Of course, every day is a Weight Watchery day (except for those days when I fall headfirst into a takeaway pizza and tell no-one about it but we’ll ignore those), however I was recently challenged to share my typical day and the kind of obstacles I might encounter along the way, tempting me into the path of calorific catastrophe.
I’m quite lucky in so far as, I work from home. I don’t have to pass a thousand Starbucks on my way in to work. Krispy Kreme and Cornish Pasty Co. stands are figments of my dreams rather than daily obstacles that need to be dodged. Thank god, I can only imagine how unhealthy I would be if I had to run the typical commuter gauntlet on a daily basis. That being said, my life is not devoid of temptation… my mother is a one-woman army of home-cooking that needs “testing” within twenty seconds of stepping foot inside her home. And my husband? Well, his name is Paul and he’s addicted to Haribo.
I’m allowed 29 points a day on the Weight Watchers plan. That’s plenty enough to create a filling meal plan but you do need to be creative. If you think that genuine hunger (and I mistake thirst for hunger many, many times throughout the day) will be a problem for you, you need to get clever about planning your meals, and this takes both dedication and time.
Pulling some images from my instagram, where you can keep up with 90% of my eats (I’m sorry), here’s what a typical day looks like for me food-wise.
My biggest struggle is this little meal that you’re supposed to eat upon waking, in order to break the fast of the night. I hate breakfast. I’m never hungry in the mornings and if anything, I always feel that eating breakfast makes me desperate for moar food as the morning progresses. The key to a successful breakfast for me is finding something that is going to sustain me because once that fast is broken, there ain’t no going back.
You can forget your miniscule portions of packet cereal, have you seen how much 30g actually is? I could snort that amount quicker than it takes me to pour it out of the packet. Porridge is where it’s at on a cold morning… the only problem is making it edible. I always make mine with water, in the microwave… adding a splash of milk at the end. I bulk it up with some dried or frozen fruit (added before cooking) and a drizzle of agave syrup or a tsp of demerera sugar. I also allow myself 50g dry weight. That’s more than most plans allow but if I don’t fill myself up, I start to think about lunchtime far too early!
If I’m not eating porridge for breakfast, then you’ll usually find me chomping on a Weight Watcher’s branded bagel (they’re smaller, hence I eat less) with low-fat cream cheese and smoked salmon, or the same topping… but on an English muffin, or a Warburton’s Thin (as shown below).
Warburton’s Thin with butter, low fat cream cheese, and smoked salmon (and lots and lots of black pepper! 7 Propoints)
I’m a bit too lazy for cooked breakfasts to be honest.
I’ve stopped having these (or any calorie-controlled ready meal) for dinner because they don’t fill me up enough without a mountain of bread/salad to go alongside. Instead, a ready meal (doesn’t have to be WW branded, Tesco do some good ones with the Propoints displayed on them) makes for a perfect lunchtime meal that doesn’t distract me too much from working. The downside to working from home, as you can imagine, are the numerous distractions and one of my worst habits is leaving the computer to go and fix myself some lunch… before returning three hours later. Slinging one of these in the microwave removes the temptation to do the washing up or throw a load of washing in the machine, convenience… can be good!
Alternatively, I’m not that great with my lunchtimes yet. My next mission is to make myself some batches of soup but my freezer is too full at the moment to store them! Other lunches include this sort of thing, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the most inspiring meal on a plate:
Random medley of scrounged food (6 Propoints)
Dinner is what it’s all about. I grew up in a family where both parents worked, dinnertime (never “teatime” in our house) was the only point in the day where we’d all see one another. We also usually had it quite late in the evening, around 7-7.30pm and nearly always consisted of a one-pot affair. Chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, curry… the sort of food that could feed an indiscriminate number of children, one of us would always bring a “hanger-on” home with us!
Nowadays, I try to have my main meal earlier in the day, sometimes I swap lunch for dinner (and have it at 4pm with a snack in the evening). If you follow my instagram feed, you may have noticed that one of my favourite meals is…
…sausages! Sausages (Tesco Light Choice Cumberland), green beans, yorkshire pudding, butternut squash and gravy (10 Propoints)
Or sometimes, I like to save up my points and be a bit naughtier…
Rump steak (cooked in garlic butter), fried onion, egg-white coated chips, oven-baked mushroom, and salad (11 Propoints)
I usually try and hold off having a pudding for at least an hour after my evening meal. I eat my food far too quickly… and often don’t feel full until a good twenty minutes after I’ve put my knife and fork down. Leaving a delay between dinner and pud ensures that I actually enjoy my dessert and that I’m not just eating it for “eatings” sake. As for what I have… I won’t put pictures in because it’s nothing amazing but I’ll alternate between: Meringue nest with grapes/pineapple and WW greek yogurt (2 Propoints), slow cooker rice pudding with jam (4 Propoints a portion), or a big bowl of sorbet (2 Propoints). As the Summer nears, I’ll be stocking up on Solero Exotic Explosions (3 Propoints each), and Mini Milks (1 Propoint).
Now… as for obstacles, like I say… I don’t have too many… but we did go to the cinema a couple of weeks ago for Mr. L’s birthday and I couldn’t have done without smuggling in a couple of packets of these from Boots:
Boots Shapers Maple Popcorn (2 Propoints) – you can see how big the bag is compared to the size of my thumb, it’s very generous!
And as for missing a coffee treat when we’re out shopping… well, I don’t. I just ask for a tall skinny caramel macchiato w/sugar-free syrup (I always emphasise SF syrup) for 3 Propoints, instead of something like the equivalently sized tall signature hot chocolate which I believe is a whopping 11 Propoints. Yeah, take a look at the steak picture again, that’s 11 Propoints too!
Alternatively, if you’re at home… you could treat yourself to something like this…
I bought my syrup just before Christmas and next time would go for a sugar-free Davinci or Sweetbird coffee syrup. Either way: kettle, coffee syrup, favourite instant blend and a dash of milk and you can make your own ghetto Starbucks. Kinda.
Hope this post has given you some ideas about the sort of food I eat on the plan. Our environment is geared up to feeding us convenience at a high cost in calories. Waking up to this fact and being vigilant (though not militantly so!) about it is the key to finding a balance that works for you. There’s no real restrictions other than an initial daily point guide and subsequently what you impose upon yourself with this plan but you do quickly find yourself realising that an 11 point hot chocolate is not the best way to “spend” your daily allowance.
The plan works for me, it’s not actually rocket science… it’s just a simplified method (once you get the hang of it) for calculating your food’s nutritional values, opening up your eyes to the healthy and filling options that will keep you sustained for longer (i.e. low GI), and encouraging ways to help you make the right choices over the wrong ones.
If you have any questions or tips on foods you think I might enjoy discovering, please let me know in the comments!
* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated. I have received no payment for this post.