4

votes

Has anyone here ever tried Paleo combined with Weight Watchers?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 05, 2011 at 4:13 AM

I have a lot of weight to lose and while I'm feeling great on paleo, my weight isn't really budging. I think I need to eat less and I'm craving the structure Of weight watcher's meetings, weigh-ins (accountability,) and points system. I just signed up with the intention of continuing to eat 100% paleo but using their tracking system, etc. The program is a lot more low carb friendly than it used to be (though it's still Fat phobic but I'll just continue to use my Grassfed ghee and coconut oil and take the penalty.

Has anyone ever tried this? Obviously I'm going to have to keep my mouth shut when they recommend canola oil and low fat crap but I feel like I can filter it out easily since much of the program is focusing on "real foods" these days.

What say you?

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on May 05, 2013
at 05:47 PM

I lost all my excess weight while on Weight Watchers, in the days before my "ancestral health education." I ALWAYS ate all my weekly points, activity points, and sometimes went over. It was honestly the weeks I went a little over, thinking I wouldn't lose, that I actually lost the most. After about 6 months, Weight Watchers proved to be too calorie restrictive for me. Since their points allotments don't calculate for lean body tissue (which I have a lot of), I was under-eating, even while eating all my available points. If I was to do it over, I'd eat more calories/points from the get-go.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:30 PM

As a nursing Mom myself, I might question the idea that you're eating too much. Have you considered that you're not eating enough? Have you made sure you're eating a good amount of fat and have you tried a strict "Whole 30" style approach to paleo? Personally, I'd go that route before I paid the money to listen to the WW leaders extoll the virtues of fake food. (This coming from a 39 year old woman who joined WW the first time when she was in 8th grade...)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:06 PM

Hahaha, I am SO predictable. I'm shocked I've never heard it before.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Melissa, I *knew* you'd like that one. ;D

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:23 PM

*\o/* "You can't manage what you don't measure." - - LOVE IT!

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I've thought about trying WW while eating Paleo/Primal, but nixed the idea in a big hurry, for the same reason - I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut when they started talking about fat-free dairy and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and the "three teaspoons of essential oils" you must have daily. Three teaspoons! And they don't mean coconut, either.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:25 PM

I should add that the first 30+ days I was eating between 50-100g carbs day and much more protein. I was losing weight slowly and it helped me prepare myself for later tweeks. I never felt deprived in any way, so maybe the best way is to eat super healthy in amts to satisfy you, then later as you feel good and feel ready, start tweeking calories, fats, proteins, carbs.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:39 AM

Just wanted to mention that a friend of mine who eats low carb goes to meetings and does weigh ins but doesn't discuss her food choices. Seems like a waste of time to sit through someone talking about how great low fat is but she loves it. So, you can still go and weigh and be with others trying to lose weight. Just don't tell them what you're eating or you'll be mighty sorry.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Gotcha, that certainly does hurt the sleep cycle. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. But I'd still spend the time you'd spend at a meeting taking a nap instead. I bet it helps more. :)

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Well, I'm exclusively nursing a 5 month old baby ad he interrupts my sleep. Hahaha so, no, I don't get good sleep but it's Not for lack of trying or natural ability. :-)

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13 Answers

best answer

3
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on May 05, 2011
at 04:56 AM

I posted about my experience recently. Using their new calculator I could only eat about 800 calories a day to stay within my points. They just do NOT like fat of any kind is seems. I can't see a way to make it work with the points system. What about the Core program? No points and an emphasis on "natural" foods. You could probably make that work.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:39 AM

Just wanted to mention that a friend of mine who eats low carb goes to meetings and does weigh ins but doesn't discuss her food choices. Seems like a waste of time to sit through someone talking about how great low fat is but she loves it. So, you can still go and weigh and be with others trying to lose weight. Just don't tell them what you're eating or you'll be mighty sorry.

best answer

3
62f354c72aae8bd8f641ada886d583a2

on May 05, 2011
at 03:29 PM

The new points system is slightly more friendly to whole foods but not to fats. I was doing WW last year when the new program was rolled out. I tried thier low fat crap even though I knew it was WRONG but I was desperate. I felt like crap so I went back to eating traditional foods/WAPF style and kept using their system. It helped me keep track of what I was eating and I liked the accountability. One nice thing is that since all non-starchy veggies and fruits are zero points you can use the rest of the points on fats and protein. I think it can work but you really have to keep your mouth shut at meetings ;) I have also heard others suggest that if you want to use their sytem do not count healthy fats in your points, but that kind of defeats the purpose of keeping track.

I started my whole family on a primal/paleo lifestyle yesterday and I am using fitday.com to log my food (not being real precise though) just to get an idea of ratios and stuff. It took me about 20 minutes to log my days food yesterday and it really helped me to see where I might want to improve today.

