18 July 2012

What I Eat On Weight Watchers

A few weeks ago, a reader requested to see more of the meals I eat, so I thought it would pretend to be a food blogger and go through my eating routine for a normal workday. I mean, it's a good question to ask: what does someone eat on Weight Watchers? Especially when that person is a vegetarian? Weekends are a little less structured, since I'm going out or eating out or whatever and that is when I am more likely to use my extra points, but during the week I'm very much on point day-to-day, so this will give you a general idea of what my meals are like the majority of the time.

As a 5'5" woman weighing 215.8 lbs, I currently get 33 Weight Watchers Points+ for my day. I also get 49 Weekly Points, which I can choose to use or not use as I see fit, and I am also able to earn Activity Points through exercise. On days that I exercise, like, say, during the week when I wake up early for a run, I like to eat half of the activity points I earn and save the rest for the weekend. Usually I earn an average of 30 APs a week and tend to eat all of them, rarely ever dipping into those 49 Weekly Points. But I like knowing they are there just in case! On this particular day I didn't exercise, so I stayed steady at 33 Points.

Breakfast

Breakfast consisted of my new favorite: an Oatmeal Banana Pancake (3 PP). Topped with 1 T. of almond butter (3 PP) it is paired with 1/2 cup of 0% plain Greek yogurt (2 PP) and blueberries (0 PP). Total: 8 Points+

Lunch

Three pieces of Weight Watchers string cheese (4 PP), a hard boiled egg (2 PP), grapes (0 PP), and 15 g of unsalted raw almonds (3 PP). And yes, I measure the almonds on my food scale. Total: 9 Points+

Afternoon Snack

Wheat crackers (3 PP) and 1 cheese wedge (1 PP). Total: 4 Points+

Dinner

The entree is something I'm calling Pinterest Penne Rosa, because, uh, I found it on Pinterest although I used rigatoni. And skipped the shrimp. And got it to 7 servings. Right, so, one serving of that is 6 PP and with it I have natural unsweetened applesauce (0 PP) and another hard boiled egg (2 PP). Dessert are these mini rice cake things from Aldi (2 PP). Total: 10 Points+ 

Evening Snack


Chocolate chip granola bar (2 PP). Total: 2 Points+

So, there you have it, what I'm eating this week. While the food may change slightly week to week, the breakdown of points is fairly accurate at this point. That is, 8 for breakfast, 10 for dinner, etc. Sometimes I may not be hungry for my afternoon snack and eat it with dinner. Or sometimes my schedule has to change and I have to eat dinner much earlier than normal so I save the afternoon snack for evening. If I'm planning a larger dinner, I have a smaller lunch or snacks. On the weekends I don't really snack, so my lunch and dinner tends to be a bit larger since I have extra points to play with.

When it comes to calculating points, whenever possible I go by the nutrition label of the actual item I'm eating. I say that because while Weight Watchers does have an extensive database of general foods, it's, well, general. Take my Greek yogurt. In the database, a 1/2 cup of "Yogurt, Greek, plain, fat-free" is 1 PP. Going by the nutrition label on the Greek yogurt I'm actually eating, a 1/2 cup is 2 PP. Oh, sure, it's only 1 point, but those points add up quickly and accurate tracking is the key to success on WW. That's why I have a food scale and measure my almonds. You can't just guess or estimate serving sizes.

Also, yes, I eat a lot of fruit. Probably more than I should, considering WW suggests a combined 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. A serving size of fruit is 1/2 cup, so I eat something like 5 servings of just fruit a day. Possibly more. As I'm getting smaller, I'm trying to cut back on the fruit and incorporate more veggies. Only problem is I prefer fruit, but c'est la vie. I've lost 95 lbs eating lots of fruit so it's not some evil food you have to stay away from.

Along with the WW suggested servings, I'm bad about getting in my recommend 2 t. of healthy oil. Some weeks I'm better about it than others and while not the same thing and doesn't "count," I get lots of healthy fat from the almonds and almond butter so I don't stress out about it too much.

The flexibility with the program is one of the things I love best about WW. I can pretty much eat whatever, it's just about moderation. Because I don't feel like I'm deprived of anything, I now have a healthy relationship with food, which is something I struggled with for a long, long, long time. But now I can have pasta and dessert because I know how to be smart about it.

