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Whole 30 + Weight Watchers


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Hello ladies,


I am feeling a bit stuck.  I am on day 45 of a "Whole 60."  Although I have experienced some NSVs and overall feel pretty good, I have not lost any weight.  I feel bloated.  I am worried I am eating too much, even though I am following the meal templates to a T.  (I have posted typical menus on this board for feedback and overall moderators have said I'm doing pretty well with a few minor tweaks to make.)  I am drinking plenty of water, exercising 6 days/week, and getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep/night.  It also is not a situation of me already being at a healthy weight, because I am not.  I have ~40 lbs to lose to be in a healthy weight range.


I have used Weight Watchers before, and had success with it.  I am wondering if anyone could share thoughts on re-joining Weight Watchers, yet only eating Whole 30 approved foods.  I would love to hear any feedback.


Thanks very much!

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So sorry you are frustrated with your weight loss.  I recall you lost 2 lbs during your Whole30 - have you lost any more in the last 2 weeks? 


It has been at least 10 years since I did WW, but what I remember is starving - ALL.THE.TIME.  WW is low calorie/low fat and not fun at all.  I had to restrict calories to 1200 per day to lose and that was not sustainable.  Maybe it's different these days...


Have you considered doing more of a low carb approach to Whole 30 - avoiding fruit and eat mostly non-starchy veggies?  To me, this is much more sustainable that WW.  I also hated all that weighing, measuring and tracking food.  


Truthfully, losing 1/2 a lb a week is not bad at all.  It took me a year to lose 30 lbs., but losing that slowly allowed me to make this way of eating a lifestyle and the weight has stayed off.  It could also be that your body just needs more time.  If it were me, I'd stay Paleo ( and maybe go low carb Paleo) :)

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Thank you for your response!


I also remember thinking WW was not super fun. :)  But it DID work for me.  I lost ~2 lbs on my first 30 days, but depending on the day it fluctuates up and down.  (I know I should not be weighing myself.  Sorry...!!)


I appreciate your advice to reduce fruit and starchy veggies- I think I will give that a whirl for my remaining 15 days and see how I am feeling / what I'm weighing (!) at the end of my 60 days.

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WW has really changed their points program to be even more low sugar (yay) but also low fat. The smart points program penalizes both but most important in your case, the fat you consume in a Whole30 will kill your points target. I think it would be frustrating for you.

Besides weight loss or slow loss are you noticing other benefits of eating this way? Perhaps you should consider a reintroduction of foods. Finally, and I hate to suggest it, you might try checking your portion sizes for a few days by running them through a calorie counting program.

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Finally, and I hate to suggest it, you might try checking your portion sizes for a few days by running them through a calorie counting program.

Not to step on tinman's toes, but before you start checking portion sizes by determining calories, I would really tune in with yourself first.  Make a meal, eat it and then assess what happens afterwards. Are you super full, lasting 7 hours before getting hungry?  Keep assessing as you carry on throughout the day, meal to meal.


It's possible that your portion sizes are growing relative to your actual needs.  We aren't into wanting you to restrict intake but really to match your intake to what you actually need.


Also, do you have any underlying health conditions (anything hormonal like PCOS, anything bowel related like IBS, anything auto-immune like arthritis or Hashimotos)?  All of these may be prioritized over weight loss while you are rebalancing your body.

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I don't know of anyone who's recovered from dieting by logging calories and food.  Tinman, how well we know legacy members who've been doing that for decades.   Daily logging and writing out their food portions/scale weights. Another year goes by and they're right back at START.


If logging food and calories really worked and the 'side effect' was weight stability,  they would never need another diet again.  It is a song and dance routine. The old soft shoe that leaves them shuffling off the stage, hiding behind that curtain where 'dieting' is pulling all of the levers.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did weight watchers for three years, lost 30 lbs and it was great for a while. I learned a lot of healthy habits and started getting serious about exercise.


But it isn't all great. I was terrified of fat. When I ate avocado I would only eat a sliver. When I was successful I was constantly tracking and stressing about my food and playing games with myself. I think it contributed to an unhealthy relationship with food. I encouraged myself to eat less if I didn't have enough points. I stopped thinking of food as fuel and nourishing, and as the enemy. I also grew an unhealthy dependency on the scale for my happiness. If I stepped on the scale in the morning and was a couple pounds up, I was so angry at myself for eating too much the night or day before.


After a couple weeks on whole30 I quit weight watchers. Mentally I feel so much lighter. I am not constantly playing mind games about what I can eat and whether I'm being "good" or "bad" and I'm not tricking myself into thinking an unhealthy choice is ok (i.e. girlscount cookies) because I have enough points. Most importantly, I am learning to place less reliance on the scale.


WW was initially positive for me and did help me change a lot of habits, so I am not trying to be too negative about it. I just thought I'd share my experience and thoughts.

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I came off my third bout with the program a few months ago, after they changed to the new one. I was not pleased with the new one, although I had some success with the previous one. After a while of having blood sugar crashes and feeling starving all the time, I started double tracking my food in both MFP and WW, and found that while I was maxing out on WW points and even eating all of my weekly bonus points- yet on average my days were running 900-1000 calories, and that is not healthy. I canceled in mid-January and don't regret it.

