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Weight watchers skepticism

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Weight watchers skepticism

Postby colorlvr » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:07 pm

**** Previously titled "Weight Watchers... what a joke"

I have edited the original title due to its offensive tone. Carry on! ****

Original post:

I'm sorry if my opening line sounds sarcastic. But, I just had a long discussion with a friend of mine who is on the Weight Watcher "point" system. She seems frustrated that she isn't losing (she's been doing WW for MONTHS!!) or can't seem to keep the small amounts she *does* lose off for more than a week.

I cannot CANNOT believe the things she is permitted to eat! Seems like a huge amount of refined carbs are allowed. She also told me they are told to only have 2 meat servings a day, and are encouraged to have one dinner per week that is "no-meat". I asked her for an example of a "no-meat" dinner, and she said, "Oh, just like a bowl of pasta or something".... !!!!!

She saw me eating a handful of peanuts (which I eat daily) and I offered her some, and she said they are too dense in "points" for her, so its not worth it. I think she said all the points come from fats, but I tried to explain that it is *good* fat, not bad fat... she is totally brainwashed, so I didn't bother trying to win her over.

She is doing this plan, week after week, eating very little meat, lean or otherwise, and all these refined carbohydrates, and limiting the good stuff like peanuts... and wonders why she isn't losing.

Now, I am currently on a SB backslide, so I have no room to talk about sticking to a plan. But I do at least know that sitting down to a big bowl of pasta and denying myself meat would cause me to blow up like a balloon, so that has to be a good thing. She seems clueless to the reason behind her struggles, and doesn't want to acknowledge it.

She turns her nose up at SB as if it is a poor eating plan. I just feel that she is way off the mark.

I guess the reason I am posting this is because I am interested in anyone who can enlighten me on the WW way of eating, is she being misinformed or something? Also, how can I convince her to try the SB plan? I feel very sorry for her in a way, because she seems soooo misguided.

Last edited by colorlvr on Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kimboroni » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:05 pm

It's my understanding that WW didn't used to be that way, and that it was based on an exchange system of eating certain portions of healthy foods throughout the day-- x amount of veggies, x amounts of starches, x amount of fruits, etc. Then at some point, they decided that it was all about the calories and that the types of foods didn't matter. I think there is some encouragement to make healthy choices, but it isn't really pushed as being a key part of the plan. A quick read through some of the other WW threads here reveals how easily the point system can be manipulated into creating a very poor diet.

It sounds like your friend has probably developed insulin resistance. With IR, 1500 calories (or whatever) of bad carbs can make you gain fat, while 1500 calories of good SB foods enables you to lose fat. Maybe she can see her doctor about getting tested for insulin resistance and prediabetes.

Here's a page from Harvard that disappointingly calls SB low-carb, but everything else there totally supports the SB way of eating-- it talks about GI and the body's response, etc.: ... rates.html
At the bottom is a great list of resources for learning about the effect of different carbs on the body, so maybe one of those could be passed on to her as a good starting point rather than the SB book.

I think this easily manipulated point system isn't going to last much longer. There is just too much research coming out about the importance of choosing good fats and good carbs.
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Postby anne1953 » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:39 am

I spent years (literally) on WW and never made my goal. I would lose some and then mostly stagnate and then get frustrated and go off and gain! Then I would start the cycle over again. This is the first "diet" I have ever been on that has doused my cravings so that I don't eat all night long. On WW, I would eat egg whites and two slices of whole wheat toast for breakfast, fruit for a snack, a grilled chicken sandwich and side salad with lowfat dressing for lunch, yogurt in the afternoon, meat, veggies, and a baked potato for dinner ... and then low fat EVERYTHING all evening long. Miss Meringue cookies, skinny cow ice cream sandwiches, reduced fat wheat thins with LCL ... all ... night ... .long! I stayed in my points, but my metabolism was shot! I am so happy now - I just hope it lasts!
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Postby colorlvr » Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:53 pm

Kimboroni - I defintely think you are right about the IR. My friend has all the signs - can't lose weight, seems to crave the bad carbs and they stick to her like glue, and she is very heavy in the midsection, the classic Insulin Resistance telltale "apple" shape.

Anne - yup, you sound like my friend! Or *used* to anyways. I also think that the Weight Watchers system sounds a lot like the way I used to eat a long long time ago. LOL... in my pre-SB days.

I guess I'll wait for the next time she brings up her dissatification with her weight then I'll drop some light hints.

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Postby Myrealana » Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:33 pm

Acutally, it sounds like either your friend or her counselor are getting the WW plan wrong.

I did WW for seven weeks before coming back to SB, and my mom is on the program still. Their recomendations as written in their printed materials are very sensible. The two servings of protien a day is a MINIMUM. There was nothing in the printed materials or in our weekly meetings that encouraged limiting lean meats.

