces has gone from 6 points to 12 points
  • Potato chips, regular, 1 ounce have gone from 4 points to 5 points
These are due to the higher values for items with sugar and those with saturated fat.


Decreases:
  • Egg whites, 1/2 cup have gone from 1 point to 0 points
  • Chicken breast without skin, 3 ounces has gone from 4 points to 2 points
  • Tuna canned in water, 3 ounces has gone from 2 points to 1 point
  • Shrimp, 3 ounces has gone from 2 points to 1 point
These are due to the lower values for items with high amounts of protein.

The general consensus among the members at this meeting is that Weight Watchers is steering us toward getting more protein into our daily diets, and away from sweet and fatty snack foods.  Yes, we can still have those things, but likely fewer of them and perhaps only as flavor enhancers in some casesinstead of main ingredients.... 1 Tbs of dried cranberries on a salad instead of 2Tbs or even 4Tbs.... a piece of chocolate every couple of days instead of daily... that sort of thing.




And something else that came up was in regard to fruit and vegetables when they are used in recipes and especially around the RECIPE BUILDER function on the Weight Watchers web site.

In fact, most fruits and vegetables have zero points... and if you add them to soup, or stew, or make a fruit salad, they are still only zero points.  But when you BLEND or LIQUIFY them, they take on different characteristics... they are quicker to digest, and sometimes you will consume many more servings than you would if you were chewing whole raw or cooked food.  And the body is not as satiated by eating these emulsified foods either.

So, when you add a fruit or a vegetable as an ingredient when creating a recipe in the Recipe Builder, the overall SmartPoints value will not include any points for it UNLESS you check BLENDED as one of the steps.  If you do check BLENDED, then points values for the fruit and vegetables that have been used will be calculated and added to the overall value.  


I tested it when I came home today... I used 1 cup of blueberries in a recipe.  When I checked BLENDED as on the above illustration, 4 SmartPoints were added... when I unchecked BLENDED, 0 SmartPoints were added.

Now know there is going to be some personal tweaking going on around this situation. If you make a protein shake and you only put in a handful of blueberries or half a banana, or some other small amount of fruit, you may balk at counting that... and that is totally up to you.  I think you need to use your own common sense, and gauge things by your scale in this case.

Overall, I am happy with the way my week is going... and I will keep ya posted!

What kinds of fruit and in what amounts do you put in your own protein shakes?





11 comments:

  1. I'm glad it's working for you, sounds too complicated for my simple mind to handle right now. Probably why I'm up about 5lbs.

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  2. I pretty much never measure or track anything beyond eyeballing it. It's something I've never been consistent with, no matter how hard I try. Typically I'll put mixed berries in a smoothie. Or pineapple or banana.

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  3. My best friend is on it now but it seems very complicated to me to figure out all the points of everything. Really glad to hear that it's working so well for you. People seem to really do well on it.

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  4. I'm awful at tracking what I eat, so the whole points thing is beyond me. I also don't do shakes or smoothies, so don't have to worry too much about blended fruit.

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  5. I tend to eyeball all my food so I have no idea how much I eat!

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  6. Usually half a frozen banana and 1/2 cup berries or cherries. I would be one if those people to count the fruit points as I don't think this amount is excessive. I would eat the same for breakfast whether it's in yogurt, cottage cheese or the smoothie

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  7. I"m drinking my 8 points of wine as we speak.. :p

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  8. I'm not following a program but I still measure everything. My kitchen scale is used daily. I imagine with a little time the new system gets easier.

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  9. I used to use Lose It, and I lost about 15 lbs. I think the main thing was that I WAS measuring things. When you just shake out a "few" craisins onto your salad, you have no idea how much you are eating, whereas if you measure, you have so much more control! I do not really eat smoothies but I do notice that I am often still hungry afterwards when I do!

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  10. I think the new points system is very smart - especially that part about blending fruits!

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  11. Glad you are liking it. I have never followed a program but I have always been a portion size person & always being aware of my nutritional make up, especially with age.. I logged when I was younger & have worked off that sicne. If I add or subtract new foods, I always know the make up. :)

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