NOTE: The Core Plan no longer exists as such! We are keeping this info up for those of you who liked the old plan and wish to continue using it instead of switching to Momentum.
I thought we could use an updated "basic info" thread, to help anyone considering starting the Core plan. Please feel free to add your thoughts or let me know if I have something wrong!
Weight Watchers' Core Plan consists of two basic concepts: a Core food list and a satisfaction rating scale. The idea is that you focus on Core foods for each of your meals and snacks, eat until you are satisfied, and stop. Eat when you are hungry, don't let yourself get too hungry, and stop before you get too full. Sounds easy, right?
So what are Core foods?
It’s actually pretty intuitive – potatoes are Core, French fries are not. 94% ff microwave popcorn or air-popped is Core, movie theater popcorn is not. Fruits and vegetables are Core, but syrup-packed, sweetened, buttered, or otherwise altered fruits and vegetables generally are not. Juices are also not Core. Things that aren’t Core generally fall under the category “too easy to overdo,” like cookies, bread, sweet cereal, etc. (Unfortunately we cannot post the Core foods list here, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask.)
That being said, you can, in theory, eat whatever you want. If you want to eat something non-Core, you do have to count points for it. You get 35 points per week to spend on non-Core foods. This can be for when you can’t avoid eating out, or when you want a glass of wine with dinner, or a slice of toast with breakfast. Use them how you choose. You do not have to use all of them, but you should try not to use more than the 35.
To figure out points for the non-core items you choose, find the cals, fiber, and fat in whatever you eat, then plug those values into either a WW points calculator, the paper slider you get at registration, or the calculator you can find on the WW eTools website.
Something that is going to feel strange at first is that you don’t have portion sizes and measurements to keep track of (except for non-Core foods). You can eat however much of Core foods as you want, until you are satisfied
. Your goal is to try to keep yourself between “just a little hungry” and “satisfied/not hungry at all” by eating regularly in reasonable amounts. You may think you can't trust yourself at first with this, if you are used to portion-controlled eating programs, but it will probably come pretty naturally to you when you put it into practice.
The only caveat to 'eat as much of a Core food as you want'
: You should limit yourself to potatoes OR rice OR pasta for one meal a day. If you want a baked potato for lunch, go right ahead, but that means you cannot have rice or pasta or potato for dinner that day. You can, however, have other kinds of grains such as barley or quinoa. People don’t tend to overdose on barley. (You could in theory have a potato for lunch and rice for dinner, but you’d have to count points for the dinner rice.)
: You can earn back your weekly points for non-Core foods through activity. Grab your points calculator, paper slider, or log into eTools, plug in your activity for the day into the Activity Points calculator, and that’s how many points you get back. So if you eat 5 points of non-Core food in a day and earn 3 activity points through exercise, you only have to count 2 towards your weekly 35. Make sense? Some people don’t bother with APs but personally I want to eat as much as I can and still lose so I use them.
And that's about it! If that sounds good to you, head on over to weightwatchers.com and sign up, or find a meeting to join, and stay with us here at 3FC for support!