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Calling all Weight Watchers!

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sasha1 Nov 16, 2011 06:27 PM

Hi everyone,

I just started up this diet a few days ago, on my own, and really want to succeed and lose some extra baggage.

I am a home cook, and making litle adjustments to my cooking (i.e., steaming sometimes, less oil in the pan), is not too hard. I like to think I never cooked unhealthy to begin with (portion control is another matter altogether). Fruits and veggies are stars in my house, as is lean protein, whole grains, skim dairy, etc. (My skinny hubby and skinny sons are currently getting all their food doused with olive oil :) ).

But a girl doesn't have the energy to cook every meal, every day. I'm hoping to get some ideas for what packaged foods are out there that are tasty, reasonable on # of points, and are go-tos for all of you. I have the bread, crackers, cookies, puddings, cheese etc that I normally buy for breakfasts and snacks, but that is where all the points are hiding I have discovered. I need some replacements.

Also, please let me know if you've made some great WW substitutions (as a shopper or a cook) for regular (B.W.W.) foods you used to eat. I heard something about a diet soda cake mix?!

In short, I'm hoping to gather all the tips that you'd hear about at a meeting over many weeks of attending, all in one thread, for the benefit of any brave soul who is on this train with me.

Thanks!!!

  1. s
    sunflwrsdh Nov 16, 2011 07:08 PM

    Hi Sasha,
    There is a Weight Watcher Foodies thread on Home cooking, you might want to search for that. I don't actually buy a lot of packaged foods, I am fortunate to have a recently retired husband, who does a lot of our weeknight cooking. Some of our best "go to" meals are spaghetti and spinach meatballs from Skinnytaste.com....she has tons of excellent recipes, lots of which can be done ahead. Another thing we do is buy a lot of boneless skinless chicken breast, and marinate it in whatever you like ( many marinades are points free) and grill it. I take a lot of green salads to work for lunches. Another good thing (zero points) is sugar free jello. Best wishes for your success:)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunflwrsdh
      s
      sasha1 Nov 16, 2011 08:34 PM

      Thank you :) I'll go and get some of that jello. I put this thread here rather than on the cooking board because I really am fishing for (1) decent packaged foods and (2) random ww concoctions that take the place of higher fat foods that we sometimes really crave - like the diet soda cake.

      I know about the cooking thread, and am interested in perusing it soon. One thing I know about myself is that reading about food, or watching it, makes me eat more. So I'll save that for mealtime, when I'm eating anyhow.

    2. c
      calliope_nh Nov 16, 2011 09:27 PM

      Several of the Lean Cusine frozen dinners are pretty tasty. I don't have Points specifics, but some of the Weight Watchers at my work use these meals too. The work freezer is filled with them (we write initials non the boxes we bring). I like these better than a lot of the frozen meals with strangle glazed, floppy sauces. I also keep a bag of frozen chopped broccoli in the work freezer and add some veggies to the dinners before tossing them in the microwave.

      Progresso canned soups are also pretty good. They are ready to eat and have a flip top. One whole can makes a satisfying lunch. The lable shows one can is a few servings, but even taking that into account, they (most of the ones I like) are low fat, high fiber.

      2 Replies
      1. re: calliope_nh
        c
        Cactus Wren Nov 16, 2011 11:54 PM

        My experience is that the Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones dinners aren't necessarily very filling, so I throw a handful of chopped veggies or sliced mushrooms on top before cooking. (There will be enough sauce. There is *always* enough sauce.) Then drizzling a teaspoon or so of olive oil adds some flavor and a healthy-oils serving as well, and is only one Point. You may have to increase the cooking time.

        1. re: Cactus Wren
          j
          jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 05:37 AM

          Tis true, they aren't very filling are they! I always, always try to bring leftover steamed/roasted veggies with me to supplement my lunches - frozen or not. :)

          OP, I think you're on the right track! If you have a smart phone and are paying for WW online, you can download the WW app - it has a scanner feature. You scan the barcode of the product, it tells you the points plus value. awesome. (if the food is in the database, of course.)

          we don't do a lot of crackers anymore in my house - it was too easy for us to get carried away. But IIRC, special K has some tasty thin crackers. Laughing cow cheese is hugely popular - similar points value to the ww cheese, but much more tasty according to DH - I don't do dairy so I wouldn't know. For my chocolate fix I rely on Dove chocolate bites - its 6 points plus for 5, but only 1 for 1! I savor those little things - and they are chocolatey enough to satisfy me.

