Simply Filling/Core - tell us about your success with core!

Suzanne 3FC
11-18-2006, 02:33 AM
We've heard a lot of mixed feelings about core since it was first introduced. Have you been successful with it? Please share your experiences, and any big tips you think helped you the most.


11-18-2006, 09:37 PM
Hi Suzanne,
You've caught us at a rocky time on this board! A lot of us have been MIA and I think having trouble with our programs.
But I can tell you about how great core works when you work it! When I first started WW I was doing flex. I had a hard time because I was constantly obsessing about how many points I had left for the day, and then saving my points up for something junky. I never drank milk or ate cheese because I saw it as a waste of points.
With core I was forced to make good choices, even things I thought I didn't like, such as applesauce. I lost three times as much weight on core as I did on flex. It does require a little more commitment to cooking and preparing food at home I think, but it's worth it.
With all that said, I think core is one of the best eating plans out there. I feel healthy when I'm following it. So I should probably get back on the wagon, huh?!
Hope that helps, even if I'm not a good example of any kind of eating plan right now. :o

11-18-2006, 11:13 PM
melissa, you're 100% right. i don't know what else to say. core works if you let it.

11-20-2006, 10:33 PM
I love Core. I lost the last 30 lbs. on Core, and will eat this way for the rest of my life. Like Melissa, I wasn't eating dairy much, and since I have osteopenia, I really need my dairy. Plus I wasn't eating good fats. With Core, you can eat as much dairy as you want/need, and good fats like olives and avocados. There aren't any "forbidden" foods because you have the 35 pts. to use if you want to.

My biggest tip is that you need to plan on Core. Restaurants aren't difficult as long as you plan.

11-22-2006, 10:49 AM
I think it's a mixed bag.

What I like:
1. increased awareness of satiety, checking my hunger level more carefully
2. I cut way down on processed foods
3. I eat ff yogurt almost daily--never a bad thing
4. I eat more fish

What I don't like:
1. It's not a vegetarian-friendly plan (IMHO)--many of my staples like nut butter and tempeh aren't considered CORE
2. I had to give up or count points for some of my favorite breakfasts (GoLean waffles, any cereal w/sugar--even a low sugar one like Puffins or All Bran)
3. Hard to find workable snacks when you don't feel like fruit, veg. or popcorn. I used to do 2 Ryvita crackers w/a Laughing Cow spreadable wedge (1 pt.) but that would mean using WPAs for it.

11-22-2006, 06:01 PM

I have had tremendous success with CORE. My first weigh in was at 310 pounds. I hit my goal weight 18 months later at 150 pounds and have maintained for almost a year at below goal weight (135-140) pounds. A few people here at 3FC know of me, though I'm not around as often as I should be.

I think the program has been successful for me because, from day one, was honest to myself about the type of person I was (and still am). I am not diligent enough to count points right away, or organized enough to keep track of everything but still equally motivated as anyone else in my situation. The weight had to come off for my health's sake and for my daughters (who had openly admitted to being embarrassed of my size).

Core seemed like the right fit for my somewhat lazy personality. Once I got into the program, and as weeks went by with steady losses, I realized that the core program wasn't a life sentence of eating bland low cal foods. It forced me to look at food / cooking / eating in a whole new light. Believe me, the first two weeks were tough, eating nothing but baked chicken and steamed veggies gets old fast. I loved the success on the scale though. I re-checked the book and reminded myself that there were more food options out there and I shouldn't be afraid to step outside of my baked chicken boundary.

here's a few tips on the core plan that have helped me.

*alot of recipes can be converted to core very easily
*plan out meals in advance (whenever possible)
*make it a point to try something new every Sunday (or whichever day)
*Core is NOT a restriction plan - don't deny yourself (remember WPAs)
*know that when you reach your goal nothing changes. You continue to eat the same way. The program is such a natural "common sense" way of eating there is little to change between weight loss and weight maintainence

11-27-2006, 10:57 PM
I haven't done Core, but the Core thread on the WW board is always hopping, and there seem to be a ton of great success stories there.

