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Weight Watchers "Core" vs. "Points" Plans


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Special Diets

Weight Watchers "Core" vs. "Points" Plans

The Dairy Queen | | Jan 1, 2008 08:38 AM

Sueeatmo asked me in this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/47339... why I chose Weight Watchers "core" plan vs. their "points" plan. I don't expect the weight loss to be any better or worse on core; I'm aiming to lose a pound or two a week and that's perfectly doable under either plan.

I chose the core plan because I don't like to weigh and measure and write down everything I eat (like you have to on the points plan). Instead, under core, I just know I'm allowed to eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nonfat milk products and whole grains more or less to my heart's content (basically, until I'm satisfied, but not "stuffed"). That's how I like to eat when I'm eating "healthy" anyway, so, it doesn't seem like that restrictive or that much of a "diet". The only thing I have to "track" is I have to make sure I eat the minimum number of servings (2) of dairy a day, the minimum serving (1 tsp) of fats per day, and my "discretionary" points for my splurges (more on that below).

What I find difficult about following the core plan is that refined starches--basically, all breads even whole grain breads--are pretty much off limits. If you follow the core plan you do get 35 "discretionary" points a week to cover your "splurges" if you want a slice of bread, upgrade your "nonfat" daily to low fat or you want some other food that isn't a "core food." But, especially this time of year (around the holidays) I've preferred to save my 35 points for those social occasions where I don't have control over the menu or for a glass of wine or small piece of dessert or something. Oh, and you get extra "points" on any day that you exercise (the more you exercise, the more points...)

Also, although it is possible to dine out under the core plan, as a practical matter, it is really difficult to find "core" dishes on most restaurant menus. Steakhouses aren't bad...you just get a 4 oz fillet, baked potato and a side of veggies (usually, you'll have to count some extra points for the butter you know they've added to the veggies...) Any place with a salad bar is fine... The rare restaurant that offers brown rice or whole wheat pasta isn't bad... But, mom and pop type ethnic restaurants seldom have "core" friendly foods on their menus, in my experience. I miss that a lot.

Anyway, that's it. The key is, chose the plan that fits best for you. In fact, you can even switch back and forth between the plans as often as weekly. (You can't switch daily--you have to stick with it for at least a week) and a lot of people do that to stave off boredom or when they think they've reached a plateau and need something new. I think the "points" plan appeals to people who want a lot more variety and freedom in their diets and who don't mind keeping a food diary.

My secondary goal for 2008 (losing the weight and getting fit) being the primary goal(s), is to come away from this with an expanded repertoire of healthy recipes I know how to cook. I have a zillion cookbooks, many of them "healthy" but seldom cook from them and, when I do, I later can't remember which cookbook they came from and can't replicate it. So, I'm also keeping a "recipe" log this year.