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Weight Watchers who are Gluten Free

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Core plan [Oct. 3rd, 2006|08:08 pm]
Weight Watchers who are Gluten Free


Well, I finally got around to re-joining WW (I had been a member about 5 years ago, before developing, and then being diagnosed with, CD). I've been tempted by the Core Plan, seeing as how a GF diet is largely based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and has almost no pre-prepared foods.

As I was talking to the leader, she told me that nearly all the grains I depend on are either not in the WW book at all, or are not allowed on the Core Plan. Great. Considering how high in fibre and low in fat most of these grains are, I can't understand how they're not allowed.

Also, nuts are not a part of the Core Plan. When I'm in a rush, that's what I grab for a quick snack. Because of the high protein content, it staves off hunger for a long time. However, because of the high calories, I agree that Core Planners shouldn't be able to eat an unlimited amount of nuts. But it could be limited to one meal a day, like whole-wheat pasta and potatoes, and then be included in the Plan.

And dried fruits aren't allowed. I have a lot of recipes, particularly salads and desserts, that use dried fruits. I don't know how dried fruits are different from fresh fruits (unless they have sugar added -- ours don't), and why they aren't allowed.

And the Core Plan doesn't allow vegetable cocktails. We drink the bought stuff, but we're not adverse to making our own in a blender, so there's no added salt or sugar, and no fibre is taken out. She said that's not allowed, even when I clarified that we wouldn't be using a juicer. How is vegetables put through the blender any different from fresh vegetables? Or, even better, how is it different from a vegetable soup, especially gazpacho?

I figure I'm either going to ignore her advice and eat the items that should be included on the Core Plan, or follow the Flex Plan instead. (I just didn't particularly want to count points again.)

I'm feeling very disenchanted with the whole thing, and quite frustrated with WW. Especially with this woman I was talking to.

[User Picture]From: catgeek
2006-10-04 12:15 pm (UTC)
I've been trying Core for the past two weeks. I had tried it earlier in the year, but with little success. This time, I've revised my eating habits and am doing much better.

I asked a similar question about raisins on the WW LJ community and got responses about an energy density concept (see below). Someone also mentioned that, in the case of raisins, you could eat 20 grapes and be full, but with raisins, you could eat 120 and still be hungry. Drying fruits concentrates all the sugar into smaller volume. So, when I eat raisins, I count the points. Also from the enery-density concept, nuts would be very high in energy density, since they're very high in fat.

From the Core FAQ on the WW site :
How did Weight Watchers select the foods on the Core Food List?

Scientific and program development experts from Weight Watchers set out to develop a plan based on a broad list of wholesome, nutritious foods. They felt strongly that ALL food groups needed to be represented, to ensure the intake of essential nutrients and create a livable, long-term approach to weight loss. The list was formulated to provide maximum eating satisfaction without empty calories. The team focused on low-energy density foods, which are foods with a low number of calories per given volume (for a more complete explanation of energy density, see below). These foods include wholesome foods from all of the food groups—fruits and vegetables, whole grains and starches, lean meats, fish and poultry, eggs and dairy products. The team also identified foods that are linked with overeating and removed them from the Core Food List.

What is energy density?

Scientific research has shown that, from a very young age, people are trained to eat a certain volume of food, rather than a specific number of calories. To lose weight, you should eat foods that are high in volume, but low in calories. The term "energy density" quantifies this relationship between how much VOLUME and how many CALORIES there are in any given food. Specifically, it is the number of calories for a given weight of food (generally 100 grams). There are low energy density food choices available in each of the major food groups—fruits and vegetables, grains and starches, lean meats, fish and poultry, eggs and dairy products. By having Core Foods that are low in energy density, it becomes much harder to overeat. This will help you learn your Comfort Zone over time.

What kinds of grains are you eating? I eat brown rice and quinoa. I have buckwheat, but haven't figured out what to do with it yet. Someone else in my meeting recommended polenta, but I haven't tried that yet either. I take ground flaxseed a couple of times a day for extra fiber, but I think my current constipation is related to something physical instead of a dietary lack.

In my opinion, your vegetable cocktail sounds like it's Core. It's all veggies, which are all Core. *shrug*

Maybe you need to find a different meeting with a different leader. I really like my leader, and I think she's very good. But one week we had a substitute, and I realized if *she* had been the leader when I started, I might not have been able to continue.
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[User Picture]From: simsabalim
2006-10-05 07:51 pm (UTC)
Brown rice, buckwheat, cornmeal, and quinoa are allowed on the Core Plan. Millet and flaxseed are not. Sorghum, amaranth, and teff aren't even in the WW book, and I'm betting any office I call won't have much information on them.

We eat all of these, except flaxseed and sorghum, which we haven't gotten a hold of yet.

I have Shelley Case's Gluten-free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, and it has nutrition information on almost all grains. That book is a life-saver. It means that I'll be able to call WW and give them all the information they could ever want on these grains.

That makes sense about dried fruits. I only use them in salads, so I don't eat very much. Counting them would be do-able.

Yeah, a homemade vegetable cocktail should be allowed. The bought one I'm not entirely sure on. I checked ours, and it has no sugar, but it also has no fibre (!).

Nuts are still frustrating me. They're a big part of my diet, as emergency foods and in salads. Since I don't eat a lot of meat, they're where I get a lot of my protein. I'll talk to WW, and see if there's a way I can weasel them into a Core Plan diet.

And yes, I am going to find a different leader. I didn't like how she ran the meeting, and she was not understanding about my diet. Hopefully a different night will work better.

Thanks so much for the information you posted! I'm not feeling as backed into a corner anymore. Going to take this week to figure out my new diet, then actually start said diet next week.
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[User Picture]From: catgeek
2006-10-05 08:29 pm (UTC)
Flaxseed isn't? Flaxseed oil is Core though. *shrug*

I haven't used the others much yet. But I'm also allergic to millet, so that one won't be a problem for me.

I should probably get Shelley Case's book though. It sounds like it'll be extremely useful for my continued Core efforts. And then I can also use it to ask my own leader questions. :-)

I'm glad the info helped. I know how frustrating it can be when things just don't make sense. I couldn't understand why raisins weren't Core and most of the responses I got when I posted in the WW LJ community didn't help--it still didn't make sense. So I searched the WW website and came up with all sorts of real info that did.

Good luck with your diet options. Let us know what you come up with.
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[User Picture]From: simsabalim
2006-10-06 09:59 pm (UTC)
I had just asked the leader, who looked it up. Maybe she got it wrong, and flaxseed is Core. I'll double-check.

Yeah, with all my new diet restrictions, it's wonderful to have a group that understands, and has recommendations.

Thanks so much!
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