There are no more Weight Watchers.
The 55-year-old weight-loss empire just rebranded itself as WW, in what it says is a move to focus more on wellness, and less on weight.
“No matter what your goal is – to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a positive mind-set, or all of the above – we will deliver science-based solutions that fit into people’s lives,” WW CEO and President Mindy Grossman said in a release.
But whether you call it dieting or not, the company now known as WW has long assigned a point system to foods.
The idea is to encourage people to stay away from less healthy items, like a slice of cake, by making those account for more of a person’s daily food-intake total. Foods that are perfectly healthy to eat in abundance, on the other hand, get a low point value.
According to Weight Watcher’s old rubric, some vegetables always counted for zero points. But in 2017, the company expanded its list of guilt-free foods, saying dieters need not count points anymore when it comes to many other fruits, veggies, and nutrient-rich proteins. In December, Weight Watchers released an updated list of more than 200 zero-point foods that followers of the diet plan can eat in unlimited quantities. The list of zero-points items even includes things like eggs and fish.
That idea might seem counterintuitive, since many people assume that dieters are at risk of overeating.
“These foods form the basis of a healthy eating pattern,” Gary Foster, Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, told Business Insider. “Very few people come to Weight Watchers because they’ve had a problem overdoing it on salmon, legumes, beans, and chicken.”
In other words, people just don’t tend to binge on satiating, healthy foods. And WW doesn’t want any feelings of guilt to be associated with eating an extra helping of salad or another bite of fish.
The no-points-list includes apples, mushroom caps, scallions, and tangerines. Here are some of the most surprising entries on it, and the nutrition research that led them to be included.
Eggs, including the yokes
Recent research has shown that for most healthy adults, eggs don’t have a huge effect on blood cholesterol levels. And if you like your breakfast eggs topped with a little red salsa, go wild. That’s a points-free food now, too.
Many kinds of beans, including black, butter, navy, white, and fat-free refried beans
Beans and legumes are categorically low-fat, high-protein sources of fuel that give you lots of potassium, magnesium and filling fiber. Green beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans are point-free too, as are lentils.
Caviar and shellfish
If your wallet can handle it, you can have as much caviar as you like. In fact, most fish and shellfish — like crab and lobster — are fine to eat with abandon.
According to Weight Watchers, people don’t tend to overeat seafood, so it’s simply not worth measuring out into gram-specific servings. They’d rather have clients eat these types of proteins until they feel satisfied.
Most varieties of fish, including anchovies, cod, salmon, tuna, and whitefish
Lots of fish are high in doses of polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Chicken and fish have less saturated fat per serving than red meat, and both chicken and eggs have omega-3 fatty acids. These “good” fats help repair and build our cells, reduce instances of heart disease, and can also have anti-inflammatory effects. They are essential fats the body can’t produce on its own.
Although Weight Watchers encourages people to eat lots of chicken breast, the American Heart Association says it’s still best to enjoy chicken and fish in moderate doses. The AHA suggests eating no more than six ounces per day, which is about the size of two decks of cards.
Any kind of mushrooms, including brown, button, crimini, Italian, portobello, and shiitake.
Mushrooms do much more than add a savory, earthy flavor to your plate.
Wild mushrooms grown in the sun can also be a great source of vitamin D.
Artichokes are a great bud to fill up on, because they’re packed with dietary fiber and protein to keep you satisfied for a while.
Artichoke leaves are great for your liver, and they can also help keep your body’s cells healthy because they are packed with antioxidants. In 2004, the US Department of Agriculture found that artichokes have a higher antioxidant count per serving than any vegetable around. The only plants with more are blueberries, cranberries, and some beans.
Lemons and limes
Lemon juice is an excellent way to bring more flavor to your dishes and dressings without adding any cholesterol to them. The vitamin C-rich fruit can also help your body absorb more of the iron that’s present in other foods.
Another reason that lemons are part of some successful weight-loss plans may simply be that they help people stay hydrated by consuming more citrus-flavored water. A 2016 study of more than 18,000 people in the US found that those who drank more water were consistently more satisfied and ate fewer calories on a daily basis.
Cherries, which aren’t technically berries, are fine as well.
In fact, fruits in general are now points-free, including fruit cocktails, unsweetened fruit cups, and fruit salads.
Fiber-rich fruits can be more expensive than cakes or candy, but they’re a much better way to satisfy a sweet tooth. A single cup of strawberries will provide you more than an entire day’s recommended dose of vitamin C, while eating a peach is arguably as good as swallowing a multivitamin.
Dates and figs
Yes, even these natural sweets are fine to eat as often as you want. The honey drizzled over the figs in this image is certainly not points-free, though.
Unsweetened, nonfat Greek yogurt and plain yogurt
Yogurt is good for your bones, can aid digestion, and carries just as much protein as meat. The cultures in yogurt can even help you lose weight, a team of Harvard researchers found.
Almost every ingredient in a homemade stir-fry
Those ingredients include broccoli, carrots, peppers, peas, onions, and tons of other leafy veggies.
The benefits of vegetable-rich meals extend beyond your waistline. Researchers have discovered that plant-based diets are good for keeping aging brains sharp and can reduce a person’s risk of developing deadly conditions like heart disease and breast cancer.
Given recent research, it’s not a surprise that the updated Weight Watchers list includes so many wholesome foods that nutritionists champion.
Dietitians and food scientists are increasingly pointing to a Mediterranean-style, veggie and legume-rich eating plan that’s high in fiber and low in sugar and red meat as one of the best for keeping people wise, trim, and energized.
Whether or not you like the points model Weight Watchers uses, its guidance about eating as many fruits, veggies, and healthful proteins as we like is probably a good rule to follow.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.