Core/SFT Newbies

Core Newbie FAQ
By Waning Estrogen

NOTE: This was written for the original Core plan. The current incarnation of Core is called the Simple Filling Technique. Under the PointsPlus plan for 2012, you can use the Simply Filling Technique on a daily basis instead of tracking your food. This article has not been updated for Simply Filling Technique or PointsPlus.

Congratulations on choosing the core plan! (or thinking about it! 🙂

*** This is an attempt to summarize common newbie questions, but it is not all-inclusive. It also may be a useful refresher for anyone on core who’s looking to refocus and get back to basics. If anyone has ideas to add to this, please feel free to post them. If anyone wants to copy and paste to re-post, please feel free.***

  1. What is the core plan? What can I eat?
    If you are an online member or eTools user, on the left of your screen select “switch guide” and choose core. (If you are just thinking about switching to core, don’t worry – you can “switch guide” back & forth at any time.) If you go to meetings, see your week 1 Getting Started Booklet.
  2. What do I need to know?
    Read the guidelines that explain the concept of the core program. Read the 8 Good Health Guidelines. Review the core foods list. Read about the “comfort scale” and learning about what it means to “eat until satisfied”. You also might find it helpful online to go to “Healthy & Fit” and check out the science behind core.
  3. Can I skip the 8 Good Health Guidelines – just for now? 
    The 8 GHG are important not only because its healthy, but it truly makes it easier to follow the plan if you adhere to them as much as possible.
  4. So I can’t have (xyz) on Core? 
    On core, each week you get 35 WPAs to spend on anything you wish. You can eat noncore foods, you just need to count the WPAs for them. For example, no bread is core, but you can eat bread and deduct it from your 35 WPAs. Don’t be afraid to use them-–that’s what they’re there for. You can also earn APs (to be eaten in the day you earn them). That gives you plenty of flexibility while following the core program. Some people spread their WPAs evenly, about 5 per day. Others save them for weekends or special events.
  5. Can you give me a sample menu? 
    There are a couple of great daily menu threads, including YellowMango’s “What Did You Eat Yesterday on Core?“ and Chocokatzen’s “Daily Menu Thread”. Scroll through the messages until you find them. You can also read core members’ daily journals on Kippy’s site,
  6. Where can I find a recipe for the (xyz) I keep hearing about?
    On the upper right of your screen, there is a search box. First try to search for the recipe you’re asking about. If you can’t find it by searching, by all means go ahead and ask. You can also check out Kippy’s site for a searchable archive of core recipes,
  7. Are there other daily threads I might want to look at?
    There is an excellent daily thread by JeddoMom, titled, “CORE CHAT” that deals with a different question/struggle each day. That is an excellent place for newbies and vets alike to check in. And if you are in the mood to be goofy and silly and laugh at our own foibles, try the “Daily Wacky Monkey Thread” or “DWMT”. See also a new addition on Kippy’s website, The Newbie Café.
  8. What’s the difference between zero point and core foods?
    Core foods can be eaten until satisfied. Not all zero point foods are core. Zero point foods will add up to points if you have multiple servings. You can still eat them, but will have to count points if you go above the zero point serving.
  9. Can I eat as much as I want on core? How will I lose weight eating as much as I want?
    The core guidelines state to “eat until satisfied”. That is very different from “all you can eat”. Learning to listen to your body and understand “satisfied” is one of the vital lessons on core. For many people, eating healthier core foods helps diminish physical food cravings, making it easier to recognize what satisfied feels like. Learning to eat until satisfied won’t happen overnight – give it time and keep trying. And remember, it takes a few weeks to detox the sugar and white flour from your system, so hang in there.
  10. I’ve been on core for 3 days and I didn’t get it right. Should I give up? 
    No! WW suggests whichever plan you are on, you need to stick with it at least a week. Many of us suggest giving it several weeks. The core plan really is simple, but it can take some time to learn how to read your body (what “satisfied” feels like), and also to learn what balance of foods makes it easiest for you to stay on plan.
  11. I’m struggling – what am I doing wrong? 
    First of all, kudos to you for starting on core. Second, good for you for coming to the board and asking for help. Others will be in a better position to help if you post specific questions about what you are struggling with, and/or post a sample day’s menu that you are eating.
  12. “WeightWatchers Guides – Core FAQ” 
    If you are an online (eTools) member, see WW’s own FAQ. This includes: How did WeightWatchers select the foods on the Core Food List? What is energy density? If I combine different Core Foods in a recipe, is the end product a Core recipe? How does the Comfort Zone work? How long will it take me to “find” my Comfort Zone? Can I mix foods that are on the Core Food List and foods that aren’t on the List at the same meal? Some of my favorite snacks are not on the Core Food List. Can I still enjoy them? Are fruit and vegetable juices Core Foods? Are fat-free foods Core Foods? Are zero point foods automatically considered Core Foods? Why is 2 teaspoons of oil each day recommended for both the Core Plan and the Flex Plan?
  13. Links for threads discussing other FAQ:
    Frequent travelers:
    Breakfasts on core:
    Snacks on core:
    Tips for core vegetarians:
    Core vegetarian recipes:
    Vegan core recipes:
    Many more Core Veg. Recipes
    Heather’s core recipes: *OR*
    Switching from Flex to Core:
    More Flex-to-Core tips:
  14. Cathy’s website (more core recipes from this board):
  15. Pookie Dolittle’s MEGA Core tips:
  16. Best WW tips:
  17. The “One Thing” that helped you succeed:
  18. Why do we turn to food for comfort?
  19. About “Abuse Potential”:
  20. If you wish to save any post you’d like so that you can refer back to later, post a comment or thank you to the original poster. You’ll be able to easily return to it by clicking on the link to the left of this page, “My Message Boards Posts”.
  21. If you have a specific question regarding, you’ll get more answers, quicker, by starting a new thread on either the Core Board or on GOAD.
  22. Good luck. Read the core guidelines first, but don’t be afraid to ask your questions.


Top Ten Answers to Not-so-Dumb Questions about the Core Plan
Thanks to RITASKC

NOTE: This was written for the original Core plan. The current incarnation of Core is called the Simple Filling Technique. Under the PointsPlus plan for 2012, you can use the Simply Filling Technique on a daily basis instead of tracking your food. This article has not been updated for Simply Filling Technique or PointsPlus.

  1. Yes, you will lose weight on core.
  2. It’s not on the list, so it’s not core.
  3. No bread is core.
  4. Ditto nuts and peanut butter.
  5. FF cream cheese is not really cheese and is not core.
  6. Flavored yogurt and premade puddings are not core.
  7. Count the potato at the second meal.
  8. If you tend to overeat it, it’s a trigger food and is not core for you.
  9. The 8 GHG‘s are a must.
  10. Core plus Core equals Core – except when it may not