          The diet coke cake is dead easy - get yourself a box mix, add a can of diet soda. mix, bake according to the package directions. Diet cola works well with chocolate, try lemon lime soda with a lemon cake mix, orange with a white cake for an orange chiffon... if you google diet coke cake you'll find a list of flavor combinations. no one will know the difference - it makes a very moist cake. One of my favorites tho - even better than DC cake is to add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin, 1 cup of water and an egg (or 1/4 c egg beater) to a chocolate cake mix. I add a cup of mint chocolate chips and bake @ 350 for 30-35 minutes I think. (recipe is at home) you get a moist fudgy cake and no one can tell you didn't use the oil and the eggs. this combination also works well with a spice cake mix to make pumpkin muffins - without the chocolate chips of course, lol!

      2. rworange Nov 16, 2011 11:11 PM

        So, you are not going to meetings? If you have to weigh in before a group, that's a pretty big incentive for not cheating. Also, you have people to chat with to share experiences.

        I have tried every damn diet ever devised. I did Weight Watchers for a while but since I'm not into that sort of thing, I never went to the meetings.

        Listen, stop thinking about eating crap like diet soda cake. That is the whole point of points. You can eat what you want, but adjust according. If you want a real piece of chocolate cake, just arrange your points around that when you need to.

        And skip the diet jello. Sorry, but that isn't good for you. And when you start doing all these substitues such as phony sugar, it just makes you want the real thing.

        This is what is in diet Jello "Gelatin, Adipic Acid (for Tartness), Disodium Phosphate (Controls Acidity), Maltodextrin (from Corn), Fumaric Acid (for Tartness), Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.) (Sweetener), Contains Less than 2% of Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium (Sweetener), Salt, Blue 1, Red 40."

        Do you really want to put that in your body?

        You might trick your stomach for a moment, but your brain kicks in and says "Hey, this isn't food. I'm hungry".

        Anyway, if you want some low point snacks, go with stuff that has some nutrional benefit for you.

        Since you mention portion control and cheese, those string cheese singles are good. Laughing Cow is good because of the portion control as is Bon Bel. They last forever in the fridge so you always have something like that availabe. TJ has some little individual pieces of brie like Laughing Cow. Not sure the point value on those though.

        Yogurt is good. If you go for the light stuff, while there is artificial sweetener, there's the protein from the dairy. Better yet is to buy plain yogurt and add a little jelly.

        Popcorn is good with creative spices.

        The best is to look for snacks that are individual serving size. Pringles have those little plastic serving cups if you must have chips every now and then.

        I won't give you diet tips in general since you ask about Weight Watchers. However, the benefit of good eating programs like Weight Watchers is not to change the food to fit the diet, but to change the way you eat no matter what the food is.

        12 Replies
        1. re: rworange
          mcel215 Nov 17, 2011 02:47 AM

          I like Cheddar Cheese Rice Cakes for salty snacking and Skinny Cow Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich for sweet snacking.

          Dr. Oz says to drink two 8 oz glasses of water before a meal.

          And along with watching what you eat, add some exercise in your daily routine. Walking on a treadmill for 1/2 hr, three times a week is a reasonable goal for me.

          Cut your carbs and protein in half and keep cheese to a minimum. I'm not into Weight Watches per se, but they do have a great program.

          And remember, it's a journey, not a race. I have failed miserably from rushing to meet my goals.

          1. re: mcel215
            rworange Nov 17, 2011 08:21 AM

            Dr. Oz also says skip the Skinny Cow and eat regular ice cream.

            I didn't want to give general diet advice because that is not what the OP asked for.

            No one on Weight Watches or anything should be rushing to meet goals There should be no goal other than revising the way you eat, not necessarily what you eat. And you are right it is a journey, a life-long journey.

            I have failed miserably on lots of diets because I tried to change the food I ate be that using diet food, high carb, low carb, etc. It can't be a diet. It needs to be an eating plan.

            You need to think about what your are eating and plan accordingly. Anyone doing mindless snacking, no matter what the point value is will have trouble sticking on an eating plan.

            That is what is behind those Weight Watcher points. It doesn't say eat specific foods, only be aware of the weight of food based on points and plan what you eat accordingly.

