Fruit Is Not Always Free, And I’m Okay With That

I had planned to skip my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday because I had to be in two places at the same time, but I didn’t skip my weigh-in.  I showed up and faced the scale after a week that included a break-up and cross-country travel.  I knew that I had done my best (for the most part) and expected to show at least a tiny loss.  And I’m happy with the 1.2 pound loss that the scale reflected.

After weighing in, I left almost immediately, but I walked in on the meeting (that was an hour away) just as they were finishing up.  I’m not kidding.  I walked in and heard “So if there are no other questions, then help yourself to the refreshments.  Thanks.”  Oh dear.  It was an important meeting, but not earth shattering so I don’t regret missing it to weigh-in.  I do, however, wish that I could have attended the entire meeting.  I suppose I’ll just look forward to next week.

Following the meeting that I attended for 2 minutes, I met my friend, Kent, for dinner.  He’s in town for a few days, and it has been great to catch up with him without the static of the telephone.  At some point over the weekend, I plan to play Scrabble with my friend and his elderly aunt.  Maybe we’ll explore the French Quarter too.  Did you know that in New Orleans you can drink liquor walking down the street?  Kent and I don’t really drink so this isn’t particularly exciting to us…I just think it’s interesting.

Yesterday I posted a question about the merits of dairy yesterday because so many of you are doing what I’m doing – pursuing a healthy lifestyle.  I knew that you’d offer sound opinions.  And you did!  Have I mentioned how awesome it is to have you all in my life?

This smoothie could definitely be shared by two people - especially when adding ice!

Anyway, the issue of fruit in my smoothies came up.  And some of you voiced your opinion on my choice to count the points of the fruit too.  I didn’t think about making a disclaimer because I’m doing what Weight Watchers has directed me to do, but it seems like there’s a lot of confusion on this topic so I want to talk about it again.

First, I have to mention that I called Weight Watchers yesterday and spoke about this with a representative who explained it just as my leader has explained it.  Here’s what I’ve learned – when you’re eating a piece of fruit by itself, it’s considered zero points.  (I don’t count them as zero, but that is what WW recommends.)

When eating fruits and/or veggies mixed with other things (in a casserole, a smoothie, an omelet or other dishes in which the fruits and veggies cannot be separated/picked out) we’re supposed to calculate the points based on the total nutrition in the dish.

So my smoothie breaks down like this:

9 p+

And here’s the explanation that the WW representative noted during our call:

So while it has been a little confusing to figure out when fruits and veggies are free and when they need to be counted as a whole, it has definitely been worth the effort to figure it out.  I wasn’t thrilled with my results when they rolled out the new plan at the end of 2010, but coming back in 2011, I was determined to succeed with Weight Watchers just as I had before.

Obviously, we all have to do what’s best for ourselves, and I’m not telling anyone that they need to change what they’re doing.  if it’s working for you, that’s outstanding.  But in my world, eating fruits (my favorites being grapefruit, apples, watermelon, navel oranges and bosc pears) without counting them just doesn’t work.  Sure, if I’m hungry and out of points, I’ll eat an apple.  But most often, I’m finding that when I eat 9 or so servings of veggies, a little fruit and some protein, I’m satisfied all day.

I’m a work in progress and hardly an expert, but I believe that knowledge is power.  And understanding how the program works helps me get the most out of it, and I couldn’t really ask for more than that.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Tammy
    January 13, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I haven’t heard back from my leader with her opinion, but I posted the question to the WW message boards at http://www.weightwatchers.com. Everyone who responded, including at least one WW employee, said not to count the fruit in a smoothie. The thought seemed to be that a smoothie is not really altering the fruit/veggies by cooking like a pie or casserole would do. So, there is still a lot of confusion out there. It’s like you said, we all have to do what works for us.

    Congrats on the loss!

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    • Reply
      Tammy
      January 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Let confusion reign! This was posted on the WW message board this morning:
      From the VP of Weight Watchers program development:

      “Ah, smoothies and the fine line between juice and food…

      Here’s the issue: If you put a banana in a blender, you still have a banana. But what a minute ago looked like a substantive snack, now looks like a tiny shot. So you might be tempted to add another banana and maybe even some raspberries, a few grapes, that leftover papaya from two days ago and a kiwi, just to fill your glass.

      As we described in Momentum, juices bypass the body’s hunger detectors. Smoothies seem to sit someplace in the middle—more filling than a juice, but easier to consume than plain fruit. If you sat down and drank the smoothie we just described, you’ve just slurped back 5 or 6 servings of fruit in one sitting.

      Should you count it as zero? Yes. You can count it as zero using the Simple Recipe Math described on page 42 of the GSB [Getting Started booklet]. But if you are drinking a lot of smoothies and you aren’t seeing the results you were expecting at the scale, I recommend you put those fruits into the Recipe Builder on eTools and start counting and tracking the PointsPlus values”

      I think I’m swearing off smoothies! Too dangerous! 😉

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      • Reply
        Kenlie
        January 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        I’d count points for juice and food so either way, it seems right to me to count it. But I’m not saying others should…I’m only expressing my views that have been backed up by corporate. It’s working this way for me so I’ll keep doing it. 🙂 If it works for others another way then so be it. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Carbaholic Mama
    January 13, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Thank you for the info, Kenlie! I really appreciate the follow up. Congrats on the loss 🙂

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I think it’s a really important thing to recognize so I’ve shared it, but not everyone agrees so I’ll just keep doing what I believe is right…=)

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  • Reply
    Shannon
    January 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

    New Orleans girl here letting you know that this weekend is BLACK AND GOLD weekend in New Orleans, so if you’re coming to the Quarter, wear black and gold to celebrate the SAINTS and their playoff game that is going down tomorrow!! Have fun and be safe! I love this city!!!

    BTW, store called Vuluptuous Vixen down there that sells the cutest and coolest plus sized clothing, jeans, dresses, shirts, shoes…love it all!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Yeah, I live just outside of New Orleans, and I’ll be wearing my Saints shirt tomorrow. I was wearing it in NYC during the game last week too. =)

      I’ve heard of VV, but I’ve never been there!

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    January 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Congratulations Kenlie, a 1.2 pound loss is fantastic, losing 1.2 pounds after a trip to New York even more so. I must also say that I am totally impressed with the 9 servings of vegetables you are eating. Way to go girl!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks…I’m usually more satisfied when I’m doing that! =)

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  • Reply
    Half Chinked
    January 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Good job on the loss!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks!

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  • Reply
    Cowgirl warrior
    January 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Great post, my leader cautions about fruit and always says every body is different. You need to find what works for you. She had a great example before Christmas. She held up 3 mandarin oranges and said this is a pound of fruit. It certainly made you think. I like to say too much of anything is too much even fruit.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah, there’s no way that eating a few hundred extra calories of fruit everyday is okay…at least not for me.

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  • Reply
    jae
    January 14, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I like that you’re clearing this up. Even though I’m not doing WW, I like to know what’s going on and I’ve wondered about the whole no points fruits and veggies part of the plan.

    One other question though, what if you ate an apple and carrots only for a snack would that still be considered as eaten together, therefore points counted or since both fruits/veggies then no points?

    Love your blog, Kenz, keep going strong!! 🙂

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