I'm trying to find the first Weight Watchers diet that Jean Neidich started in 1963.
By skajj01 from Staten Island, NY
Original Weight Watcher's Plan per Day:
9 oz protein; 3 fruits; 3 fats; 2 breads; 3 veggies (at least); 2 milks.
You need to get no more than 30z of cheese a week and 1 of those days you have to eat liver. 8oz of water a day is also recommended. A serving of the above is 3 oz protein per meal, 1 banana is 2 fruits, or 1 apple, and so many berries, etc. Fats are 1 tbs per serving, milk is 8oz per serving and bread is 1/2 cup rice or pasta or 1 piece of bread. (10/19/2009)
No way the original diet was 9 oz. of meat a day. It was 4-6 oz. for lunch and 6-8 oz. at dinner. And this was to be the after cooking weight.
The reason there were lots of recipes with dehydrated onions was that onions were on the limited vegetable list. Not only did that mean they had more calories, but WW's had a rule that you couldn't split them up. So, if you wanted real onions, you had to eat 1/2 - 1 C at a time! And of course, they couldn't be fried. But dehydrated onions were a free food.
Here is the original diet as I remember it. They gave you little blank menus with places to mark off your daily/weekly requirements or allowances, which helped.
Daily Allowed For Free
Meats Not Allowed
Fish Not Allowed
Vegetables Not Allowed
Fruits Serving (had to have one fruit at breakfast; the other 2 could be eaten any time.
Dairy Serving (could be eaten any time)
Oils: 1 Tbsp per day with meals (could be split into increments of 1 tsp)
Those unlimited on most diets (celery, lettuce and lettuce family, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, turnips, beets, etc)
Unlimited Dark Greens vegetables
Condiments Not Allowed:
Eggs: After the cholesterol scare, they changed egg requirements to 4/week. You could have them at breakfast or lunch (1 if breakfast, 2 at lunch). You only options for breakfast were 1/2 C soft cheese or 2 oz protein with your bread and fruit. Later still, they changed it so that you could have cereal, more on that below.
Low fat products; They pretty much didn't exist until the 70s. When they started to be available, changes were made slowly. For example, you could use diet margarine and diet mayo and they were worth half the fat. But, you didn't really need more, so most people didn't.
Alba and cocoa powder; Alba was a chocolate mix drink that was allowed early on because it wasn't higher in calories than regular milk and contained all the nutrients, supposedly. At some point, an allowance of cocoa powder was made. I can't remember the amount, but you mixed it with hot water, a pinch of salt and sugar substitute for cocoa.
Tomato sauce: Commercial tomato sauce wasn't allowed since it had added sugar. To make tomato sauce for anything, you had to use your cup of tomato sauce, boiling it to reduce by half and adding Italian seasonings and if desired, sugar substitute.
Early 70s Changes;
Allowed you to eat diet cheese for twice the bang and allowed you to use some previously illegal grains, potatoes, cereals.
Three times a week only, for dinner or lunch and in the place of your serving of bread at lunch, you could have:
Legumes and peanut butter came in the mid 70s and I don't remember the rules. (01/04/2010)
Recipes: I have more in an old recipe box that I will look for. I just remember these that
I still sometimes cook:
Pizziolas 60s thru 70s):
Very lightly toast bread, don't brown it. Just make it dry so that it doesn't get soaked up when you add, tomato paste, spread over it. Add Italian herbs, to taste, on top and - grated cheese. Place under broiler til cheese melted.
Buttermilk Chicken Lunch (60s thru 70s)
Dip chicken in the buttermilk and then in the bread crumbs. Place into a small casserole dish or pan that has been sprayed lightly with Pam (not really allowed til later, but...). Then mix remaining crumbs and buttermilk with the Worcestershire sauce and chives and pour over the chicken.
Bake on 400F til chicken is cooked through and "crust" has browned. Sound terrible, I know, and maybe it was, but I ate it all the time. Compared to the fish 5 times a week, it was like a gourmet meal, lol. And not liking milk, I was always trying find ways to use my dairy requirements up.
Cola Chicken (not very healthy, but not bad tasting).
Place seasoned chicken in a slow cooker and pour the cola over the top. Cook on slow 4 hours. "Kinda" like BBQ, lol.
Very informative. Thanks.
Two thoughts: 1)the old plan works FOR ME because it nudges me into a lower carb, more veggies regimen. I also like filling in those little boxes and I quit eating when they are full.
2)as to the liver, which few actually ate regularly, remember that people were not taking mega doses of vitamins in the 70's. Many popular diets these days caution users to take vitamins to supplement the diet. And WW was ahead of the game on fish recommendations!
Does anyone have a copy of the Weight Watchers diet from the 1970s that they could share? or know how to find one online? I've lost mine and that diet seemed to work for me back then and the new versions don't now. The new one is too lenient for me. I need the structure of the old diet. Thanks.
By Janet from AR
I googled 1970s weight watchers plan and got a page of instructions. It was called THE WAY IT WAS, perhaps you can find it
My Mother and I went together back in the late 60's.
The one thing I remember best was the rules for
breaking a plateau...to get the ball rolling again
after having lost an initial amount of weight then
We ate 2 oz of water-packed tuna at breakfast
along with one-half grapefruit, black coffee, and 1
slice of whole wheat bread. At lunch, we ate a big
green tossed salad with 1 tsp of olive oil and 2 tsp
apple cider vinegar, 4 oz V-8 or tomato juice and
tea (hot or cold) without sugar. Sugar substitute is
In the evening, (before 6pm), we were allowed to
have the other 3-4 oz of that can of water-packed
tuna fish, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, the other half of grapefruit, a green salad with 1 tsp olive oil and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, hot tea or coffee.
At bedtime, we could have an 8 oz glass of
low fat skimmed milk or buttermilk. We stayed on that for an entire week, and it would always break that plateau... Losing about 3 pounds for the week, and then any time we felt like we were not losing, we'd go right back on that "crash" diet. It always
worked, but we always gained back what we'd lost in
the long run. I finally decided to just be happy the
way I was...and I've made it to 75...so far. :-) I'm
not done just yet either. Fairly healthy and very
sassy according to my husband.
Hope this is what you're looking for.
Julia in Boca Raton, FL
I think that if you had good luck then, it was about your age...it works better when you are younger because you are more active. As we age, we need a lot more exercise to lose pounds effectively. I would love to lose even 10 pounds but find that the older I get the more difficult it is. I agree with Pookarina, I am getting to the point where it is "take me or leave me."
The post from MartyD is exactly right! I did the same thing, and found the 1970s weight watchers. In the 60s the original plan was very Spartan; 1970s included fats and was wonderful, with just enough structure (as I need as well) but a little wiggle room on what you ate & when. I remember them saying they found that this version produced body shape changes that they hadn't seen before, or expected. Here's the website: http://www.dwlz.com/WWinfo/old1972ww.html
I am looking for the original diet food exchange program from Weight Watchers from the 1960s.
By Margern from Murrysville, PA
I highly recommend giving the current WW program (Momentum) a go. Been on it just over a year and have lost 79.6 pounds. :O)
Old Weight Watchers (1970s-1990s) Exchange Booklet
I would like to know the Weight Watchers plan from the 1970s. It worked so well back then, and I desperately want to lose some weight. Thanks.
I'm looking for the Weight Watchers food plan from the sixties and seventies. Does anyone still have a copy of these? Thanks.