Hey y’all! So, I’m not sure if we’ve talked about this before, but I am a Weight Watchers Ambassador! I was asked by Weight Watchers to be one when they first rolled out the program to have ambassadors in September 2016. It’s got some pretty neat perks! One of the coolest perks yet- I was asked along with the other ambassadors to try the new program out a little early! I’ve been sworn to complete secrecy so I couldn’t say a word and let me tell ya, it was TOUGH to keep it from you all. So, I’m sure you’re all here because you’re a bit wide-eyed seeing that there’s a new program and it’s the holidays and wait, what the what?! Well guys, it’s great. I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t think so. I’m here to tell ya that I think you’ll all really like it. It’s got a lot of zero point food options, and I mean A LOT! Hello eggs! Hello beans! (P.S. I’m so glad I decided I liked beans back in August.) Hello seafood! Hello chicken breast! Hello non fat Greek yogurt! Hello turkey breast (And more)! Now that we’ve got a few things out of the way, let’s get down to what my experience with the whole deal is….
Points drop. (Let’s get this one outta the way FIRST!)
Yes, it’s so true. You’ll be losing some of your beloved daily points… and to me, honestly, that was the biggest challenge (Not that they were gone, but SEEING that they were gone). It messed me up a little at first because I would go into panic mode seeing my points lower before dinner time. I always spend the most points at dinner. I’m not a big dessert eater, so I rarely left room in my dailies for desserts in the first place. I’m also an avid believer in using my weekly Points. I use a few of those on the daily (if I feel that I’m hungry) and I use some extra the first couple days after I weigh in each week. Some will completely disagree with that and that’s totally cool. Weight Watchers is a plan that you can really tailor to your own needs. The thought behind it is basically you’ll lose a certain amount of points depending mostly where you are in your weightloss journey, but you’ll still be eating foods with calories like fruits, most veggies, beans, chicken, corn, turkey, eggs, seafood, and nonfat yogurt all still have calories, some higher than others, but you easily eat back the points you’ve lost with a couple of eggs and a chicken breast. Technically, you’re probably going to be eating more if you choose to eat more of the zero point foods.
What I did to help my panic of seeing points go a little quicker
I started eating eggs for breakfast. Yep, I sure did. Every day. My Make Ahead Freezer Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches and Spicy Sausage Egg Muffins are a PERFECT low point option too. I like to keep my breakfast around 3-5 points. Now I know you’re thinking, “what about Biscuits N’ Gravy Bake?” I know, guys, I know. I still eat it on the weekends where I spend a lot of my weeklies. Also, Brinner! Eat a yummy breakfast casserole for dinner. Obviously, you don’t have to be like me. You can spend Points at breakfast if you’re the opposite of me and like having a light dinner.
While testing out the new program, we were allowed access to a completely separate app that contained all the tools to track with the new program. The really cool part of this was that it synced with the normal Weight Watchers App, so you could see how many points you were spending on both plans. Let’s see if I can say this in a way that makes sense… When I would look at the regular Weight Watchers app at the end of each day (the one you all saw daily) I would almost always be 2-3 points over my daily allotment, and I was always right at my daily target with the newer program. And I lost weight every single week that I followed it faithfully!
To add to this, Smart Points isn’t going anywhere, technically, all items will remain the same point value aside from the new zero point items and foods that contain those items.. None of your food or go to recipes will go up in points. Some recipes, restaurant items, prepackaged/frozen food will go down in points. So, don’t worry about food items going up in points!
It’s all about balancing it out
Honestly, I have NOT changed the way I have been eating all that much aside from breakfast. Yes, I’ve added some zero point items into some meals, sometimes. But, it’s not like I’m over here eating Southwest spiced chicken, corn, and black beans or chicken n’ bean chili for every single meal. That’d get real old, real fast. However, I have had both of those meals and they are very good and I’ll put a recipe together for them very soon! I still eat and work ALL of my recipes into my daily eats. I will admit corn has made its way into my weekly meal plan a lot more, because I sure do love me some corn! (Recipe ideas: Mexican Style Street Corn, Skillet Creamy Corn & Carrot Casserole) Greek yogurt has made its way into a lot more recipes too. Chicken has been my number one source of protein, so I already eat a lot of chicken! I love me a good turkey sandwich, but I’ll definitely start playing with turkey breast more in recipes. All in all, you have to balance your days just a LITTLE bit better. If you’re a seasoned Weight Watcher like me, you’ll get the hang of it after a week or so. There’s plenty of zero point and low point foods to play with now.
