Juicing While on Weight Watchers

Is it a Good Idea?

“One ginger-kale-apple-carrot-pineapple juice to go, please.”

Juice bars boasting the best in freshly pressed juices have been popular for several years, perhaps only eclipsed recently by the bone broth phenomenon. 

And the appeal of juicing to the masses is manifold. Juices are colorful, organic, tasty, easy to consume, and packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and immunity-bolstering power. What’s not to love?

Juicing While on Weight Watchers

But do these superfood juices really help or hurt one’s weight loss goals? And we can simply eat (or drink) as much as we want of any “health food”?

These are some questions I’ve needed answered on my own health journey. And it’s a big reason why I’m part of the Weight Watchers community. It takes out the guesswork and streamlines healthy eating, while allowing so much flexibility.

On WW, you can be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, kosher, traditional, low-carb, dairy-free, or gluten-free . . . and as we’ll see, a juice lover, too. If this is you – if you have particular food preferences and you’ve been interested in the unique accountability and support of Weight Watchers, save yourself $10 with my Ebates link here.

Joe Cross and Juicing Success

As fellow Weight Watcher Martha of Simple Nourished Living discusses, juicing was at first a hard sell for her. It seemed extreme. And she saw some fellow Weight Watchers members actually gaining weight while juicing. After fruits became valued at zero SmartPoints a few years ago, many members inadvertently began consuming too much fruit, especially in smoothies and juices.

But does this mean that juicing isn’t healthy at all? It took another WW member’s testimony of losing weight through juicing and then meeting Joe Cross at a book signing to change her mind.

Have you seen the inspirational film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead from a few years back? In it, Australian Joe Cross road trips and juices across America. Pounds are shed by the dozens, his health and energy improves dramatically, and he helps others regain their lives along the way.

Joe’s singular experience is so powerful, I bought several copies of the film that year for family and friends. My husband and I purchased a juicer, planned out meal-replacing juices for several days, and went gung-ho on our own “juice cleanse” of sorts.

Results? Consuming nothing but freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices for several days was challenging . . . but ultimately refreshing. It cleared our skin and digestion and flattened our tummies noticeably. But one thing I realized was that, for me, it was unsustainable in the long-term. And that’s the point – a juice fast, detox, or cleanse is temporary.

Has juicing been beneficial for Joe, us, and others? Undeniably. But should juicing be a cornerstone of a healthy, balanced diet?

Is Juicing Part of a Balanced Diet?

As I read more about traditional nutrition, such as Weston A. Price‘s research of pre- industrialized peoples, I realized that juice in human diets historically has been a special, seasonal treat. Generally, fruits and veggies traditionally have been consumed as a whole. Juice, flesh, stalks, and even leaves were usually eaten together – depending on the produce, of course.

Furthermore, because drinking so much juice without the rest of the plant is not really “natural” or historical to us humans, there are consequences to going overboard. According to Nourishing Our Children, reasons not to juice regularly or extensively include:

  • Foods should be consumed in their whole state for best nutrient assimilation.
  • Over-consumption of raw vegetables stresses the thyroid.
  • Over-consumption of fruit sugars causes a spike in blood sugar.
  • Juice’s nutrients are not able to be digested without fats.
  • Lack of chewing food, as in a liquid diet, inhibits digestion.
  • Tooth enamel experiences more decay with a diet high in juice.

What a conundrum! I’m both inspired by extreme juicer Joe Cross and yet engaged with the traditional nutritionists’ wisdom. So what’s a girl on Weight Watchers to do?

Weight Watchers Zero Points Fruits and Veggies . . . Does this Mean I Can Juice all I Want?

So now that fruits and vegetables are all zero points on the new Freestyle Program, does this mean we can juice fruits and veggies to our heart’s desire? Well, no. While fruits and vegetables in their whole form are indeed “free” zero point foods, these healthy powerhouses of nature are not free if juiced.

I’m thinking that Watchers recognizes the inherent issues with juicing, and this informs their SmartPoints for produce in its various forms. Juice is an easy food to overindulge. After all, it’s easier to consume the juice of four oranges in a few long gulps than sitting down, peeling, and eating those four oranges. But while oranges are zero points, orange juice is more – a whopping 3 points per 8 oz glass.

As fellow Weight Watchers member Gabrielle discussed, once she discovered this difference in how points count for produce, her lackluster weight loss over several weeks made sense. She had been enthusiastically consuming green smoothies daily, in addition to regular meals. But overall, it simply provided too many calories for her weight loss and maintenance goals.