            Which is why I say skip the diet soda cake and eat the real cake but plan around it.

            Along with that, is awareness of the nutritional value of food. Our bodies also crave a lot of things and anyone focusing on certain foods and lowering others is going to start craving what the body is missing. Make it a nutrionally well-balanced meal and be mindful of what goes into your mouth.

            1. re: rworange
              mcel215 Nov 17, 2011 09:18 AM

              I didn't know that Dr. Oz says to skip Skinny Cow. I had no choice, I had a gallbladder attack and "no dairy", until surgery. I needed a couple of treats during the summer and liked Skinny Cow. And it saved me from feeling deprived. Thanks for the info.

          2. re: rworange
            s
            sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 08:41 AM

            I appreciate the sentiment of what you are saying regarding real foods vs processed. But let me clarify. I cook 2-3 meals per day every day, out of stuff that grows on trees, in the ground, or has 4 legs. Most of the processed foods I have in my kitchen are condiments.

            But I'm used to, and enjoy, cake or cookies or ice cream a time or two each week. And before I can go cold turkey, I need to find a middle ground. As you say, it's changing your life and moderation. At the moment, my points are entirely filled up for the day with regular food, because I am adjusting the portions that I've been used to, and that are too large. So I don't have room in my week to devote 15 points to a piece of real chocolate cake. I may have 5 points for a fake one.

            I can agree with your ideals, but not in general with idealism. I live in the real world. And I'm not about to exchange the cheerios and rice krispies I have for hot spelt and teff cereal that I harvested myself. Nor am I going to feel guilty about consuming packaged foods, which make up 10% of my diet, in order to give myself a break on the cooking front.

            In the past few years, I have steered clear of single packaged foods for environmental reasons. But until I trust myself on the portion control bit, this may be a necessary evil for items like cheese or chips.

            Thanks for your thoughts.

            1. re: sasha1
              mcel215 Nov 17, 2011 09:21 AM

              That's my rationale for eating the "diet stuff" also. For now, it's a necessary evil. And I have lost 30lbs in the last 4 months. Whatever gets you to your goal, best of luck to you. :)

              1. re: mcel215
                s
                sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 10:35 AM

                Congrats! I will be thrilled if I do half as well.

              2. re: sasha1
                j
                jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 10:45 AM

                I ate a lot of processed stuff while I was losing - it really helped me with portion control. while I was losing, the 100 cal packs started coming out and they were HUGE at our WW meetings.
                Now that I'm at goal and the system's changed focus a little, I find it's easier to steer clear of the frozen lunches and packaged snacks. ("free" fruit helps!!!) I cook quite a lot on Sundays, to have lots of leftovers for lunches through the week. Evenings just get so crazy lately that frequently thursdays or fridays are lean cuisine days because we've run out of leftover and haven't been home to cook.

                1. re: sasha1
                  rworange Nov 17, 2011 11:23 AM

                  Well, good luck to you.

                  I am not saying you have to eat home-harvested spelt. If you want to eat the chemical stew that is diet jello ... go for it.

                  I am saying to eat the food you always eat rather than going the route of diet food. I personally don't see what the extra effort involved in figuring out the points of real chocolate cake as opposed to taking the effort to whip up diet soda cake... especially if that is a once or twice a week thing.

                  Or how difficult it is to come up with low point meals such as salads or Progresso soup on chocolate cake day.

                  But if that is the way you want to go give it a whirl.

                  When you talk about going cold turkey, it sounds like your approach is that you need to give up things and that was my point. No you don't. I lost the most weight and kept it off for years on a diet that didn't eliminate one food I ate or use diet food. That diet included Haagen Daz (1/2 cup), cupcakes rather than cake because I needed the portion control ... and I bought rather than made those because if I made a whole cake at home ... diet or not ... I was going to eat the whole thing/

                  But I've offered my suggestions within the weight watchers world such as cheese, yogurt and popcorn. Laughing Cow recently came out with some good new flavors such as sun dried tomato. The blue cheese I find better as a spread on roast beef sandwiches, which would be out for you at this time, but it might be good as a filling for celery sticks. Same point value and the celery slows down eating the cheese because you have to chew more.