What if I get tired of the zero point food items?
I guarantee that you already eat a lot of the zero point food items. You just need to emphasize them a bit more, and in different ways. There’s tons of ways to dress up food. There are tons of bloggers out there who feature these items already. Just do a few google searches and also, stick with me! We’ll get this all squared away soon. Being a food blogger, it’s exciting to have a little challenge thrown at me. I’ve been coming up with lots of new recipes that I’ll be rolling out the next couple months. I’ve been with Weight Watchers through Points Plus, Smart Points, and now we have Smart Points Freestyle. I can honestly say each time I’ve only had to make small changes. I do believe Weight Watchers is trying to give us the tools to live a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.
What if I don’t like most of the zero point items?
Obviously, you’re going to have a little bit of a tough time getting into the groove. I don’t like ALL of the items, but I do like the majority, so I can’t say much about this. But to give you a little relief, the other morning I asked a fellow ambassador (and my friend) Michelle about how her experience has been with the new plan because she ONLY really liked to eat chicken and turkey. This is exactly what she said- “I was super worried because I don’t eat eggs, beans, corn, seafood, tofu, or yogurt. Pretty much only chicken and turkey. But I have definitely had success with the new plan. It really caused me to get creative and think outside the comfortable box I had put myself in, always making the same foods. It’s actually kind of fun. And I’ve surprised myself by having points roll over several times. I also started subbing nonfat greek yogurt instead of sour cream, so I’m finding small, different ways to add in the zero Smart Point food!”
Also, give some foods a try again, you know? I didn’t like nonfat greek yogurt for the LONGEST time. I’d stick my nose up at it at any given chance, but since the new program I’ve been adding it into things like mashed potatoes, mashed loaded cauliflower, creamy dishes, soups, on tacos, and in dips! I’m not sure if I just got used to it, or if I just needed to play around with flavors more to make it taste better, but it does the job just fine. Eric apparently hates it too, but he’s been eating it and loving it without complaint/knowledge for about a month now.
I didn’t like beans for the first 28 years of my life. I actually just decided to give beans another chance in August of this past year while I was making chili for Eric. I had no idea there was even going to be a new program back then. I just really wanted to start trying to like them. As it turns out, I actually kinda liked beans! I just didn’t like kidney beans. (Why would anyone? Bleh! Ha! Kidding!) I actually love adding beans to a lot of things now. Sometimes, you just need to have’m the right way.
Now I won’t tell anyone to like tofu. Don’t worry. If you like it, great, but… it’s just not for me. I won’t push that one on ya, ever.
I find that it’s much easier to eat out now. Just the other day we went to a new restaurant and I looked over the menu and for the first time in awhile.. I saw A LOT of options. Before, I’ll be honest, it felt a little more restricted. I ordered the Southwest Chicken Salad. You know what was on it? grilled chicken, corn, black beans, onions, tomatoes, cheese, tortilla chips, and some dressing (I got it on the side)! I had the ENTIRE thing for 8 Smart Points. It fit perfectly into my day, and I didn’t even need to rearrange too many things to make it work. Plus, I didn’t have to track 75% of it. A few weeks back, we went out for burgers and I got a big ol’ burger with cheese and bacon on it. Yeah, it’s about 18 Smart Points… but you know what I had for breakfast? Eggs. Lunch? A huge chicken chopped salad and soup. Snack? Deli Smoked Turkey, pretzels, and a hardboiled egg. I was totally satisfied and I only used one or two weeklies. On Smart Points, I truly didn’t feel a big ol’ juicy bacon cheese burger was at all possible without using a bunch of weeklies, so I just avoided them while out. We don’t eat out much because I do love to cook, and I know I can make most things lighter in points. (Duh! that might be why I have a food blog. Ha!) But it’s really nice feeling like I can dine out more often, with a wider variety of food options, and I can stay on plan while doing so.
What If I overeat the zero point foods?
