Weight Watchers A to Z

Remember a million years ago when I was doing Weight Watchers and lost 43 lbs and posted all the time about it and was kinda obsessed with it? Well, this week I joined again! Long story short – wanted to lose 100 lbs, lost 43, almost half way there, dad got sick for a while then passed away, grief, stress, lost motivation, gained all but 10 of those 43 lbs back. I’m in a great place emotionally, better than I’ve ever been, more reliant on God and the power of the Holy Spirit in my life than I’ve ever been, and I prayed one day last week about having more energy, being healthier, and positive stress relieving outlets. The prayer wasn’t about losing weight, it was about wanting to be the best version of me that I could be. I asked the Holy Spirit to give me supernatural motivation to workout and said if losing weight can happen and me not get obsessed with it or discouraged by the journey then I need Holy Spirit level supernatural power for that too. That day my place of employment sent out an email saying they needed two more people to sign up for Weight Watchers at Work to be able to start the program. I knew I was supposed to be one of those people. I signed up and that afternoon I worked out for the first time since I hurt my back this past August. A million years ago when I did Weight Watchers, I started a post called Weight Watchers A to Z. I never posted it because I wasn’t practicing Weight Watchers principles anymore. But now… I’M BACK! And back with much excitement and motivation I might add. So I thought I’d finish and post this post as a refresher to myself on the things that worked for me before, and maybe even a help and encouragement to others. 

 

This will probably be cheesy at times, but you’re use to that because that’s just me. I have thought of every tip and trick I can think of to share, and therefore, this will be LONG. (But full of helpful, useful info, so long is okay right?)

 
1. The NEED TO KNOW WW Blog: Skinny Taste! This blog is a life saver! She posts at least 3 recipes a week and they are all REALLY good and have no weird ingredients. A lot of healthy eating food blogs use weird ingredients like tofu, blech! I want to be able to cook with stuff I’m familiar with and like and she helps achieve that goal. I have made and fed her recipes to lots of people and they always love it. She posts everything! Sweets, pasta dishes, holiday favorites, everything. And she always included the points for each meal. 
 
2. Other great WW friendly blogs:
3. Use Pinterest! Go to Pinterest and type in Weight Watchers. A ton of recipes will come up. There is a big Weight Watchers community on Pinterest. Also… Instagram! Search the hastag #weightwatchers and be inspired by all the other people doing this right along with you and their fantastic meal and snack ideas. 

4. Calculating: To be a dedicated tracker (and you must be for WW to work!), you need a points calculation tool. You can buy the point plus calculator at your WW meeting or from the WW site ($14). You can also sign up for eTools ($15 a month). OR, you can buy a “copy cat” app. I had a calculator, but I lost it! I had eTools for over 2 years, but it actually hurts me more than it helps me (I need to actually go through the process of writing out my points and food on the traditional paper tracker). So I did some research and found an app called Ultimate Value Diary. It does allow you to track your points in the app, but I don’t use it for that. It comes with a points plus calculator function, an activity calculator function, a how many points you get calculator function, a bar code scanner function, and a meal builder function. It was $3.99 and I use it multiple times a day. I’m not advocating for not supporting WW, but I pay for my weekly meetings, and paid for eTools for 2+ years and never used it! So I personally don’t feel bad about using this app. If you do, I support you! Try one of the other methods, but the point is… you need to be able to calculate and you HAVE to track. 
 
5. Quick Tips:
  • Take your points plus calculator to the store with you. Compare things before you decide what to buy. Once you get used to what options are best you won’t need to do this likely! 
  • Once you’ve calculate how many points something is in your fridge or pantry, write it on the container. Later on once you’ve memorized things you won’t need to do this, but it’s REALLY helpful in the beginning. 
  • Buy a cheap food scale at Wal-mart or Target. The food book will say this many points for 4 oz chicken breast, etc. If you guess on how many ounces something is you’re usually wrong. I bought mine for less than 15 dollars at Target. 
  • Make sure you have a good set of measuring cups. The scoop measuring cups like these are easiest. They also sale 1 cup and 1/2 cup measuring spoons at the meetings, which I love. But the scoop cups will work just as well. When it says 1 cup of pasta, 1 cup or rice, 1/4 cup or this or a 1/2 cup of that per serving, measure it out! Don’t guess. 
  • Don’t take the things you love away! Modify them or make space for them. The Weight Watchers motto is that it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Success comes when you don’t feel like you are keeping your self from things. I bake something usually at least once a week! I use Weight Watchers sites and recipes and do healthier things, but they are still just as yummy and a treat. Even your favorite candy isn’t off limits. 10 M & Ms are 1 point! 1 Dove Chocolate square is 1 point. Don’t deprive! 
 
