Jump to content
Health Discovery Network
QuilterInVA

Sticking with the Flex Plan - Read This!

Recommended Posts

Too Much Junk

By Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN

 

 

A new report on American eating habits reveals that almost a quarter of the calories we consume come from nutrient-poor selections – better known as "junk food." This surprising fact clashes with the advice of many nutrition experts on how to eat more healthfully and control weight. To counteract the effect of escalating portion sizes, many experts recommend decreasing the amounts of the foods we eat. But if one-fourth of what we eat is junk food, weight reduction campaigns should emphasize eating differently, not just eating less.

 

The new report is based on surveys of about 4,700 people. According to the responses, soft drinks are the number one source of calories. They accounted for 7.1 percent of the calories these people consumed in 1999–2000. Altogether, the categories of soft drinks, sweets and desserts, and alcoholic beverages contributed 23.8 percent of the calories that these survey respondents consumed. Salty snacks and fruit-flavored drinks added another five percent of calories. Since these foods are relatively concentrated in calories, you don't have to eat a lot of them to increase your daily calorie total.

 

Another study looking only at youths aged 8 to 18 reports similar findings. Candy, table sugar, sweetened drinks, baked and dairy desserts, salty snacks, fatty foods like butter and gravy, along with some other nutrient-poor foods made up more than 30 percent of the calories these youths consumed. In fact, desserts and table sweeteners alone comprised almost 25 percent of the total calories. Furthermore, those who ate the most junk food tended to eat the least amount of nutrient-dense, healthful foods. They took in less vitamins A, B-6 and folate, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

 

Although both of these studies are based on large national surveys, they included larger than representative proportions of blacks, Hispanics and low-income individuals. Consequently, the results may poorly characterize the eating habits of the average U.S. population.

 

However, a third study, which used a randomly selected group, confirms that people who eat a lot of junk food suffer nutritionally. This study looked at the impact of salty snack foods, like potato chips, corn chips, crackers, pretzels and cheese curls. Those who ate the most of these high-fat salty snack foods had diets high in total and saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables. These people scored poorly for dietary healthfulness. Other people who ate more fat-free versions of these snacks tended to eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber. But even fat-free snacks, when heavily consumed, can be detrimental to your health because of too many calories. The amount of sodium consumed by heavy users of both regular and fat-free snack foods also went well beyond recommended limits.

 

These three studies of nutrient-poor food consumption highlight several important messages. Between-meal snacks and drinks may be the best place to start substituting healthy choices and cutting back. Second, people who are overweight can still be undernourished. Eating more healthful foods may be an important goal for these people, too. Finally, these studies and others like them refute the commonly heard idea that as long as someone maintains an appropriate weight, junk food is OK. Eating substantial amounts of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods tends to be part of an eating pattern that ignores nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Even if you don't gain weight with this eating pattern, it could increase your health risks, like the risk of cancer, by depriving you of protective nutrients and phytochemicals.

 

Source: AICR


Susan<br /><br />356/155/166

 

Success comes in cans; failure comes in can'ts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this article several days ago on the DT. It's a good essay, I agree with it minus the paragraph on race and class, as new studies show that North Americans across all lines are eating more and more junk and getting bigger for it.

 

The generalization that if you Flex you eat junk is getting old.


273.8/266.8/164

restart 1 November 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is an interesting article, but I don't see how it ties in with following Flex as opposed to Core. Eating substantial amounts of artificially-sweetened (i.e. Core) or highly-processed fat-free junk food also will crowd out nutrients, even if it does not put on weight. It has been the aim of basically every WW program to get people to eat more healthfully. Even the Flex plan was not designed to be just a focus on how many points you eat - the early program books tell you how you should allocate those points (including limiting refined sugar and alcohol, getting in a certain # of dairy servings, and making veggies "free"). Yet even on this hard core board, we see tons and tons of posts of people asking the best way to fit in binge drinking (i.e. 5 or more drinks a day, even if just on the weekend), or (now that the new plan is out) what "core" snacks would be good -- other than fruits and veggies -- but shouldn't our aim to be to eat fruits and veggies as the snacks, and limit other treats that have no real nutritional value? And why would you encourage someone to eat nothing but salad and artificially-processed foods all day long just to fit in enough alcohol to get drunk every single weekend?

