Weight Watchers Simple Start Works!

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Weight Watchers just released their two week, kick-start-your-metabolism program that is guaranteed to work! (If you follow it, of course.)

Why Weight Watchers Simple Start Works

This past Saturday I caught the last meeting of the week (WW runs Sunday through Saturday) where the new Simple Start program was the meeting topic. (Don’t worry, if you’re just joining—or returning—they’ll be happy to go over it with you after any meeting.) Happily, I already dropped three of the FIVE pounds that I gained in the last month—after following Simple Start for just one week. (See, I told you it works!)

I’d been struggling to get back on track, after giving in to emotional eating in the unsettled weeks following our incredible trip to South Africa.

I can only imagine how many points I inhaled night after night—while listening to my jet-lagged toddler yelling that she will NEVER EVER go to sleep! (Now my hubby understands why I gave him a hard time about bringing all those slabs of chocolate back with us.)

South African Chocolate

It didn’t help that we returned smack-dab in the middle of the holidays (after oddly missing Thanksgivukkah)—landing in Christmas pandemonium and a changed season. No wonder I was out of sorts! And this after being out of my exercise routine for a month—and then getting sick, blah blah blah. (But I don’t have to tell you… you know how it happens.)

Each pound that I watched the scale creep up made me feel a little worse and a little more out-of-control, but when I entered a whole new decade, I knew it had to stop!

Enter “Simple Start” program

I dragged myself to a Weight Watchers meeting, and got on the scale even though I knew it was an all-time hideous high. But like I used to tell my members way back when I was a Weight Watchers Leader: If you don’t like the number you see on the scale, that’s okay because you never have to see it again!

Once you’re in the habit of eating chocolate or other full-fat, high-sugar “trigger” foods, it’s hard to break the cycle. That’s why Simple Start is so brilliant: when you focus on wholesome, quality foods, your body miraculously stops craving all that other stuff. 

Simple Start is basically Simply Filling (which is how I live my life and how I’ve managed to keep my weight down)—choosing from a list of Weight Watchers Power Foods, which are healthier and more satisfying.

 

Weight Watchers Power Foods

 

Now, even white potatoes and reduced-calorie breads are included.

Power Foods Plus More

 

The difference is that with Simple Start you get 7 PointsPlus a day for “indulgences”—but they don’t carry over if you don’t use them.

Note: “Indulgences” are not necessarily candy or pizza (especially since 7 points will not get you that far with really decadent foods!), but are for any foods that don’t fit into the Power Foods category. For example, if you’re not a fan of Fat Free Dairy Products, you can choose to count the points for low fat dairy instead. (I, personally, will not suffer tea or coffee with non-fat milk. I definitely didn’t get to Weight Watchers because of 1/2 cup of 1% milk a day!)

 

I think this is a brilliant way of encouraging members to focus on Weight Watchers Power Foods right from the start. I’m always surprised at how few people raise their hands when asked in a meeting who has tried Simply Filling. (And surprised at how little they focus on it in meetings. Up till now it’s been Weight Watchers’ best kept secret!)

Is it the fear of not tracking? Or no portion guidelines?

If you’ve been curious about Simply Filling, this is a great place to start.

 

Note: Simple Start was not intended to replace the Weight Watchers 360 Program (made up of PointsPlus, 16 Routines, etc.), but rather just to kickstart new members—and existing members who need a boost—and not overwhelm them with counting points right off the bat.

Weight Watchers 360

 

The Simple Start booklet includes meal ideas, Cooking 101 with recipe ideas, and even a Shopping List to get you started. They’re encouraging everyone to try it for two weeks and see if it’s a good fit.

Are you going to try it?

 

Warning: This is not an all-you-can-eat “diet”

The Weight Watchers Weekly booklet, Start Simple (December 29 – January 4) explains that Weight Watchers Power Foods are less likely to trigger “hedonic” or pleasure eating, which foods high in fat and sugar can cause. So because of which foods you’re eating, you don’t have to be as concerned with how much.

Start Simple Booklet

Make sure to get this booklet and READ it!

 

For me, the most important part of Simply Filling—and this Simple Start Program—is to listen to your body’s signals for when you’re hungry and when you’re “satisfied”. (Not “full”) The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.

