papaya banana and strawberries

WeightWatchers and Gardeners

by / 7 Comments / 783 View / January 5, 2011

What Does WeightWatchers Have to Do With Gardening?


If you need to lose weight and you're a gardener, WeightWatchers new Point'sPlus® eating system may be the perfect eating plan for you.

WeightWatchers encourages followers to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

What a great incentive to go out and grow my favorite varieties fruits, vegetables and herbs!


Shirley posing in front of a lake

I recently joined  WeightWatchers  to lose the extra weight I gained during the past few months and I've adopted their new "PointsPlus" eating formula.


Even though I started my "eating modification program," (don't call it a "diet"), during the holiday season, I lost nearly 6.5 pounds during the first few weeks.

Not bad.

I was a WeightWatchers member years ago after my children were born and followed the "regular "Points® system, ( which was good), but the new revamped PointsPlus® way of eating blows it away!

I'll tell you why.


The Old "Points" System

Under the old WeightWatchers Points® system, I used to have to calculate every banana, papaya and carrot  I ate, which was kind of a pain.

You'd think that these power foods would be sanctioned as "safe foods" to eat in any amount!

When you're watching your weight, fruit becomes your "candy" and salads and veggies your salvation since you can fill up on them without consuming too many calories.

In any case, under the old Points® system, you had to count the point value against these saintly foods.

Not anymore!


The New WeightWatchers "PointsPlus®" System

Members are encouraged to "fill up" on most vegetables and fruit without having to count their points!

Bananas, papayas and pineapple included, watch out.

Of course if your vegetable preference leans towards starchy food like corn, potatoes or beets you still have to count their point value. 

This modification to the Points® system makes ALL the difference for me!

papaya banana and strawberries

I eat a plate of papaya, bananas and strawberries twice a day and I don't count it against my allotted Points for the day!



Why Weight Watchers is Perfect For Gardeners

Vegetable gardeners take heart! Now our vegetable gardens can play a greater, CALCULATED role in our diets!

Now that I can eat ALL the vegetables and fruit that I want and still lose weight, my vegetable garden  has become my favorite room in the house. It's like my pantry.


Vegetables From Shirley's Garden

I'm enjoying vegetable gardening more than ever now that I've got a plan for healthful eating! If I like a vegetable that is difficult to find at the market, or is pricey, I grow it.


A chayote from the supermarket can cost up to $2 each!


  • Chayote this satisfying squash is popular in Latin American cuisine and can be enjoyed in place of potato or other starchy and filling vegetables. I dice it, saute it in olive oil  spray, add onions, cumin, salt, pepper and top with cilantro.

chayote planted and trellised for support

Chayote will grow into a tall vine. Make sure to add a support it can grow on at planting time.


You can root a healthy looking chayote that you buy from the market.  Set a whole chayote fruit about 4 to 6 inches deep, fat end down and at an angle so that the stem end is just level with the soil surface. Wait a few weeks until after your last frost as chayote is a warm season plant that grows into a beautiful vine. Give it some room. One chayote plant will feed a family of four.



dog eating lemongrass

Even dogs find lemongrass hard to resist!

  • Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) Why buy this Thai cuisine staple when you can grow it? This fragrant, lemon scented strappy plant makes a delicious and comforting tea, soup flavoring and is one of the stars of Pad Thai. Anyone have a "low points" recipe for this?

Lemon grass is another plant that is simple to propagate (if you can find it at an Asian market). Select a healthy specimen with bulb and roots intact. Cut off the top part of the clump and place the bundle into a glass of water until you have a couple of inches of root growth. Plant in a container or in your garden if you are in a warm climate zone. Make room- can grow up to 6 feet tall!


rosemary plant

Rosemary is a sharp and complimentary tasting herb for roasted vegetables, meats and bread.


  • Rosemary- (Rosemarinus officinales) This popular mediterranean herb thrives in hot, dry climates. If you garden in a more temperate climate, try growing rosemary in containers. Add it to roasted vegetables, meats and scrape some on your high fiber bread.

Rosemary is another plant that is easily propagated by cuttings. Here is an excerpt on propagating rosemary from the website, Vegetable Gardener:


"To take cuttings, clip 2-1/2-inch stems from new growth on an established plant (see Propagating rosemary). Snip off the bottom leaves (rather than pulling them off) and dip the bottom 1/4 inch into a hormone rooting powder. Place the cuttings in a container with equal amounts of peat moss and perlite. Spray the cuttings with a light mist on sunny days."


Read the rest of the article at Vegetable Gardener

I look forward to sharing more entries about growing vegetables and losing weight with my WeightWatchers PointsPlus® eating program! 

Come back and see "less" of me and let me know how I can help you grow a gourmet garden!


7 Comment

  1. […] WeightWatchers proclaimed all fruit to be “0-Points,” I planted an extra kumquat tree! I eat so many, […]

  2. I love that weight watchers is encouraging eating more fresh fruit and veggies. I grow my own produce so this would be perfect! Also, growing fresh herbs does make it easier to eat healthfully because they make everything taste better.

  3. I love the extra dedication that weight watchers is encouraging.  A complete buy in!

  4. Hi Amy,
    Another gardener in love with Weight Watchers! So you do agree that the “free” fruits and veggies makes a difference for you too. You hit the nail on the head with the “micro-managing” of vegetables- I didn’t like that. It’s good that you are not totally “fat free” in your food selection too.

    What are your goals? Are you growing anything special for your food? I’m really enjoying my Meyer lemons, pomogranates and herbs right now.


  5. Hi Serena,
    Thanks for dropping in. I have a “good size” alright, too much of a good thing. My problem was not having a proper eating plan and I love the Weight Watchers one. Very easy and satisfying. I stopped biking during the months I gained weight because I was editing video. The one thing I can’t do while “blogging and biking” is keep a steady hand for editing. My hand shook too much and I had to put the chair back. That’s when i gained weight again! See the connection? Oh well, I;m biking and eating correctly now.

    Do you have fitness goals this year or are you “good?”

  6. Shirley – You would think being in the horticulture/landscape industry we would all be super thin! LOL.I do this everyday and I've found you can be toned everywhere else but still have a good sized gut if you don't eat the correct foods. Thanks for the WW tips and keep up the good work – I remember you lost some weight on that little bicycle you rode while on your PC.

  7. Shirley-
     I also garden like crazy and just hopped back on board the WW bandwagon. I used the Points system before, and although it worked, I felt like I had to eat fat free and all the veggies/fruits were racking up my points so I was micromanaging them. Not good. 
    I simply love the new PointsPlus sytem! I don't eat anything fat free(which I do not think is healthy to begin with) and I can cook/eat my normal homemade foods. It really doesn't feel like I am dieting or doing much of anything different, other than keeping track of my foods. 
    Thanks for the great post!
    Amy Jeanroy-Fellow garden geek and WW fan. 🙂

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