Maniacally Monday asked me a question via her comment on Saturday’s Weight Watchers Update post. She asked,
“Can you talk about the difference between points and core? I've tried to read the WW literature about it, but I'd love to hear (read) the differences from someone who has used both.”
Here is a quick description of both plans and keep in mind that there are some minor things like activity points and extra points that I am not going to mention here.
FLEX – According to your weight, height, age, gender, and activity level you are assigned an amount of points that you can have each day. All food items are assigned a point value or you can figure out a point value with a simple sliding scale you get when you join. As you lose weight you lose points. Eat all of your points each day and you will lose weight.
CORE – You have a list of items you can eat. It is very specific. You do not calculate points at all. You eat only those items and stop when you are satisfied. As long as you do that, you will lose weight.
Here is my take on why each one is good. I am not sure how others think about the plans but here are my feelings on them.
POINTS – This plan is great because you can eat anything you want! As long as you keep track of your points for the day and how many you have left then you can each anything you like as long as you have enough points to eat it. If not, save up your points throughout the day and have what you want tomorrow. It’s great because you can plan you stuff and never feel like you are missing out on stuff you love!
CORE – This plan is great because you don’t really have to think about anything after you go shopping. You have your listed of Core foods and you eat them. It spells it all out for you and teaches you not only which foods are the healthiest BUT it forces you to listen to your body and react when it is satisfied and not when you are full. Hunger pangs are not an issue with Core. There is always something healthy to eat.
Here are my negative thoughts on both.
POINTS – Having to keep a journal of everything you eat can be annoying. You have to stop and write down everything you consume and you do that after you calculate the points value and it get frustrating. There are times you do not have the box or nutritional values for an item and so you guess but you are always worried if you chose wisely. Also, it is hard to have a 1/32 piece of cake because all I have is 2 points left after the birthday meal I just had.
CORE – It is difficult to eat anywhere other then home. You do not get much variety nor do you get to eat ANY cake at all! It is restricted and takes a lot of will power. If we knew how to listen to our bodies and ate when we were satisfied, would we need Weight Watchers?
As a Ninjabetic, let me give you my feelings, both good and bad, on both.
POINTS – This plan got me to lose 40 pounds. It works and it does not feel like a diet the way other diets do. It really forces you to learn portion control. The biggest problem is that you have more to calculate. As a diabetic I have enough to worry and think about. This is adding more numbers to my day and frankly can be very overwhelming. Also, the carb count of foods does not always go along with the Points. In fact, carbs are not even a part of the equation when you calculate Points. I experience lots of highs.
CORE – I feel so free! I am a creature of habit so lots a variety is nothing I need. I like knowing, this I can eat and this I can’t. I don’t have anything more to calculate which is also freeing. My diabetes requires so much management and I love not having to think much more then just listening to my body. But, it is difficult going out to dinner and finding something on the menu that is not just a bed of lettuce. It feels a lot more like a diet then the Flex plan but it also feels like a bigger step. Like I care more and am willing to make the sacrifice. That is a good feeling.
Well, that is my long winded (however that would be in typing terms) response and take on the whole weight watchers thing. PLEASE let me know if you have any other questions about it because I would love to talk more about it.