                  1. re: rworange
                    s
                    sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 12:18 PM

                    I've read your replies in other places on ch, and you seem to often have good things to contribute. So I don't want to overlook the good advice in your posts here. But I'm having an issue I guess with the tone coming across in your written word. It really sounds like you're saying that it's your way or the highway, and that my way is wrong while yours is right. That makes it hard to feel good about the actual suggestions you are advancing.

                    Here's the thing. I started the diet 3 days ago. Maybe in a month, my stomach and appetite will have shrunk sufficiently that I can have a real treat now and again. I'm not there yet. A can of soup and a salad is going to make me hungry, cranky, desperate, and likely to overeat in the late part of the day. So if I need to use my points on real food, and have only 3 pts left in the day for the treat that I want, I'm suggesting I'd prefer to use it on a small square of fake cake than not have anything. That's my choice, and it doesn't have to be yours. But by telling me it's all junk and good luck to me if that's my approach, it sound a lot like a diss, which isn't really why I posted in the first place.

                    The problem is not figuring out points. The issue is that 2 squares of cake, one with diet soda and the other the real deal, have a vastly different point count. Both may satisfy the sweet tooth. One will blow the diet and the other won't. I don't really need a lesson where flour plus sugar plus butter is more wholesome than chemical a, b, and c. I personally feel ok with my choice to eat the evil stuff because the rest of my diet is filled with whole foods. This is what I meant by ideals vs idealism. Ideals are great. Idealism doesn't leave any room for reality.

                    1. re: sasha1
                      rworange Nov 17, 2011 04:42 PM

                      I'm sorry if you misread my tone. I was trying to be helpful and with my experience try to look at this differently so you won't blow your diet ... or think of it as a diet. Maybe it was more of the frustration of decades of trying to do what you want to do and failing coming through. I mean, I was there when Tab was created. I've tried it all. Everybody has to try their own thing. What works for one person doesn't work for another. It was necessary for me to try thing after thing only to return full circle to that eating plan that worked a few decades ago.

                      I have refrained from general diet tips and addressed that within Weight Watchers. You mention coffee further down. It took me five years to wean off sugar in coffee. Never was able to kick the milk though.

                      That post mentions triggers and for me sweets are triggers.Since posting on Chowhound in 2002 I've looked backed and saw ... yow ... I really frequent bakeries way too much. I've never found satisfaction in substitutes, so I go for quality. If that throw me over a few points or calories or whatever I'm using at the time ... so be it. As Scarlett said "Tommorrow is another day". The point is to get back on the horse.

                      I had a freind would would take a bite of something bad and just put it down. I don't have that self control. If I buy a bad baked good, it's rare I won't finish it.

                    2. re: rworange
                      d
                      debbypo Mar 24, 2012 08:09 PM

                      Roast beef (like Dietz and Watson and Boar's Head) are quite low in points... why out for now???

                  2. re: rworange
                    d
                    debbypo Mar 24, 2012 08:05 PM

                    Just for your info... noboday at Weight Watchers weighs in publicly... They take great pains for it to be just you and the receptionist. There is an anti-humiliation approach.

                  3. u
                    UTgal Nov 17, 2011 08:21 AM

                    I was very successful with Weight Watchers and I wish you the same. Though I no longer count points I still follow many of the guidelines.

                    A few easy, filling things:

                    • toss garbanzo beans & cauliflower with olive oil, kosher salt, and roast.
                    • corn tortillas are your friend. No more flour ones! :-) Buy some masa flour, they're so easy to make.
                    • keep chicken breasts on hand for quick starters
                    • buy Laughing Cow cheese & part skim string cheese. Both very filling!
                    • ditto rworange on the popcorn. I make it with oil on the stove in a pot.

                    I'll keep trying to think of other food ideas. Good luck!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: UTgal
                      s
                      sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 08:46 AM

                      Thank you! I'm going to search for laughing cow in the market next shopping trip. Funny - I am already eating the string cheese because after my kids asked for them for lunchboxes, they've decided they don't like them... Story of our life. I think they're a pretty tasty 2 points.

                      1. re: sasha1
                        s
                        StefaniePags Nov 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                        If you buy the WW brand string cheese, the smoked flavor is delicious (I will eat anything smoked - cheese, fish, meat, ice cream I don't care!) and 1 string cheese is only 1 Points Plus Value.

                        WW also makes very tasty dark chocolate raspberry ice cream bars. They are 2 PPV each and REALLY good.

