You can teach an old dog new tricks! I know because I taught myself. Not to sit but to stand and walk, and that it’s both fun and tastes good to eat healthy!
I am a 45-year old woman who would have celebrated my 30-year anniversary next year as a dieter if I hadn’t stumbled upon Shapeup Club.
At 16-years old, I began fasting, and then I went through Weight Watchers x number of times as well as most of the other good and totally useless diet programs that are out there. My weight has fluctuated a combined total of 440 pounds, if not more, throughout the years.
The idea came in February to, yet again, begin to diet and once and for all (like all the other times) lose my goal weight of 154 pounds and stay at that weight for the rest of my life. I knew only that I should lose weight, and I, who went through all sorts of programs, should just eat less.
After a few days, a colleague of mine recommended that I try the Shapeup app. She had lost 11 pounds and was pleased. I’m a person who likes to go all in and who has a close relationship with my SmartPhone, so it was worth a shot.
5 minutes and I was sold! The app showed me exactly what all sorts of foods came out to in kcal, and I only needed to register my weight and activity to get started.
You should know that I began Weight Watchers in the ‘80s when you actually counted kcal but in an unbelievably complicated way, so I never did.
But suddenly, I understood! It wasn’t about dieting anymore! It was about learning to live a healthy lifestyle in as natural a way as possible, and what better way than to begin the day with a kcal account where you can easily add calories burned through training and subtract those from the calories you eat.
The more I learned about calories and how many were in each food item, the more I began to think about the reason why I didn’t maintain my weight loss when I was with Weight Watchers, and why it felt so sluggish at times.
Weight Watchers now known only as WW and Shapeup Club as SuC. According to WW, you should eat a certain amount of points per day. You calculate the number of points using your age, weight, occupation and if your goal is to lose or gain. I should eat approximately 22 points per day. Then you go to the meeting where you receive information about nutrition, exercise advice and tips, but moreover, you receive enormous support. There are meetings you can attend all over Sweden! Everyone follows the same plan so you don’t miss anything.
So what is one point? You determine your points from a little formula: Points= weight/100x(energy/60+fat/9)
If you follow WWs nutrition plan and eat within your allocated points, a woman should lose approximately a pound a week. And that’s great. But now we come to a little problem that has made me lose faith in WW as a viable option.
From their dot system (that was the best!) to today’s points plan, they have unfortunately gone a little downhill. Eat as much pasta, potatoes and meat you want for x number of points. Vegetables and fruit are free and broth is a seasoning that doesn’t count in the point system.
But wait a minute. One thing I learned with SuC is that EVERYTHING contains calories! Did you know, for example, that a red pepper contains 11 kcal more/100g than what a green pepper does?
Weight Watchers has, in all these years, marketed its 0-points soup as the solution when you run out of points. Good, then we will make it every day and lose a ton of weight because it doesn’t count….right?
WW 0-points soup
Mixed vegetables and root vegetables: serving 2.5 liters
Squash 400 g = 80 kcal
Cauliflower 350 g = 112 kcal
Carrots 300 g = 123 kcal
Parsnip 100 g = 75 kcal
Leek 300 g = 122 kcal
Turnip 200 g = 70 kcal
Chopped tomatoes 400 g = 125 kcal
Broth dl/450 5 g) = 25 kcal
Whoa! 732 kcal for soup. Ok, honestly, it is a lot of soup. We’re talking approximately 2.5 liters soup and you eat maybe 4 dl but, really, it’s not free! Everything we put in our mouth, even the slightest bit, counts. Instead of learning that all food has a caloric value, I learnt shortcuts to stuff myself with as much as possible for 0 points. At the last WW meeting there was a girl who was completely devastated. She didn’t lose weight. It turned out that her and her husband owned a vegetable stand…. You can guess what she ate.
Again, I don’t want to criticize Weight Watchers because they are good. Or they were when I was there. But I want them to stop referring to “free” foods and teaching shortcuts for people to fill their stomachs in the cheapest way! I want them to teach a person how to create a healthy relationship with food. Food IS calories. Food has a caloric value whether or not it is a green, yellow or red dot! As of today, I have used the Shapeup app for 3.5 months and have lost 33 pounds! I have more weight to lose, but one thing is for sure: I’m not dieting! I have taught myself to live a healthy lifestyle with Shapeup!