[Update: Weight Watchers latest program is WW Freestyle]
Weight Watchers introduced the incredibly successful weight loss technique of assigning points to foods based on the nutritional breakdown of each food. Participants then used their allocated points each day to lose weight. For many this was, and is a great way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight range, but for some, counting points is too difficult, time consuming, or obsessive.
The Simply Filling technique is an alternate and arguably easier way for participants to achieve the same results, in a supportive and sustainable manner.
While for some, joining a program is prohibitive due to cost, the simple rules of eating only those foods present on the Weight Watchers Power Foods list, mean that if you choose not to join Weight Watchers, you can still follow the program, with the only expense being your weekly food bill.
The Power Food list includes fruit, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, low fat dairy and soy
Participants who prefer to use the Simply Filling technique are given an extensive list of allowed foods termed Power Foods. They then rely on listening to their body and eating until they are comfortably full (not overfull) from the Power Food list. The Power Food list includes fruit, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, low fat dairy and soy, and perhaps most surprisingly real carbohydrates, like whole wheat breads and pastas, and wholegrains. For those who MUST have that extra little piece of chocolate or cookie, there are an extra 49 points (PointsPlus) built into each week for the items not on the Simply Filling technique Power Food list.
Unlike Weight Watchers Simple Start, where the program runs for two weeks, the Simply Filling Technique is more flexible, and can be changed to and from any of the Weight Watchers programs at any time.
For an extra added bonus, those who use the Simply Filling Technique are able to use two tablespoon of oil each day without using any of their extra 49 PointsPlus points.
The Simply Filling technique allows you to choose anything from the VERY extensive list of Power Foods without having to worry about everything you ate through the day and making sure you’ve stayed within your PointsPlus allowance.
The emphasis of the Power Foods list is on delicious, filling, whole foods. The aim is for participants to feel satisfied with their choices exclusively from the Power Foods list, and not as though they are missing out.
The Power Foods list includes so many options that variety and recipe availability is not an issue. In fact, many of your favourite recipes are adaptable to fit in with the Power Foods list. A huge variety of recipes that include only Power Foods are available in Weight Watchers cookbooks, weight loss blogs, and pinterest.
While there is a huge range of options on the Power Foods list, Fruit (fresh, frozen and canned), Vegetables (including potato), Whole grains (those all-important carbohydrates), no fat dairy, lean proteins, beverages and condiments, there are some popular foods that are not on the Power Foods list. Some of these foods include processed meats like hot dogs, or sausages, which is not surprising, given the emphasis on whole foods on the Power Food list. Perhaps more surprising is the absence of foods such as avocado, dried fruits, and fruit or vegetable juices.
Here are just some of the Power Foods. An extensive food list can be found on the Weight Watchers website
Non-Fat Dairy and Dairy Substitutes
Seasonings and Condiments
Members who learn to listen to their bodies and stop eating when they are full, report weight loss of around 2lbs per week. For those who find this difficult, the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program may be better suited to their needs.
Unlike many other diets, the Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique not only encourages and supports weight loss, but also encourages and supports healthy eating. The allowable food list contains mostly whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and encourages a clean diet. While weight loss may be the initial reason for joining Weight Watchers, learning how your body responds to food, and how to eat a clean and wholesome diet, gives participants tools for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle change which can easily be extended and adapted for the whole family.