                        Arnold's makes a new 100 calorie bread called Pocket Thins. The Italian herb flavor is very good and they are only 3 PPV each. They look like Pita bread, and they are very nice and soft.

                        1. re: StefaniePags
                          s
                          sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 10:35 AM

                          Are the products available for purchase to people who haven't signed up for the program?

                          1. re: sasha1
                            j
                            jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 10:55 AM

                            sasha, the ww products Stefanie mentioned are available at the grocery store. Dh LOVES the giant latte bars which are like a mocha fudgecicle. there are products for sale at the meetings, I don't believe they ask for your ww book to purchase them, but I find they are overpriced and have acceptable grocery store equivalents.
                            I have not been able to find the WW string cheese at our stores in a while tho - perhaps it wasn't popular enough. Dh prefers the baby bels or a small chunk of full fat cheese, anyway.

                            1. re: jujuthomas
                              s
                              sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 12:19 PM

                              Thanks again - I'll look for those along with the laughing cow cheese!

                    2. s
                      sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 08:50 AM

                      Edited OP to say: I'm not going to meetings, trying to save some money at this juncture. No smart phone either - I know, dark ages...

                      And please keep advice specific to WW. I'm one of those people who know alot about diet and nutrition generalities, but have a hard time getting myself to do the right things. So hopefully by getting really specific with advice, tips, food suggestions, I'll have more luck actually sticking with it.

                      Thanks again :)

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: sasha1
                        d
                        delong99 Nov 17, 2011 09:09 AM

                        I ditto the Progresso Soups. The light soups even have the WW points on the label. I usually eat the whole can, but pour off some of the broth and still get full for under 200 calories. So if Sodium isn't an issue check them out. Most times I add some Frank's Red Hot for extra flavor and zing.

                        One snack that some of my friends in a calorie tracking program eat is a chocolate rice cake with a schmear of light strawberry cream cheese (tablespoon?)

                        1. re: delong99
                          s
                          sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 10:38 AM

                          Chocolate rice cake? Where would I find such a thing? I've never seen one before. I buy the apple and caramel flavor (and cheese) for my kids lunch box desserts/snacks. I would pass on the strawberry c.c. but maybe a thin coat of pb! That sounds yummy - sweet and crunchy.

                        2. re: sasha1
                          mcel215 Nov 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                          Sasha,

                          I don't count points, but this dessert is one that I used to eat a lot. 1/2 cup fat free Strawberry jello, half a sliced banana and 1/2 cup cool whip. Sprinkle on a little granola on top for crunch if you like.

                          1. re: sasha1
                            j
                            jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 09:48 AM

                            another good chocolate fix is the skinny cow candies - they are generally 3 points per and are VERY tasty. I can't have 'em in the house b/c DH can't stop eating them.

                            1. re: jujuthomas
                              s
                              sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 10:41 AM

                              It turns out one of those little boxes (Halloween) of Jr. Mints is only 2 points - score! I think they're very low in fat compared to a snack size candy bar. I love love love dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa content the better. But the portion size - ugh. That's my biggest downfall I think. Portion size.

                              We've been doing really well on the dinners this week since I started. Steamed fish over tatsoi and rice w/an asian broth one night, sauteed chic breast w/a parnsip/squash puree the next, split pea soup w/canadian bacon strips and garlic bread yesterday (more soup less bread for me than the rest of the fam). It's all been so relatively light that I haven't had to settle for portions that I need a microscope to see.

                              1. re: sasha1
                                m
                                mpjmph Nov 17, 2011 01:22 PM

                                Mini bags of M&M's are only 3 points - those are my go to for midday chocolate fixes. I've tried the Skinny Cow chocolates, and was put off by the artificial sweetener, which says a lot since I'm a Diet Coke person, and generally not bothered by the taste of aspartame.

                                1. re: sasha1
                                  j
                                  jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 03:01 PM

                                  OOH, I love Junior mints! someone said in our ww meeting a couple weeks ago that the mini bags of whoppers are only 3 points - i'm not into malted milk balls, but if you like 'em that's a reasonable one. :)
                                  your dinners sound delish! this weekend I made garlic shrimp from skinnytaste.com, and her turkey meatballs. both came out great. the meatballs are a staple in our house.