 

That said, I think the Core program will work well for people who have not already destroyed their "hunger meter" and for whom the reason they gained weight was eating too much junk food, or who otherwise would cut out necessary nutrients (like the required daily servings of milk) in order to make room for a piece of cake (of course, if they eat the cake too often, they won't lose weight on Core either). But the reason I gained weight is not just junk food - it was that my "hunger meter" has been broken for years - food to me was (and still in a large part is) love and comfort. If it weren't for flex points, I would not have gotten control of what a "real" portion looks like. I'm not sure I would succeed on Core. (My mom, who has the same "stuff down your emotions with food" mentality has essentially been following "Core" for the past 10 years - very little bread, basically no added sugar, skim milk dairy products only, whole wheat pasta and matzos, fruit as snacks, primarily poultry and fish, steamed or broiled or otherwise cooked with no oil, and tons and tons of veggies -- and she has been fighting to lose the same 10, 15, or 20 lbs the entire time. Why? Because she will eat even if she's not hungry, and therefore eats too many calories per day.)


Calgal

Lifetime 3/22/01 174 (preWW)/166(sw)/131

 

Trying again after baby #1:

180 (highest pg)/145 (sw as of 7/1)/142 (cw)

 

Here we go again after baby #2:

182 (highest pg)/145 (current)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But the reason I gained weight is not just junk food - it was that my "hunger meter" has been broken for years - food to me was (and still in a large part is) love and comfort. If it weren't for flex points, I would not have gotten control of what a "real" portion looks like. I'm not sure I would succeed on Core.

I couldn't agree more. This is exactly why I've decided to stick with flex.

 

Do what works!


Tutorgal

*********************

Highest pre-WW weight: 270

pre-pregnancy weight: 161

Baby Girl born 3-3-06

Time to start again!

SW 239.0 CW 218.0 GW 150

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kelly_S

Ok and what does staying with FP have to do with eating a lot of junk. While some do that not everyone does. I for one incorporate into my plan (90-95% of the time) Core Foods and Core Values. I do have small amounts of 'junk' but that doesn't mean Core is any better than Flex if the person strives for healthy options rather than junk. Are you trying to stress that they should eat healthier or that FP is bad? I think you are trying to get across the first one.

 

I agree our society tends to lean towards nutrient-poor selections as a whole not just dieters...I also tend to think (and always have) that the points programs didn't stress enough healthy eating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just jumping in with my .02 cents,

 

Before Core, I was in a state of constant hunger, yep, I think my hunger meter was broken. I have also seen my weight loss at a complete stand still for more than a year. Is it my fault? Absolutely! Was I always picking the right foods with my points? No, I wasn't. Yet, I felt as long as I was eating in my range, I was On Program.

 

What has happened with Core (this is day 4), is that I am eating more fruit, whole grains, and milk. Eating the junk (or even the quasi-junk) isn't an option on this plan, unless I choose to use Flex or AP points. I am also NOT craving the foods I thought I couldn't live without. Finally, I feel full.

 

If Flex is working for you, definitely stay put. Don't fix what isn't broken. If, however, you are stalled and not losing, consider giving Core a one week trial. If it doesn't work, Flex will still be there to help you lose. I don't know if Core is my forever, but it is my right now. I do know if I go back to Flex, I will have a healthy outlook on food that I seemed to have fallen away from. Whichever plan you choose, best of luck to you!