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I second the idea of working to better understand what's happening in your body at this point. You say you feel bloated. Can you pinpoint particular foods that cause bloat? As someone mentioned, looking into FODMAPs might help. Playing with your portions might also help, while also staying within the template recommendations. I know for me, my tastebuds prefer to eat the high end of fats, but my body does better eating the low end of fats. I also needed to get real about how I was using certain compliant foods. Dried fruit and nut butters are as good as candy for me--they make me less, not more, healthy, because of how I tend to eat them.


This is one of the things I love and find incredibly valuable about Whole30. It's not one size fits all, and once you start, there are so many ways to take a closer look at ourselves and our behavior. Foods are healthy--or not--not just physically but psychologically. Figuring that out, and how to work with it for myself, has been revolutionary.


Taking the longview is paramount. I've been Whole30ing and pursuing a Whole9 life for three years now. My massage therapist says my body composition has completely changed for the better. I know myself so much better. Even when I off road or get off track, I know how to get back. I can love and accept myself and my less-than-healthy behaviors in a new way. I am, ultimately, less fat than when I started, and wearing a smaller size. I am, ultimately, hugely more healthy in every possible way than when I started. And I did not lose dramatic numbers on the scale.


In my years of doing WW on and off I could never say any of that, even when at my lowest weight, which I only ever hovered around for a flash.


Oh, and one other thing: I think when folks start W30 after years of dieting of various stripes, they have a tendency to go through a re-feed period. Our bodies are clamoring for real nutrition! So, even when we have weight to lose, it comes off slowly at first, and that's actually a good thing. As you ease in and the body grows accustomed to being properly nourished, it won't clamor as much for food.


In the meantime, you need to coach yourself to relax your anxiety about weight loss. If you continued to lose two pounds a month you'd be seriously ahead in no time! And those 40 pounds would be gone for good in less than two years, which is probably a shorter amount of time than it took for you to put them on. In the meantime you'll be cementing habits that will make you happier, healthier, and stronger for the rest of your life.

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I was having some issue with bloat also, and I think I've narrowed it down to eating too many starchy veggies. I'm limiting my intake of them to one meal a day now and eating way more non-starchy veggies and hope that will help me. I also had to start taking the suggested digestive enzyme as I was having too much of an issue digesting the food. I'm hoping to not be on them forever, but I'm ok with it for now.


What I find is that I'm not losing any of this belly fat. To be totally open, I haven't been hitting the gym at all, the only exercise I do it walking the dogs for about 80 mins in the morning, but I don't get my heart rate up at all. I'm really thinking that once I get back to working out regularly then I will start to see some of those victories.


I am also struggling with my sleep. As a long time Ambien user I am just struggling to get quality sleep at all. I am in bed for about 9 hours, but I toss and turn. I do take Natural Calm and a progesterone lozenge, and they both really help me fall asleep, but not stay asleep. My next step is to remove nightshades and see if that helps me at all. 


I am so happy to have this forum though to throw things out and see what suggestions people have. 

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  • 2 months later...

Oh, and one other thing: I think when folks start W30 after years of dieting of various stripes, they have a tendency to go through a re-feed period. Our bodies are clamoring for real nutrition! So, even when we have weight to lose, it comes off slowly at first, and that's actually a good thing. As you ease in and the body grows accustomed to being properly nourished, it won't clamor as much for food.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment, LadyM! My Whole30 was May 9- June 8, and I was a little discouraged to have "only" lost 7 lbs. But only now, after more than a month of really feeding myself well, am I beginning to realize that I could stop eating just a bit sooner. Prior to W30 I was eating way too many sugary, junky, bad-carb foods. And I was constantly hungry. I didn't realize that I would stay hungry until I fed my body what it really needed. Now that I'm truly satisfied after a meal, and am becoming fat-adapted, I don't have that crazy "hangry" feeling all the time. What a relief!

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  • 1 month later...

I also starved on WW. I lost a lot of weight, but I destroyed my metabolism--my hair started falling out; my skin was dry and I had eczema; bowels were messed up one way or another, and so on...

I finally started burning fat after WW rolled out the CORE plan and I was lifting heavy weights. Even then, it wasn't sustainable.


I feel so much better eating real food and not obsessing about grams of something.

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Cardboard dinners,  100 cal snarkalicious snackaroonies.  Bread Beds.  Beds made out of bread, y'all.  All of it registers high on the Crap0Meter. That ain't the way to go.  


If all dieting worked, there would never be need for another one.  One diet would fix all but it doesn't.   When all of the dieting is finished and it's never finished,  many go right back to their same old routines...thinking they've been magically fixed.


It's all imaginary.  Dieting restricts the food but doesn't fix the head where the appetite control center resides.  Any procedure or diet that messes with the stomach cannot possibly repair the appetite control center that resides in the brain.  Dieting cannot fix a food addiction or disorder either.


Not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing.  That's dieting.

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Yeah, that's the other thing I don't like about weight watchers, the obsessing!!! I am one of those people who if I have to log calories/points/whatever I will go into disordered eating territory. I'll try and live off as few points/calories as possible until I finally get so hungry I binge eat carbs. 

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  • 1 month later...

Oh, dear.  I just saw a news report yesterday. :ph34r:  I would eat all of my points in bread. I lurve bread y'all.  I would make my bread bed and 'roll' around in it with butter. 

You could  be technically 'legal' and use all points for candy and popcorn. I think one large bucket of popcorn and a couple boxes of movie candy might exceed the daily limit.  

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