Simply Filling Technique

Most people who think about Weight Watchers automatically associate it with the patented system it is most well known for – PointsPlus (formerly Points). It’s a system of counting Points instead of calories and you are given a certain number each day and extras to use throughout the week. But did you know there’s a whole different vein of the Weight Watchers system?

Simply Filling Technique

The Simply Filling Technique (SFT) is made for people who hate tracking or can’t make the time to do so. The basic idea behind it is that you can eat from a list of certain foods called Power Foods – including fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and a few others – to the point of satisfaction and not have to measure or track every bite that passes through your lips.

So what is a Power Food?

A Power Food is defined as a filling food that is the healthiest in the category. It basically means that it’s the best choice and one that will leave you the most satisfied. A more detailed explanation on how Power Foods are defined can be found in this article on WeightWatchers.com.

So what counts? All fresh and frozen fruits (with no sugar added), most vegetables (with the exception of avocado), all whole grains (think brown rice, quinoa, barley, etc), lean proteins (think lean skinless, boneless chicken, pork, beef, tofu, beans, etc), nonfat dairy (skim milk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cheese, fat-free cottage cheese, etc), and some other randoms (sugar-free jello for example).

How does SFT work?

The idea behind SFT is that you have to tune into your hunger signals and eat to the point of satisfaction. To me it seems like intuitive eating (hunger signals) meets the basics of Weight Watchers (focus on Power Foods, which is something we should be doing no matter which technique we are doing).

In addition to those foods being at your disposal (pun intended), you still get the 49 extra PointsPlus as well as any Activity Points you earn for treats and non-Power Foods to use throughout the week (or all at once, however you prefer to use or not use them). This means that while your main diet will be composed of Power Foods that you don’t have to track, you will have to track and measure anything you eat that is NOT on the list.

One of the big changes with the PointsPlus 2012 system that was rolled out in early December 2011 is that you can switch between Tracking and Simply Filling by the day instead of by the week like it used to be. Before, you would have to commit to Simply Filling for an entire week if you wanted to give it a go, whereas now you can try it for just one day, or just Monday to Friday, or however you would like to do it. Just remember you are drawing from that same pool of 49 Weekly Points no matter which technique you are using if you switch back and forth.

Personal Experience

I haven’t yet given SFT a try. I’ve thought about it a lot because I feel like my diet is largely made up of Power Foods, but giving up tracking as a tool scares me a little bit to be honest. I feel like tracking is “safe” for me and I admit that I still have A LOT of trouble tuning into my hunger signals.

I’m good at planning out meals and eating whatever it is I have prepped for the day, and by now have gotten good at figuring out how much I need to be satisfied. So, the thought of giving up that safe tracking scares me a bit, but I think it could definitely be a good idea for me to change it up and start to trust myself a little more!

Have you ever tried the Simply Filling Technique (formerly called Core and then something else before that)? Is it something you think you would try?



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23 Comments on Simply Filling Technique

  1. Lisa @ experiencelifewithme
    March 7, 2012 at 8:38 am (3 years ago)

    I have looked into Simply Filling a lot. But, even after losing 147 pounds on Weight Watchers, I still don’t have my hunger in check at times. I tend to eat way past the point of being full. Until I can get that under control, I don’t think I can really do SF. It would definitely be something to look into more though.

    Reply
  2. Sara
    March 7, 2012 at 8:41 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve tried it for a day or so. I still track what I eat but I don’t necessarily write the points down. That way I don’t lose track of what I’m doing and still feel in control like I do when using PointsPlus. I think I should incorporate it more into my week but I just haven’t yet.

    Reply
  3. Annie Ormiston
    March 7, 2012 at 8:55 am (3 years ago)

    I tried SFT once and am at the same place as you, I still have too hard a time tuning into my hunger signals and love certain power foods such as brown rice way too much to control myself if I am not tracking it! I think it sounds like a great idea and would love to give it another shot but for now, I personally need to keep tracking!