 

Laurie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kelly_S

I think the point I am trying to make is you can follow both concepts and be very happy, full and satisified. I follow Flex for portion control and Core for food choices 90-95% of the time. Do I have 'treats' --- sure do but on occasion not as a regular basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So by all means, QuilterInVA, continue to knock those of us who are not switching to core, are perfectly content on flex and have been successful in losing weight, keeping it off, and finding a program that works for us.

 

Because none of this is about Core program people knocking the flex points program....really. That whole idea is just some crazy thing in my head.


181.2/123/125

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kelly_S

Skruggie, Can you e-mail me or PM me....I need to share something with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest gwenofair

What on earth does this article have to do with following the flex plan? :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kelly_S

gwenofair - it has been said by some that Flex isn't eating healthy and allows a lot of junk (which yes technically a person could eat all his points in Snickers and still be losing --- calories in vs calories out) and that Core is healthy. To me there are flaws in both programs as well as good parts --- mostly good parts. I am not sure what Quilter is trying to say...FLEX IS UNHEALTHY or just to make sure that when you eat even with Flex you choose healthy foods. To me I hope it is the second but being around a while I am thinking she is trying to point out the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest gwenofair

I could never do the core program personally, because it omits whole grain bread products which are an important part of my program...I love my WW toast in the morning with a hard boiled egg, and I love whole wheat tortillas.

 

Also I hate fat free cheese !! I do incorporate alot of lowfat dairy into my program...low fat cottage cheese..lowfat cheddercheese(my favorite is cabbots 75% reduced fat cheese)..feta cheese in greek salads!

 

I also absolutely need the portion control..so flex is for me. I have always tried to make healthy choices doing flex...just like it says to. I have never ever found anything that works better for me.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly don't know if anyone cares about what I have to say (sometimes I feel like I'm posting to the wind), but I'm gonna say it anyway. :p

 

I looked at the info in Quilter's post, but none of it applies to the way I eat on WW. In fact, I don't know anyone who eats that way anymore if they are OP.

Other people who ate more fat-free versions of these snacks tended to eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber. But even fat-free snacks, when heavily consumed, can be detrimental to your health because of too many calories.

Well, sure! "Heavily consumed"! I'm not stupid enough to think because it's fat free it's calorie free (just as I know that "sugar free" doesn't equal "fat free" and "calorie free"), and even if I was I have my husband standing over me reminding me of that little fact. 2 slices of fat free cheese and 1 fat free pudding cup a day I don't consider to be "Heavily consuming". Maybe it's just me.

 

I received my program materials today, and I looked them over for CORE information. "Wow!", I thought, "If I eat CORE I wouldn't have to count the fruit I eat, or the pudding cup, or the chicken breast for dinner. Great!" That is my red flag right there. If I'm getting excited about the fact that I don't have to count it, I'm in big trouble. For the most part that's what got me into WW- portion control. I have to stick with Flex so that I don't stuff myself with "healthy food choices", not so that I can eat a 23 point bag of Doritos and call it using my points for the day. Again, I like to think that I'm not that stupid.

 

I'm not sure why Quilter posted the info. I'm assuming that she wasn't being insulting by thinking that because I intend to eat Flex-ibly that naturally I eat unwisely, just making sure that we know about poor nutrition.

 

Now please excuse me, I have to go watch TV and eat my box of Godiva Chocolates. Only 3 points apiece!! :lol: :lol:


Jeannette

 

"I have searched for the phrase "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger will know no bounds", but I keep getting redirected to Weight Watchers." Ianto Jones, Torchwood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest gwenofair

Hi Ottermom. Your kids are just adorable.

 

I agree with you, I definately need the portion control of the points.

 

There does seem to be an attitude with some people that people who chose to use the flex points are choosing to eat unhealthy....so does that mean that everybody on this board has been eating unhealthy until they started core this week?

 

Flex is helping me in so many ways to make wise healthy choices. I am greatful that we have the choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brucifer

There does seem to be an attitude with some people that people who chose to use the flex points are choosing to eat unhealthy....so does that mean that everybody on this board has been eating unhealthy until they started core this week?