I have been failing with Flex and have been considering trying Core. I'm interested to read the responses here....

11-28-2006, 09:24 AM
I've been on an endless plateau with flex and have not been losing much at all. In desperation, about a week and a half ago, I switched to CORE and stuck with it. I lost 2.8 pounds in one week, which was great for me. I stopped everything over Thanksgiving weekend and re-started CORE yesterday.
I like it, but miss breads. I don't want to use my flex points up on breads as I want to use those when I dine out on weekends. However, I am going to break down and starting having lite bread at lunchtime sometimes, I think.
I hear WW is going to distribute a "new" program the week of Dec. 10th (I could be wrong on the date) and that there are going to be more vegetarian friendly items listed on the CORE plan.
I look forward to the newly revised CORE plan and think it will maybe include a few things that our logic tells us ought to be considered CORE????
I'd love to hear what your favorite lunches are on CORE, that is the meal I get stuck with at times.
Linda in New Hampshire

12-02-2006, 10:39 PM
Some Core lunches I like:

canned or homemade soup (usually w/beans, it keeps you full longer)

big salad w/chopped hard-boiled eggs, chunks of turkey or a can of water-packed tuna dumped on it

whole grains--cooked (any you like--bulgur, couscous, etc.) mixed with a can of beans (drain and rinse well), chopped veggies and a homemade vinaigrette--use a serving of healthy oil to make the dressing

ff cottage cheese with a lot of fresh fruit, 2 Wasa crackers (1 pt.)

cook a fillet of fish in the microwave and eat w/any fresh or cooked vegetables

12-03-2006, 01:45 AM
Hi, I have been playing around with the core diet for a few weeks now. I think it just scared me not having to count pts. I'm getting use to it and I don't think I will be going back to counting pts. The core board on Weight Watchers site is a very friendly bunch of people. They have helped me out a lot with core.

12-06-2006, 11:56 PM
i would like to add a little bit more. one of the main reasons for the core program is to help us learn to make healthy food choices. i confess that when i do flex, i repeatedly choose "empty calorie" foods. when i'm working the core plan, i feel better and have more energy. recently, i have been eating mainly core but have been keeping up with my points as well. now that we're home from texas, i'm planning to "go core". while traveling, i fell into my old habits of making poor choices. i'm not happy with myself right now. core is going to help me regain my self-confidence and pride as well as to help me lose weight.

12-07-2006, 06:25 AM
I'm glad some of you wrote in about your experiences here. I very much like your lunch suggestions, Elana. I shall try Bulgar today, maybe. I have some and am not ever sure how to cook it! But, I can maybe find something on line to tell me.
Last night, I did an experiment and I liked the results. My daughter tried what I made and she gave it a thumbs down, though. I purchased polenta at the store, and it came in a plastic tubular shaped package, like a sausage in shape. It's totally core. Someone had told me to slice it really thin and bake in a hot oven to make kind of "crisps" out of it that I could dip in salsa. I didn't want to make crunchy things, I wanted chewy things. So, I sprayed a cookie sheet with olive oil spray and laid out slices of polenta that were about 1/4" in size. I sprayed butter spray over top of them and salted them. Then, I baked them for about a half hour in a low temp over, about 275. They came out like bread, almost. I liked them. I'd almost consider using them to make some sort of sandwich thing with, but I'm not sure what I'd put in them yet.
I'm having a hard time staying on core around the holidays as everywhere I go, there seem to be treats. Flex is better when you have baked goods and can kind of figure some points in with them, but even then treats that people always are bringing to meetings and things like that are just hard to resist in general.

12-07-2006, 09:54 AM
Wow, Linda! That really sounds good!

The first thing I thought of when I read what you made was putting FF refried beans and cheese on top and broiling it, then topping with chopped tomatoes and onions, sort of like a mini tostada. I've never bought the premade polenta but think I might try some now after reading about your experiment.

