Low-carb Weight Watchers

Posted on May 24, 2013 by

As you all know, the writers here are total foodies. In other words, we’re gluttons. We love to cook and eat good food, but usually too much of it.

I’ve heard a gazillion times that low-carb is the way to go (and it is), but I’m confronted by the problem that I have zero appetite-control. I just tend to eat and eat until I feel absolutely stuffed because I’m stressed and exhausted, so portion-control is a non-negotiable with me.

Enter Weight Watchers.

I absolutely love this program, especially the older version of it. But I’m a cheapskate, so I just do it on my own. I created a spreadsheet where I have my daily points allowance listed (23/day, 14 on Fridays for fasting, 35 extra per week), along with a sheet listing the points for my favorite foods, and another sheet tracking my weight. If I stick to the allowance, I lose 1-3 lbs per week, even without exercise (30 minutes of exercise adds a point to the allowance).

This is mildly painful, but I can maintain it reasonably well and I’m encouraged by the weight loss. Anytime I stop counting points, I immediately begin regaining the weight because I go straight back to stuffing my face. I tried counting calories, but I end up even hungrier than on WW because it doesn’t take fiber into account and there are no zero-calories items.

To give you an idea of how this works in practice, here is a sample menu from a normal day with points listed:

Oatmeal with whole milk 4
Coffee with cream and sugar 2
Canned green beans 0
Surimi lettuce wraps 6
Veggie soup 2
Apple 1
Cheese wedge 2
Guacamole 4
Tortilla chips 2

To give you an idea of the impact of such a diet, here are the daily values from my diet versus the national recommended diet:

Values Calories Fat Protein Carbs
Mine 1169 49 31 118
Recommended 2000 65 50 300

As you can see, I’m not eating very much, but my carbs are lower than would the result of simply cutting the “normal” diet down.

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