If you feel like you’re overeating… you are!

Think if it as fueling your body with healthy foods, and tanking up each time you need it, but not pouring in more fuel than you need or your beautiful car will overflow.

One of the biggest dieting myths is that you should feel a bit hungry when you get up from the table. As a teenager battling with my weight, this—along with other dieting myths—kept me in a terrible diet/binge cycle, because I was constantly in a state of deprivation. You never need to feel hungry or deprived EVER AGAIN. But you should never feel overstuffed either. Becoming more conscious of stopping when I feel satisfied and trusting that any time I feel hungry I have a guilt-free license to eat, was the key to changing how I viewed food forever.

Simple Start is the perfect balance between FREEDOM (so you don’t feel deprived) but within LIMITS (so you have boundaries, which help to make better choices and feel in control).

Though it might be tempting, I urge you not to go the all-or-nothing route that some of us addictive personalities tend to do, because if you only eat Power Foods and don’t allow yourself the odd indulgence, it will feel like a “diet” and at some point that diet will come to an end.

The best thing about Weight Watchers is that it is NOT a diet! They give us tools so that we can learn how to make the best choices and change our habits (eating and self-destructive thought patterns) one by one.

 

Why Simple Start Works

  • No tracking frees you from thinking obsessively about food
  • You learn to trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and what you feel like eating
  • Taking time to prepare and cook foods yourself is cathartic, slows you down, and makes you appreciate each bite much more
  • You can find Power Foods on any menu and wherever you travel
  • You stop craving fatty, sugary foods and your blood sugar levels stabilize—you’ll even feel less moody! (And more energetic)

 

My Tips for Success

  • Eat whenever you feel hungry and practice stopping as soon as you feel satisfied
  • Stock up on exciting fruits and veggies (persimmon slices, frozen grapes, edamame, steamed beets)
  • Stock your freezer and pantry with interesting veggies for snack attacks (hearts of palm, artichokes, asparagus)
  • Sign up for Weight Watchers E-Tools (There’s even a super-cool Simple Start Mobile App which is free with ETools)
  • The WW Scanner App is great for figuring out points on the go, and to check for Power Foods
  • I highly recommend purchasing the brand new Shop book at your WW location. ($11.95) It’s very empowering to see your favorite brands in print, and it’s even more exciting to see a little green triangle next to something!
  • Even better—purchase Your Success Kit, which includes the Shop and Eat Out books, PointsPlus Calculator, and much more. $34.95 until 2/1/14.
  • Go to a meeting! (There’s no substitute for attending meetings… even if you think you don’t need them.) If you’re not crazy about the leader, or not feeling inspired by the meeting, find another one. Even if you have to drive to a different area. Think about how far you’ve driven to get a food-fix!
  • If you live in a rural area, Google Plus has a fantastic Weight Watchers Community. (Make sure to add me to your circles!)

 

This week reconfirmed that my natural state of being is eating healthy, wholesome, non-processed foods (mostly) foods. Please give Simple Start a try! Let me know how you like it…

You’ll find many Weight Watchers Power Foods and meal ideas on my Trader Joe’s and Costco Shopping Lists. Please add your favorite Power Foods in the comments section.

Look out for my next post: My Simple Start—easy meal and snack ideas.

Follow my boards on Pinterest for my latest Power Food Finds.

OrnaBakes on Pinterest

 

And please SHARE this post on Facebook (click the “like” button at the top of this post) or mention OrnaBakes.com at your next Weight Watchers Meeting!

Happy New Year and may 2014 be your healthiest and happiest year ever!

xoxo

 

 

Orna Purkin is a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador.

More on Weight Watchers Power Foods and Simple Start

 

Author: Orna

Orna Purkin is the creator of OrnaBakes—where healthy meets yummy. As a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador, her passion is to inspire others with her healthy recipes, favorite food finds, and weight-loss tips — with the odd confession here and there!

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12 Comments

  1. Really well-written and interesting post with humorous reflections. I had forgotten about some of the tasty foods mentioned. I’m going out tomorrow to buy artichoke hearts, asparagus and hearts of palm. And, I’ll be cooking beets as well.