Quick Tip – Cut off the top of a kiwi and eat/scoop it with a spoon! 
 
6. Breakfast: ALWAYS eat breakfast. It’s proven that people who eat breakfast loose more weight, make better food choices, and splurge less. Some ideas that I love: 
  • I actually blogged about breakfast ideas the last time I did this: http://www.kasiaskitchen.com/2011/06/perfect-summer-wake-up.html
  • Greek Yogurt – This is my go to. It’s easy and comes prepackaged for you! I always thought I hated yogurt, and I do hate normal yogurt, but I love Greek yogurt. Points vary by brand, but 90% of the time a container of Greek yogurt and some sort of fruit is my breakfast of choice. 
  • Crustless Quiches or Egg Muffins – I’ve made minis and regular sized muffins. The minis are 1 point for 2. The biggies are 2 points each. 
  • Banana Pancake Muffins – These are also good to freeze and keep on hand for breakfast. They are 3 points for 4. 
  • Frozen Waffles – I like the multi grain frozen waffles. They are 3 points for 2 and I usually spread them with Nutella or peanut butter if I’m on the go. If I have time to sit down I’ll use Mrs. Butterworths sugar free syrup and some yogurt butter. 
  • Oatmeal – I only like to eat oatmeal when it’s cold outside, but it’s a good, filling, low point breakfast. Just be careful which packets you get. Always check points before buying. 
  • Overnight Oats – Aka cold oatmeal. Yummy, healthy, delicious, and so filling! I have recipes here and here. They range from 7 – 10 points. 
  • Fruit Parfaits – Yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruit yumminess. 
  • Breakfast Burritos – 5 points each and VERY filling. You can make them ahead and freeze them! I like things like that. 
  • Bagel and Cream Cheese – Mini bagels or bagel thins are 3 points each. There are lots of varieties of spreadable cream cheese. 1 tbsp of reduced fat is 1 point. You buy a container of the reduced fat plain or just a block of reduced fat plain (whichever is cheaper) and make you owm cream cheese variations. I’ve done cinnamon (cinnamon and sugar to taste added in and whipped up). I also love pumpkin spice.
  • Breakfast Sandwich – Whole wheat reduced calorie English muffins are 3 points. I toast them, add 3 slices of deli ham for 1 point, and add a piece of reduced fat cheese for 1 and microwave it for 25 seconds. It’s a fake healthy McMuffin type thing. You can also use Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked bacon (2 points for 4 slices!)
  • Cereal – I do like cereal in the summer and spring time because it’s light and cold. Special K varieties are usually good, about 3 points per cup. I’m sure Kashi is good. But my secret favorite is Kroger brand bagged puffed wheat! It’s like sugar smacks without the sugar and 1 cup is 1 point! I usually have 2 cups, add some splenda, 1/2 cup milk, and strawberries or a banana chopped in it. Total it’s 3 points! 2 for the cereal, 1 for the milk. 
  • Fruit – Add fruit. I always always have some fruit item with whatever breakfast I have. It’s 0 points and you are required to get in 5-8 servings of fruit or vegetables a day. I basically eat one or the other with every meal or snack. I also love to take splenda sweetened or no sugar added fruit cups (0 points) and top them with 1/4 cup of fat free or low fat cottage cheese (1 point). 
  • Toast –  I like cinnamon toast for 2 points (2 slices of reduced calorie bread for 2 points. Spray each side with Parkay spray butter for 0 points. Sprinkle with Splenda and cinnamon 0 points). I also like Nutella or peanut butter toast (2 slices of reduced calorie bread for 2 points. 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter or Nutella for 2 points).
  • Banana sandwich – Really filling. 2 slices of reduced calorie bread toasted (2 points). Spread with 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter or 1/2 tbsp Nutella (2 points). Slice a banana and build the sandwich. 4 points total.  
  • Weight Watchers shakes – You can buy the packets from the class. They are 2 points if you use water, 4 if you use skim milk. I like the chocolate, but they do have other flavors too. I always use milk to get in my 2 dairy servings for the day. I have made mine in the blender with frozen strawberries as ice cubes. I’ve also made them with 1 cup of ice and 3 tsp of instant coffee granules. Mocha frappe-ish. 
  • Egg Mugs – These are really good and very easy! You can find tons of recipes here, here, here, here, or here. Hungry Girl does these and most are 2-3 points depending on what ingredients you add. It’s scrambled eggs in a cub basically. My favorite ways are with sundried tomato basil laughing cow cheese and either bacon bits or sliced deli turkey meat and green onions. I always add salt, pepper and onion powder to mine too. 
  • Boiled Eggs – 2 points each
 