                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                    s
                                    sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 04:45 PM

                                    I hate malt :)

                                    I've been making chili with turkey for years. Meatballs sound like a plan too. My lovely hubby just made "spaghetti and meatballs" this week for his and the kids lunch, and I started to eat some when I realized how not bad for me it was. He used whole wheat pasta, 95/5 ground beef, and made a marinara. Oil for the entire was about 3 tbsp. The meatballs plus sauce ended up being a point each, estimating 20 for a lb of meat.

                                    1. re: sasha1
                                      j
                                      jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 06:00 PM

                                      i hate malt too. :)
                                      the other recipe we just did from skinnytaste was a turkey chili with pumpkin puree in it - OMG so good.
                                      your hubby's spaghetti and meatballs sounds great!

                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                        s
                                        sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 09:37 PM

                                        Oh my god - the last batch of chili I made, I threw in some leftover squash soup that my kids rejected - and then they gobbled it up (pun intended!)

                                        I let him cook sometimes - he seems to like it :)

                            2. j
                              jarona Nov 17, 2011 12:28 PM

                              I was on WW for a bit and lost quite a nice amount of weight. I've kept it off too. Now...I am not too crazy about the new points system, and liked the other points system much better.
                              Although we don't keep processed foods in our home, I have managed to "sneak" in quite a bit of the WW and Lean Cuisine meals for me because of convenience. The meals I have always snuck in were (and sometimes still) the pasta meals. I love the WW Macaroni and Three Cheese. This is the ONLY way I can eat pasta. Because pasta is a trigger food for me, I found that the WW meals offer the perfect portion. It's mental. I simply cannot make pasta for myself because I WILL cook the entire box (it is only the two of us) and I WILL eat most of it.
                              So...if you have a trigger food, I would say it is certainly ok to go the processed route every now and then. What I don't care for though is the amount of sodium in those meals.
                              Hey. It's tough so take it easy. Have patience and take baby steps.
                              Best of luck to you!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jarona
                                s
                                sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 12:46 PM

                                Thank you for the mac & cheese tip.

                                I'm a salt monster. Will have to tone that down I guess. I also use equal in all kinds of drinks to avoid sugar. But the last couple days, I have started trying to use 3/4 or 1/2 the amount I used to, and that will hopefully be a lasting change. If I eliminated it altogether, all the tea and coffee would taste gross to me. Slow but in the right direction is my key, I hope, to sustainable change.

                                1. re: jarona
                                  m
                                  mpjmph Nov 17, 2011 01:24 PM

                                  Similarly, pizza is a trigger for for me. I really like the Lean Cuisine pizzas for regular meals, or frozen single serve California Pizza Kitchen for a splurge. The thin crust Hawaiian CPK pizza is 10 points I think...

                                2. Foodapotamus Nov 17, 2011 03:58 PM

                                  I recently started WW and I've found a couple things that I really like. Fage yogurt is low in points and you can doctor it up really easily. I will add splenda and pumkin pie spice and maybe some dark choc chips for a sweet. It's filling too! I''ve also heard (but haven't tried) that mixing ranch seasoning with Fage makes a great low point dip.

                                  For lunches at work, I've found these tupperwares with a small compartment for dressing that snaps in. As dull as it sounds, I pretty much eat the same thing at work everyday. I can make it ahead of time and grab and go out of the house. It makes it really easy to track points. What I like is a spinich salad with dried fruit, blue cheese, and chicken breast. I portion it out into the containers and use a little oil and a TON of vinegar for my dressing.

                                  I also hard boil eggs and keep them ready to grab as a snack in the fridge. I always have washed and prepped fruits/veggies available to grab too.

                                  Fat free or Sugar free hot chocolate is a great way to get over an afternoon craving for sweets. I have also tried some of the weight watchers or skinny cow ice cream bars and they're not bad!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Foodapotamus
                                    s
                                    sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 04:48 PM

                                    Thanks :) I'm munching on a celery w/lite blue cheese dressing as I read. I'm more a blue cheese sort of girl than ranch.

                                    The other day for breakfast, I made egg salad w/1 boiled egg, a little lite mayo, put it on a lite whole wheat english muffin, and topped it with an entire small garden grown tomato that has been ripening on my counter (picked at frost). I can't believe how full for how long it made me. Lasted way longer than the oatmeal from the day before.

                                    I hear you on the same thing each day. I've actually read it is easier to lose weight that way than to have a lot of variety. But I love to cook, so I'm doing the variety thing. Experimenting with rotating between 2-3 types of breakfast and lunch foods per week, which is easier when there are leftovers.

