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Health & Food

Ten Fruits a Day? Not So Smart

I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Weight Watchers. I’ve actually learned about it just by talking to my own clients who follow the program. I did read about the new points system when it was first announced earlier this year, but I didn’t go much further than reading the handful of articles that were published. I have a hard time having faith in a program that does not hire dietitians to help each of their clients. Every client of mine will tell me that they have never talked to an actual dietitian at Weight Watchers, but instead they talk to people who are past Weight Watcher successes. Maybe this isn’t always the case, I don’t know.

Below is a list of reasons why “Weight Watchers Works”, taken directly from their website.

I do believe that they have done thorough research to create their new guidelines, as is indicated above with the “Latest Science” bullet,but I’m afraid I have to disagree with the concept that anyone trying to lose weight, and maintain a healthy weight, should be able to “enjoy fruits and most vegetables until satisfied”. This may sound like a swell idea, but when a client of mine told me she was eating ten fruits a day, and that her instructor told her to cut it down to eight, I about had a heart attack. EIGHT?! Try two to three.

Source: iStock Photo

I won’t try to explain my reasons why this amount of fruit is bad, because I found a dietitian online who has already explained the reasons; here. While fruits are extremely good for you, and certainly a better source of sugar than let’s say, a candy bar, it’s still sugar! And, they are still calories.To allow someone to count fruit as a “free food” when they are trying to lose/maintain weight (and oftentimes still struggling with some type of food and/or sugar addiction) is simply absurd.

After talking with my client for about an hour I put her on a plan that included more protein and less fruit (she agreed to go down to two or three servings). I also told her that when she does eat fruit it’s best to pair it with some type of protein, such as nuts, nut butter, cheese or Greek yogurt. The protein will help prevent a large spike in blood sugar and will also help keep her full longer.

Instead of a cup of cooked apples…..

I suggested apples and peanut butter or Swiss cheese. She told me she wasn’t doing that currently because nuts, nut butter, cheese, and yogurts were not free. In my opinion, a cup of plain Greek yogurt or a slice of Swiss cheese would be more beneficial than an unlimited amount of apples (or any fruit), in terms of weight loss. Am I crazy?

Bottom Line: I like that Weight Watchers now counts fruits and veggies as free foods, as I know this will cause people to increase their intake of fruits and veggies, however, there needs to be a limit on the fruit, just as their is on starchy vegetables.

But don’t worry fruit, I still love you!

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the unlimited amount of fruits now allowed on the Weight Watchers plan?

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