Weight Watchers, Food Allergies

In 2006, I hurt my knee during yoga. In 2008, I had knee surgery and just a few weeks ago, I had another small knee procedure. Because of this one injury, I haven’t been consistently active in four years.

Add to that, I wrote a book, under a deadline, which meant I sat at my desk, for 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week for several months.

Then, add to that, my very special book writing diet. Because I didn’t want to leave my desk long enough to make myself real food, I ate corn tortillas and cheese for days, for weeks, for months on end.

Low and behold, those three factors caught up with me and lead to some weight gain.

I know. Duh.

But truly, I was a little shocked. I’ve been the same weight since I graduated college, over a decade, ahem, plus, ago. Generally speaking, I watch what I eat: in part because of food allergies, in part because as a petite Allergic Girl, five pounds is a dress size on my frame.

I knew I needed to take action. I spoke to dear and safe friend Danielle, who suggested Weight Watchers online. I did a one week Weight Watchers trial and lost 4 pounds. (I know, insane.) OK, I thought, maybe I could use some help, track what I'm eating and no more cheese with fried corn tortillas, for a while.

Weight Watchers online is pretty extensive in many areas except one: food allergies.

As successful as I was without online support from Weight Watchers, I did wonder about everyone else, especially those of us who have been newly diagnosed with a dietary restriction who want [or need] to slim down? What about new mothers who have food allergies and are trying to lose weight while still nursing? What about those who are newly diagnosed with celiac disease, how are they navigating these Weight Watchers waters?

*It's vital that if you need to eliminate a vital food group - like eggs, dairy or wheat - that you know how to replace that nutritionally. Check in with a registered dietitian who understands a restricted diet. You can find one near you at the American Dietetic Association's site Eatright.org*

With two for four percent of American adults diagnosed with food allergies and recent studies claiming that one in 133 Americans have celiac disease, I’d love to see Weight Watchers address these huge swaths of the population in their online modules.

Meanwhile, even though I hit my goal weight back in July, I'm still tracking and am still fried tortilla and cheese free. (My secret: lots of veggies and fruit, always, and Boar's Head cold cuts.)

Are any of you on a diet or using Weight Watchers? Do tell!


Unknown said…
my hubby has multiple severe food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, all other legumes, coconut, soy, grains, etc) and has for most of his life. he can safely eat most grains - he tests positive, but never notices any signs of reaction when he ingests. (legumes & tree nuts are a different story though.)

when we were newly married 12 years ago, we joined weight watchers. he had no problem following the WW program with his allergies, and reached his goal in about 6 months. the great thing about WW is that it's not a specified program - you have freedom to pick whatever you want to eat, as long as you're watching the points. therefore it's really the ideal weight loss program for anyone with dietary restrictions.

hubby was later diagnosed with crohn's disease as well, and that's a more challenging dietary diagnosis to manage within the context of WW - he can't process fiber, so he has to eat more processed foods, which then affects the points values. it can still be done though.

we've fallen off the WW wagon due to the craziness of his health, parenting, and just life in general. we still try to cook within WW guidelines though, we just have lost the ability to moderate our portion sizes.
Unknown said…
My mother has been doing WW since November and lost over 75lbs. For her, the biggest thing was paying attention to what she was eating and learning how to do portion control. She found the support system to be excellent and even though she reached her goal 6 weeks ago, she is continuing to go to meetings. I think it would be great for WW to address food allergies as part of their online modules as well as their in-person meetings. Good luck to you, Allergic Girl!
googling food allergies and weight watchers..cause i need to do somethign. although i know what to do, i did ww in the past.. but now i can't do gluten, milk and a few other things. anyway.. do you know..did they ever get any 'better' in this area? i am finding some celiac ww posts online... i do good w/ support and was thinking i might even go to a brick and mortar meeting..

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