Are you looking to drop a few pounds?
I think we all are. That seems to be one of the bonus effects of joining the 30 club; the desire to drop a few (along with the desire to get more/better sleep).
I have been trying (but was I really?) to moderate my portions and types of food, etc. for a while now, I’d say the last few years. I was really into the whole “I’ll enjoy this now and do better next week” mantra.
Of course none of that really worked because it didn’t stick, so here we are.
I got on the scale two weeks ago and saw the highest number I’ve ever seen. My reaction was one of disbelief (and I even said “absolutely not” aloud) followed by a quick decision to join a friend of mine and sign up for Weight Watchers.
I remember my mom taking part in the WW program and she did it on and off for several years. While I was a little unsure about it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of their concept has been streamlined and has gone digital. You can still go to meetings if you like (I would not like), but it’s structured more towards doing things yourself. You can also sign up for a more involved version with a coach or one-on-one accountability phone calls if that’s more your thing.
I signed up for the digital only version, as I really just want to be able to measure/track what I’m doing. I had a suspicion that the things I thought ‘weren’t really that bad’ might be the kind of surprise nobody likes.. and I was wrong. Most of the things I eat regularly are much worse than I thought they were, from a points perspective in the program. Womp.
For instance: I always knew that my peanut butter and jelly sandwich wasn’t the healthiest of options but I also figured it wasn’t that bad, was it? I could always do worse, I thought. It turns out my favorite lunch time choice runs about 15 points JUST for the sandwich. To put that into perspective, my favorite Chick Fil A order (the spicy chicken sandwich) is 12 points. That also doesn’t even consider the chips I would eat with it or the glass of milk I washed it down with. #sadface
If you added in the chips and the milk, we’re talking closer to 23-24 points and wouldn’t you know, that’s my ENTIRE day’s allotment.
So, I saw pretty quickly that most of my ‘not so bad’ choices were actually sabotaging any progress I thought I was making.
I began scanning everything and scouring Pinterest for ideas. The new-ish Freestyle Weight Watchers program actually has a list of 200 items that count for zero points. That list includes eggs, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. There are actually a lot of options if you spend some time poking around on Pinterest and/or being a little creative.
I’ve been tracking for 2 weeks exactly and I’m down 5 pounds! I have gone for longer walks/jogs a couple of days with my dogs but nothing really significant as far as exercise goes. I have primarily focused on cutting back sugar and processed foods. I also realized that most of what I crave and instinctively turn to…. is processed foods.
To make the change easier on myself, I tend to pair a zero point food with a lower point food option for a meal and I try to keep my first 2 meals lower in points (usually less than 12 total) so that I have more options for dinner when my willpower is diminishing. If I get to dinner time with 12-13 points, I can basically eat whatever I like (that’s in my house.. eating out/fast food is its own beast) and still stay within my daily points for the day.
It’s definitely been an adjustment but these are the best things I’ve found so far that have kept me on track:
Seltzer — not the La Croix version, but the kind with a little splenda. I especially like the Strawberry Clear Seltzer. I wasn’t a big soda drinker before but I would drink a soda for dinner when I got the urge or with pizza especially. I sub in seltzer for those occasions.
Greek Yogurt – surprisingly Greek yogurt CAN be substituted for sour cream in recipes (I was very skeptical). It also proves to be delightful spread across some graham crackers and topped with frozen fruit and frozen for a lighter dessert option.
Fruit – you name it. Bananas, watermelon, grapes, pineapple
Eggs – scrambled, hard boiled, etc. – eggs are 0 points
My favorite recipes that I’ve found so far include:
I’ve got my eyes on these next:
This pumpkin banana bread in the Instant Pot (I’m so curious!)
THESE Spinach, Mushroom, Avocado Quesadillas that are not WW but I’m going to adjust to make them so
The hardest part is often just starting and then reminding yourself to keep going when it starts to feel hard.
If you are hoping to lose a few without killing yourself running miles, etc. – try Weight Watchers. I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far.
You can sign up with my link here and we both get a free month!