    Post a Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed my post! If you don’t feel like cooking the beets yourself, you can find delicious, steamed beets at Trader Joe’s. (refrigerator)

      Post a Reply
  2. I started WW a week ago and lost 3lb. on the Simple Start.
    This is my first time on the program and am still very unfamiliar with it. I appreciate your recommendations on what to buy at the grocery stores. Thanks. I love this site.
    Fran

    Post a Reply
    • Congratulations Fran – I’m so happy for you that you joined WW, and that you’re finding success with Simple Start! And it’s good to know that I’m helping someone out there – thanks for letting me know. All my best wishes for continued success – please keep me posted!

      Post a Reply
  3. This stinks that you’re publishing this information that we, as Weight Watchers members, pay a monthly subscription for access to it. You should be ashamed of yourself–this is stealing.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Donna, I thought long and hard before responding because I was taken aback and saddened by your comment. As a person who struggles with my own weight issues, I have found inspiration, encouragement, and solace online by reading about others similar experiences. I’m a huge advocate for the Weight Watchers program and always encourage people to go to meetings. (As you can see listed under my Tips for Success) My intention is never to give away information for free instead of people paying the weekly WW fee. My intention is to support Weight Watchers members by sharing my successes (and slip-ups) and my tips and ideas. I work incredibly hard to gather information and facts to help people trying to lose weight on the Weight Watchers plan, for which I am not compensated at all, so when I get a comment like this, it makes me wonder why I even do it. I know there are some people out there who find my information useful and appreciate what I do. I wish you all the best in your journey.

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  4. Hi Orna,
    Love the blog! The one issue I have with the Simple Start program, and really WW in general is that I try to only eat organic, non-processed foods, and so my selection is greatly limited by the list of WW approved foods. For example, I can never find organic fat free cottage or mozzarella cheese and I don’t eat lowfat breads that are fool of chemicals and additives. Do you have any suggestions for how to do WW and still maintain my organic diet and still not have to miss out on such great foods and cheese or bread?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Annie, I absolutely do think that you can do WW Simple Start and keep eating your organic, wholesome foods. I, personally, don’t buy fat free milk or cottage cheese – because I find 1% so much more palatable and I know that I didn’t get to weight watchers because of cottage cheese or milk! I would rather eat a little less of something that keeps me satisfied than huge amounts of fat free dairy products. Bread – on the other hand – is a little more tricky, because it can easily be abused. I think if you can find a high fiber bread (like Ezekiel) that doesn’t trigger you, a sandwich here and there isn’t going to take you down! But you need to be aware of not overeating. I personally don’t really buy bread, because it’s a trigger for me, and I do better eating lots of protein and fresh veggies and fruit, with the occasionally whole grains here and there. Hope that helps. Please keep me posted and let me know if you have any other questions/issues!

      Post a Reply
  5. besides the extra 49 points a week i get, how do i determine how many points i get a day??? this simple start seems very confusing.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Denise, I recommend going to a Weight Watchers meeting and staying after so they can explain Simple Start to you. I’m not sure what book you purchased – because they usually give out the book for free when you join. The whole point with Simple Start is that you aren’t actually counting points all day, but are choosing from a list of Weight Watchers Power Foods – and then you get an additional 7 points a day to spend on items that aren’t on the Power Foods list. Hope that helps!

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  6. Hi Orna, I am hoping that can answer some of my questions. First, I joined Simple Start online as I don’t have any free time to go to meetings. I was keeping track of my points on my iPhone with the app that they sent me to download. After about 2 weeks my point allowance went down from 30 points to 29 points a day and now its telling me I have -1 weekly remaining points at the start of a new week. I haven’t tracked by the week before, only daily. I’m so confused. I hope you can help me.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Cindy, That does sound a little confusing. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by Simple Start, because if you really are doing the “Simple Start” two-week program, you should only be tracking things that have points values – i.e. foods that are not power foods and therefore count as points. You get 7 of those to use per day and if not they fall away. I recommend calling Weight Watchers and someone will be able to help you. If you can make time to go to just ONE meeting and stay after for the leader to explain the program to you, that would be reealllly beneficial! Best of luck!

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