Mindful Monday – on Tuesday: Fruit… How Much Should We Eat?

I subscribe to Martha’s newsletter from her blog, simple-nourished-living.com.

Martha has been a source of Weight Watchers inspiration and guidance for me and I hope you will enjoy the information below. I copied her email to share with all of you.

Healty eating

Doing your best is more important that being the best.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Hi Colleen,

Hope your week is getting off to a great start.

Today, I’m answering a question about fruit I get asked a lot. I hope you find it helpful!

Q: Hi Martha, Have you heard about certain fruit that is particularly unhealthy to eat? I love eating fruit whether fresh or cooked. But I have read that bananas, pineapple, melons, and grapes are counter-intuitive to you losing weight. They should only be eaten rarely so I am trying to cut back on eating them. Has this been discussed within the WW community or meetings? – A Fruit Lover

A: Hi Fruit Lover, Yes, fruit can be a hot topic within the WW community.

But first, a disclaimer: What I’m about to share is ONLY my personal opinion and not officially endorsed by WW. I’m not connected with Weight Watchers at all beyond being an active lifetime member.

When I look at the history of the WW diet, I find it fascinating.

As an example, let’s look at the history of a banana on Weight Watchers, since I think it helps explain why fruit has become such a contentious topic…

The original WW plan (1960s) was very, very restrictive. Bananas, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and dried fruit were considered “illegal.” (Yes, foods were categorized as “legal” and “illegal” in the early years.) You were allowed 3 servings of fruit a day with a serving being 1/2 cup.

Later with the exchange approach, which was the plan, I lost my weight on, 2-3 servings of fruit per day, including the previously “illegal” ones were allowed. Half a medium banana or 10 grapes were considered “one serving.”

When Points was introduced in the mid 1990s, it much more closely approximated calorie counting, so both an Oreo and a banana cost you 2 points. The responsibility was on you to incorporate the plan’s “good health guideline” and eat a balanced diet.

I can remember being at WW meetings where members would say they weren’t going to “waste” 2 points on a banana when they could have a snack pack of cookies instead!

Weight Watchers caught a lot of flack from the health community for this and so fruits became 0 points with the introduction of PointsPlus. The motivation was to encourage eating fruits and vegetables because most Americans don’t get enough. I fully support this.

However, some members really struggled transitioning from Points to PointsPlus because they began overeating fruit. I think this is still an issue for some people.

I remember reading a column in WW magazine by it’s former CEO, David Kirchhoff, explaining that “0” isn’t the same as “free” and while you could have success on the plan eating a banana, it didn’t mean you could eat a whole bunch of them. This is especially true the closer you get to your goal weight when you only have a small amount of weight to lose.

Personally, I love bananas and eat one most days. I know other WWs who feel they are “fattening” and avoid them. I’ve even been in meetings with folks who were eating 5-6 bananas a day.

What I like about the WeightWatchers program is that it provides a framework that allows for individuality.

Instead of “points,” I still tend to think in terms of “servings,” so I usually limit myself to 2-3 servings of fruit and 2-3 servings of bread/starch a day, which seems to work well for me.

You’ve really got to experiment to find what works best for you.

Hope this helps!!

Your Cook Yourself Slim Friend,

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healthy livingThanks for stopping by! ❤