 

Flex is helping me in so many ways to make wise healthy choices. I am greatful that we have the choice.

That's funny I think just the opposite. I eat helthy because of the points system. I am more aware of what I'm putting into my mouth because of points.

 

EX: Why should I spend 5 points on a cup of Pasta Roni, when I could just as easily spend only 3 on a cup of broccoli, a 1/2 cup of corn, and a 1/2 cup of peas?

 

Don't get me wrong here, I do occasionally go for the pasta anyway but the point value of comes into play how I plan my meals. It makes me look at the foods that are better for you just because they typically have less points and more nutrients.

 

I still enjoy indulgences but I certainly won't plan a meal around something that is likely to cost me for eating the rest of the day in order to stay in my point range.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kelly_S
EX: Why should I spend 5 points on a cup of Pasta Roni, when I could just as easily spend only 3 on a cup of broccoli, a 1/2 cup of corn, and a 1/2 cup of peas?
That is only 2 points! LOL! Broccoli is a free veggie.

 

Many people will eat junk and not feel satisified or eat junk just because they can. I am not one but on occasion I do eat a not so healthy day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Ottermom. Your kids are just adorable.

 

Hi gwenofair! :wave: Thank you! If school doesn't start soon, I may try and sell them to you! William I can usually handle with little difficulty, but when he gets ramped up by his sisters.. UGH!

 

I have to agree about eating healthier on Flex. I don't think I have ever eaten as much salad on a daily basis as I have this time around, and I know that if I'm limited as to how much protien and startch I can have at dinner, it makes me load up my plate with point free veggies.

 

That being said, I DO miss my corn and peas... and parsnips... Core has it's advantages, I must say. :D


Jeannette

 

"I have searched for the phrase "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger will know no bounds", but I keep getting redirected to Weight Watchers." Ianto Jones, Torchwood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure why all of a sudden certain people are saying that flex isn't a good plan when before core came out it wasw what they did and swore by it. I am going to stay with flex for now. Do I eat poorly NO I ate poorly before WW now I eat healthier and I do not feel like I am on a diet If I did core Iwould be denying myself things I love. I do not waste my points on junk food but I will allow it into my daily intake. I love cookies, just today I was looking at a mrs fields cookie yes I would have loved to have it but for 4 points no thank you I had a cup of watermelon for 1 point instead. I have learned in the past yr to eat a balanced diet thanks to WW and the flex points has made me feel like I am not being denied anything.


Donna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a funny thing we sometimes get into here. It's almost like a board mood swing, all of a sudden everyone is a little irritated, a little competitive, a little hypersensitive. Maybe it's board PMS?

I see it sometimes when people talk about AP's, too. "I ran uphill for 60 minutes, but I'm only counting 1 AP because it's just not intense for me any more." I suppose it generates some excitement.

I think we can all agree that it would be a good idea to eat nutritious food and not too much of it.

kd


Kathy

sw= 258 cw=231 gw=141

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The generalization that if you Flex you eat junk is getting old.

 

I agree!

 

Now, I'll ask all of y'all to simply overlook these who keep posting this old and definitely NOT BCB message. It is not only old, but it is divisive and unsupportive and not appreciated here on BCB, Denise has made that clear!

 

If we simply ignore it and rest in the knowledge that we do NOT have to defend ourselves and our choices as long as we are doing WW (whether it be Flex or CORE, or 1-2-3 or Exchanges), perhaps this will die down. If not, rest assured we Moderators will do our best to stop it.

 

Sometimes, if we ignore the flames, they will burn themselves out :-) Hugs to y'all!


(Momma25) Momma to five

http://www.realfoodliving.com

In remission from Acute Leukemia

Diabetic, low GI and no FRANKENFOODS!