12-07-2006, 01:12 PM
linda, i thought of ff/rf beans, too. i have used polenta in the past as a bread for sandwiches. here's another suggestion: look over in the dept in your grocery store where they have cornmeal, etc..... you may find bags of polenta there. there are directions on the bags for making polenta. i often add some chopped jalapeno, onions, and/or salsa. what i do is boil the mixture, then i bake it a long time in the oven. (45 min?) (9x11 pan sprayed with pam) after the batch has cooled, i cut it into serving sizes and pkg for the fridge. then i either bake it again or grill it on my pancake griddle when i'm ready to use it.

just some suggestions. i'd love to hear what others are doing.

i've also made the same type thing using cornmeal. it works almost as well.

12-07-2006, 05:07 PM
I saved my leftover polenta slices (I did refrigerate them, but not sure if I'd have to) and ate them alongside my soup at lunch, it made me feel more full and a bit less deprived. I made some turkey soup a week or so ago (Remember turkey day?) and it was all out of CORE ingredients and I froze it in individual portions. It tasted really good today with my polenta toasts... they are kind of like a melba toast, but chewy, and I liked them cold today as well. I tried dunking a piece in the soup, but that was "so-so".
I will try some other variations, I think.
By the way, the same brand of polenta that I purchased comes in a variation with sun-dried tomatoes, I'd have to check to see if that was core or not.

12-07-2006, 09:45 PM
linda, you've made me hungry. :eat: that all sounds good. it's soup weather here in montana for sure.

12-07-2006, 11:28 PM
Linda, I must make a note to get back here to read about your polenta slices. Please keep us informed about your future experiments. I love new recipes! I bought the tube once when I first started Core but it was horrible and vinegary! I assumed it was spoiled and I haven't been able to make myself try it again. Was it kind of like a chewy dumpling thingy? I'm craving dumplings pretty bad. I'm thinking about trying to make a farina dumpling like my Mom used to make. They were delicious but I'm guessing they require butter or margarine. Yumo! Can you tell I've been watching RR?

12-07-2006, 11:32 PM
okay, vickie, now i'm hungry for dumplings, too. :lol: is farina core? what is farina anyway?

12-07-2006, 11:36 PM
It's Core.....please don't tell me it's not! I've been feeling insecure lately because I haven't checked my books in a million years.'s Core. It's like Cream of Wheat but it's called Farina. It's the one with the baby on the front. I've been eating it since I was a teeny tiny child. It was the cereal that my Mom fixed me when I was sick or cold to the bone.

12-08-2006, 06:38 AM
I like Cream of Wheat, so Farina would probably be good as well.
I found something else that I am going to try out so I can report it to you all, not sure if I'll have time today or not, but it will be soon.
My daughter has a school assignment, and it's an odd ball one. She and a partner have to produce a three course meal from the time period of Woodrow Wilson's presidency (which began in something like 1911). I was helping her research the project on line as she has been very bogged down with homework. I found out Wilson was president at the time the Titanic sank, and the menus of the least meal are posted on line, so I was able to find an entree' that was served to first class passengers the last night, before the sinking.
Now, the interesting part of this story is that I have a cook book on hand that is from the Thomas Jefferson house (Mt. Veron) and decided to go through that for a little while, as it has a few recipes and chats about food served during Jefferson's time. I figured there might be something there for use, even though his presidency was earlier. I find a recipe for crackers that appear to be made out of oatmeal, all CORE.
So, I will try to make these crackers and see how they work out. I'm sure "up" for crackers. One of my problems with CORE is that I miss my breads and crackers. WW is giving out materials for the newly revised CORE and Flex plans this upcoming week and I hope that there might be a few crackers or breads that are allowed now, that would be fabulous. But, I doubt it. I have heard that there is more leniancy to vegetarian foods, such as meat substitutes and things like that, but they are not necessarily in my diet.
At any rate, if we had a good cracker to eat that was tasty and it was totally CORE, I can envision adding garilc, herbs (to make like a Borsan (sp?) cheese) and salt to FF cream cheese and making a spread to go on top of them. Imagine having crackers and a cheese spread that was CORE over the holiday season? That would truly help out during those holiday parties, if it was tasty. It would have to be tasty, though. We would also have to remember to not overeat, as even if it is CORE we have to portion control!

