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.
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!