The Holy 8

Friday, August 8, 2008

One of the most important aspects of either WW plan (Flex or Core) is following the 8 Good Health Guidelines. The Guidelines are as follows:

1. Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
2. Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.
3. Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.
4. Have some healthy oil (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.
5. Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dried beans each day. Many dairy products are also good sources of protein.
6. Limit added sugar and alcohol.
7. Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
8. Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.

Using these guidelines as a basis for planning your meals makes everything come together so much more smoothly. This week I have been strictly following the guidelines, making sure that I get them all in, and not worrying so much about points or calories. Once they’re all in, I feel pretty satisfied but I also know there is still room left for a snack if I need one.

This is why I have never understood why they are so rarely even mentioned during Weight Watchers meetings.

If I was a WW Leader, I would be shoving these guidelines down the collective throats of meeting attendees at every possible opportunity (imagine flash cards and repetitive drills and perhaps a well-placed wooden ruler to the hand). I would gently remind them to eat junk food only if and when the guidelines had been fulfilled. I would discourage conversations that dwelled on how to get the greatest amount of junk food into your day while using the fewest number of points.

I would probably eventually be talking to myself after the class makes a mass exodus to Super Wal-Mart to load up on Weight Watchers' 1 point, 1 inch chocolate cakes.