Sunday, January 07, 2007

WW Tips

Over on his website, Alan Light has some good Weight Watchers Tips. I'm going to plagiarise a few of them here, at least to add my own thoughts and comments on them.

Don’t cheat: You don’t need to cheat. Track your points carefully, and if you find something that you really must eat; then eat it and fully count its points.

This is really fundamental. You're only cheating yourself. Initially, when I started out I was tempted to skip a few things that I shouldn't really have eaten in the first place. But if I hadn't included them, how would I know if my "experimental approach" is working, and what to try and cut out next. So I included the 6½ points of chocolate I ate yesterday.

Don’t eat anything until you find out the point count: That “fat free muffin” that you see at the bakery probably has twice the points that you think it does. Do your research before eating it.

This one is kind of easier said than done. Unless you carry a points calculator with you, or a book of points values, it can be hard. Sometimes all you can do is to make the best choice from what's available. This is particularly true if you don't want to advertise you're dieting (us guys can be a bit shy about things like that).

Don’t waste points on non-filling items: Things like orange juice; non-diet soda, etc. use up a lot of points, but don’t really fill you up or satisfy your hunger very much. I also recommend that you not use points strictly for “flavor” (i.e. sauces, full-fat dressings, etc.) Save your points for items that will be filling and satisfying.

This one is also true in some respects. If you use a quarter or more of your points on stuff that's fun but high in points, it's going to be very difficult to eat properly on what you have left. On the other hand, using some points to flavour food and make it more interesting is a good thing. A point's worth of basil oil over some vegetables makes them a one point pile of tasty veg instead of a zero point pile of not-so-tasty veg. And that was a worthwhile point; I enjoyed eating it.

If you absolutely, really must have some chocolate, then you really need to make one meal very low in points. Two great ideas for doing this: first of all is Zero Point Veggie Soup: you can eat as much as you like for no points at all. We pretty much have some in the freezer all the time. The second is a sauce I concocted the other night to make vegetables more interesting. A tin of chopped tomatoes, a touch of chili powder, and some mixed herbs. Let it all simmer while the veggies are cooking, and pour over them on the plate. You can vary the herbs based on the rest of the meal, or use it instead of a gravy to make a meat dish more interesting.

Today ended up on 41 points, but the weight trend is in the right direction.

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