In this week’s News-Sentinel column I wrote about some of the little things that made a big difference during my weight loss. Here’s one I forgot to include: The importance of coming up with a “closer” — something I could rely on to shut down a binge before things got too out of hand.
It sounds crazy now, but when I was losing weight one of my key closers was a box of 90-calorie Fiber One bars. At the time — back when Weight Watchers points were calculated according to a ratio of fat, calories and fiber — each bar was just 1 point. That meant that if I felt like it, I could eat the whole box, six bars, for just six points. (I started out with 29 points a day, an amount that eventually scaled back to 20 as I got nearer my goal weight.)
It was a ridiculous thing to eat, but a binge is inherently ridiculous — and often far more excessive than 6 Weight Watchers points. (I didn’t always have to eat the whole box, by the way. Even a partial box would do the trick, as long as I got to “finish it off.”)
I hardly ever buy Fiber One bars anymore, because under the new Weight Watchers points plus system — a ratio of protein, fat, carbs and fiber which went into effect the very day I met my goal weight — each bar is now worth 2 points. Twelve points for an entire box is no longer a dietary bargain when my points plus maintenance target is 29 points a day.
These days my “closers” are most often a couple of apples, a boiled egg white sandwich or a banana tucked like a hot dog into a folded-over slice of Healthy Goodness bread. Filling foods that, for whatever reason, signal my brain to shut down my mouth.
Only now it looks like I’m going to have to adapt yet again, because I heard the other day on NPR that Michigan’s apple crop is only 10 percent its usual size thanks to a late spring freeze.