Starting this month I will be having follow up articles to see how the last year has been for the success stories I have featured in my weekly newsletter. This is the debut of Page TOO. In April of 2015, I featured my first two Weight Loss Heroes: Stephen Pagano of Tampa Florida and Becky Sigurnjak of Jacksonville, FL. What has been going on in the last year? Where are they in their journeys? Read on…
I was in the advantageous position of being in the last group for the week (my weigh in is on Saturday) that converted to the new Beyond the Scale program with the newly named SmartPoints and FitPoints. That gave me an interesting perspective and lots of time to vent, explore and ask tons of questions to my Weight Watcher online friends.
I felt I was prepared before going to the introduction meeting, I knew what to expect, and had read about most of the changes and my fears had been transformed into excitement to begin the new program. I had realized that I wasn’t going to need to make major changes but more like a few “tweaks” to my eating plan to adapt to the new plan.
FACT AND FICTION
FACT: My daily points did go up! I was at 26 in the Points Plus Program (the lowest you can go) because I was already trying to lose a few post-vacation pounds. My new daily SmartPoints allows is 30! Four points up from the old allowance. WIN!
FACT: Meekly point allowance went down. On Points Plus, everyone had 49 weekly points to use as needed. Now, I have 28 weeklies on the SmartPoints program. Everyone now has a personalized weekly allowance based on: your sex, age, height and weight on the SmartPoints Program. This allowance is a lot less but I rarely used more than 3-7 extra points in a week so this did not concern me personally but many others are very upset about it!
FACT: My work week breakfast had been cooked oatmeal with raisins and some chopped almonds and only 7 points on the old program. My 1 ounce of raisins were two points. BUT in the new program, they are now 5 SmartPoints. OUCH! For now, this makes them too “costly” (or pointy as we like to call things) to be a regular part of my breakfast. My mom offered a perfect solution the now costly raisins. She suggested that I add frozen fruit (mixed berries, cherries, etc.) to my daily oatmeal for a new flavor and a hint of sweetness but would not add any additional points! Brilliant! My mom is a genius! My thinking is, now that I lost the 2 points of the raisins I can UP my chopped almonds to 3 points which adds more crunch more protein! Yay my first SmartPoints crisis solved! Ultimate WIN!
FACT: Many lean proteins’ point values went down. That is a HUGE win for this protein/meat loving girl! My 6 ounce chicken breast used to cost me 6 points now is only 4 SmartPoints! YAY! I love my chicken!
FACT: White fish went down in points. I am a lover of Cod, and Haddock so this is awesome! My 6 ounce fillets are now ONE point! Yay!
FACT: Shrimp point values went down too. For this shrimp loving woman, this is also big exciting news!
FACT: I found out MOST of my favorite foods stayed the same points values.
FACT: I found out some of my treats/indulgences are no longer worth the points. (example – I love the Weight Watchers Giant Cookies and Cream Chocolate Ice Cream Bar (used to be 4 points and a high point splurge for me) but NOW isn’t worth the 6 SmartPoints! I wonder if WW knows they just killed their own ice cream treat business? (I did see where most Weight Watchers Ice Cream Treats are being revamped down to a “snack” size with only a 2-3 SmartPoints value, good move Weight Watchers!
FICTION: You can’t eat out on SmartPoints. One of my favorite once a week treat is a Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit but I order it on a regular bun went DOWN 1 SmartPoints! – WIN!
FICTION: You can’t eat any fast food on SmartPoints. My mom and I have a “tradition” of eating at KFC on Saturdays after grocery shopping and before other shopping that day so I was very scared I would have to give up this weekly meal. Much to my shock the net gain/loss of points was zero, the total stayed the same although they are distributed differently between the individual items! SUPER HAPPY! I had emotional attachment to this meal/tradition and I was really nervous that it was going to have to be changed.
FACT: Planning ahead is a good idea. My mom and I discussed the possibilities of the KFC meal point changes and we had decided to give up the biscuit if it became too pointy prior beginning SmartPoints. We were prepared to make a change or modification but didn’t need to make it after all! BIG WIN!
FACT: On the new program you are not encouraged to eat your FitPoints. I get this because now there is no base-line and the points start accumulating with your first step.
CONFUSED: I took my assessment and my daily FitPoints target is 1 fit point a day; 7 for the week. I don’t quite understand that but I earned 9 my first day. I also read that your FitPoints goal would be adjusted on a weekly basis so it will work out.
FACT: I cooked my first dinner on the new plan was a grand total of 3 SmartPoints! In the old program it would have been 5 points. That saved me 2 SmartPoints! I ate 4.5 ounces of boneless and skinless chicken breast for only 3 SmartPoints! Yay more protein!
FACT: There is an adjustment period in my head that is going on. I can see now I might be ap to have points left over at the end of the day so I will have to think of a way to eat my daily points allowance which Weight Watchers urges us to do.
FACT: There are no Good Health Guidelines and Healthy Checks. I miss this already. Weight Watcher feels if you are eating the lower point foods you are instantly getting all these in and do not need to keep track of them. I would still like to check off my healthy checks and my daily water intake.