                                    1. re: Foodapotamus
                                      j
                                      jujuthomas Nov 17, 2011 06:04 PM

                                      I love spinach - add it to salads, scrambles, soups... whatever.
                                      I found bertucci's has a nice spinach salad... it's spinach, red onions, grape tomatos with a balsamic vinegrette - with grilled chicken, it's 7 ppv, and very filling.

                                    2. chef chicklet Nov 17, 2011 04:37 PM

                                      I enjoy fresh spinach, both fresh and sauteed. Especially good is sauteed with a tiny bit of olive oil with minced garlic, and tossed with fresh lemon juice. My sons love it so much they make it, and neither have an ounce of fat.

                                      I enjoy, chicken or pork small cuts, dipped in a little egg white, rolled into well seasoned, potato flakes or panko and then baked. The crunch satisfies that urge for something crispy coated or fried. Do the same with veggies.

                                      I love to top fresh spinach with any protein. Shrimp, scallops or chicken breast. I make a nice turkey picatta, set it on fresh wilted spinach, the flavors just meld together.
                                      Apples and pears every day, even in my salad or sandwiches, cucumbers and celery too.
                                      I just have to remind myself that I know very well how to make healthy creative food that is low in fat and calories. I find Cooking Light has some great recipes that you can slim down even further.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chef chicklet
                                        s
                                        sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 04:51 PM

                                        I did WW about 10 yrs ago when nothing was free points, and I always fell back on tomatoes w/balsamic vinegar when I was hungry w/no points left over. We all have our crutches, right :) ?

                                        The baked crispy proteins sound like a great idea. I love chicken tenders - they are (were?) my go to snack when I wanted something meaty and crunchy.

                                        All of you who use lots of egg whites and not so many yolks, are you buying the egg beaters type of stuff in the store? You don't actually buy real eggs and throw all those yolks away???

                                      2. l
                                        laliz Nov 17, 2011 05:55 PM

                                        I'm a lifetime member of WW. Lifetime dieter too.
                                        My fave low point low cal low carb foods:
                                        Fage yogurt, canned french style green beans (I put red sauce on them and I use them as base for tuna salad, mini bel and laughing cow cheeses (portion control), low carb low carb low carb. I don't eat bread, crackers, purddings rice, etc. unless it is a special treat and I don't keep it in the house. When faced with pizza and the accompanying smell, I try very hard to only eat the topping and leave the crust, the same with a hot dog (which I love) I don't eat the bun.

                                        Oatmeal (stays with me for a long time) as does a Clif bar w/hot tea.
                                        Cottage cheese, stuffed celery, apples. Honey crisps are in season, I eat one every day. I am following Michael Pollan's advice ~~ if you aren't hungry enough to eat an apple, you aren't hungry. That phrase has done wonders for me.
                                        Also the phrase, don't eat it if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it.

                                        I love sugar free jello w/a squirt of Reddi Whip ~~ and sugar free fudgesicles. And Diet Coke. The only things I drink are Crystal Lite, Hot Tea, Coffe, Diet Coke, or water. But I do drink a lot of Crystal Lite.

                                        I wish you well. I also am a fan of Progresso Soups. A big fan.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: laliz
                                          s
                                          sasha1 Nov 17, 2011 09:44 PM

                                          I would literally rather be huge and die young than give up bready things. They are my happiness. I am a fan of Pollan, and that's a smart phrase I hadn't heard before.

                                          I've been doing apples, bananas, and or grapes each day since I started. My fruit, when possible, is sweet tart rather than all sweet. I prefer it that way and like to think it has fewer calories - maybe self deception there. I'm slightly dubious that I can eat those things w/o them counting, but the scale will tell at the end of the week.

                                          Canned green beans? Really? I have to give you a bit of a hard time for that. Besides tomatoes and beans, I don't do veggies out of a can. I hate the texture. Frozen I could do...Canned tomatoes to me are a different vegetable altogether than fresh tomatoes - both good though.

                                          I've never been a huge fan of yogurt, but I keep trying to like it better. I have Fage in my fridge now. When I was a kid, my mom used to make a savory dip w/cottage cheese, mayo, dry dill and garlic powder, s&p. I used to like it - haven't had it in a while, may rescusitate that and give it a spin as a veggie dip.