12-08-2006, 09:30 AM
Linda, have you ever tried to make these FF cheese crackers? My Niece posted this recipe a million years ago. I was with her when she made them and they INDEED did stink up MY kitchen when we let them cook too long. But, when made correctly they were kind of crunchy and would have passed for "chips". I try not to make stuff like this because I have NO control over chip anything. You may enjoy them!
I have a cheese cracker recipe that is all CORE. I found it when I was doing the Suzanne Somers Somersize diet for about five minutes! I made them this weekend and they were pretty darn good!!

Take a sheet of wax paper big enough to sit at the bottom of your microwave and spray it with Pam. Put about a tablespoon of FF cheese of any kind in different spots on the wax paper. Place in microwave and cook for about a minute 40 to a minute 50 seconds until the cheese is melted and starting to get brown. Don't let it get too brown or it will smell really bad! When it's done, let it sit for a minute or two and then you will have cheese crackers that are crunchy and are a fabulous vehicle for eating salsa or any kind of CORE dip. You can make them and keep them in a tupperware container in your fridge for about a week or so! I was so excited to actually be eating something crunchy - it was a great snack!!!

12-08-2006, 04:02 PM
What has helped me is to get over the idea that desserts, high fat and sugary and/or salty foods are treats - they are doing damage to my body and I picture them smoothering my organs in layers of fat. Once you get away from them they don't even taste good anymore. I've been Core since it came out and love it. I do hard core.

12-08-2006, 04:09 PM
Hmmmm...Susan, I'll have to work on that mindset! It certainly is true.

12-11-2006, 09:35 AM
The cheese crackers sound interesting, I might try them at some point. I miss my desserts, but the sugar free fat free Jello pudding (chocolate!) made with ff milk is a pretty good substitute. I do use occasional flex points for a WW ice cream cone - 2 points.
I haven't tried the oat crackers yet, but maybe today.
I will report on them when I do try them and share the recipe if they are good. I want to try the basic recipe, but imagine one could add onion or garlic powder and herbs to them.

12-11-2006, 10:03 AM
They are weird, Linda. They really do come out cruncy enough to hold salsa or dig in dip with.

12-12-2006, 09:43 AM
Just a quick report in, today is weigh in and we shall see if I am adjusting well to being on CORE or not over the few weeks since Thanksgiving.
I have had some non-core foods, but I really don't know if I've exceeded my 35 flex points for the week or not and I am trying to be more "free" with myself and revert to CORE foods whenever it is possible for me to do so.
We normally eat out once or twice a week and during this last week, I didn't, and that might help with weigh in.
Eating out is wonderful and there are a few places I just love going to, but it totally throws off my weight, I think. I even feel that it's the sodium in some of the foods.
For a period of time when I was on the flex plan in the fall, every time I'd have Chinese food and knew I had plenty of flex points to allow it, my weight would go up. I swear it's the sodium in that stuff that throws my weight totally off.
At least I feel thinner today, even if the scale doesn't say so it's a nice feeling.

12-12-2006, 10:29 AM
Linda, I hope you measured yourself when you started Core. Even if you didn't, you'll feel it in your clothes. I didn't measure myself and I wish I had. There were weeks that I didn't lose much but I knew that I was smaller.

I ate out often when I was losing and did great. It's very hard to be vigilant enough to make sure that they prepare the food the Core way.

Great luck at weigh in today. Let us know how you do.

12-12-2006, 11:32 AM
What a good reminder, Vickie. Nobody sees the number on our scale, but they can see how our clothes fit (or don't fit, as the case may be).

