As I mentioned in Physical Fitness Program 2021-05, the stress eating of the pandemic caused me to put on a good 10 pounds. I was already a little bit over where I wanted to be.
In response, I've started on the WW Purple plan, with the goal of getting under 160 lbs. I've used WW in the past, along with several other weight loss methods. They all work effectively. Some are more nutritionally balanced than others.
The main difficulty with weight loss is sustaining it. Every time I lose weight, I regain it, sometimes frighteningly fast. But I've reached an age where I really need to keep it off, because it's getting harder to lose.
I've essentially lost the same 15-20 lbs. repeatedly over the decades. Now my goal is to lose it and keep it off, learning from the mistakes of the past.
What's different this time? This time I'm focusing on permanent dietary changes, not just being "on plan" and then going "off plan" when I've hit my goal.
It's that "off plan" part that's always the problem, where I no longer maintain the discipline and dietary restrictions that enabled me to lose. You might say "wild abandon" in some cases, since I have what could be considered an addictive response to sugar.
What I like about WW is that it's extremely flexible. You can literally eat anything, as long as you manage the portions and track it so that you stay within overall limits.
WW assigns "points" to each food (these days called "smart points") based on nutritional information. Some foods are zero points ("free foods"), in order to encourage you to favor these over others.
In general, the free foods are very much eat-the-rainbow choices, emphasizing high-fiber, low-Glycemic Index (GI), low-sugar, low-fat, highly nutritious foods. Just because a food is free doesn't mean you can eat unlimited amounts; you need to maintain portion control.
WW offers three color-coded programs, Green, Blue, and Purple. Each one has a progressively lower points limit, and larger free foods list, allowing you to choose based on personal preference and self-discipline.
I've already made some long-term changes that are consistent with WW, especially with the Purple free foods, by focusing on a primarily plant-based diet.
I'm also using two books for primary guidance:
- Jim Kwik's Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life (see my review), in which he lists his top 10 "brain foods".
- Dr. Uma Naidoo's This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensible Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.
- Dark chocolate
- Green leafy vegetables
- Salmon, sardines, caviar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Baked potatoes with the skin on
- Black-eyed peas
- Brazil nuts
- Brown rice
- Canola oil (rather than plain vegetable oil)
- Chia seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
- Dark chocolate
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Green tea (contains polyphenols)
- Lean beef
- Nut butters
- Olive oil
- Oregano (active ingredient carvacrol)
- Organ meats
- Pearl barley
- Peppers (active ingredient capsaicin)
- Pickled vegetables
- Pumpkin seeds
- Red wine
- Steel cut oats
- Sunflower seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Turmeric (black pepper significantly increases the absorption of the active ingredient curcumin)
- Wheat germ oil
- Whole grains (including whole grain breads)