                                          Thanks for the encouragement!

                                          1. re: laliz
                                            j
                                            jarona Nov 18, 2011 09:29 AM

                                            Fage Yogurt and Shiracca Sauce = one great little condiment to put on sandwiches rather than mayo. Fage is the greatest!

                                          2. s
                                            sasha1 Nov 21, 2011 07:23 PM

                                            Hi everyone,

                                            So the first week went well. I managed to diary everything and didn't end up feeling hungry. I've been spending less time with old friends like bread, pasta, and pancakes.

                                            But I've been making new friends with eggs, beans, chicken breast, fruit, and greens. I've found that oatmeal fills me for a while in the am, but nothing beats the staying power of a lite english muffin with an egg (and either tomato or slice of ham). I made a ton of coleslaw that I've been snacking on (no mayo, little oil); split pea soup that I've been having for lunches.

                                            I just happened upon a dessert that makes me really happy - 1/2 cup of 0 fage w/4 tsp of shredded coconut (sweetened) is only 2.5 points - can you believe it? I didn't add sugar or equal because the sugar in the coconut is enough.

                                            I'm also taking my consumption of equal (tea, coffee) down a notch.

                                            I bought some laughing cow cheese today (haven't tried it yet) and have been snacking on krab. I think this might just be sustainable for a while :)

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: sasha1
                                              j
                                              jujuthomas Nov 22, 2011 05:39 AM

                                              great work Sasha!

                                              1. re: jujuthomas
                                                s
                                                sasha1 Nov 22, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                Thanks! Do you have any suggestions for pancakes or waffles juju? These are a weekend staple for us...

                                                1. re: sasha1
                                                  j
                                                  jujuthomas Nov 22, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                  I just posted on the low point ww breakfast thread the other day about that - we use the fiber one pancake mix. I know lots of folks don't like mixes, but it's hard for me to find a recipe that doesn't contain dairy and the Complete F1 mix is dairy free. I add a smashed banana or two, and some blueberries or sliced strawberries. I really want to make a batch with pumpkin puree and some pumpkin pie spice... mmm pumpkin pancakes! :)

                                                  Anyway, per 3 pancake serving, the F1 pancakes are 5 points. the box also gives instructions for making waffles. :)

                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                    s
                                                    sasha1 Nov 22, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                    I've never seen it before - probably because I rarely make pancakes from a mix (except if camping). It's in with the pancake mixes then, and not the cereals? Thanks!

                                                    I am sort of dreading TDay this year - although I've cooked the meal myself for the last decade, we are going to in-laws this year. I have no control over what mil is putting into her dishes. Got to rely on small portions I guess and hope for the best.

                                                    1. re: sasha1
                                                      j
                                                      jujuthomas Nov 22, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                      Yes, it's in with the pancake mixes. there are two kinds, with similar NI, I believe. I think the other is buttermilk. :)
                                                      I've done thanksgiving the last couple years, but this year we're going to the in laws. I will be taking and cooking the turkey at least - we'd already ordered a fresh one when there was a change of plans.

                                            2. omotosando Mar 25, 2012 01:26 AM

                                              1. Don't know if they are available in your area, but I'm a big fan of LaTortilla Factory Smart Delicious Tortillas. The small ones are 50 calories and the large ones are 100. High fiber, reduced carbs - fewer calories than 2 pieces of bread for a sandwich. I find a can of tuna, doctored up with some spices and rolled into the big tortilla to be a very filling lunch. In fact, if I wasn't scared of mercury poisoning, I would eat it every day.

                                              2. I love the Weight Watchers peanut butter sundae cups. I find them delicious and filling when I'm craving something sweet. The only other Weight Watchers dessert I tried was the key lime pie, which I did not like.

                                              3. Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? My favorite Trader Joe's low-cal convenience food are the frozen turkey patties. You can pan fry them from frozen with just a little bit of oil. It's just ground turkey and a little seasoning -- no junk in it -- but saves you from the trouble of making your own patties. Very filling. The Trader Joe's frozen salmon patties aren't bad either (I did not like the fresh ones -- too thick and hard to cook up evenly). Anyway, if you have a Trader Joe's and prowl around, I think you will find a lot of reasonably healthy, low-cal semi-convenience foods hidden among the mostly high calorie junk (some of the Trader Joe's prepared meals are in the 600 calorie range or so).

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