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:23 PM

I had been on Weight Watchers for almost two years when I discovered Mark Sisson's website and Weston Price's research. I did both (WW & primal eating) for about five months or six months. I ate primal foods (including dairy) but kept within my points. I got skinnier, but I wasn't eating enough fat, so I was always hungry. I eventually switched my tracking tools (from WW to MyNetDiary) and I realized that I was only getting 900-1000 calories per day.

I think it's fine (and for some people even recommended) to track what you're eating; but do it with a more paleo goal, such as:

  1. keep carbs within an appropriate limit (depending on your activity level and state of insulin sensitivity)
  2. keep protein within an appropriate limit (depending on your gender; women seem to do better with lower protein)
  3. get enough fat

Additionally, try to eat to control hormones. In other words, keep carbs to meals that occur just after working out. Go low carb on rest days. Avoid sugar-cheats before bed (they'll hurt the quality of your sleep and you'll crave sweet more the next day).

Finally, here my favourite quote regarding food intake:

"You can't manage what you don't measure."

So track to your heart's content!

P.S. After doing both for five months, I had to stop going to meetings. I was getting too riled up listening to them recommend crap!!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 05:06 PM

Hahaha, I am SO predictable. I'm shocked I've never heard it before.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Melissa, I *knew* you'd like that one. ;D

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:23 PM

*\o/* "You can't manage what you don't measure." - - LOVE IT!

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I've thought about trying WW while eating Paleo/Primal, but nixed the idea in a big hurry, for the same reason - I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut when they started talking about fat-free dairy and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and the "three teaspoons of essential oils" you must have daily. Three teaspoons! And they don't mean coconut, either.

4
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:20 AM

I've never liked the weight watcher's point system. If you're going to that much trouble why not just count calories? Use a site like livestrong.com - they even have iphone/blackberry apps to make it really convenient.

It's obviously up to you, but since you asked, I'd say not to bother.

I'd also wager that unless you have an endocrine system problem, you can eat unweighed/unmeasured paleo and lose weight, as long as you're getting enough sleep, some exercise, and you're not eating too much fruit. If all that's ok, there's probably something else screwing you up, and calorie counting might help reveal it...you might be undereating. I don't see how you're going to work backwards if all you have to go on is weightwatcher's points though.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Well, I'm exclusively nursing a 5 month old baby ad he interrupts my sleep. Hahaha so, no, I don't get good sleep but it's Not for lack of trying or natural ability. :-)

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Gotcha, that certainly does hurt the sleep cycle. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. But I'd still spend the time you'd spend at a meeting taking a nap instead. I bet it helps more. :)

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:30 PM

As a nursing Mom myself, I might question the idea that you're eating too much. Have you considered that you're not eating enough? Have you made sure you're eating a good amount of fat and have you tried a strict "Whole 30" style approach to paleo? Personally, I'd go that route before I paid the money to listen to the WW leaders extoll the virtues of fake food. (This coming from a 39 year old woman who joined WW the first time when she was in 8th grade...)

2
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 05, 2013
at 07:21 PM

Weight Watchers is a corporation with a mission - to keep its stockholders happy and wealthy. That means keeping people coming back to meetings. That means keeping them overweight. Yes, weight can be lost, but the paradigm is one of weight loss/ minimal maintenance/ weight gain/ return to Weight Watchers meetings. The plan works well enough to get people to lose, but is so low fat that thyroid and other metabolic problems inevitably result when eating like that long term. Like another commenter, my first WW meeting was when I was a child, and my mother was a lifetime member - losing and gaining and always needing to go back for "accountability" It is a rigged game and you are destined to lose - but not the weight you want to lose.

So if you are going to follow paleo principles, why do you want to support such a corporation? It stands for everything the paleo/primal world is against! Better to learn how to be accountable to YOURSELF, to have a set of core values that include self respect and the strength to figure it out via your own n=1 experimentation. It seems like paying to go to a meeting so that you can keep your mouth shut about what you are "really" doing is not accountability. It's strangely dishonest. Yes, this is an old thread, but this option of doing both weight watchers and paleo is something I imagine many new to paleo eating might want to try to keep a foot in both worlds.

Better to dive in and learn REAL accountability without the corporate weight loss "net"

2
E61e6ef528d7293f9232eecc18807f0c

on December 15, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Yes you can, I am paleo/primal and use weight watchers losing 102 lbs since 2006. I eat fattier foods use butter and just plain and simple count the points as norm with weight watchers. Weight Watchers idea is to let people eat as they are led to eat following some basic healthy food guidelines. Primal paleo is healthy dropping the grains works for me and my wife who has lost 145lbs by the way using our paleo/primal ww plan.

1
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:01 PM

Yes, I tried it recently over december january. It just didn't jive well for me because they have so many resources for recipes food and menu planning, but they ALWAYS include grains and dairy at almost every meal. And Also as someone else said not fat friendly. It was just tearing me in two different directions when I knew I wanted to be paleo so I stopped my subscription.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on May 05, 2011
at 02:58 PM

What are you looking for from Weight Watchers?

