WW: 23 Things I Have Learned in Eight Weeks

I’ve been “on plan” for two months now — hard to believe! I thought I’d be a little lighter than I am at this point (I’m seven pounds down, “officially”) but I’m happy with the changes I’ve had thus far and still am glad I signed up. I’ll keep doing it for awhile, especially now that B is on board.

Lots of people have asked me questions about how I’m doing it, what I’m doing, etc., so I figured it was time to post about these things.

Remember, I’m no expert, and what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone. Also, this post is looooooong. :)

Basic Premises for the KitschenBitsch version of WW

1. Eat the damn points.

The weeks when I’ve lost the most weight, I’ve eaten all my daily points, all my weekly ¬†points, and most or all of my activity points. Several folks I’ve talked to who tried to “save” their points to lose more weight faster had the opposite result.

2. Move your ass.

I’ve also ¬†earned 10+ activity points the weeks when I’ve lost the most. The one week that I posted a significant (over two pounds) gain? I was busy and stressed out and never got to the gym.

3. Calm the hell down.

I can’t take care of myself when I’m stressed out, and my body can’t take care of itself when I’m stressed out.

4. It’s not all about the scale.

What I feed myself and what I do are more important than that number. I’ve had bigger results in my body than one would guess for losing less than ten pounds. I’ve lost an inch+ off my waist and hips and bust. If I eat the right food, I’ll feel better and my body will function better.

5. Eat healthy food, regardless of points values.

On PointsPlus, most fruit and veggies are free, and with good reason. Some foods that are not great for us can be worked in, which is fine. However, don’t fall into the trap of “If I eat all this ice cream, I can just have a salad for dinner.” You’ll stay within points, you’ll probably lose weight, but you’ll feel like crap. I’ve done it, I know.

6. Refined sugar and white flour slow weight loss.

This is more of a theory based off eight weeks of observations.

7. Track everything.

Even when I “take a day off,” I track. It’s fine to go all out, but know what you’re doing and how much. I’ve had entire weeks of “being bad” when I’ve gone over my weekly points by 40+. How much worse would those weeks be if I didn’t know?

I’ve heard several people complain about the program and that they couldn’t lose weight. Some of them admitted they weren’t tracking. One said, “I know how much I’m eating.”

Maybe, but I sure as heck didn’t.

Getting portions under control and realizing HOW MUCH I eat has been a huge part of the battle. Counting calories has never worked for me, as I could never get and stay full on what was recommended for me. Somehow, WW works for me. I do believe the statement that “not all calories are created equal.”

I think about whether I’m hungry now, but I never starve myself. I eat enough, sometimes still far too much, but never too little.

8. Eat protein for breakfast

I always crave carbs for breakfast, but I’ve been feeding myself more protein of late. Even my smoothies can give me a sugar crash sometimes. I feel better when I start the day with lean protein. This is typically egg whites or a whole egg (or both mixed together) and a piece of veggie sausage or bacon (not the healthiest choice, I know). On mornings I’m tired of this, I will sometimes have two rice cakes with peanut butter and a couple of raisins/sunflower seeds on top. I still make my smoothies but have them in late morning if I need a pick-me-up.

On Sundays, Mr. B loves to go to Biscuitville for breakfast. If I have a biscuit, even with egg, for breakfast, I feel dizzy and irritable later and crave sugar all day. If I eat some eggs and then a little fruit later, I feel much better.

9. Enjoy the real stuff, just less of it.

I still put half and half in my coffee. I still eat desserts, but I’ll order them out or purchase something small more often, or bake and give most of the stuff away. A friend pointed out that this isn’t cost effective. From a bulk value standpoint, no. But, if I’m only eating one piece of cake (and isn’t that the idea? Have one and savor it?), it makes much more sense to go order a piece than to buy ingredients, bake, and eat/waste (either is wasteful, really) a whole cake.

For snacky/dessert fits, I will occasionally buy a larger something. Trader Joe’s has a macaron-framboise cake that’s 7 pts. per slice, three slices to a box for $5. They also have cafe twists that are three points for four twists and will kick one of my cinnamon roll/apple pie cravings square in the arse.

10. Vary food and activity.

I’m a rut person. I will have the Same Damn Smoothie for breakfast, the Same Damn Salad or Soup for lunch, and do the Same Damn Thing at the gym every day, sometimes for more than a week on end. My body gets pissy. I get pissy. Don’t do it. Even if it means taking a day off, that’s better than burning yourself out and letting your body adapt to a mundane routine. Also, in looking back at weeks I lost the most, my point intake varied drastically from day to day (40+ point day followed by 29 point day, etc.). Switch it up to stay happy and healthy.

Good Stuff to Eat

1. Cauliflower

I’m avoiding lots of refined flour and sugar, and rice and other starches have high points values. Cauliflower has 0 points and is cheap frozen. I thaw it and fry it in a skillet with onions for a hash brown effect or boil and mash it for fauxtatoes. Good stuff.

