Friday, December 28, 2012

My Weight Watchers Tips

I'm hardly qualified to give any advice on Weight Watchers considering I've only done the program for a total of less than 3 months.  But I do have some tips for beginners that could help save some folks the unintentional loss of precious points!

First of all, though, I have to just share my love for Weight Watchers.  The program definitely takes a little bit of effort and planning, which is difficult for me at times, considering I have a 4 month old and work full time from home.  But I really believe that it's one of the easiest ways to lose weight if you will just follow the allotted points given to you.

One thing I regret is that I didn't start Weight Watchers right after Hadley was born.  I was nursing and so I figured I shouldn't be in a "weight loss" mentality.  Which you shouldn't, obviously.  But the great thing is that Weight Watchers will give you an additional 14 points (sorry, not sure how many calories that equates out to) if you're exclusively nursing, or an additional 7 points if you're nursing with supplements.  The reason this is great is that for the first couple months I never knew how much I was eating, or if I was consuming enough calories for nursing.  I didn't want to just eat whatever I came across but I also wanted to make sure I was getting enough.

Alright, here's some of my general Weight Watchers tips -

  • Create your menu for the week in advance.  If it's time to eat and you have to throw something together that you have sitting around in your kitchen, chances are it's either A) not going to be what you want to eat or B) it's going to exceed your points for that meal or for the day.
  • When it comes to snacks, figure out the points for one serving of that snack and put a few separate servings into snack-size Ziploc baggies.  That way, you won't have to waste time counting out 13 pretzels or whatever, and you won't just snack out of the bag.  
  • Put Skinnytaste - www.skinnytaste.com - in your bookmarks and visit it daily!  This is my go-to place for recipes, even when I'm not on Weight Watchers.  It gives the WW Points Plus value for all of her healthy-but-good recipes so it makes eating well so much more enjoyable.  
  • Make sure to find the values of everything you're eating, save for fruits and veggies cause those are 0 points.  You would be incredibly surprised to find out that some things that don't seem like they would be high in points, like olive oil (I never cook w/ more than a teaspoon now, which is hard for me!) are really pretty high, especially if you use them somewhat liberally.
  • Allow yourself a splurge, whether it's daily or weekly.  In the mornings when I drink my coffee, it is a must for me to have two tablespoons of French Vanilla coffee creamer in my coffee.  Can't drink it without it, and I ain't giving up my coffee.  I give up 2 points for that, but it's a non-negotiable for me and it helps me feel like I'm not locked into some diet that doesn't allow any flexibility.  
And here's a few of my favorite snacks/meals - 
  • For breakfast, I usually eat 1 egg with 1 egg white and will add in a Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge and veggies.  This is 3-4 points
  • My favorite snack/meal ( eat it anytime, really) is shredded brussel sprouts cooked in a garlic paste.  I finely cut/shred my brussel sprouts and spray them down with an olive oil spray (0 points!) and sautee them in the garlic and add a little tiny bit of white cooking wine (not real wine, just the cheap stuff from the grocery store.  Also 0 pts) to deglaze the pan.  SO good and flavorful and best of all, it's a free meal!  
  • Potato Soup made with Cauliflower.  I steam a head of cauliflower and add in 1-2 small potatoes just to give it a little starchiness, plus a tablespoon of light sour cream (or fat free greek yogurt), a little bit of chicken broth and if I want it extra creamy, a little bit of fat free half and half.  This is a low point meal that allows you to eat a big serving and it's so filling!
  • Baked Sweet Potato topped with 1/2C black beans, Rotel tomatoes and corn, 1T of cheddar cheese and a Tbsp of FF Greek Yogurt - this is 7 points and also very filling
  • Any cooked veggies, I love roasting cauliflower, brussel sprouts or even cooked cabbage
These are just a few, I often will Google "Weight Watchers snacks" to get some ideas.  I think it's important to find different things that you like and can easily figure out the points.  Here's a few foods that I avoid due to having high points - 
  • Olive oil - 1T is 4 pts
  • Pasta - 2oz of my favorite kind - Barilla Bowties - is 6pts.  2oz is something like, 8 bowties.  Not worth it!
  • Cheese in "hard form" - meaning not shredded or crumbled.  1oz of cheese is 3pts, whereas 2T of shredded cheese is 2pts, and it feels like you get more when it's shredded
  • And the worst...eating out is typically off-limits.  It's amazing how you think you can take something fairly healthy - like a turkey wrap with no cheese - and it turns out to be like, 15 points or something ridiculous.  It's very hard to calculate points for a meal, especially when you live in a small town where you can't pull it up in the Points Tracker.  So I end up eating at home a lot 
  • Alcohol - I will sometimes save my points so I can have a 5oz glass of red wine, which is 4 points
  • Juice - I used to pour a healthy glass of Apple Juice in the morning until I found out that between my coffee and the juice I was using up about 10 points!  I now drink water and Diet Coke
Overall, I'm about 6lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and fitting back in all of my pants now.  I quit nursing a couple weeks ago so maybe that helped some, but I really wasn't nursing much at the end there.  I think the biggest thing has been to control my portion sizes and cutting out the empty calories in the juice and regular Coke I was drinking.  I think this is a diet that anybody can do and be successful at, but you have to really want things to change!  Or just have a baby, I found that to be great motivation!

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