218/in-between/125

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vickilynn, I agree that we're getting WAY to into "what I do is best." :bcbsalute: I know that we are all passionate about Weight Watchers, esp if we're effectively losing/maintaining weight, i.e. being successful at it. In addition, there are those that know they should be changing up what they're doing (whether within Flex or changing to Core) because what they're doing isn't working well, but then get really defensive when someone questions them because they're not ready to make any changes. And then there are those who ARE doing well with their weight loss/maintenance, but start questioning what they're doing because that "grass might really be greener on the other side"--they simply feel they should try the Core as being the "new and improved" version of Weight Watchers, but don't want to "fix somethin' that ain't broke." Passionate + defensive = disagreements. Maybe we all need to make a concerted effort to tone it down a bit.

 

Speaking for myself, I tend to be very passionate about what I'm doing because I KNOW what eating more nutritious foods has done for ME. So why would I not want to pass that on to others? But we can't make that judgement for others because there is a wide range of how to eat within the Weight Watchers program, and we must respect every one's choices. After all, ALL of us can probably look back at a time when our food choices were pretty rotten prior to Weight Watchers!

 

So let's all give each other the benefit of the doubt and respectfully allow each other to grow!

 

Love to all my BCB buddies,

Your buddy Katie :bcbsalute


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not understanding what the conflict is between the "Core's" and the "Flex's". Aren't we all in this together? When I started the WW program I chose WW's over all the others because of the diversity of the food and the accountability of the points. For the first time I truly felt like I was on an eating plan for life and not a "diet". Any time there is change, there will be those that embrace it and those that oppose it. With WW's, why do we need to say that one way is right and the other is wrong. Flex has worked for me to the tune of 39 pounds. I like being able to choose what I want to eat. Does that mean I make bad choices? Absolutely not. Any one that has been on WW's long enough, and are being successful at it knows to make the right food choices to get the maximum benefit of your points. I have chosen to stay with flex for the time being. That does not mean I won't change to core down the road. But I am not going to degrade anyone else for choosing core anymore than I would want to be degraded for staying with Flex. I am not saying there are people that use Flex and does not eat the most nutritional meals that they can. But, that is not me. And I don't want to be lumped into a category because I choose to stay with Flex and because, at this point in time, it works for me. Just as there will be people that switch to Core and find it works for them. I would like to see people here encourage each other in which program they choose to follow. If you want to debate, then have an adult debate. List the pro's and con's of each program and have an adult discussion about them. I would love to hear from those on Core about what they like and dislike about the program. And I'm anxious to hear about their weight loss too. I will applude just as loudly when people have a success on the Core program as I will for those on Flex. This site is for support, for encouragement and dedicated to those that want to stay OP and maintain. So lets do what buddies do best. Let's support and encourage our fellow buddies, no matter if it's Flex, Core, or a combination of the two.


Taking it day by day, one step at a time.

Ya-Ya name: Marchioness Shines like the Sun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are 2 things that I don't understand about this whole "If you're eating flex than you're not eating as healthy as Core" argument:

 

1) Which one of us knows what the heck everyone else is eating? I certainly have no idea if what you're all telling me you're eating is what you are actually eating (admit it Katie, you're just eating chocolate! :lol: ), so how on earth can anyone preach (for lack of a better word) to anyone else about their eating habits? Are we supposed to be submitting journals? Did I miss that part of BCB?

 

2) Why the heck does anyone care what anyone else is putting in their mouth? I could honestly care less what any member of BCB puts into their mouth, be it a carrot or a brownie, as long as they are happy with themselves and feel as though they are following the program of their choice.


Jeannette

 

"I have searched for the phrase "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger will know no bounds", but I keep getting redirected to Weight Watchers." Ianto Jones, Torchwood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, Jeannette....I don't eat chocolate! :lol: (used to though!)

 

And sorry again....I'm not preaching to anyone. Just trying to share how I improved my health by, along with weight loss and exercise, improving the quality of what I was putting in my body. That's all. :bcbsalute


---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal

highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150

*He leadeth me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.