March 3, 2013

Weight Watchers 101 – The very basics, what we’re eating, plus discounts and coupons

Weight-Watchers-Logo

As I mentioned this week I started Weight Watchers on February 10 to lose some weight. I’ve already lost 15 pounds (I have a lot to go). I like Weight Watchers for a few very specific reasons:

  • There are NO off limit foods.
  • There are NO supplements, special meals or “extra” purchases required
  • It’s affordable as far as diets go – as low as $29.95/month
  • You are rewarded for activity and exercise (by reward – you get to eat more)
  • It’s easy to track with online tools and iPhone apps
  • I’m forced to be accountable – being a busy mom, juggling work and babies at home, it can be hard to keep track of what I’m eating and when. With Weight Watchers I like that if I bite it, I write it. It makes a huge difference for me – that accountability. They also have in-person meetings that can help with accountability.

Weight-Watchers-basics-tools

I lost 60 pounds on Weight Watchers before my wedding nine years ago. But over the years, and after two babies, it slowly crept back on. It’s my goal to get back down to my wedding weight by our 10 year anniversary next summer. And ultimately to get back to a better portion control, healthier food choices and more activity!

This post will cover the very basics of Weight Watchers – in case you’re not familiar with the concepts.

  • Daily points – Based on your gender and weight you are given a certain amount of POINTS a day.
    weight-watchers-calculator-points
  • Every food item has a points value – Everything you eat has a certain points value determined by the fat, carbs, protein and fiber in the item. Some foods are FREE points, mostly fruits and vegetables – you can eat as many of these as you want. The more fiber and protein – the more it offsets the fat and carbohydrates.
  • You have a set of weekly points – These are EXTRA in addition to your daily points. Eating out or planning to go to a party – use your bonus points for the week for that event.
  • Exercise and you earn more points – Every exercise is worth a certain number of points. You can earn EXTRA food points when you exercise – these are called Activity points. I love this because it encourages you to get moving!
  • You track all your food and exercise – Using an incredibly easy online interface you track your points on a daily basis.

Track-foods-Weight-Watchers

What eating on a Weight Watchers diet looks like

I find myself making healthier choices because I can eat more when I opt for healthy foods. Hard-boiled egg for 2 points or Oreo for 2 points. 9 out of 10 times I’d pick the egg. But if I picked the Oreo I wouldn’t be destroying my diet. You’ll probably get 20-50 points a day.

Weight-watchers-salad-4-points

This is a HUGE salad for 4 points. The only points are the two hard-boiled eggs, which are 2 points each. For dressing, I use Balsamic vinegar. It has spinach, cucumbers, red cauliflower, onion, carrots, salt/pepper – all free points.

Over-easy-egg-sandwiches

This is a HUGE breakfast for about 13 points. It has bread, eggs, cheese and sausage. You could easily just have one for breakfast for 6.5 points.

  • 2 slices Fiber One bread – 3 points
  • 2 eggs – 4 points
  • Tillamook cheese – 2 points
  • 2 Morningstar Sausages – 4 points

Taco-Soup-Crock-pot-Slow-Cooker-6-points

Tonight we are having a Taco Soup in the crockpot. We are omitting the corn and reducing the beans and we figure it’s between 4-6 points per cup. So you can see that you can eat bread, you can eat dairy, you can eat pasta – nothing is off limits.

Fajitas-without-shell

One night last week we sauted some peppers, onions and chicken with faijta seasoning. We sprinkled some mozzarella cheese and salsa on it for about 6 points. The points were mostly from the chicken breasts, which are about 1 point per ounce. Salsa, peppers and onions are all FREE points. There were points for the oil, but minimal. It actually tastes much better than it looks. 🙂

Hot-sour-soup-weight-watchers

One of my favorite meals when I’m low on points is Hot & Sour soup. It’s about 1 point per cup. And hits the spot for the “comfort foods” that you crave in the winter. You can have a huge bowl for about 3-4 points. It has mushrooms, tofu, egg, water chestnuts and broth/seasonings.

Eggplant-Parmesan-Recipe

Or this healthy Eggplant Parmesan recipe (baked, not fried) – we’ve had that twice in the last couple weeks, served with pasta. Eggplants are dropping to $1 each at a lot of stores. so it’s an inexpensive dinner. It comes to between 5-13 points a meal, depending on how much pasta you use.

Smart-Ones-Meals

And for busy days, I do like to eat the Smart Ones frozen meals – although not essential to being on the diet, I actually like them as meals and they are easy when you’re in a hurry. They are about $1.78 at Winco and there is currently a coupon for $3 off 10 Smart Ones to make them $1.48 each. It’s also Frozen Food month this month, so it’s likely we’ll see more discounts!

My favorite Weight Watcher Snacks

  • Apples, bananas, most veggies – FREE
  • Mini Babybel Lite Swiss Cheese – 1 point each
  • String Cheese – 2 points each
  • Yogurt – 2 – 5 points depending on variety
  • Pop Chips, plain – 3 points a bag – I order mine from Amazon!
  • Popcorn – low points for air-popped

Current Weight Watcher discounts

Monthly Pass Discount – This discount is for if you want to go to the meetings. You can save 30% off your first month. You can go to as meetings as you want with the Monthly pass. This offer is only available this month (expires 3/31)

Online Weight Watchers discount – Save 30% off your 3-month Savings Plan on Weightwatchers online.

Do you have any questions about Weight Watchers? Have you done Weight Watchers before and have some advice or ideas? What are your favorite low-point Weight Watcher items! You can comment as long as your nice, talking about diet and foods is not exactly my comfort zone – so be nice.

Disclosure: I don’t work for Weight Watchers. I’m not a dietician. You should talk with your doctor before starting a new diet. I’m not saying that Weight Watchers is the best diet for everyone – I’m just sharing my personal experiences. 

Comments

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  1. An easy way to figure points from homemade recipes is to use the Recipe Builder (eTools at weightwatchers.com). You enter the amount of each ingredients and the number of servings and it figures the points for you. Plus it will save your recipe and the next time you have it you just type the name in and the number of servings in Tracking.

    Congrats on your weight loss!! You can do it!!!!!

  2. Jaycene Marini says

    Weight Watchers has a great app that allows you to scan the barcode on items to get a quick point count. Just remember new items may not be in the system but the app allows you to manually input it too

  3. How do you determine the point value of made-from-scratch meals?

  4. Hi,
    I’ve been wanting to join the online WW for a while. My friend joined and did lose weight but then their point system changed and it became confussing for her so it then turned me off from joining. Are you doing the new point system? Is it hard to understand or calculate? I am on a fixed income and don’t want to spend the extra if I can’t figure out how to calculate it. Thanks!

    • I think it’s incredibly easy to calculate. You just input the nutritional information online and it tells you exactly what the points value is. If you have a smart phone there is a scanner app – all you have to do is scan the barcode of a product and it tells you how many points are in a product! Super slick, especially when you’re in the grocery store. I would say it’s definitely easy – but she may have been frustrated because foods she used to eat might have changed. Hope this helps!

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