I thought about it myself a lot because I asked myself the same question several times. I sincerely doubt anyone can eat several eggs a day and still lose weight along with eating your points and other zero point options. But with that said, I also asked myself, can I actually eat several eggs a day? or five chicken breasts? a few cups of corn and beans? Probably not. I’ve never even wanted to in the past several weeks. So far, the most eggs I’ve eaten in one day is four, and it’s only because I was being lazy and didn’t feel like cooking dinner, so I made Brinner! There was one night I was out of points, so I had a bowl of corn for a snack. I mean, there are going to be times you use these zero point items to your advantage, but I don’t think it could really be done consistently enough to hurt you in the long run.
Behold, The ZERO POINT FOOD LIST!
It’s no secret anymore, but I thought I’d just leave this here just so ya know:
Skinless Chicken Breast (Chicken nuggets are not included. Sorry. I asked!)
Skinless Turkey Breast (including ground 98% or higher fat free)
Eggs (including egg whites)
Tofu (No thanks)
Nonfat plain yogurt (including greek, traditional, soy, Icelandic)
Roll Over Points
You’re allowed to “roll over” up to four points daily into your weeklies. I’ll be truthful. I never “rolled over” any points and the whole idea kind of made me always think about a cell phone plan! Personally, If I see that I have some extra points to use, I’ll use some real cheese. (Seriously, thats my answer to everything though.) I think it could be a great idea if used properly, but I didn’t try it out. So I don’t really have much to say about it. However, I might at some point. I’ve only been doing this plan for a little over a month, so you never know!
What’s going to happen to Daily Dose of Pepper recipes?
I’ll have them all updated within the week! But it’s important to know… my recipes will not revolve around the new zero point foods all of the time. I will throw more out there, but as I said, I truly have been eating my recipes on a daily basis without any problems. I still eat red meat! I still eat pasta. I still eat cheese! The way I cook dinner will not be changing too much, but I have been working on some recipes that will feature the zero point items in a delicious and low point way. You’ll see them very soon!
Whether we like it or not, things are always changing. I mean, I can hardly keep up to date with my phone these days. (Which is the most annoying thing ever, might I add!) I was a little skeptical about the program when I was first told about it. I worried about the blog… I worried about eating red meat sometimes… I worried that I wasn’t going to be able to eat cheese. Was pasta a thing of the past? I worried that I would only be able to eat beans and corn and chicken for the rest of my life. I actually went to the store and bought about 10 cans of black beans, 10 bags of frozen sweet corn, 2 dozen eggs, a big container of non fat greek yogurt, and about 5 lbs of raw chicken breast and I was just like, “Welp, This is my life now.” What I’m getting at is that you don’t have to eat these foods, ALL THE TIME, to be successful with the new program. After the initial thoughts of “Oh gosh, this is all I’m going to eat forever!” wears off, you’ll remember that you still have actual points to work with. You also have weeklies! Heck, you even have Fit Points! You’ll need to build meals a little differently sometimes, but it’ll be all right. Not just all right, it’ll be great! You’ll get creative. You can do this! (and you’ll have me throwing fun new recipes your way too!) I honestly believe that Freestyle was the program that I needed for a fresh start. I feel like I’ve been slacking in the “weight loss” world for a few months now. I was very burnt out on weighing and measuring every single little thing I put into my mouth. When I realized I didn’t have to measure a good amount of foods anymore it was like my prayers had been answered. I needed the break without actually taking a break from Weight Watchers! I can honestly say I LOVE THE NEW PROGRAM. I am able to eat the same food I always have with just a little bit of a different approach. Portion control will always be the answer in my case. I’m able to fit more food that I love into this program than I ever was able to do with the original Smart Points program. I feel healthier and I have not felt deprived in the slightest. So I just know you’ll all really enjoy it once ya get the hang of it! When things change, there’s always an adjustment period. Just relax, breathe, and make some chicken. Ha! (No, seriously though. Check out my Shredded Chicken recipe and my Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe. They are both ZERO points now! and delicious as all get out!)
I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have about the new program. Leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
Lots and lots of love,
P.S. I feel it’s important that I say that Weight Watchers did not ask me to write this post. While I am an ambassador, I’m not in any way a paid employee. All opinions and thoughts are my own, I wrote this post only to help all my sweet readers out there who may be a little worried about the new program!