FACT: I have to tweak some of my recipes. My old smoothie was 6 points and now it has gone up to 9 SmartPoints OUCH! I exchanged my fat-free milk (which went up to 3 SmartPoints per cup) for Unsweetened Cashew Milk and saved a 2 points!
FACT: Many ready Made Cereal really jumped in points! The higher their fat and/or sugar content the higher the points went. My typical Sunday breakfast used to be 2 cups of Special K Chocolatey Delight Cereal for a huge 8 point breakfast (Unsweetened Cashew mike was zero points for a half a cup). Now on SmartPoints, I would be looking at a whopping 14 points! NO WAY! I spent a lot of time reading about Ready to Eat Cereals and their values in the SmartPoints Program and found out that I needed to “Cool” my love affair with those chocolate laced Special K Cereals and opt for less sugared cereals.
FICTION: All ready-made cereals are high in points. 2 cups of Rice Krispies with a banana cut up in it with 1/2 cup skim milk (out of cashew milk now) was 6 points. Had I stuck to my “old” breakfast I would have been 16 SmartPoints of my 30 SmartPoints day! 50% of my daily allowance would have been spent on my indulgent breakfast. I happened to have Rice Krispies on hand but I can tell from my reading my weekend ready to eat cereal will be back to some basics, the original yellow box Cheerios and Multi-Grain Cheerios. Funny when I started Weight Watchers almost 3 years ago, I ate a lot of those so back to the beginning in many ways!
LESSON LEARNED: Though that Chocolate Delight tastes awesome, it offers too much sugar and not enough staying power for that many points. It is NOT worth it! I need to make better choices for my cold cereal splurge!
CHALLENGE: Finding healthier choices to be healthier and improve weight loss. I will not ban Special K chocolate laced cereals from my pantry but I will be less likely to purchase them in the future.
MY ADVICE: Study point values before going grocery shopping or going out to eat. Make a list of new things to add to your plan with fewer points. PLAN and stick to your PLAN = SUCCESS!
I felt successful on my first day on SmartPoints and I still feel very positive about the program and what I am understanding about it.
Timeframe (e.g. six months to lose 30 lbs. /might need to adjust time frame, be flexible!)
Things to remember when setting your goals:
On a healthy weight loss plan, you will be losing between .5 to 2 lbs. a week. Too fast is not healthy!
Choose a definite start date and don’t put it off. Consider vacation plans, school demands, work demands, relationship issues. You might need to resolve some things before starting.
Set short-term and long-term goals and write them down. Putting goals in writing makes them more “real.”
Focus on the journey (process) not the destination (outcome). Changing your daily process is what makes for good outcomes!
Know there will be setbacks. Try to pre-plan for those setbacks, such as a party, wedding, vacation, etc. Brainstorm ideas and set specific strategies to overcome setbacks.
Be willing to change your goals as you progress. You might find you can expand your goals or find you might have some new goals with your new lifestyle. Such as I want to be able to run a 5K, be able to wear a bikini on vacation, a new dress for my daughter’s wedding, wear a smaller belt, run a marathon, etc.
Eliminate these words “always” “never” “every” “must”
Do it for you! Do not try to please others or impress others! It’s YOUR health, it is about YOU!
Reward yourself for the small victories! These are foundations to long-term success. I have been buying clothes in a smaller size as my “inspiration” to keep going to reach the next size smaller. Now I am on the lookout for a “goal” outfit that I would like to wear.
Don’t fall into the “trap” of advertisements that claim great losses in short period of time!
Try stating your goals in a positive way. Eliminate “negative” words such as: never, ever, every, won’t, etc.
Examples of rewards: (for #9)
Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure
Relax with a massage
Freshen up with a haircut or blowout
Splurge on jewelry
Get fitted for a new bra (you may need to be re-sized after losing some weight)
Invest in new workout gear, sneakers or a yoga mat
Buy a book you’ve been wanting to read
Enroll in a new group fitness class
Spend some time downloading new music (or old favorites)
Sleep in at least one day on the weekend
Examples of Unrealistic/Realistic Goals:
Unrealistic Goals (negative)
Realistic Goals (positive)
I’ll never eat more than 1,000 calories every day.
I will eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables each day.
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to begin walking two hours every day.
I’ll walk for 20 minutes four times this week. Log your accomplishment! Reward yourself for achieving your goal!
I’m going to bake cookies for the bake sale, and I won’t eat or taste any.
I’ll buy cookies for the bake sale and drop them off at the school on my way home from the grocery store. Give yourself a cheer after you drop them off, yay you!
I’m going to lose ten pounds before my class reunion next month.
I’m going to eat smaller portions and take a 15-minute walk four times a week so that I’ll feel healthier, more fit, and confident at the class reunion.
I am going to eat only one meal a day
Eating smaller “meals” of low-fat/low-calorie foods throughout the day. This will keep me from getting too hungry at any time during the day.
I will never ever snack (eat after 8pm, etc.)
I am going to eat more healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and drinking water. When I am hungry after (a certain time) I will drink a glass of water/brush my teeth, etc.
Although the exact number of calories you need to burn in excess may vary slightly, a 1.5 pound weekly loss means burning about 5000 calories more than you take in. To put that number into perspective, burning 5000 calories is like a 130 pound female doing 15 hours of aerobics!