    Reply
  4. Sharon
    March 7, 2012 at 9:09 am (3 years ago)

    I’m with you when it comes to tracking. Before I joined WW, I would eat only until I’m comfortably full (based on another program). Since I’m a very slow eater (when I’m not starving), that works for me, but I like tracking. I figure when I’m on maintenance, I will try SFT since I’ve done it in the past and have maintained my weight. I just need to remember to eat mainly power foods and only track my weekly points. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
  5. Jennifer
    March 7, 2012 at 9:09 am (3 years ago)

    When I was doing WW I did Core, and it was the plan I did the best on. I felt so great because the foods I was eating were less “junky” and I truly felt satisfied. Plus, the extra weekly points were a godsend for treats and things that weren’t on the list. It just didn’t feel like I was dieting which was a big plus for me.

    I was really surprised how much more mindful I was of my hunger when I was doing it. And for awhile I still tracked points and I was usually right on track. Hmmm…I might need to incorporate this again :)

    Reply
  6. Michael
    March 7, 2012 at 9:35 am (3 years ago)

    I have yet to try SF but I love that you broke it down and laid it all out here. I stick with tracking, as tedious as it can be, because I can easily eat more than I should. I know no one ever got fat on broccoli, brown rice, fruits, etc but if I’m not limited to a portion I’ll eat way more than I should. Maybe I’ll do SF on the weekends.

    Reply
  7. NancyO
    March 7, 2012 at 9:59 am (3 years ago)

    side note … I love your blog and wish my WW leader was like you! You seem so passionate about WW and the healthy/nutirition lifestyle.

    Anyway … I’ve been on WW for 1 year in April. I’ve lost about 30 lbs that time and am 10 lbs from my goal. As I get closer to my goal, I got “tired” of tracking, so I tried Simply Filling. It didn’t work for me AT ALL. I think you need more displine to do well at SF. Since trying SF and gaining weight, I have reset my weight loss goals, exercise goals and got re-motivated to my usual tried and true method.

    I personally think that the SF might be better alternative for people who have a longer journey to their goal. Or, who are just starting out and want to dip their toes into a healthier lifestyle.

    To me … Simple Filling Technique is kind of like miracle whip, you either love it or hate it.

    Reply
  8. Liz
    March 7, 2012 at 10:40 am (3 years ago)

    Thanks for all the WW posts….I was sort of against going back to WW, but now I’m seriously thinking about it. I’m not really doing it on my own, so I could probably use the guidance!

    Reply
  9. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    March 7, 2012 at 11:26 am (3 years ago)

    When I did WW, I never followed the Simply Filling plan. I thought about it- but like you, I pretty much ate all power foods anyway. I think that if I went to that technique, I would have just felt like I had permission to stuff my face all day long.
    I think it can be really helpful for some- but more geared towards those who don’t eat very healthy (power foods) to begin with. I need to be accountable and track what I eat!

    Reply
  10. Melanie
    March 7, 2012 at 11:37 am (3 years ago)

    I did Core back in 2004 when it was first introduced and really liked it – I remember I had a great loss that week! It helped introduce me to healthier foods and get me away from 100 cal packs etc. I remember eating oat bran or oatmeal for breakfast alot. Now I just try to eat more Core like foods but also count the points. I’m counting points right now since I’ve picked up a few lbs and am trying hard to lose them.

    Great plan though and love that is focuses on whole foods!

    Reply
  11. Shady
    March 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve never heard of this program and I’m not particularly looking to join WW but I’m intrigued. I’m really much too lazy to count anything (points, calories, money spent, you get the idea), so I like the idea of being able to eat as much as I want of healthy foods. Well the laziness thing and the fact that this is what I already do.

    Reply
  12. Amy
    March 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm (3 years ago)

    As someone who just joined weight watchers last night, your blog is such a blessing. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  13. Leanne
    March 8, 2012 at 9:24 am (3 years ago)

    The most success I ever had on WW (22 lbs lost) was using the CORE plan. I was pleasantly surprised because I usually crave structure and CORE was less structured than Points. I felt amazing and full of energy while I was doing it and a number of people in my meeting tried it after I had that success. That was 2004/ 2005-ish when it was first introduced.

