Weight Watchers is a popular weight loss program that teaches you how to lose then maintain weight while eating a variety of foods. While Weight Watchers does sell prepackaged foods, it is not necessary to use them to follow the plan. In addition to Weight Watchers own foods, some companies such as Special K have products that are designed to support weight loss, which can be used while following Weight Watchers.
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Weight Watchers members are assigned a daily points allowance based on age, gender, current weight and level of physical activity. In addition, Weight Watchers assigns points to foods based on the calorie, fat, protein, fiber and carbohydrate content per serving. Foods that are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber tend to have a lower points value. The goal is to keep track of all foods and beverages consumed so that you stay within the allowed number of daily points to lose weight safely, says Weight Watchers. This process is designed to encourage slow and steady weight loss of about 1 to 2 lbs. per week.
Special K encourages the use of their products as part of an overall plan to lose weight. According to the Special K website you replace two meals a day with a Special K bar, shake or cereal and then eat one healthy meal. Then throughout the day you snack on plenty of fruits and vegetables. If combining the two programs, you can use the nutrition label on the Special K products, to calculate the amount of Weight Watchers points you are eating. Most Special K cereals, have about one to two points per cup; Special K bars are also two points and for two points you can have about 24 Special K crackers or chip crackers. The Special K shakes are worth about three points each. A points value of two or three is considered low, which makes the Special K products a good choice for Weight Watchers members.
Controlling portion sizes is a large part of a successful weight loss program. There are both portion sizes and serving sizes. A portion is the amount of food you actually eat at one sitting, while a serving size is a predetermined amount of food such as 1 cup or 1 oz. Portions can contain more then one serving and eating portions of food versus servings, can lead to weight gain notes the Weight Control Information Network. Many restaurant meals and packaged foods are super-sized which makes it hard to determine the actual single-serving size. Given this, Weight Watchers encourages members to initially weigh or measure all food and beverages, to relearn what a true serving size actually is. Special K products such as bars and shakes are packed so that there is just one serving size per can or package. Using these prepackaged products can be helpful during busy or stressful times, as there is no need to weigh or measure food.
Following just the Special K diet long enough to reach your goal weight may be difficult because the diet is restrictive. It does not allow for a wide variety of food, which can leave you feeling deprived. This can lead to abandoning the plan and returning to normal eating behaviors, increasing the likelihood that lost weight will be regained, reports MayoClinic.com. Weight Watchers provides a more well-rounded plan, while encouraging consumption of a wide variety of foods. When following Weight Watchers, you can eat out and indulge in favorite foods as long as you stay within your allowed daily points. When the goal weight is reached, you continue to eat the same foods but you can now eat a few more points to maintain your weight. Special K foods can be part of the Weight Watchers plan, however, as long as there is a focus on plenty of fruits and vegetables as well.