7. Lunches: Lunch is hard! The key to doing well at lunch is planning and doing things ahead. Eating out is not recommended, BUT doable if you plan for it. I’ll post eating out tips later. 
  • Sandwiches – I did a post about sandwiches and great sandwich topping and additions:  http://www.kasiaskitchen.com/2011/03/grilled-cheese-and-jesus.html. Sandwiches can be great if you don’t let them get boring. Most deli meat is pretty low fat. I get the 99.6 or 8 or something fat free ones. The thin sliced turkey, chicken, or ham are usually 1 point for 4-6 slices depending on the brand. I prefer the Land O’Frost brand. Add veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or cucumbers for free. I love the sandwich slider pickles. Dill pickles are 0 points. I also enjoy thinly sliced apple, like super super thin, on my sandwiches some times too. Laughing Cow cheese has lots of great varieties for 1 point a wedge to spread on. Weight Watchers also has 1 point spreadable wedge cheese. Reduced fat sliced cheese isn’t bad either. 1-2 points a slice. Mustard is free! There are so many great varieties of mustard. Dijionaise is free to add a little creaminess. Fat free mayo (a tbsp or less) is also free if you need to have mayo on your sandwiches.
  • Chicken Salad – On Sundays before the work week starts I often mix up a batch of chicken salad and/or tuna salad to use for lunches. DON’T use premade and don’t make it the “normal” mayo heavy way. I buy the big cans (13 oz) of chicken breast from Sam’s in a 5 pack or something. You can buy the 13 oz cans anywhere though. I mix that with 2 tbsp of Kraft Fat Free mayo, 2 tbsp of fat free sour cream (you can also use greek yogurt), 1/2 cup of grapes sliced, 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1 tbsp of dill relish, salt, pepper, a little sage, and some green onions. It makes 4 hearty helpings for sandwiches and is 4 points per serving. 
  • Tuna Salad – I mix 1 can of drained tuna, 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 tbsp of fat free mayo, 2 tsp of mustard, 2 tbsp chopped onion, 1 tbsp of dill relish. Makes 2 servings. 4 points per serving.
  • Avocado Chicken Salad – I’m always obsessed with this when avocados are in season. Recipe here. Use one avocado instead of 2. It makes 4 servings and is 6 points a serving. It’s great on a sandwich or on a salad. 
  • Salads – Salads are great but kind of complicated to bring to work as you need so many containers to not wilt lettuce and such. And then I discovered this idea! I didn’t make mine like hers, but definitely borrowed the idea! Mine looked like this. The key is making sure the dressing doesn’t touch the lettuce. I layer mine with dressing (most low calorie and fat free varieties are pretty good), onions, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, reduced fat cheese, chicken, and then salad greens. I used spinach for one and and romaine for the other. They keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. I made a couple on Sunday for lunches for the week. I usually have shredded chicken on hand that I make in the crock pot for salads and recipes, but I also buy bagged precooked chopped chicken from Kroger in the frozen section sometimes. I warm it up in a skillet with some cooking spray and Tony’s. 
  • Sides – Veggies, veggies, veggies! I always bring sliced cucumbers, carrot chips, grape tomatoes, or bell pepper. I often bring a dill pickle spear. All zero points. Every two weeks or so I mix up fat free ranch dip (16 oz container of fat free sour cream, dry ranch packet, mix in the container, 1 point for 1/4 cup). I bring a 1/4 cup of the ranch dip or to dip veggies in to make them more enjoyable. A couple of tbsp of hummus is 2-3 points and good with veggies too. Veggie chips or straws (from Sam’s) are good and usually 3 points for 20 or so. Special K chips are 3 points for 30. Normal chips are 3 points for 15 or less. Stay away. 
  • Leftovers are great too. Just be sure to portion them out and know what you’re eating. (I probably bring leftovers more for lunch than anything else.)
  • Smart Ones frozen meals put Weight Watchers points right on the package. There are other varieties of healthy frozen meals that are low in points too (Healthy Choice, Leah Cuisine, the Great Value healthy options). I like making homemade things too much to eat these often, but in the beginning I did eat them for lunches just because it was so easy (and I didn’t know all the tips I’m sharing with you yet). 
8. Dinner Tips:
  • Plan plan plan plan! I can’t stress that enough. Weight Watchers will be a breeze if you plan. I am an avid meal planner. I post my meal plans every Monday(ish) and wrote a long post on the basics and reasons for meal planning (go here). If you have a recipe builder or meal builder, you can easily figure out how many points your meals and dishes are per serving. You can do it by hand also (add total ingredients and points for everything and then divide by serving size). 
  • Chicken breasts are your friends. Tilapia (or any fish) is your friend. Ground turkey is your friend! I pretty much use ground turkey in the place of any recipe that calls for ground beef. I buy chicken breasts at Sam’s and tilapia there too. Lean meats are lower in points.
  • Swap things out. Use whole grain pasta (Wal-mart and Kroger have cheaper store brands). Use wild rice or brown rice (I still use white rice too though). I still use white flour, but I always keep wheat flower on hand and usually do half and half. I still use sugar, but I substitute Splenda in a lot of things. 
 