    Reply
  14. Ang
    March 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm (3 years ago)

    Years ago I did the Core plan and really liked it. Back then I felt the points plan was set up to encourage you to eat processed junk! I did well on Core but it was tricky to not overeat. I’m the kind of person who has a hard time with portion sizing.

    Reply
  15. MaryAnn
    March 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm (3 years ago)

    I am an online Weight Watcher member for 5 weeks. Would like to switch over to Simply Filling Foods. Is there a cookbook or booklet that would show the best way to handle the Simply Filling Foods daily. I don’t even know how you record your daily food intake. If its a power food does that mean it is not recorded. What is the difference between a power food listed, and those that have the triangle? Also, are the foods that are not listed on the Power Food List deducted from your 49 default points, and any daily activity points earned. I don’t understand where you get the necessary info for this program. MaryAnn001004@aol.com

    Reply
  16. Taysha Riggs
    June 19, 2012 at 11:09 am (2 years ago)

    I’m a WW tracker but decided to try SFT for a day since WW actually suggested it on my plan homepage :) Once I studied the list I realized I already eat alot of power foods and my snacks are alot of 100 cal snack packs so we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for breaking it all down. WW doesn’t have many articles on the SF so this helped greatly.

    Reply
  17. Laura
    September 14, 2012 at 10:13 am (2 years ago)

    I’m a lifetimer back to lose the 15 lbs. I’ve gained back. I’ve always done the pts, but really want to try the Simply Filling Plan. The WW site has info, but not enough to make it understandable (however going online I’ve found much more info). My WW leader was not helpful at all, they didn’t even have a brochure about it there (they did a year or so ago). I would think the leaders should be well versed in both options.

    Reply
    • Beth
      September 14, 2012 at 10:17 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Laura! I can SO relate to being back to losing the last 15 lbs again. It was 20 for me, but now I have about 15 to go because I’ve made some progress, and it is SO hard. Did you find this post helpful? Anything missing that you can think of? I agree that Leaders should be well versed – I’m sorry yours was not helpful!! I’m REALLY interested to hear how it goes for you. Will you let me know? I feel like SFT is the ultimate test of being in tune with my hunger signals, and I’m just not quite sure I’m there yet.

      Reply
      • Laura
        September 16, 2012 at 10:53 am (2 years ago)

        Thanks Beth – I may have to ask for your help as the people on the WW boards are totally unhelpful (“just read the materials”). I did a weight loss program once before that was “faith based” and you had to rely on your hunger signals (and God, of course) to lose the weight. Your body tells you when you are hungry and when you are full…so I have a little experience with that. I think anyone that mostly eats power foods could make the transfer pretty easy….it also is probably helpful to still weigh and measure and track what you’re eating (not the point values). I’ll know Thursday at weigh-in how well I’m doing!

        Reply
        • Madame Vert
          October 6, 2012 at 11:47 am (2 years ago)

          Beth and Laura,

          I’m a lapsed lifetime member who needs to lose about 10 pounds. I had faithfully attended meetings for a year or more after lifetime, then had a work and schedule routine change and that stopped. Enter Points Plus. I went to the first meeting and got the materials and started, but I was ALWAYS hungry and always went over my points. I kept losing and gaining the same two or three pounds and finally gave up. I still followed the general principles of WW for most meals but had lots more splurges and ate lots of sweets.

          This year we were offered WW at Work and I joined. I am planning to pick up hints on Points Plus and eventually try it, but I am doing Simply Filling. (I haven’t told the leader.) It is more liberal than Core, and the modifications make it very palatable and livable. I am on my second week and am always satisfied and haven’t been tempted to overeat. I even worked in birthday cake when my birthday was celebrated belatedly at work! Strangely enough, I’ve been so satisfied that a couple of times this week when I could have justifiably eaten my light nonfat flavored Greek yogurt (wonderful creation because of the extra protein!) I didn’t because I KNEW that I was already satisfied. I felt better immediately and had a good loss the first week. I’m so pleasantly surprised! :)

          Reply
  18. Francis
    June 22, 2013 at 12:18 am (1 year ago)

    most of the food technicians would be looking for you eagerly.

    Reply

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