40-Somethings - Does anyone remember WW in the 80's?

10-31-2008, 04:12 PM
Hi...I'm new to this site....not new to the weight loss challenge.

Tried almost everything thru the years....but I am thinking about the WW plan in the 80's...in was something like this

3 (60 cals/serving) fruits OOO....................180 cals
2 (80 cals/serving) milk OO....................160
5 veggies (free) OOOOO............................free
3 fats (100 cals/serving) OOO....................300
6 -8proteins (60/serving)OOOOOO............. .480
6 starches (80/serving) OOOOOO................480
1600 cals

Anybody remember it? Am I close? Servings based on the ADA serving guides....1 serving protein =1 0z.


10-31-2008, 06:47 PM
Hi, I believe it was 4-6 servings of starches if I remember correctly (depending on whether your male or female) and the fruits and veggies were combined, but the fruit does have calories and do count, so I guess it was similar to what you have written.

I remember that plan and I did well on it (other than the fact that I have gained most of the weight back over the years). It worked for me because of the structure and I didn't have the freedom to eat too many snacks. Although I thought the calorie amount of basic diet was about 1200 (for a woman) and then you also had 250 calories a day that you could "bank" and either use daily or store them that week for a special occasion or dinner out.

You are definitely on the right track, I guess it is just a matter of figuring out the weights, but an ounce per serving of protein sounds correct.

Good luck!

10-31-2008, 07:46 PM
I'm following an exchange plan, but not specifically the 80's plan (though I was a member in every decade from the 70's on), but your exchanges are pretty close to what I remember.

I'm pretty sure that the fats are 35 to 45 calories, and that fruits and vegetables were always separate during the years when Weight Watcher's was an exchange program (prior to 1997). Although, I think that at least by the 90's, the number of exchanges were based on starting weight (I believe). The great thing about exchange plans, is that virtually every one I've found is consistent with the original diabetic exchange plans developed in the 50's. While the number of servings recommended from each group have varied a bit from plan to plan, and year to year, the exchanges themselves are still the same (which is great, because it means you can use any exchange plan cookbook), and the differences between the recommendations are surprisingly few. As long as you've got a plan that is at least 1500 calories, it's usually a pretty decent place to start (though if your starting weight is very high, you can start even higher. I've found exchange programs online up to 3000 calories - because they're a plan that can be used for maintenance, and diabetic meal planning, not just weight loss).

I do have several pre-1997 Weight Watcher's cookbooks, but none have the programs included (but if you search Amazon, I believe there are some that do include the program), though I know I've borrowed Weight Watcher's books from the library that had the program listed in the book. So you might find the exact plans if your library has any old WW cookbooks.

One that I know has the program listed, is The Weight Watchers Complete Cookbook and Program Basics (1994). It's one of the exchange cookbooks on my wishlist at amazon.com.

Hillbillyhousewife and tops.org are website that lists several calorie level exchange plans. Actually there are tons of sites with diabetic exchange information. The tops.org tools section has deal a meal style cards you can print out, or food diary pages with three levels of exchange plan (1200, 1500, and 1800 calories).

For me, I've chosen a 1500 calorie plan that is lower in carbs (both the Duke Diet Book and the HillbillyHousewife website had lower carb plans). Then I chose a few "blank" or flexible exchanges that I could use on fruit, starch, protein, or dairy exchanges. The 1500 calorie plan is my minimum and the extra changes add up to up to an additional 500 calories, so I'm usually eating around 1800 calories. I seem to remember that Weight Watcher's (at least in the 90's) had a few floater or flexible exchanges that could be used this way. I like the added flexibility.

11-21-2008, 07:21 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful responses 140bound and kaplods!

I shall do some more research on the diabetic exchanges as it does seem to be an organzed way of looking at food and for me makes calorie counting easier....although it is not precise, it is very close.

It matches the way I think and I also believe it is a good blueprint to follow for healthy nutrition....for instance, I would completely ditch the milk catergory for starches left to my own sinsiter devices! LOL!

But I am now drinking chocolate Silk for breakfast...it is a soy-based milk....my hormones and bones are lovin' it! Even got my kids hooked!

Well thanks again....sorry it took so long for me to respond.....I kinda forgot about this thread that I started as I found the Sonoma Diet and cookbook and got distracted....but I am fitting my Sonoma Plan into this box......Sonoma, calorie counting and exchanges.....it is mixed-up but so far is working for me!

Best wishes,

11-21-2008, 08:53 AM
Good to hear from you, I lost track of this thread too (and I'm also one that has to be reminded to eat my dairy - hubby's a native Wisconsonite and could live on milk and cheese).

I can relate to mixing plans, as I've been strongly influenced in my food choices by various plans - Volumetrics, South Beach, and low GI plans specifically. Lately, I've been reading alot on anti-inflammatory diets, the possible role of grains in autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome (which I have) and nutritional anthropology (the diets of pre-agriculture humans - hunter/gatherers).

I'm really considering trying a grain-free diet for a while, or at least gluten-free. I guess that would mean getting my starches through beans, squash, sweet potato and the like. I'm learning that some carb-rich foods tend to trigger pain flares of the fibro and milder cases of just not feeling very well, but I haven't been very systematic about finding which foods are causing the trouble. I think wheat is definitely a problem, because when we didn't have bread in the house, I was feeling pretty good. I would have allergy testing done, but I'm on a blood pressure medication that could make allergy testing dangerous (apparently if I had a severe allergy reaction, the drug interaction would make it hard to reverse).

11-22-2008, 06:44 PM

I'm always wondering if I have a wheat gluten thing too....but I am still hoping it's a white flour thing and not a wheat thing.

Definitely have "sausage" fingers, swelling after white flour....what symptoms do you have?

best wishes,

12-23-2008, 12:32 PM
Hi Thinkerbell!
Yep remember that plan well. It was the one I lost my original weight to become lifetime. Still have the books, and my original weekly sheets, lol! Each week the number of servings of things and what food you were allowed changed - That first week was really tough, thought I was going to starve!!
I really did find the Point program a little easier when I returned, later.