Good luck on your weigh in, Linda! Here are a few lucky Core blinks for you! ;) ;) ;)

12-12-2006, 04:33 PM
farina is like cream of wheat? awesome!! vickie, i posted to you on this week's thread about the fall muffins. we love them. they're made with cream of wheat.

linda, let us know how wi went. ;) ;) ;)

i agree with kathy. that's a great reminder. also, i think we need to take "as is" photos along our journey.

gotta go. we're going for massages. (i know. we had them last week. we're spoiling ourselves today. tomorrow we'll be more thrifty.)

12-12-2006, 08:50 PM
Hi guys!
No, I didn't measure myself when I started, but I should have. My clothing is fitting much better, though, and my rings sometimes feel loose!
I lost a pound this week, not bad considering that I did have an ice cream sundae on Saturday afternoon and really wasn't counting my non-core foods all that much, just making sure that I was eating mainly core foods throughout each day and only including a few other foods.
So, I am pleased, I was on a plateau for a very long time before switching to CORE. I am getting used to some of the weird things about it, like not having breads, but am making breads my flex point type of additions for the most past, but not each day.
I just posted on a new thread about the new plan changes WW has made about CORE and I have to say that I am a bit annoyed with the program changes. I get why they did it, but the in between meal snack restriction and having to use flex points if you have something other than on that list is kind of crazy. I'll probably go on as I have been for the most part. I have not been having huge in between meal snacks all along.
By the way, when I was on flex, I was journaling all the time and on some weeks I wasn't using all of my 35 flex points and my weight was still plateaued. On some weeks, I would do everything right and would either stay the same or even gain a little. It was so boring and awful. If I hadn't switched to CORE, I probably would have stopped WW completely as I couldn't take it any more. All the time and effort journaling and tracking and behaving myself was getting me nowhere.
No, finally, something has clicked with CORE and I am losing again and now these plan changes that make it MORE restrictive are quite disheartening. I really think I will probably remain on the current CORE instead of the new CORE plan.
I'm wondering if you all have the new plan and what you think of it?

12-13-2006, 12:27 AM
Congratulations, Linda on breaking through the plateau with Core! I have my materials but confess that I've been too busy to really read them and compare to see what's different. As I said on the other post, I'm going to hang with what I've been doing until we get the final word. My snacks are usually fruit and skim mixed together into a smoothie...oh yeah...with SF/FF pudding. I am NOT counting points for that! Not yet anyway.

12-13-2006, 06:55 AM
Vicki, sounds like you are on the right track for YOU, I think that is important to recognize. I have heard people discuss the CORE plan, and their failure with it, at meetings sometimes. For some people, it gives them a "green light" to just eat CORE foods non-stop all day and not portion control themselves. I've not been that way, and I don't think you have either.
I don't think I would count 1/2 cup of FF cottage cheese, mid afternoon as flex points. If you were following the new plan, exactly, you would have to do that, even if it's a core food. If you had a WW Smoothie (very expensive) they wouldn't have you count is as flex points. Both, to me, offer similar calories and nutrition.
I think they are trying to create an awareness of in between meal snacking and how it can sabotage losses, but if you have been very good with regard to that anyway, and are comfortable (and losing) with the current plan, then stay with it.

12-13-2006, 10:06 AM
I just can't believe the snacking guidelines are changed like that and they didn't mention it anywhere on the Online version. Here's what I mean.

It says:
For meals, choose from the Core Food List - as much as you need to feel satisfied:
Lean meats
Fat-free dairy

Well, that's not ALL! What about whole wheat pasta, brown rice, black or pinto beans?? Apparently when they list those four categories, they're not intending that to be all you can choose from for meals, but instead just giving a few examples.

So likewise, then, I see this:
For snacks, choose from the following. Or spend some of the 35 POINTS® values from your weekly POINTS Allowance.
Fat-free milk
Fruits and veggies
Weight Watchers Fruities
Air popped (or 94% fat-free microwave) popcorn

I interpreted that to mean that those things were also a sampling of what you could choose from. And now I'm a little confused, but I think I'm doing like everyone else and stick with the "old plan" for a while. I can't see the harm in that at all.