Juicing While on Weight Watchers . . . The Bottom Line

The beauty of the Weight Watchers lifestyle is that everything is on the menu. Nothing’s off limits, and if you really enjoy the unmistakably fresh, sweet, tart zing of homemade juices . . . then go for it! But in order to experience success in your weight loss and weight maintenance goals while indulging in a juice, you may wish to keep in mind that juicing is a healthy indulgence.

In other words, juicing is not necessarily a daily part of a weight loss diet, but a treat. If you add a fresh-squeezed juice to a light breakfast or replace a meal with a juice once in a while, you’ll probably stay within your daily points and still experience Weight Watchers’ signature results.

What do you think, Weight Watchers friends? To juice or not to juice?

Weight Watchers Couples

Can it Work?

Considering joining the Weight Watchers community as a couple? The pros can definitely outweigh the cons when dieting together, if love and encouragement are paramount. Furthermore, couples who seek to eat more healthily and mindfully can share in the challenges and roadblocks, the goal-setting and perseverance, and ultimately the victories of this path. If you’re already motivated to begin, save yourself $10 by signing up through my referral link with Ebates.

Now, what can couples on Weight Watchers expect?

weight watchers couples

Friendly Competition

Some couples are highly motivated when a little friendly competition is introduced into their relationship. And making tangible progress on your weight and health goals is no different! 

One important thing to remember is that men tend to lose weight more quickly than women due to their higher metabolism from muscle mass. So as long as you’re not comparing and competing as to the number of pounds you each lose, it can be exciting to track milestones together.

Instead, friendly, motivating competition can be fostered with couples who set workout challenges, number of days biking to work, sodas skipped, healthy lunches packed, or anything that makes sense to you.

Healthy Meal Times Together

We all would love more relaxed, family-centered meal times. But what can couples do when they’re on a new diet to actually enjoy meal prep and meal times together?

  • You share a fridge, pantry, and now a Weight Watchers point system! Your journey together could start by cleaning out your kitchen and donating or tossing the junk food.
  • Seek new, healthy recipes you both enjoy to add to your repertoire of meals.
  • If desired, you can start cooking, meal planning, or shopping together, or split up the duties to lighten the load of a new way of eating.
  • Whenever possible, sit down together for dinner, rather than eating in front of the TV or on the go. 
  • Take your time eating and visiting over mealtimes.
  • Light candles.
  • Pick or purchase flowers for the table.
  • Bring out the nice dishes and linens. 

Healthy Socializing and Entertainment for Couples

Parties and restaurants can cause us to let down our guard when it comes to eating well. Here are some ideas to change it up:

  • Make decisions together about attending parties and gatherings where food may be tempting. 
  • Challenge each other with a “one drink” or “one small dessert” goal for a night at a party.
  • If a restaurant visit is on the horizon, discuss ahead of time whether you want to order drinks or stick to water, split a meal, forgo dessert, etc.
  • You can be receptive to your partner’s wishes while gently challenging both of you to have a healthy plan in mind when it comes to social events.

Active Dates and Quality Time for Couples

Break out of the rut of collapsing on the couch in front of the television or going out for dinner and a movie. Choose active dates that encourage you both to try something new, get outside, play a new sport or game, and don’t focus on foods. Have fun, burn calories, experience the high of endorphins, and develop new hobbies and habits that promote lifelong health. Some ideas:

  • Identify some healthy friends and buddy up with them for more active double date ideas.
  • Pack a healthy picnic and walk to the park.
  • Try a new biking trail.
  • Go tubing or kayaking.
  • Try geocaching, or create a treasure hunt for one another.
  • Walk downtown and take in the sights.
  • Listen to the string quartet in the park or jazz on the waterfront.
  • Rollerblade or ice skate.
  • Sign up for dancing lessons.
  • Find an aerobics or yoga class you both would enjoy.
  • Set up a badminton or volleyball net.
  • Volley some balls on the tennis court.
  • Play catch or frisbee in the backyard.
  • Enjoy a swim date.

More Encouragement Tips for Weight Watchers Couples

  • Be mindful of times when you feel tempted, depressed, or craving something unhealthy. Ask your partner for help switching gears, pouring you a glass of water, or going for a walk with you.
  • Compliment, encourage, and empathize with your partner. 
  • Avoid focusing on what your significant other can improve on. Instead, take responsibility for yourself first and foremost.
  • Laugh a lot, have fun, and celebrate both the challenge and the little victories.

Inspirational Weight Watchers Couples

  • Mike and Rose kicked their couch potato ways together as newlyweds, welcoming their first baby in the process.
  • Jimmy and Robyn were “battle buddies” in weight loss, slimming down and hitting the trail and the golf course together.
  • Matt and Megan were partners in law school and in choosing a healthier lifestyle, losing 100 pounds combined.

