It’s been weighing heavily on mind lately how and where Weight Watchers and Paleo intersect and if they can be complementary to each other.
You all know that I joined Weight Watchers after the birth of my son and lost 55 pounds (If not, read about it here). That is why I started this blog in the first place, to share Real Food Weight Watchers recipes for those out there like me, who need the structure of a weight loss program but aren’t willing to compromise on eating clean, real food.
I hit a plateau in my weight loss and it just seemed that no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose anymore weight.
I upped my exercise, restricted my calories even further (and was quite miserable about it), started taking a closer look at wine consumption and Point heavy meals. After months of tweaking and tweaking, it just seemed that nothing was working.
That is when I decided to try an elimination diet to see if there was something in my “healthy diet” that was affecting my blood sugar or ability to lose this last 20 pounds.
A few friends had recently completed the Whole30 and I, like everyone else, had been incessantly hearing about the magic of the Paleo Diet. I was really apprehensive about the whole Paleo thing when I first heard about it – honestly, I thought it was a crazy fad. That was just ignorance on my part for not really digging in and learning more about the science behind it.
So, in January I started to slowly eliminate a lot of grains from my diet. Then I started reading more books. Some of my favorites are It Starts With Food and Practical Paleo (highly recommend). I kept counting Points Plus and managing my portion control and did see a little bit of weight movement (down) but not as much as I was hoping for.
The more I read, the more conflicted I started to become. Weight Watchers restricts fat and calories and is all about moderation – which is a concept I really like when applied to a Whole Foods diet.
Paleo is Whole Foods, all the time, without exception. No processed anything – including grains, legumes, refined sugars and most dairy. Paleo advocates for high food quality (something I already feel strongly about) and eating to fuel your body and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
About 7 to 10 days into the Whole30, I started sleeping solidly through the night. The food cravings I used to have for crackers, chips, cheese and crunchy, salty foods were completely gone. My skin started to look bright and fresh and people were stopping me and asking me what I was doing because I looked, “so refreshed”.
Fast forward to today – I’ve done a Whole30 and have been eating 95% Paleo diet and guess what?
The dry skin I had on my hand is pretty much gone, those stubborn pounds I have been battling for months and months are coming off and most importantly – I have to say – I feel better than I have in a long time.
Am I Paleo? I don’t know. I don’t know that I need to label myself.
Am I still doing Weight Watchers? Sort of. I still have the rest of this weight to lose.
So, what does that mean?
As for Weight Watchers, I am still going to the meetings for accountability and for the most part eating “Simply Filling” minus the grains, dairy and legumes, which is Weight Watchers alternative to counting Points. If you aren’t familiar, it is basically eating real, whole foods until you are full, anything with a green triangle next to it in the food book or in eTools.
I will still provide the Points Plus for all of my recipes because I know so many of you are counting Points and I want to be able to count on me for Real Food recipes that help you eat better and get healthier!
As for Paleo, I don’t like the idea of assigning a label to myself because there will be a time where I eat dairy or grains or sugar. But as you have already seen, my recipes are getting cleaner and cleaner and more “Paleo” friendly.
I think that is a good thing thought because it means that more and more of us are eating Real Food and that has always been my mission!