Three Weeks On SmartPoints: Let’s Talk FOOD! (Part 2 of 5)

Three Weeks On SmartPoints: Let’s Talk FOOD! (Part 2 of 5)

When they asked me to help beta test “Beyond The Scale,” the first dozen questions running through my head were all about the food: “How many points is…” or “I wonder if fruit is still free?” or “How many points is a Cosmo?!” Sound familiar?
Because our love of food, or at least our relationship with food, is what brought us to Weight Watchers in the first place. So the food part is pretty important!
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BTS is all about teaching us to make more healthy, and more sustainable choices for our meals. Yes, you can absolutely spend all of your points on a bag of peanut M&Ms and spend the rest of the day eating cabbage soup, but you probably shouldn’t. Not only is that not sustainable, it also doesn’t provide you the vitamins, nutrients and protein in your body needs to adequately fuel itself.
Side Note: Also, and you’re going to have to take my word for this, if you eat that much cabbage soup, you will stink. I mean it, you’re going to smell bad. Don’t try it!
So let’s talk turkey, and chicken and all kinds of other lean protein! Lean proteins all went down in SmartPoints. A shrimp cocktail is now the same as what three egg whites would have been before. How awesome is that? And chicken breast, which is like mothers milk and the most common thing I find in every Weight Watchers users’ recipes, also went down. So protein is a good thing!
Side Note: I see a lot of people starting to compare the BTS plan to Atkins, and all I can say is “You clearly haven’t checked the new SP for bacon!” The new plan focuses on lean proteins, not any protein, and all of your regularly scheduled pasta, rice and bread are still accessible to you through this plan. You just have to PLAN your plan!
Things like processed snacks, crackers, cookies, most desserts and quite a few yogurts all went up in points, mostly due to the sugar content or the saturated fat content of the food. That doesn’t mean you can’t have them, but what BTS is saying subtly is, maybe you shouldn’t eat those every day. And as much as I love my chocolate, that’s probably a true statement. We don’t really need cake every night, do we?
Oh, and a clarification on free or “no count” fruits & veggies. If you eat the fruits/veggies plain or in a recipe, they’re free. If you put them in a smoothie, they count now. Here’s the explanation I got from WW:
Part of the reason is that we know that people tend to over consume juices and other beverages, and under-estimate how many calories they have consumed. We are counting the points values of fruit in smoothies in order to help our members realize exactly how many calories they consume when drinking in order to make healthy choices. Of course, it is still in your hands as members to decide if it is worth the SmartPoints to have a smoothie.
Take a look at this comparison:
comparison.png
Latte with whole milk (8 ounces): 3 PointsPlus, 5 SmartPoints
Cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 ounces): 3 PointsPlus, 2 SmartPoints
Cooked broccoli (1/2 cup): 0 PointsPlus, 0 SmartPoints
Glazed yeast doughnut: 7 PointsPlus, 10 SmartPoints
Cooked tuna (3 ounces): 3 PointsPlus, 1 SmartPoint
Fat-free fruit-flavored yogurt (1 cup): 6 PointsPlus, 11 SmartPoints
Two pieces of rye toast: 4 PointsPlus, 5 SmartPoints
1c. egg whites: 2 Points Plus, now 1 SmartPoint
Because I know not everyone thinks like I do, I asked my fellow bloggers and a beta tester’s for some information about how they were handling their new food choices. They said:
What’s one food you were SO excited to see go down in SP value? 
  • Protein. I love lean protein and am excited to see it go down. I see myself indulging in more shrimp cocktails and fewer cookies this holiday season.
  • Seafood! Seafood is so low in SP, it’s practically free!
  • I loved that most proteins went down in points!
  • I haven’t investigated far enough to really answer this question, but at least some of my favorites, like chicken w/skin, either went down, or at least stayed close to the same points, so I can continue to enjoy them. I eat a lot of Trader Joe’s convenience foods, and so far, most of them are still doable. With the exception of my desserts, of course.
  • Chicken breasts and lean fish!
What’s one food you’re bummed went up in SP value? Do you have a plan for how to make it work going forward? 
  • Sweet treats went way up so I’m going to have to me more judicious. One strategy that has worked for me is to be really selective and seek out the highest quality treats possible. I’ve found that for me the higher the quality, the less I need to be satisfied. This is especially true with good dark chocolate.
  • The increase in SP for olive oil had me concerned initially. BUT, with what I “save” in SP on lean proteins, it usually evens out!
  • I was upset that my fav fat free flavored creamer went up a point and that fat free half and half is now 1 point instead of 0. I’m hoping that this might encourage me to limit my caffeine intake  hasn’t yet but I’m hopeful!!
  • The massive points increase in my sweets. My favorite candy bar went from 6 to 12 points. As far as a plan going forward, I’m going to continue to work at ways to fit in items that may take their place, while still giving me the satisfaction level.
  • Noosa yogurt. It nearly doubled in points value, so it will be a very rare treat for me now and, even then, only in the 4 oz portion instead of the 8 oz portion.
Now, I know I said I was not going to give you a sample menu until Friday, but so many of you asked, so I’m going to share what yesterday looked like for me. I get 30SP daily, but I only ate 28SP because I was full!
Breakfast
1c egg whites = 1SP
1 alfresco chicken sausage = 2SP
1.5c of sautéed kale, mushroom, onion and zucchini
2 oz espresso
AM Snack
1 banana
8 oz black coffee
1 medium Apple
Lunch
3oz shrimp sautéed with Belle and poblano peppers, leaks and squash = 1SP
2c mixed greens with 1/2 medium tomato
2Tbsp Marzetti light red wine vinaigrette = 1SP
PM Snacks
5oz grilled chicken breast on a Chop salad with cooked mushrooms, red cabbage, roasted red peppers and pico de gallo, dressed with salt, pepper and lemon juice = 3sP
1.5c Red and green grapes
12oz black coffee
Dinner
8oz wild caught cod = 2SP
1c sautéed leeks
1c sautéed sugar snap peas
1/2c. Minute Rice Brown Rice = 4SP
1 Tbsp Olive Oil = 5SP
10oz White Wine = 9SP
How is your week going so far? Have you found some new SmartPoints foods to try or add to your menu plans?
Check out Part 3 “Working on My FitPoints!”
Check out Part 4 “How Did You Do It?
Don’t forget to follow Trading Cardio for Cosmos on Facebook for tons of recipes, meal ideas and inspiration daily!

