I, like many, have lost weight via Weight Watchers. When I stalled a few months ago, I started Google around to figure out a solution. Many wrote of the original plan, 51 years ago. Jean Nidetch wrote the original plan, based upon what worked, and didn’t work, for her and her group of friends in Queens, New York. The plan seemed strict when I first looked at it, but compared to some plans today, is it really? Is it worth pursuing?

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When I read the original book (I got on Bookmooch) I was struck by how different it was versus today’s Smartpoints. With Smartpoints, you can eat nearly anything – as long as it sticks within your points. You can nosh on zero-point veggies all day and pig out on loaded nachos at night, if you wish. While this isn’t what Weight Watchers intends for you to do with your Smartpoints, some do this. With Mrs. Nidetch’s original plan, fast food was out. Most carbs were out. Noshing on junk was out. The plan was straight forward, and really, if one stuck with it, hard to mess up the plan. There were no points with the original plan, but an eating plan for men and for women. Certain things varied for teenagers, but most everyone of their own sex ate the same amounts.


Protein, Baby!


Protein was big on the list, and should be eaten daily. Group A proteins, such as white meat skinless chicken and organ meats (among others) should be eaten no more than  5 servings per week. For Group B, which consists of meats like hot dogs (seriously!) and beef, no more than 3 servings per week. Fish should be consumed 5 times per week. Lean protein is good for us, and even though some diet plans state that this is a new discovery, it clearly is not.

A wee bit o’ carb…


Get this: Bread was recommended daily – but only 2-4 slices of “diet”, bread. Two slices for women and four for men.

Veggies: Limited & Unlimited


Mrs. Nidetch has two types of vegetables: Limited & Unlimited. Unlimited veggie could be eaten at any time. These veggies consisted of water-loaded veggies and low-carb veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, beet greens, string beans, pickles, and mushrooms. Limited veggies should be eaten once per day, with only a 1 cup serving. These limited veggies were starchier, such as beets, Brussels sprouts, squash, and tomatoes.

Fruits, too!


Fruits were also included, but only the permitted fruits and only three times per day for women, and five for men. These fruits included apple, 1/2 cantaloupe, 1/2 grapefruit, orange, 1 cup of strawberries, and 1/2 cup of raspberries. Forbidden fruits, which are starchier, include bananas and dried fruits.

This plan worked – and still works – for those who follow it. There is a reason that people still buy this book and use it, and it is easy to follow when you dive into it. While it may seem limited, the mountain of recipes that you can create with the allowed foods (many which are not listed here), and most seasonings are allowed to help you customize your cuisine. This plan, while not glamorous, can help you lose weight if you are in the midst of a bulge battle. Check out Amazon or other used book sites to buy a copy, or check your local library to see if they have a copy.