For example, over the weekend I was really in the mood for ice cream. I also happened to end the day with 5 Daily Points still left over. Turns out, a snack size Oreo McFlurry is only 9 Points. It was also the perfect size, anything larger would have been way too much. I mean, c'mon: what other program lets you have a freaking McFlurry and still be on point? Not that I'm eating McFlurry's every weekend. Like I said, this is all about moderation and as this was probably the first one I've had in the entire time I've been on WW, I'm not going to feel guilty about it or start that whole "Oh no, now I need to go run, like, twenty miles to work it off." Again, healthy relationship with food.

It really is a beautiful thing.

Do you follow any sort of program like Weight Watchers? Are you like me and tend to eat the same thing for several days in a row or do you need to mix it up?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 comments:

  1. I love that you did this because sometimes it's hard to visualize what a day's worth of food looks like when it's done right. Thanks, lady. :)

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    1. You are very welcome and that is actually the very reason I did it :)

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  2. Wow...215...I believe you are smaller than me:) Great job. Love this read. Your relationship with food. That is great. I think Nicaragua is putting me on a diet:) Have spent lots of time in the bathroom and find I am cutting back on my portions. Maybe this will jump start me. Have a great day Jill. love Aunt Joan :)

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    1. 215 is smaller than even when I was my smallest in college :)

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  3. Seeing how little you actually eat makes me wonder if you are hungry? I'm pretty sure eat way more than what you eat in a day. It is nice that fruit is free, and I assume veggies are too? I'll probably need to cut back more as I gradually stop nursing. I know some on ww that eat junk all the time because they can, but it looks like you have a nice mix of healthy foods and protein.

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    1. I know it doesn't look like a lot, but I'm rarely hungry. And if I do get hungry, I eat more! That's the nice thing about the activity and weekly points, they are there if you do get hungry or have a special meal, etc. I just make sure to keep healthy snacks around for if and when that happens.

      That being said, at this point I don't need as much food as I used to in order to feel satisfied. And I'm pretty sure when you reach goal and enter maintenance mode, your daily points actually go up a bit.

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    2. Also, I did a quick and dirty calorie count and it's a little over 1300 calories, so it is more than it seems.

      And, yes, while there are people who go out of their way to eat crap on WW just because they can, I don't like doing that. This is supposed to be for the rest of my life, it really is a lifestyle change for me and that means eating healthy stuff and creating a eating plan I can sustain for the long haul!

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    3. I'm sure that you'll get to the point that you no longer have to count, and it comes naturally. Actually it seems like you are sort of there with your daily meals.

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  4. Gonna have to try those oatmeal pancakes. I actually dug out my WW stuff not too long ago (did the old points to lose baby weight with Cate and PP last summer with little guy). I was on a maintenance medicine with all of my GI stuff that was used as a "just in case" there is something bigger going on-- and it made me gain a little weight (well, it made me sleepy and not like doing anything which is why my clothes started getting snugger and I gained back about half of the 17 pounds I lost unintentionally when I felt like crap for three months). Long story short-- I'm off the meds, there isn't something bigger going on, and I'm trying to lose a few pounds and tone up before school starts. I'm at the lowest point level you can be at for losing (29 points) and it was hard early on to feel full, but I've started to adapt and it's not so bad. Hopefully I'll be in maintenance mode for that in a few more weeks. :-)

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    1. Oh yeah the beginning is always the hardest, but you adapt eventually. Good luck!

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    2. Yeah. The other problem was that the other two times I did it, I got a ton of extra points for breastfeeding. Like 14 or something. So I was actually struggling to find stuff to eat to meet all of my points each day.

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  5. I've been thinking about trying Weight Watchers. My mom did it years ago, and she got me into it a bit, but I've never joined on my own or been dedicated. I do like the idea of more food options, but I don't know how I would handle the counting and measuring everything.

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    1. In the beginning the measuring and counting points is a bit of a hassle and overwhelming, because you have to do it with everything you eat and it can be tricky going out to dinner when you might have to guesstimate a bit. But it does become a lot easier with time and practice. I have the iPhone app and can save food and even entire meals in it, which helps a ton if it's something I eat fairly often.

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  6. Thank you so much for this post! I have been struggling with Weight Watchers lately and this really helped me and gave me a few ideas to switch things up. I love reading your blog. You are definitely an inspiration to me!

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    1. Aw, that makes me happy to hear! I recognize you from the 3FC forum, too :)

      Those of us on WW talk about points all the time, but it's sometimes hard to visualize what that means in terms of actual food, so I'm glad I gave you some ideas. I get a lot of my own food ideas from various blogs. SkinnyTaste.com is one of my favorites, she gives the Points+ for all of her recipes which is awesome.

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    2. SkinnyTaste.com is definitely one of my go-to sites. She always has fabulous recipes! :)

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