When talking about pastas, breads, rice, etc. it's true they don't forbid any food, but they do encourage whole grain breads, whole wheat breads and pastas and brown rice over the white varieties.
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Postby ablack8 » Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:58 pm

A lot of people have done that with the SBD too...they think they have it down and get all the facts wrong. I am not saying your friend has it wrong, but she may be off following the plan. Of course I don't know.

I've read that some doctors/weight nazis think that Weight Watchers is the only real diet out there that works. Of course if it asks you to eat 1,500 calories of noodles a day, it's not going to work!

Okay, I'm not making sense now, so I'm going to stop posting now.
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Postby colorlvr » Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:14 pm

Well, I guess I've never actually put my friend to the test with her true knowledge of the WW diet. She may be wrong about things. I admit I know nothing of it besides what has come through her, so maybe we are both misniformed. But, I am a die-hard SB fan, and I am very ANTI-REFINED CARBS, and I just see NO place for them in the human diet. Its just junk. If you are going to eat refined carbs, you may as well eat a candy bar. Thats just my outlook on things. I have been "dabbling" with refined carbs again for months, and already I think my insulin resistance condition is coming back as I suddenly am seeing all the symptoms again, plus weight gain that is exponential! Its back to Phase 1 for me.

I'll have to really get more info out of her.
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Postby Rose26 » Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:48 pm

i just don't get how somone can lose on weight watchers. my friend is doing that. she is allowed just about everything! she eats ice cream, brownies,tons of bleached flour, oreos. everyday for lunch she brings a microwave dinner then she will eat a zero point veggie for dinner if she doesn't have any points left at the end of the day but if she wants real food for dinner she'll do a couple crunches and then eat a full pate of more bleached flour, grease and sugar! if some one could please explain how she can eat all these terrible foods and still lose weight i would be glad to know.
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Postby Anna&Johns_mom » Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:33 am

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Postby RedPanda » Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:49 am

I went to Weight Watchers back in the 70s and followed the diet religiously for 10 weeks and lost half a pound. That's right - half a pound. That's when I started to think I could never lose weight. At the time, I was in my early 20's and weighed 140 pounds. Knowing what I know now, I realise that I needed to exercise to lose weight. But back on topic, back then WW was basically a healthy, balanced diet.

I subscribed to the WW magazine last year, and the people who mentioned that WWers eat all kinds of crap are right. I didn't follow the program formally (this time round) but from reading the magazine and cookbooks, I have a pretty good idea of the points system and eating plans. I used to look at the magazine and nearly be in tears, thinking "That's what I eat now, so how come I can't lose weight?" :twisted: Of course, that was pre-SBD.

WW may encourage whole grains, but not very strongly. The latest issue of the (Australian) magazine has a piece on rice, and all kinds - including jasmine, arborio and wild - have exactly the same points value! And the meal plans include a big bowl of white pasta, risotto, etc. The WW cookbooks and recipes are full of white flour and a fair bit of sugar.

So basically, the people who can lose weight on WW are the lucky ones who aren't carb-sensitive. I personally think WW sucks! I'm glad I didn't waste my money by joining up again. :twisted:
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Postby cindylou » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:27 pm

8 years ago I was on WW and lost 35 pounds, it was a good program. But that was back in the exchange days, as Kimboroni describes. I ate a lot like I do on SB, real food and I was aware of what I ate. I had problems changing from the 'lose it' to maintnence (obiviously or I wouldn't be here now, right??). I found the group support for loss wasn't the same as staying the same, it took awhile but I gained it all back. (please note I realize that this is my 'fault', I'm not trying pass the blame onto WW). I tried the program again 2 years ago, and I was never able to succeed on any of the points 'versions'. There never seemed to be the food awareness that I had with the old plan.
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Postby colliegirl » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:54 pm

After nerly 40 years on WW (or thereabouts) they have now lost my support. In the early days, they would not allow pinto beans, ww breads, etc. Seems they have missed the mark all along the way.
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Postby ACWoman » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:07 pm

I tried WW on and off in the 80s, with little success. I would go to the meetings and see everyone else succeed, and if I lost anything at all, it was back on the following weigh in. I grew to resent the leaders and other members, I was really pitiful. I thought it was me. Now I realize that maybe it was that the eating plan wasn't right for me.
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Postby onemoretime » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:54 pm

When I joined WW (early 90's) they were competing with Jenny Craig and sold their (Frozen) food at the meetings (not like what you can purchase in grocery stores). Since I was eating what was programmed for me -- of course I lost the weight. The minute I reached "goal", I stopped going (the food was expensive) and within months I was right back where I started. None of that was WW's fault -- it's just all other "diets" before SB emphasize "losing it at all cost" -- instead of having you making peace with your eating style that you can maintain for life. That's why I was glad SB didn't promote products (although I am reading that Kraft has put out a line of SB products)? If so, I don't plan to buy them - I'll continue fixing what I need and if/when I fail I know what I can come back too and plan again.
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Postby Lady T » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:00 pm

A joke? Get a load of the photos on these two websites:

I betcha these people are having the last laugh!

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