15 thoughts on “Three Weeks On SmartPoints: Let’s Talk FOOD! (Part 2 of 5)

  1. Thanks, Alexis! I find this blog very interesting and it’s helping me to understand a bit more of the new plan. My WI is Friday so I will find out more then I know! I look forward to each blog post in this ‘series.’ lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not sure I will be such a fan of SP. I am lifetime but really do not like the restrictions the new plan adds. One of the great things about WW was I could incorporate my life into the plan and now it seems like that is going to be so much harder for me to do and enjoy

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    1. Donna, I completely understand! It is going to be a lot harder for me to trade my cardio for cosmos, and that is what I live for on the weekends! But, I also recognize that SP is teaching me to treat my “treats” like occasional indulgences and not something I need to have every day. And a fundamentally, I think you’re probably right!

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  3. Alexis, i did go to my meeting today so was introduced to BTS
    Was a little disappointed that my fav (dark chocolate) went up to 12 sp! But wime rained at 4! now have 30 daily, 28 weeklies. So like you said, ondulgencrs should be plsnned!
    Im happy about low points in protein (and thanks for ecplaining how olive oil will not be problematic since the chicken and fis are so low!)

    BTW, can’t resist bragging about my loss this week (-3.4! Never had such a large one .although did have a 2# gain last week so really loss is “only” 1.4!! Still very pleased and think i might make my 10% by Christmas!! My plan is to make goal by my next birthday, May 5!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh!!!!
      You did awesome this week! Way to go, Barbara!
      Can you do half a portion of chocolate with some fresh berries, so you still get what you love with fewer SP?

      I am so excited and proud of you! You are going to get your 10% soon, I know it!!

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  4. I’m confused what to do about special events like holidays. I always traded my activity points for those days. But now we can’t do that. Just a half a piece of my famous bread pudding is now 13 sp! And that’s only that one item! It feels like the plan isn’t nearly as flexible as it was. I’m Lifetime and have been on WW since the old Momentum and this is the first time I can’t figure out how to deal with these special days. Other than that, frankly, the new plan is pretty much the way I eat anyway. I guess I just won’t track on those days since I have no idea how to work it.

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    1. WW guidelines are suggested but it’s not a crime to tweak the plan to what works for you. Not tracking is a scary, slippery slope for me so I’d rather revert to an old habit on those days that may not be the new “rule” but something that historically worked for me.

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  5. Thank you for the info. I am a LTM @ my WW goal (if not quite at my personal fighting weight). I will not be able to make the meeting this week (only one meeting a week in this town) was really curious about the new program. As a former leader I know that members often resist the changes, and staff members are no different just not allowed to admit it. hoping that the new plan would encourage me to get get serious about getting back OP and losing a few pounds. But from what I read here I may as well wait until the holidays are over. I only have a few social occasions but if I can’t swap activity for a few extra treats what’s the point? I eat clean most of the time but I am dismayed about yogurt since that’s how I get my dairy. WW has gotten it wrong in the past. When I was a leader we had to tell people that margarine was a healthy fat and I knew that was nonsense.

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  6. Alexis, thank you so so much for this preview. This is my new favorite blog! My SPs kick in tomorrow, and I cannot wait. When I’m counting points, I already do focus on fruits, veggies and lean proteins. (We won’t talk about my diet when I’m NOT counting points… ugh. That’s how I got to over 200 pounds.) I look at sweetened yogurts or “lite” cookies and wonder how anyone can think that stuff is good for them. I used to, until I realized I have way fewer cravings if I eliminate these kinds of things.

    I have always wished lean proteins like seafood (which I eat almost exclusively) were fewer points, thinking “I just KNOW this is better for me than the points value is letting on.” And now my wish has come true!

    I admire WW for doing the right thing and using current science on how our bodies respond to processed foods! Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s kind of crappy to put a whole milk latte in the publication when we’ve always been encouraged to drink skim milk. Whole milk has always been a points splurge, not a daily go-to option for most members.

    Thank YOU for being real!! YOU ROCK!!!!! You will totally rock this new plan and meet your goals! We are cheering for you all the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m actually excited about starting the new program, I think I really needed something serious to change up what I’ve been doing. And I really appreciate your sharing your experience here, it’s making me even more hopeful and excited! I’ve been Lifetime for a long time and so have experienced more versions of the program than I care to admit… However, I’ve always had success with WW which is why I stay with it, and why I have never again returned to my highest weight at which I joined!

    That said — I have also let my nutrition take a big bumpy back seat to convenience and ‘but it fits within my points, so what the heck’ choices, relying *much* more than I’ve known was good for me for the last year, if not more, on processed foods and sweets. Ugh. BTS will definitely change that for me!

    Biggest challenge that I see for myself initially is the protein issue — I’m a vegetarian, and while it was pretty easy for me to eat lean meats and eggs for snacking back in the day… not so much anymore, so I will happy to hear and share ideas about ‘snackable’ veggie protein options!!

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