Weight Watchers just released their two week, kick-start-your-metabolism program that is guaranteed to work! (If you follow it, of course.)
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.)
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.
Now, even white potatoes and reduced-calorie breads are included.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
Orna Purkin is a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador.
More on Weight Watchers Power Foods and Simple Start
- Top 10 Weight Watchers Power Foods >>
- Orna’s Weight Loss Journey (with before and after pics) >>
- Weight Watchers Power Foods Will Change Your Life For Good >>
- Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with WW Power Foods, PointsPlus values, and meal ideas) >>
- Costco Shopping List (with WW Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>