So, WW.

My opinion: it works for reasons that have little to do with nutrition – and more to do with behavior.

There has always been this attitude that you can eat whatever you want as long as you keep it all within your points allotment. WW doesn’t officially support that – but I’ve been to PLENTY of meetings over the past 10+ years and have never once encountered deep discussion re: nutrition – but have been offered plenty of opportunities to buy shake mixes, bars, candy, etc. And the recipes that circulate – largely created by meeting leaders? Please.

Nutrition is just not the focus.

I could likely eat ice cream all day and lose weight as long as I ate just 29 points worth – which is why I take my nutrition cues from one place and keep my behavior under control with WW.

My opinion – this whole free fruit and vegetables thing is largely behavioral. It seems crazy to me that “new science” would suddenly allow a formula that so easily incorporates fruit and vegetables. I think it’s an effort to encourage people to choose something other than 100-calorie packs of cookies since food trends seem to be moving toward lessening the consumption of processed foods.

The free fruit and vegetable thing seems to be the biggest complaint, though, which is very interesting to me.

A lady spoke up in a meeting I went to a few weeks ago and said she’s not losing weight because of fruit – and then a few others chimed in with their tales of woe – and I felt bad for the leader because you can’t really straight-up tell someone you doubt they’re gaining weight simply because they’re not counting points for fruits and vegetables without seeming like somewhat of a jerk, you know? People are generally touchy about their behavior – and they just do NOT overtly sell behavior modification.

She was working very hard to sell this new program and went on and on about the new science, etc. – with just a moderate mention of hunger signals and a little encouragement to choose fruit just to fill in the gaps when hungry between meals.

I was really surprised that the focus was not squarely on the BEHAVIOR involved in gaining weight because of FRUIT and VEGETABLES – or on the thought process that would lead someone to believe weight gain is a result of too much squash.

It’s possible, of course – and maybe I’m wrong – but I think a person would have to eat a LOT of fruit to gain weight over the course of 1 week. So maybe it has nothing to do with fruit and everything to do with blindly going wild with something that is suddenly “free?”

I have no idea how the new program REALLY works because it’s protected by a patent, of course. I can guess about why I’m suddenly allotted 32 daily points and 49 extra weekly points (which is higher than ever previously allotted) given some of the stuff I’ve read, but overall – I’m pretty lazy and disinclined to get too worked up about it. The vague nature bugs me, but I’m willing to give it a shot anyway because something about it worked for me in the past.

I’m not willing, however, to compromise and choose low-calorie bread over an avocado – for example – just because the bread is considered a “power food” and the avocado is discouraged.

I’m not a fan of totally blindly following ANY program/opinion.

I haven’t been actively counting points long enough to determine how weight loss is going to go this time around. I’m very curious, though, and motivated to keep on with it to see.

So far, so good.

Here’s what a quick search offered when I tried to find out about the clinical trial that supports the new program – specifically looking for info available to the public:

List of short blurbs that mostly have nothing to do with the new program – but support WW, in general.

Abstract (study cited in the new program material I received):

http://www.weightwatchers.com/images/1033/dynamic/articles/2010/12/Changesinweight-related%20beh,Annals%20ofBehMed,2010211.pdf

Basic article about the science behind the new program (by WW research dept).

I’m hoping they make the two studies cited on their “emphasis on evidence” page (of the printed material given to members) available (or discussed in depth) on their website. If they have – I haven’t run across it.
(Edited to add: forgot to mention that abstracts can be found in footnotes of this article above.)
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I’m continuing to learn a lot living here (other than the stuff I came here to learn).

#1 – These people are hardcore.

I have never lived in a place that has an open outdoor farmers market year round.

(Spilling my coffee everywhere, of course.)

(We didn’t really need anything, but Jon picked up this sauerkraut that stinks to high heaven. I was just happy that the sun had appeared and it was sort of pleasant to be outside.)

#2 – I thought I was some sort of genius when I found boots that I thought I might be able to wear all day at work (vs. changing my shoes at work – something I’ve never had to consider). They’re waterproof, warm, and look decent enough/close enough to my normal shoes that I thought they’d be ok for my work environment.

Turns out this time of year = MESSY. I really hadn’t thought about the salt and ensuing nastiness because I’ve just never had to think about it before.

We walked all the way to the exercise place one night in the dark + freezing cold + snow without thinking once about the fact that our shoes would be disgusting by the end of the walk. We ended up going all the way back home without going in because I couldn’t bring myself to break the winter rules (posted on the door) and get my salty mess all over the treadmill. (Though I’ve since learned that other people aren’t so inclined to care.)

#3 and most importantly: I need my pants to be loose so the long johns will comfortably fit under them – because they just have to.

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