Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Free" Fruit.

As you probably know, I'm doing WW. I started a few months ago and have really not seen a change in my weight.  I had some rough weekends where I was off track and a week that I had to fight just to break even. Needless to say I wasn't perfect. However, I was MOST of the time.  I can't help but wonder if the whole notion of 80/20 (healthy eating 80% of the time and not-so-healthy eating 20% of the time), is total crap. It's weekends that I have trouble with and generally only one day. That's not anywhere near 20% of the time. Yet I'm not losing weight. 

While on the PP WW plan, it is said that you can eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you would like.  They're pretty much all zero points so despite how many you eat, they are "free." WW does not factor calories into their system. At all.  Point values are based on fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. In WW land it is as though "calories in, calories out" does not exist at all. I have a bit of a problem with this....Especially considering that fruit is high in carbs (and sugar).

I decided that I would track on MFP today and just see where I ended up. My opinion? NOT pretty.

I counted up all of the fruits (including a couple servings of frozen unsweetened strawberries, which do have a point value of one per serving) that I ate today.  My totals were surprising and not in a good way. I believe that the "free points" mentality helped me to forget about calories and that even though they are "good" calories, they are still calories and they DO count (no matter what the powers that be at WW happen to think).

Here are my totals from JUST fruit...  Calories 502. Carbohydrates 145 (g). Sugars 98 (g). I had eight servings of fruit alone; five without the frozen fruits included (two servings of strawberries and one of blueberries).

My total daily calories was 1685 (this is just my intake; no working out subtracted). So, 1183 calories were spent on other things (vegetables, meat, bread, protein powder, etc.).  My total daily carbs was a whopping 260 grams; I also ate 193 grams of sugars. So carbs, without fruit were 115 grams and sugars were 95 grams.

I will say that I had a Cliff Bar which really increased my daily totals for all. I don't usually have a Cliff Bar and I'm sure that it influenced at least my calories, carbs, and sugars. I may have had crackers for half the calories,carbs, and sugars.  The bar alone was 240 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and 21 grams of sugar. WOWZA! Without that factored in my totals would still be a bit more sensible.... At 76 grams of carbs and 77 grams of sugar.

I realize that the carbs and sugars in fruit are not the same as those in, say white bread or cake. The carbs in fruits can be described as "good," or "natural."  The same can be said for their sugars. We need a certain amount of these things in our diet, however... There is such thing as too much of a good thing.

WW does address fruit and eating too much of it on the website. However, the rationale that they use has nothing to do with nutritional values. They seem to focus more on the behavior of eating and encourage the user to examine how much fruit they are eating and why. They point out to be mindful of how full you are; don't eat until you're feeling stuffed; be sure to listen to your hunger signals.They also state to be sure you're not grazing all day, causing you to eat a lot of fruit instead of something unhealthy.  I can safely say that I do not graze. I eat frequently, yes, but I have specific portions set for specific times as snacks. I do not sit and mindlessly consume a bag of grapes, for example.  I rinse and measure something like that in the morning and take it to work with me. I am not sitting at my desk with a bag of grapes. I'm sitting there with one cup of grapes.  I also bring a small apple and two clementines. I don't set myself up to eat an entire bag or container of something.  Why do I eat fruit? I like it and it's healthy. It is important to have fruit in my diet.  Another part of that is that it is an easy go-to snack. It's easy to measure and easy to take to work with me. Perhaps that's my behavioral thing with fruit; it's both healthy and easy. Knowing that fruit is a zero point food makes it even easier to have fruit for snacks.

In terms of vegetables, I definitely don't eat as many as fruit.  I believe I will have had three servings by the end of the day. I had spinach in my protein shake, baby carrots at lunch, and will have some steamed veggies with my dinner. Three isn't bad considering the food pyramid says 3-5 of fruits and veggies a day.  It also says to eat six to ten servings of grains a day and I definitely do not do that. Well, that's the OLD food pyramid. I obviously don't pay attention to it so things may have changed.

At any rate, food pyramid and WW aside, I'd say that eight servings of fruit in one day is probably a bit much. Cutting that in half and finding other healthy snacks, like nuts, wouldn't be a bad idea. I also need to increase my veggie intake. Three a day isn't bad but I should eat at least five servings a day. I'm very picky when it comes to vegetables; I think that's my problem. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have two sides of different veggies at dinner. I could (and should) incorporate some more lean meats into my diet.

I definitely need to cut back on the carbs. Sure the majority of mine come from healthy sources but my body doesn't NEED that many carbohydrates. And it certainly doesn't need that much sugar! I'm going to count my carbs now. I don't mean to say that I'm "going low carb." That's not what I'm doing. I'm just decreasing them, to start. I'm also going to learn about how people carb count to control their blood sugar. My Mom did that and just by changing her eating patterns she lost 20 pounds! I don't think she was diagnosed as being diabetic but she definitely controlled it so that she is not.  I can only imagine how high my blood sugar runs thanks to all the fruit I eat.

So that's my new plan...Fewer carbs; more veggies.  I will most likely track a little more often on MFP just to see where I'm at. Hopefully this works. We shall see...

I'm off to do a run (on the treadmill; boo to bad weather!) and then some TF. I'm definitely glad it is Thursday afternoon!

Hope your week is going well!!


1 comment:

  1. Funny, I was just discussing this with my boss who was on WW about 5 or 6 years ago and said fruit did have points then. I put the nutrition facts of a banana into my points calculator and it came up saying 2 points! So, from now on I will be counting my bananas. I only eat one a day but I still think with as high as they are in sugar they should be counted. Lower gi fruits aren't as bad, and I usually eat a lot of strawberries and blueberries, but I feel safe there. Good luck finding some veggies that suit you. I love all things vegetable (minus celery) so I'm safe there!