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FYI: How the Weight Watchers Core Plan works

Posted in Crazy Wisdom,Workout on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 2:04 pm by flerly.

The Core Plan controls calories by focusing your eating on a Core Food List of nutritious, wholesome foods without tracking. This list is comprised of foods from all the food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains and starches, lean meats and poultry, eggs and dairy products. The Core Food List has been pre-selected to provide eating satisfaction without empty calories. You can eat as much of the Core Foods as you need to feel satisfied.

You can still eat other foods you love
The Core Plan also lets you eat foods that are not on the Core Food List. Your weekly POINTS Allowance makes it easy to work in other foods (like bagels or juice) as well as treats (like chocolate or alcohol) so you don’t feel deprived. Need an incentive to get active? You can also earn more POINTS values by exercising.

What are the Good Health Guidelines?

Weight Watchers stands for healthy weight loss. As you follow TurnAround®, it’s important to use these guidelines to boost your health while losing weight.

1. Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits each day.

2. Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.

3. Include 2 servings of milk products (low-fat [1%] or fat-free) each day. If you are over 50 years old, increase this amount to 3 servings each day.

4. Have some healthy oil (olive, canola, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed) each day. This habit ensures that you get the essential fatty acids and vitamin E that your body needs. Use the oil on salads, in cooking, or as an ingredient in a mixed dish.

5. Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dried beans, or soy products each day. Many dairy products are also good sources of protein.

6. Limit added sugar and alcohol.

7. Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day.

8. Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.

Learn your Comfort Zone
To use Core Plan to its full advantage, you’ll need to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. While the Core Plan allows you to eat what you need off of the Core Food List without tracking what you eat, it is important to remember that calories do matter in weight loss.

To adjust your eating to your appetite, decide on a scale of 0-5 how hungry you are before and after each meal. Over time you’ll learn to recognize signals telling you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. Strive to stay in your comfort zone.

You can eat all you want from the core foods list, until you are full. Items NOT on the Core foods list are what you need to track. You get a total of 35 points per week to spend on non-core foods, plus you can earn more points with activity points.

Common non-core foods point values:

light beer – 3pts
glass of wine – 3pts
regular mayonnaise, 1 tbs. – 2pts
tortilla – 1 6″ flour – 2pts
pita bread – 1 pt
chocolate milk – per 8oz – regular 4pt, lowfat 3pt
sandwich bread – per slice – 1pt

The Core Foods are nutritious and include all food groups. Use the overview below to help guide your food choices.


What’s Included:
Fresh, frozen or canned (without added sauce, fat or sugar)
Tomato paste, puree and sauce

Vegetables cannot contain ingredients that are not Core Foods (e.g., regular refried beans, pork & beans, corn in butter sauce, dried tomatoes packed in oil, French fries and sweet pickles are not Core Foods)
Vegetable juices are not Core Foods


What’s Included:
Fresh, frozen or canned fruits (without added sugar)

Canned fruit must be packed in water or juice (not syrup) and drained before eating

Unsweetened applesauce is a Core Food, but sweetened applesauce is not
Dried fruits are not Core Foods
Fruit juices are not Core Foods


What’s Included:
Fresh, canned, frozen or homemade soups made only with Core Foods
Bean soup (e.g., lentil soup, split pea soup)
Broth-based soup
Tomato soup

Cream soups are not Core Foods

Fat-Free Dairy Products and Dairy Substitutes:

What’s Included:
Fat-free milk, cheese and sour cream
Soy milk, cheese and yogurt (plain)

Weight Watchers Smoothies or fat-free, sugar-free instant hot cocoa or reduced-calorie dairy shakes is limited to once a day

Egg and Egg Substitutes:

What’s Included:
Whole eggs, egg whites and egg substitutes

Ready-To-Eat Cold Cereal:

What’s Included:
Puffed wheat, puffed rice, shredded wheat, and 100% bran cereals that do not contain added sugar

Cold cereals are limited to one meal a day and must be eaten with fat-free milk or fat-free plain yogurt

Cooked (Hot) Cereal:

What’s Included:
Cooked (hot) cereal

Any plain variety that does not contain added sugar

Grains and Starches:

What’s Included:
Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes, and grains
Starchy vegetables (e.g., peas, corn)

Whole-wheat pasta or brown rice or potatoes is limited to one meal a day

Lean Meat, Poultry, Fish and Meat Substitutes:

What’s Included:
Beef, lamb, pork and veal:
At the meat case look for cuts from the “loin,” “round,” and “leg”
Organ meats
Poultry / Chicken and turkey:
Fresh, frozen, or canned.
Organ meats (e.g., chicken livers)
Fish and shellfish:
Fresh, frozen, or canned, any variety
Meat substitutes:
Dried beans and lentils
Tofu, any type
Vegetarian burgers, frozen

Beef, lamb, pork and veal:
Choose visibly lean cuts and trim any excess fat
Ground beef with no more than 7% fat or ground turkey or ground chicken is limited to one meal a day
Processed meals such as deli products and hot dogs are not Core Foods
Poultry / Chicken and turkey:
Trim any visible fat before preparing and remove skin before eating
Fish and shellfish:
Canned varieties must be packed in water, broth, or tomato juice (not packed in oil)

Oils and Condiments:

What’s Included:
Fat-free salad dressings
Fat-free margarine
Fat-free mayonnaise
Nonstick cooking or baking spray
Extracts, flavorings, and herbs
Select other condiments and extras

Include 2 teaspoons of olive, canola, safflower, sunflower, or flaxseed oil each day


What’s Included:
Coffee (without sugar)
Tea (without sugar)
Diet soft drinks
Club soda
Seltzer (plain or flavored, unsweetened)

Beverages containing alcohol are not Core Foods


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