As for portion control, I have the opposite problem as most people. If I don't keep up with it, I won't eat enough. That's why I've continued to either write it down or use the Plan Manager in the e-tools to continue to journal. It's a habit that I have a hard time breaking anyway because I need to see, in black and white, what I'm doing.

12-13-2006, 10:56 AM
Kathy, I'll try to interpret here. I asked specifically and clarified it with my leader.
The list you quoted is accurate, but you didn't mention WW smoothies that are on the list as well. From what I understand, if you eat something from that listing between meals you don't have to count it as flex points.
If you eat anything else, core or not, in between meals you must count it towards your 35 flex points. So, if I had a slice of leftover chicken or a small bowl of oatmeal mid afternoon, they would count towards my 35 flex points, as they are NOT on that very specific listing of allowed snacks.
WW smoothies are accepted as in between meal snacks, yet if I take a cup of fat free yogurt (plain) and put it in my blender with a few ice cubes and a half banana, I'd have to count the points for the yogurt unless it was eaten at mealtime.
A slice of leftover chicken, for example, is protein and maybe one or two points, equal to the points of the popcorn, correct? However, there is some kind of verbiage in there now about density of foods and to choose foods with a better density level. For example, they show you an equal amount of raisins and grapes in terms of calories, the raisins are more dense and less filling and for the same amount of points you could have an entire cup full of grapes. They want you to choose the grapes, of course.
Getting back to my own yogurt, ice and banana concoction, though, I'd have to count a point or two (whatever it works out to) for the yogurt as it is a non accepted in between meal snack. It sure limits us.
I hope I was able to make that more clear for you. I really left my meeting yesterday bummed out by this. I'm doing OK as I have been, though, maybe if I followed these new recommendations my weight loss would be more accelerated, but I truly want variety as well as freedom - why I chose to be on CORE in the first place as I see more freedom than flex.
I really want to hear more opinions of this new program.

12-13-2006, 11:26 AM
That's where the confusion comes in. Smoothies aren't listed (although I've heard it from everyone and saw it elsewhere on the site). I posted the list EXACTLY as it is on the website for online memberships.

I'm trying to attach the page.

12-13-2006, 11:39 AM
Now let's see ...

Ugh! Nevermind!

I'm sending you a PM ...

12-13-2006, 11:47 AM
Here is the text from the page. Maybe this will work:

On the Core Plan, you control calories by focusing your eating on a list of wholesome, nutritious foods. Since the foods on the list were carefully selected to support weight loss, there’s no need to keep track of how much or which foods you eat.

Here’s how it works:
For meals, choose from the Core Food List - as much as you need to feel satisfied:
Lean meats
Fat-free dairy

For snacks, choose from the following. Or spend some of the 35 POINTS® values from your weekly POINTS Allowance.
Fat-free milk
Fruits and veggies
Weight Watchers Fruities
Air popped (or 94% fat-free microwave) popcorn

Learn to recognize and respond to your body’s signals of hunger and satisfaction.
Learn the basics of healthy eating with the Good Health Guidelines.

I think I'll start a new thread for discussion about the changes.

12-13-2006, 06:12 PM
Kathy, I find that interesting that the Smoothies are not mentioned as they are VERY clear on that in the booklets we got.
I think a new thread is a good idea.

12-19-2006, 04:00 PM
Not much action here at all, I'm wondering if everyone is busy making holiday plans and foods and not worrying about WW quite so much?
I'm worrying, but I know I will take a few days off. I look forward to those days and also look forward to having a "clean kitchen" again when all this debauchery is over.

12-19-2006, 04:17 PM
Linda, we hang out daily/weekly on our Core Chat thread. Come see us. It's where we are all complaining and fretting about baking and the holidays and OUR dirty kitchens. We creat a new thread once a week so that it doesn't get too long for those on dial up. I'll go get the link for you.

12-19-2006, 04:18 PM
Linda, here we are!