If you do best with the type of system that requires weigh ins in public and you like the accountability of that, you can probably adapt their Core System to work for you.

If you are just looking for structure, you can probably do that yourself with calorie counting and logging your food on-line at any of the free calculators, like Fitday or Livestrong.

The key to using counting for weight loss is to find your baseline and reduce the calories from there. I suggest tracking for 2 weeks to find out what you are eating now and then reduce it my about 10-15%. This should provide enough of a deficit to see some weight loss.

From that point, you can start looking at the ratios of fat, protein and carbs. Again, I suggest seeing what your baseline is and then adjusting from there. If you are typically eating 100 or so carbs a day, drop it to 75 grams and see what happens. If you aren't full enough, add some fat.

The key is self-experimentation and giving each change enough of a chance to work before giving up and tweaking something else.

If you just want to jump in with some numbers. A great starting point is 1500-1800 calories and keeping your ratios at 50% fat / 30% protein / 20% fat. Many Paleos are eating a lot more fat, but starting off it's best to inch that number upward to what you are comfortable with.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I was going to suggest something similar to Annies answer, why not do Paleo/Primal but dont use the WW tracking, use fitday.com--with this site you can still be accountable, go to the meetings, keep quiet about your eating habits and enjoy the structure of the meetings.

I think it might take some time to figure out how many grams, number calories you need to loose weight slowly and what your %'s work out to on fitday, but once you get what works for you, I'm sure you'll see weight coming off.

Everyone's different so its hard to plug in a perfect number. From my trials I keep my carbs below 50g per day, protein at about max 25% to induce ketosis and the rest good fats. I have steadily been melting excess fat (about 25lbs now since mid Jan)

I've never done weight watchers so maybe the most challenging for you is 'forgetting' about what they have taught you and try something different. Good luck!!!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:25 PM

I should add that the first 30+ days I was eating between 50-100g carbs day and much more protein. I was losing weight slowly and it helped me prepare myself for later tweeks. I never felt deprived in any way, so maybe the best way is to eat super healthy in amts to satisfy you, then later as you feel good and feel ready, start tweeking calories, fats, proteins, carbs.

1
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:44 AM

I don't think it will work. If it's the structure you are craving, eating Paleo foods on their points system will necessarily put you way over on your points, which won't fit into the structure you are looking for. If you try to stay within their points system, then you will not be getting enough fat to keep from being hungry. Lose-lose. Why not just eat low-carb Paleo and track everything on Fitday or Livestrong so you can have some structure?

0
142d7e06e608cff536ab78e6ca78ce38

on May 06, 2013
at 02:10 AM

I agree with many of the comments above. I did weight watchers years ago after having 3 children, initially it did work. The problem with weight watchers when you calculate your points they take into account the fat content so it makes the points really high. As suggested its best to count your calories if you are wanting to lose weight. First you need to find out how much you should be eating and make sure you track everything you eat, its been proven many times that most people underestimate.

Good luck.

0
F3390ebc2cf8289140a8978798db9b5e

on May 05, 2013
at 03:44 PM

On my fourth week of WW and modified paleo. Modified meaning that I am eating cheeses. It is working great for me so far, 10#'s down and not experiencing hunger. I too need the accountability and am hoping to fine tune my diet into a lifestyle I can live with.

0
920136e4a82348ca7e63bbb081569980

on February 24, 2012
at 05:22 PM

I know this is an old thread, but maybe this will still be relevant... I'm doing Weight Watchers while eating paleo right now and the other day I decided to input everything I had eaten into fitday to see how different it was. Turns out, I'm eating just about 100 calories less than what is ideal. But, that was a comparison of one day so I don't know if that varies. I love being able to track points and not have to measure every vegetable I eat to get the calories right. That's why I am doing WW, but the problem is that I feel like I'm starving by the end of every day (this is true when I've counted calories too). I'm dipping into the extra weekly points every day and will probably have to start taking activity points too. I notice too that WW seems to have a fear of fats still, but I thought they formulated the point value based on the rate the body digests a macronutrient (or something along that line), so wouldn't it make sense that fats would have a higher value then? If you are cutting calories eating Paleo, you are going to end up cutting fat.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on May 05, 2013
at 05:47 PM

I lost all my excess weight while on Weight Watchers, in the days before my "ancestral health education." I ALWAYS ate all my weekly points, activity points, and sometimes went over. It was honestly the weeks I went a little over, thinking I wouldn't lose, that I actually lost the most. After about 6 months, Weight Watchers proved to be too calorie restrictive for me. Since their points allotments don't calculate for lean body tissue (which I have a lot of), I was under-eating, even while eating all my available points. If I was to do it over, I'd eat more calories/points from the get-go.

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