We always have the “IT” option. We can lose IT, maintain IT or gain IT (pounds that is). The holidays are no different but they certainly do present some challenges we don’t have to deal with the rest of the year. Many of us are presented with an over-abundance of food and not the most healthy choices to boot. So what can one do? Plan IT!
Whether you plan just one meal, one day or one week – making a plan ahead of time can help. Decide what your plan of attack will be if you have a holiday party to attend. One member suggested that you make one pass around the table of food so you can do a bit of recon. Decide what you are willing to spend your points on ahead of time. Fill up on the power foods of course but don’t forget to treat yourself (we don’t believe in deprivation) to some of the desserts or whatever your favorite weakness is. Another trick I’ve often heard is eat something before you go to the party. That way you aren’t so hungry when you get there and are less likely to eat too much. Minimize the amount of alcohol (empty calories that really can rob you of your points) and don’t forget to keep plenty of water by your side. Another member suggested after you make your plate step away from the table. Go and socialize. Talking to others can keep you from going back and filling up once you are already full. Another member said – share IT. If you really love desserts – share that slice of pie or cake with a friend, co-worker or family member. That way you can have half the points and still enjoy yourself.
Remember no matter what your plan is, try to eat slower. It takes the brain time to catch up to the stomach and say it’s full. Eat but then wait 20 minutes or so. Then assess your fullness level. Also this time of the year with heat on the environment is drier – you maybe thirsty and not really hungry. Try drinking some water first and then see if that doesn’t satisfy you.
So whatever challenges you this holiday season make a plan (to lose, maintain, or gain) but more importantly don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to the plan. Look at it as a learning experience especially if this is your first time trying to avoid all the goodies out there. We are only human and even the most season veteran at the weight loss path will fall off the wagon on occasion. Trick is they immediately dust themselves off and get back on. Just keep moving forward with whatever plan you choose.
Happy Holidays to all!
Do you have a friend or family member working the Weight Watchers program or just trying to make healthy choices in their lives? Stumped as to what to get them for the holidays? Here some suggestions that will hopefully help make your gift giving a bit easier.
- Weight Watchers mini-bars (2 pts) make great stocking stuffers
- Weight Watchers 3 pts bars too
- Fruit baskets from Harry and David’s or from Edible Arrangements (not with dipped chocolate fruit)
- Sugar-free gum
- Weight Watchers candy
- Work-out clothes (tops, pants, shorts, socks, shoes)
- Gift certificate for their favorite gym (for classes or personal trainer)
- Small hand weights (if they are a walker and want to ramp up their workout)
- New gym bag
- Toiletry bag for shampoo, soap, razor, etc.
- Bottle to carry water during workouts
- DVDs of Zumba, Kettlebells or Yoga workouts
- Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
- Food scale
- Weight Watchers Easy Measure Serving Set (not only functional but nice looking as well)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Digital Scale
- New non-stick cookware (saucepans as well as pots)
But the most important gift you can give them is your support. How about a jar full of hand written coupons like “Good for one walk around the track with you” or “Good for 2 hours to yourself – I’ll take care of the kids” or “Good for one vacuuming of the whole house” or “Good for one fixing of dinner (promise to follow WW recipes)“. Anything you can do to show support will always be greatly appreciated by anyone but especially someone on a weight loss/maintenance journey.
Wishing all of you very Happy Holidays!
Thanksgiving can be an extra stressful time for those of us watching the scale or at the very least trying to have healthy alternatives. Although the turkey is definitely in the healthy category (without skin) the rest of the sides just seem to destined to challenge us. If it isn’t the food that is the problem well-meaning relatives or friends may bring the challenge.
Many of us have to split our day among different households therefore eating two dinners. As one member shared one family the Mother likes to serve everyone and serves them exactly the same amount no matter what. Another member shared that a family member is offended if you don’t eat the dish they brought. These won’t be the first or only challenges you will face but be thankful that Thanksgiving is a Day of Food. Remember you do have a choice – you can choose to lose, choose to maintain where you are or choose to gain. None of these choices are wrong – do what works best to make your Thanksgiving enjoyable. Just remember give yourself permission and get right back on the plan the next day no matter what your choice.
Some tips to keep in mind that might help you on Thanksgiving (or any big family gathering):
- Eat smaller portions. Eating some of “Aunt Sue’s” favorite calorie/fat laden dish won’t add as many pounds to you and will go a long way towards appeasing her.
- Schedule time to get out and exercise. Take a walk with the family before or after the meal. Since many of us have to get up early to finish thawing the turkey or get things started – go for a quick walk before everyone else is up. Take that time for yourself then so you can enjoy family and friends later.
- Help out in the kitchen after dinner. Instead of sitting around watching football – move around the kitchen packing up leftovers or clearing dishes.
- If you are hosting the event – send EVERYONE home with leftovers. Less temptation for you if it isn’t in your fridge.
- If you are going to someone’s house bring a dish that is Weight Watchers inspired. I recently held a party where I made nothing but WW recipes – no one even knew and said how good the food was. I was able to enjoy too knowing I was eating healthier versions of those recipes.
- Remember things go better if you plan. Plan ahead as to what you will eat for the big meal.
- Know ahead of time what the point value for certain foods are (see list below). Remember your portion sizes (bring your WW serving spoons – not only are they nice looking but they will help you remember what is a 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.)
- Don’t skimp on meals that day. If try to save up points from breakfast or lunch you may find yourself too hungry by the time the big meal is served and you will more than likely go over on your points. Try to fill up on power foods earlier in the day so you stay satisfied.
- Use the Recipe Builder on e-Tools to take an old family favorite and make it healthier.
- Again, decide what you want to do today (lose, maintain or gain) – this maybe a day of food but it’s really about family and friends.
If this is your first Thanksgiving on Weight Watchers think of it as a learning experience. It is mine and I will take note of what worked for me and what didn’t so that next year I can improve my strategy. I wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Menu and Points Plus Values
- Tossed salad, 1 cup (no dressing) – 0 pts.
- 1 Dinner roll (no butter) – 5 pts.
- 1 tsp. Butter (regular) – 1 pts.
- 1 slice Turkey breast (w/skin) 2 oz. – 3 pts.
- Stuffing (1/2 cup) – 3 pts.
- Ham (no glaze) 2 oz. – 3 pts.
- Ham (glazed) 4 oz. – 7 pts.
- Giblet gravy (1/4 cup) – 2 pts.
- Cranberry sauce (1/4 cup) – 3 pts.
- Winter squash (1 cup) – 0 pts.
- Mashed potatoes (1/2 cup) – 3 pts.
- Baked sweet potatoes (1 large) – 4 pts.
- Steamed green beans (1 cup) – 0 pts.
- Green bean casserole (1 cup) – 4 pts.
- Fruit cocktail (light syrup) 1 cup – 4 pts.
- Corn (1 cup) – 4 pts.
- 1 slice Pumpkin pie – 11 pts.
- 1 slice Pecan pie – 14 pts.
- Wine (4 oz.) – 4 pts.
- Coffee or tea (no sweetener) – 0 pts.