Over the past several days, I have been weighing my various gluten-free weight-loss options:
- simple calorie counting
- 60-carbs and 60-protein grams
- The South Beach Diet
- Weight Watchers Points Program
- Weight Watchers Old Exchange Program
- maintaining where I’m currently at
- or something else
Between the celiac disease, dairy sensitivity and corn intolerance, I don’t want to get myself into anything that’s too complicated. I think that’s why the current Weight Watchers Points Program didn’t work for me. Along with not being able to implement the points for gluten-free flour into my recipes, counting points was complex. While many people find the points simple to implement, with the number of health issues I’m jugging and the way my gluten-free recipes have to be constructed, it wasn’t for me.
|GFCF Chocolate Ice Cream|
I have spent several days weeding through my Fitday account. Erasing the foods I can no longer eat was long overdue. Plus, I needed to take some time to check out how many calories and carbohydrates my gluten-free breads and other recipes had. The numbers were not good. My dairy-free chocolate ice cream recipe was 44 carbohydrates and over 300 calories per cup! The hamburger bun I use for sandwiches or toast was only slightly better, so I didn’t even bother tallying up my cookies. It’s no wonder I’ve regained all of the weight I lost on the hHCG Diet!
I also joined a new weight-loss forum called My Fitness Pal, but I haven’t had much time to check it out quite yet.
Throughout all of this, I’ve been waffling back and forth between these various options. I know I have to do something to get my eating back under control, but it needs to be a way of eating I can live with peacefully. I can’t take hHCG any more because most versions are made with ethanol. Plus, the pharmaceutical industry has made it impossible to even get authentic homeopathic versions.
One of the problems I ran into doing a low-carb diet was finances. The way our budget is set up, we don’t have very much money for food on the week we pay the rent, unless I have a good week at Textbroker, so I need a plan that can be adapted to fit our budget as well as my health problems.
|GFCF Chocolate-Chip Muffins|
This morning, I revisited what first attracted me to the South Beach Diet. It wasn’t the carbohydrates – although many people who stall on the Atkins Diet do find those extra carbs tempting. What attracted me was the easy way in which the diet is implemented. It counts servings of starchy carbs and fruit rather than counting calories, carbohydrates or points. That made it closely related to the Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program.
That’s when I realized I was chasing after rainbows that were already sitting in my backyard. Even though I don’t have the individual mini-pamphlets that tell you how to count fast foods or basic ready-made recipes that they slowly passed out during the first six weeks of the Quick-Start Program, I can’t eat that stuff anyway. So what’s stopping me from going back to what worked before?
What’s preventing me from implementing the basic Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program? It’s not like I don’t remember what it is. I do. I just never carried through on the discussions I’ve had with my husband about it.
The Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program 1985
The Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program comes in a variety of styles. Weight Watchers is known for their frequent marketing tweaks and gimmicks. Since I joined when the Quick Start Program was relatively new and returned after they had attempted to tweak the plan, I have basic knowledge of both programs. While the tweaked version is more flexible, I found it didn’t work quite as well as the original plan did, but that’s because I was more tempted to spend my floating exchanges on starchy carbs rather than protein.
Quick Start drastically cuts your calories for the first two weeks, but it isn’t necessary to make the diet work. Plus, I don’t remember those values anyway because you only eat a very-low calorie diet for the first two weeks. Most of the time you’re on the plan you eat the following:
- Protein: 9 ounces (men: 12 ounces)
- Non-fat Milk, yogurt, sugar-free pudding*, or diet hot cocoa: 2 cups
- Fruit: 3 servings (men: 5 servings)
- Non-starchy Vegetables: 4 servings minimum, but unlimited
- Breads, cereals, starchy vegetables: 2 to 3 servings (men: 4 servings)
- Fats: 3 teaspoons or 4-1/2 teaspoons of salad dressing
- Optional calories: 550 calories per week to spend on anything you want (including sugars)
The Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program 1992
When they tweaked the program, they were trying to make the diet more flexible, so that more individuals would be interested in joining. This tweaked version, however, was less nutritious since it allowed you to spend floating exchanges as well as an increased number of calories per week on anything you wanted.
- Protein: 4 to 6 ounces (men: 8 ounces)
- Non-fat Milk, yogurt, sugar-free pudding* or diet hot cocoa: 2 cups
- Fruit: 2 servings (men: 3 servings)
- Non-starchy Vegetables: unlimited, but 4 were recommended
- Breads, cereals, starchy vegetables: 2 servings (men: 3 servings)
- Fats: 2 teaspoons or 4 teaspoons of salad dressing
- Floating Exchanges: 7 per day
- Optional Calories: 750 calories per week to spend on anything you want (including sugars)
Floating exchanges simply make up for the reduced exchanges given in the minimum daily plan, but if you spend them on breads and cereals, rather than protein, fruit and fat you can wind up losing muscle. It was a step towards their current points program that places no demands or nutritional balance as the first group of exchanges do. In fact, when my husband and sons came down with boils for many, many months I never caught the infection myself until I went off the first Old Weight Watchers Exchange Plan.
In hindsight, I didn’t understand about Leptin, nor how the body will only allow you to lose a certain percentage of weight before it becomes concerned about the perceived famine and starts to fight further fat loss by drastically increasing hunger. Nor did I realize how important it was to follow the original exchange plan rather than the tweaked version when I rejoined Weight Watchers the second time. Today, I would do things differently. Crashing Leptin simply means your body needs a long maintenance break. Not a free-for-all, but where you work on maintaining the weight you’ve lost.
Once the body readjusts to your new maintenance level, you can go back to dieting again. It’s extremely important that if you’ve lost a fair amount of weight (more than 10 to 15 percent or your original body weight) that you don’t just use intuitive eating for maintenance because your body will be hard-wired to do whatever it takes to restore the body fat its lost. It’s a matter of survival, and a point I didn’t value as much as I should have when I came off of my hHCG diet.
|Crossing Over to the Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program|
The Old Weight Watchers Exchange Program is where I’m headed next, so I'll be recording that adventure as well as talking about more diet particulars in future posts.