2. Rice cakes

Stay with me here. I like sandwiches, but what I really like is the stuff between the bread. So, I put that stuff on two rice cakes for a big open-faced sandwich with lots of crunch. The cakes have 1 point each and it takes awhile to eat and lets me be satisfied.

3. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I’ve been addicted to this stuff for a long time, ever since I realized how much sugar was in a cup of my preferred soymilk. At one point per cup, it’s good with a little dessert and is what I make smoothies with.

4. Soaked raw cashews

Great for fat, protein, and richness, soaked raw cashews can be blended into smoothies, pulverized into faux ricotta cheese, and much much more. 1/8 cup has 3 points while a quarter cup has 5.

5. Egg whites

I buy these in cartons. Three whites (about a half cup) = 1 point. I scramble them on their own with some add-ins for flavor, and sometimes add a whole egg for more fat.

6. Sun-dried tomatoes

The ones not in oil are better pointswise, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the oil packed ones. I rinse them before dropping into salads or drop them in my egg skillet and cook out the oil before topping my whites with them.

7. Olives

I’ve been mincing Kalamatas preserved in red wine to go in my morning eggs and on salads. A pile of salad greens topped with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and two tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese can be doused in the red wine olive brine and get me nice and full for four points. They taste meaty and fatty and give the satisfaction of meat.

8. Feta/part-skim mozzarella

A tablespoon of feta goes a long way and is only one point. Part-skim mozzarella is low in points, and some brands are very tasty (again, I love me some TJs).

9. Corn tortillas

A point apiece, you can make some tasty tacos. Mr. B turned me on to having them for breakfast (one egg, salsa, strip of veggie bacon, warmed tortilla — 4-5 points). They’re especially good for keeping me going through a workout.

10. Homemade veggie soup

Joy commented on this here, and I agree. I have always stayed lighter when cooking and eating veggie-based soups. I do get sick of them quickly because I tend to eat them exclusively for a couple days out of convenience and then swear them off. But, they are tremendously helpful, easy, and delicious. You can also add stuff to make them stewier, or strain them for tacos, etc.

11. Lighter cocktails

An ounce of vodka with 4 ounces of grapefruit juice over ice, topped with seltzer is three points. If you double it, it’s seven. It’s light and delicious and will probably be my friend this summer.

12. Mongolian grills and salad bars

Mr. B can eat a zillionty nine points per day. I can’t. We can go to a Mongolian grill, and I can load up on veggies, skip the rice or just have a little, indulge in sauces, and we both leave happy. Same with salad bars — I fill up on veggies and Mr. B can get pasta salads and meats/eggs to fill out his meal.

13. More veggies

Add veggies to everything. I like grain salads, so I serve them over a pile of greens or add a cup of V-8 to them to make them soup (and therefore more filling). When Mr. B makes dinner, I have a small portion of it it mixed with more veggies or over salad. It works.

6 Responses

  1. Joy Manning says:

    I have to say I am so glad you wrote this and I totally agree with all your points. It’s especially good for me to be reminded right now because with all the traveling and moving-related stuff that’s been going around in my world lately, I’m up 5 pounds–the most of any time since I started WW last summer–and not feeling good about it at all. These tips are so important to remember. And 7 pounds in 8 weeks is GREAT. Congrats on that loss but even more so on making these healthy changes. It’s just the inspiration I needed right now.

  2. Melly says:

    If you feel like baking your goodies, bake them on a Sunday afternoon, portion, freeze most of them way down in the bottom (even cake slices can be successfully frozen) and do your best to ignore them until Friday.

    I’ve found (in the past, natch) that I actually can forget them. And then, I find them, defrost one, eat it, and the madness is gone for a little while.

    Freezers. I love them.

  3. TheBitsch says:

    You are a genius. This is one more reason that a freezer must find itself on my porch before the end of summer.

  4. TheBitsch says:

    Thank you, and I’m glad you found it useful. I am sure you’ll do well with the new program, though I can only imagine how frustrating it is to have it all changed on you.

    My next challenge: a giant (read: maaaany daaaaaays) roadtrip. It’s tricky to keep losing as is, so I’m a little concerned about even maintaining on the road. T’will be interesting! Maybe we need to come up with some catastrophe/insanity WW plan for times like moving/traveling/commuting egregiously…hrm.

  5. Very good points. And you crack me up (I just read your earlier post about Mr. B joining you. Life is unfair.)

    I lost 57 lbs on WW in 2002, then lost the “baby weight” in 2008. Now I just need to lose the “I stopped running due to injury and turned 40″ 13 lbs that I gained last year. Sigh. I always have good luck with WW, but my spouse travels a lot and I have a 5 year old – so when he’s in town, it’s great, I lose. When he’s out of town, I’m stressed, and I stop counting.

    I also definitely had better luck when I ate all of my points. Haven’t quite figured out the new plan though.

  6. TheBitsch says:

    I was just talking to someone about how our weight cycles and the need for a wardrobe of three sizes for my yearly shapeshifting according to time of year, time of semester, and injuries.

    I’m glad you chuckled. I seek mainly to entertain. :-D

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