While the Weight Watchers program has been around for many years and has gained in popularity recently, it’s been argued that the Weight Watchers program is not a healthy diet because members eat processed foods. Clean Eating for Weight Loss with Weight Watchers is not impossible, it just takes a bit more work than some realize.
The argument is that rather than focusing on whole, fresh foods, Weight Watchers encourages processed foods and even sells them to members. As a Weight Watchers member, how can you focus on foods you know are good for you? If you want to know how to eat real food on Weight Watchers diet, here is what you need to know.
Clean Eating for Weight Loss with Weight Watchers
Clean eating or eating real food with minimal processing or additives is something many of us strive for on a regular basis. Losing weight makes us healthier, but in the process, we also want to fuel our bodies with the best foods we can. So, learning habits that promote clean eating for weight loss while including the tools of the popular Weight Watchers program make sense.
Weight Watchers Success
I’ve been following Weight Watchers for many years and in fact, lost most of my 100 lb weight loss following the program. Read more about my weight loss story here:
The Weight Watchers Argument
For years, those in the weight loss industry have argued that the Weight Watchers diet is not a healthy diet because the Weight Watchers program allows members to eat processed foods and in fact sell these foods themselves. As someone who has been using the Weight Watchers system, I understand these concerns. While Weight Watchers is an overall healthy diet, it can lean heavily toward processed foods and Weight Watchers sells these products to members online and at meetings.
When I first started Weight Watchers 10 years ago, I ate plenty of what I now call healthy junk food. I ate Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and Fiber One bars daily. I ate diet bread and even these huge (but somehow low point) breakfast cookies. While there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat, these foods are highly processed and not the most filling.
These days I tend to eat eggs and kale for breakfast instead of a packet of processed oatmeal (even the “weight control” type) and I’ve swapped diet bread for eating my lunches over a bowl of cauliflower rice or quinoa. I still eat the occasional treat but do my best not to make them part of my regular rotation.
Over the years, Weight Watchers has revised their program with Smart Points, Points Plus, and now Freestyle Smart Points, each one encouraging more whole, fresh foods and giving a heftier points “weight” to foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Weight Watchers has also recently announced their company vision to focus on wellness and realistic weight loss for all people. Time will tell if these become lasting changes.
How to Eat Real Foods on Weight Watchers
Regardless of the company focus, you absolutely can make the Weight Watchers program an eating plan made up primarily of real, whole foods. The longer I’ve done Weight Watchers, the more I’ve moved away from processed foods and focused on whole, clean eating. These foods keep me more satisfied and I feel great when I eat them. Clean eating for weight loss easily fits into the Weight Watchers program.
Focus on the 200 Free Foods.
The program has a list of 200 free foods that is the wonderful basis for a healthy diet. Keep many of these foods on hand at all times and plan to make them the foundation of your Weight Watchers program. This list is also a fun way to try new foods that are high in protein or healthy fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
30 Weight Watchers Zero Point Meals and Snacks – 30 meal and snack ideas that are ZERO points!
Stock your kitchen.
Most of us get a bit of a points shocker when we first start Weight Watchers. I know I sure did, like when I discovered my favorite smoothie was 15 points or that I’d just blown 19 of my 23 daily points on my typical breakfast. Keeping a well-stocked kitchen full of Weight Watchers food that is zero or low points is absolutely critical to your success.
Expect to take time to meal plan once a week and grocery shop twice a week so that you always have healthy foods on hand.
Use Weight Watchers recipes.
As I mentioned earlier, Weight Watchers doesn’t have any restrictions on what you can’t eat on the diet plan. However, they do cost points, and those points translate into calories per day. Putting together recipes can be stressful and those points can add up quickly if you aren’t using Weight Watchers-friendly recipes.
Do some searching online and find Weight Watchers recipes before you start trying to go at it on your own. There are tons of recipes for everything from cake to comfort food.
Indulge on occasion.
One of the great things about this plan is that there aren’t any restrictions on what you can’t eat. This means if it’s your son’s birthday party, go ahead and have a slice of cake. It’s okay to indulge now and then as long as you don’t let it get out of hand, and most everything can be accommodated especially when you use your weekly flex points for it.
Find alternatives to your favorite foods.
If you love cheesecake, do a quick search for Weight Watchers cheesecake, and I promise you that something will come up. This plan is made for flexibility, and instead of cutting things out, you should be looking for alternatives. If you love a particular dish, see if there is a way to enjoy the same meal but with a few substitutions. Sometimes it is that simple.
Instant Pot for Weight Loss course – includes Weight Watchers points
One of the biggest benefits of the Weight Watchers program is the flexibility No foods are off limits and most foods can be accommodated into the program. Make a decision that you will focus on real, whole foods as the basis for your Weight Watchers program and you will find both weight loss and healthy living success. Clean eating for weight loss can and will be possible while using the Weight Watchers program.
How do you eat real foods on Weight Watchers?
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