Just this morning, while putting away my “groceries” from Jenny Craig, I noticed the calories on one of my favorite lunches. I about fell over. Straight up, the turkey burger I was eating was 300 calories. I say this not because 300 calories is a lot (really it isn’t), but because I rarely allowed myself to eat one item at lunch that might have that many calories.
In fact, I’d venture to guess that I was in a very extreme pattern — too much or too little.
This is nothing against Weight Watchers. It’s not their fault that I never really figured out HOW to eat on the plan. In the beginning, I worked to get as much food for my points as possible. I still think, as an eating strategy, this is pretty smart. It worked well for me given that I started at 28 points. When I got to 22 points, well, that’s when it all went south.
You see at 22 points (or about 1200 calories), there’s not a lot of wiggle room. Calories need to be maximized and controlled. I had gotten into the habit of eating a lot of processed foods of smaller point values (read high fiber), that allowed me to eat more. I was dieting, if you consider finding ways to eat pizza and eat frozen yogurt daily is dieting. SIGH. There is no way that I would have CONSCIOUSLY eaten 300 calories on ONE part of my meal, because that’s what I was trying to consume for the full meal. As such, I never really learned how to eat well and satisfyingly for my calories. Again, I don’t blame Weight Watchers as I was doing this on-line, didn’t go to meetings, and never once entered a chat room for support.
I’ve noticed that since I’ve started Jenny Craig, I’m a lot more satisfied with the type of meals I’m having for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I think I can do better, once I’m on my own. I’ve actually expanded what I think a meal can be, and bumped up my vegetable consumption greatly.
I thank Weight Watchers for helping me lose 75 pounds over 5 years by not focusing too heavily on food. Now I thank Jenny Craig for reminding me that portion size matters, as does being satisfied with what you eat. Since I’ve started, I’ve lost 15 of the 22 pounds I found. This is a good thing.
I feel that I’ve learned a lot about food from both diet programs. While there are differences, it’s these differences that have made a difference in how I view food.