Bottom line, because healthy eating is part of a bigger lifestyle shift, Weight Watchers couples can grow and succeed together as they make positive changes for life!

If you and/or your significant other are ready to join the Weight Watchers 2018 program, click my referral link here to get a $10 gift card.

Healthy Junk Food Replacements while on Weight Watchers

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And this maxim is so true, especially with lifelong journeys such as healthy eating. So what does it look like to take that “one step”?

Perhaps it’s keeping a water bottle in your purse, filled with lemon water to keep you hydrated and refreshed throughout your day.

Maybe it’s looking into the wildly popular Instant Pot and seeing if it could help streamline preparation of homemade meals for your busy week.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to try the accountability, community, and positive results of joining Weight Watchers. If that’s you, give yourself a $10 gift card when you sign up through my referral link.

Healthy Junk Food Replacements

Smart Junk Food Replacements

And perhaps another big step in your health journey is deciding to tackle one stumbling block of a food after another. It’s a win-win when we seek out replacements for poor quality, high calorie foods with high quality, high nutrient foods instead. One by one, when we upgrade our go-to foods in this way, our whole diet improves in an incremental yet powerful way.

Here are some ideas about how to make this happen and experience success on Weight Watchers or any diet!

Sugar

Sugar is the bane of all our good eating intentions, is it not? High in calories and disastrous to our dental health, immunity, and mental acuity, sugar is easily at the top of the list to replace. Some excellent sweet replacements to use in moderation:

  • Raw Honey, high in probiotics, helpful to digestion, and can help alleviate allergies if bought locally.
  • Maple syrup, high in calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • Blackstrap molasses, nutrient rich in iron, calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Rapadura, or unrefined raw sugar cane, contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Stevia and Lo Han Guo, both plant extracts with no sugar content. 

Chocolate

Chocolate is just too good to give up completely, in my opinion! And really, it’s unnecessary to do this, as there are so many healthy options to enjoy the rich, irreplaceable taste of chocolate. New treats to try as healthy replacements:

  • Carob. A versatile chocolate replacement high in calcium and other vitamins and minerals, carob is a worthy addition to a healthy Weight Watchers diet.
  • Cacao. Nibs are fun and satisfying. Try nibs as a snack, sprinkled on oatmeal, or integrated into trail mix. Or grind with coffee beans before brewing! Cacao powder is a seamless substitute for the more processed cocoa powder.
  • Dark chocolate, a few squares here and there. In general, the less sugar and more cocoa in a product, the better.
  • Homemade hot chocolate. Here’s a recipe for a healthy, ready-to-go mix. And here is my favorite, made by mixing the following:
    • 1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder
    • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
    • pinch of ground nutmeg
    • pinch of sea salt
    • tiny pinch of cayenne
    • 12 oz hot water
    • 4 oz raw cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Coffee

You may already be cutting down your coffee intake, switching to decaf, or opting for cream but no sugar. These are all good steps, but did you know that there are a couple healthy replacements for your morning joe available as well?

  • Dandelion coffee, sold by Dandy Blend in an easy-to-use instant powder. Consisting of dandelion root, chicory, barley, rye, and sugar cane, this beverage is sugar-free, gluten-free, and beautifully silky and rich.
  • Red Rooibos tea, a caffeine free option that is richer like black tea and is terrific with honey and milk. Lots of benefits, too!

Soda

  • Club soda or seltzer water, with the addition of a splash of juice, can easily replace soda and other carbonated  beverages. You can also make your own carbonated water with a Soda Stream. Avoid tonic water, whether regular or diet, as it contains either high fructose corn syrup or harmful artificial sweeteners.
  • Kombucha, bubbly and refreshing, is also a fantastic substitute for soda. A wonderful addition to your repertoire of beverages. Kombucha provides probiotics and a satisfyingly crisp, carbonated taste that’s in our genes to crave.

Wine

  • Cense, Weight Watchers’ recently debuted light wine, is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with a removable label if you’d like to be discreet while bringing it to a party.
  • Clean cocktails, utilizing fruit juice such as cranberry juice, seltzer water, etc.

Chips and French Fries

If reaching for a bag of salty, fatty potato chips or a sleeve of French fries is a vice you’d like to change, a fantastic replacement is homemade chips using virtually any veggie. 

Think about it – chips are simple. Usually consisting of thinly sliced potatoes, oil, and salt at its most basic, the chip can be easily transformed into a health food by changing up the veggies and using healthy fats rather than canola, soybean, or vegetable oils.

Tantalizing recipes gathered at SheKnows gives us over a dozen options, including beets, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and more. Time to maximize those Zero Point vegetables on the new Freestyle program!

What Healthy Replacement Foods are You Trying in the New Year?