Thursday, March 10, 2011

Points Plus Review and a "STRESSED"-free Lent...

As many of you know, I've been on Weight Watchers for aaaaaaages. I'd gotten to where I could predict the points-value of just about any food after just a glance at the nutrition facts. I've been stuck on a plateau for at least a year and was really getting quite frustrated with my lack of progress. And then? Around the holidays, WW launched their new plan, which they call "Points Plus." If you have tried WW in the past and have been toying with the idea of rejoining, here's what you wanna know:

1. NONE of your "old-plan" stuff is valid any more. You cannot mix the plans. At. All. Points values are calculated in a completely different way now. You'll find that many foods have a higher points value than they did before (for example "sandwich thins" were 1 point before and are now 3), but there are some foods that stay the same and some are less, or even FREE (more on this later.) This might seem like bad news, but the good news is...

2. You get MORE points. At least 29 daily points and 49 weekly points to play around with. I know, a lot of things are more points now, but....

3. Fruit is FREE!! Meaning it is ZERO POINTS. Yes, even bananas. And most vegetables are still 0 points. In fact, the points values for vegetables seem to be pretty much the same as they were before. I have found that I am eating WAY more fruit and veggies per day than I was before. And I have noticed that I feel better throughout the day.

4. Activity also has a higher points value than before-YAY!

And so? I'm still stalled. But not because of the plan-it's all me. My tracking has been falling apart about 3/4 into the week and as my awesome WW leader Judy always says, "You should only track on the days you want to lose weight." And my activity level has been pretty lame too. I followed the plan to the letter the first week it was launched and lost 4 pounds, so I do know that if you work it? It works. I also wanted to share something I've observed about the new plan: it is truly set up to help you make smarter choices. I've learned (the hard way) that foods I really shouldn't be putting into my body <cough-chimichanga-cough> are not only higher in pointsplus values, but they make me hungry again faster than healthier choices (what WW calls "power foods").

On another (related) note, I noticed yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I consider myself a "cultural Catholic"(and no, I am not open to religious debate of any kind on this blog, thanks!) and I've always really liked the tradition of giving something up for Lent. When I was a kid I gave up biting my nails one year and I was so proud to conquer that habit! I would never have had to join WW in the first place if I weren't an emotional eater. When times are tough I turn to my good ol' gals, Betty Crocker and Sarah Lee-and we all know what "stressed" spelled backwards is, right? So, in the spirit of spring, I have decided not only to track, er, religiously for the next 40 days-but also? I am GIVING UP DESSERTS. That's right, no sweets of any kind for 40 days, folks. I'm hoping this will force me to be accountable for what I eat and also help me find healthier ways to deal with stress-though I must admit I'm already looking forward to how good that Easter candy is going to taste after 40 days off the hard stuff!

I'll be sharing more WW-related feelings, finds and foods here from time to time, but if you really want to hear about my progress on the plan, you can follow me on twitter @shesnachomama-I regularly post my weigh-in results and I have some great, inspiring folks I'm following that you might like to know :) Also, don't forget to check out the Official Weight Watchers Website for complete details about the new plan.

Are you following the new Pointsplus plan? What do you think?

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

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