Find awesome reusable containers that meet your snacking needs! 
 
9. Snack Smart: Don’t use all your points on meals. Snacks are important. Try to do at least 2 snacks a day. I usually try to keep it to 2 points or less, but sometimes up to 4. I’ll share a few ideas. 
  • FRUIT! It’s free. I include it in almost every snack. Add fat free cool whip to strawberries. Bananas sustain! 
  • Boiled Eggs – they stick with you!
  • Almonds – 1/4 cup is 4 points but they really do last you all afternoon on hunger level AND they are a healthy oil and protein
  • Veggies and Ranch Dip or Hummus
  • Healthier Chips – Special K, Veggie Straws, Etc. 
  • Microwave Mini Cake – 5 points
  • Edamame – 3 points for the individual portioned bags from Sam’s
  • Frozen Yogurt Bites
  • Granola Bar
  • Crackers and Cheese – 5 saltine crackers are only 2 points, I usually have 8 with two slices of reduced fat cheese, melt for a few seconds, quick easy snack
  • Deli meat – 4-6 slices are 1 point! Have a few slices with some grapes 
  • Reduced fat cheese stick
 
Cut up fruits and veggies for easy snacking access. 
 
10. Eating Out: Eating out is part of life! It happens, it’s fun, it’s social. Plan ahead. Most places have menus online. Don’t be afraid to ask to have your meal differently. At Margarita’s my order is so complicated but they do it [mostly] willingly (Fajita Taco Salad, no shell, extra lettuce, no cheese sauce, shredded cheese, sour cream, and guacamole on the side). At Red Lobster (the one time I’ve eaten there in 4 years), I asked them to prepare mine without butter. They listen! Don’t be scared. A tip they always tell you at meetings is to ask for a to go box as soon as you get your food. Split it in half before you eat it and take the rest home. Applebee’s actually has Weight Watchers items on their menu with points listed. There are a couple online resources that have points calculate for many popular restaurants as well. 
 
11. Favorite Products: These are some of my favorite products that I’ve discovered while doing Weight Watchers
  • Wal-mart Brand Splenda – Cheaper than regular
  • Oscar Mayer Full Cooked Bacon – Microwaveable, center cut so less fat, 2 points for 4 slices
  • Fat Free Cottage Cheese – I could never eat it by itself, I add it to baked potatoes, fruit, and salads
  • Fat Free Sweet Condensed Milk – 1 point per tablespoon. I love to drizzle it over strawberries or as an icing glaze on the microwavable cake
  • Fat Free Cool Whip – Walmart doesn’t have a generic brand but Kroger does. 2 tbsp is 0 points. Great on fruit or desserts
  • Fat Free Kraft Mayo – Perfect for dips and salads. 2 tbsp is 0 points
  • Fat Free Greek Yogurt – great to use in place of sour cream or mayo in recipes. 2 tbsp is 0 points 1/4 cup is 1
  • Fat Free Sour Cream – great for dips and adding dollups to things, 2 tbsp is 0 points, 1/4 cup is 1 
  • Brummel & Brown Yogurt Butter – 1 tbsp is 1 point
  • Parkay Spray Butter – O points! Great on toast or baked potatoes
  • Fat Free Salad Dressings – Kraft has lots, they are usually 1 point for 2 tbsp
  • Sugar Free Pudding & Jello – Buy the box and make the mixes. Sugar free pudding is 2 points per serving and sugar free jello is 0
  • Grape Tomatoes – I live on these things. I get the big box of them from Sam’s and it’s $5 for a lot. They are much more expensive at the groceries stores. 
  • Strawberries
  • Angel Food Cake Mix – Lightest easiest cake around. I make it into trifles, add crushed pineapple to it, top it with spelnda sweetened strawberries and fat free cool whip. 
  • Cocoa Roasted Almonds
  • Reduced Fat Cheese Sticks – I get Sargento 2% Cheddar ones, 2 points each
  • Kellog’s Fiber Plus Bars – 4 points but good fiber and filling

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