Thursday, November 4, 2010

how do you do it?

WARNING: this blog post is hyperlink heavy and looooooooooooong.

since i posted that i was doing weight watchers, i've had a lot of people ask me how i'm doing it... and for free?! well, i figured i would share. you're welcome!!

1) start here. this site tells you how to figure out how many points you are allowed each day. follow the formula that is laid out on this page. it's super easy. trust me. i failed two math courses in high school. if i can do it, you can do it. (and on a sidenote to all the kiddos: yes, you can fail math and still be successful. don't let your parents lie to you. calculators exist for a reason.)

2) second... what can i eat?! it's a common misconception that you have to get weight watchers food only to follow the plan. not true! that's one thing i love about the plan is that i can still cook! you can calculate the points that are in food by following the formula on this site, but i just find numbers too complicated, so i found this calculator that does the work for you. (see kids, i told you calculators exist for a reason.)

3) meet dotti. she's my hero. she has made a website compiling an abundance of weight watchers information. (thank you, dotti!) it takes a bit of maneuvering to find your way around the site, so i've posted some other links that are from different parts of dotti's site. also, dotti has an app that you can download on an iphone or a droid to take her tips with you wherever you go.

4) if you're like me, you're probably wondering about produce, which usually doesn't come with nutrition facts attached but it must be good for you... right?! well, dotti has provided a 0 point foods, 1 point foods, and foods with 3 points or less. pretty much any produce i can think of is found here. if not, google the food's nutrition information and find out the food's calories, fat grams, and fiber. then use the trusty calculator from step 2 to calculate the points!

5) something i have a lot of trouble with when dieting is going out to eat. i'm a foodie and i love to go out with family and friends. that usually blows my diet plan, but it doesn't have to! dotti has also provided an awesome restaurant guide that tells you the weight watchers points for many dishes at sit down and fast food restaurants. talk about a life saver! you can still go out to eat, but you have to be responsible to make smart food choices. dotti's guide is also updated regularly so if there's a new dish you are wanting to try, you'll probably find it on there.

6) exercise is so important! even if you aren't dieting, exercise has so many positive benefits and is something that everybody should incorporate into their schedule. exercising 30 minutes three times a week is a great goal to set for yourself.

7) for those following the WW plan, exercising can actually increase your point allotment for the day. first, you have to determine whether your activity is low intensity, moderate intensity, or high intensity. determine this by doing the exercise for ten minutes. if you don't sweat at all, the activity is low intensity. if you sweat towards the end of the 10 minutes, the activity is moderate intensity. if you begin to sweat between 3-5 minutes of doing the activity, it is high intensity. other clues to help you figure out the intensity level are: your intensity level is low if you can talk, sing, your breathing is regular and you’re not sweating. your intensity level is moderate if you can talk, but can’t sing; your breathing is often and deep; and you’re sweating after 10 minutes. your intensity level is high if you can talk briefly but can’t sing; your breathing is rapid and deep; and you’re sweating after 3-5 minutes

8) so how many points can you get? i found the following information at livestrong, which is another great health and fitness site.
high intensity: for 30 minutes, you earn 3 points if you weigh less than 140 pounds. 4 points if you weigh between 140 and 180. 5 points if you weigh 181 to 225. add one point to this total for every 40 pounds of weight over 225.
moderate intensity: for 30 minutes, you earn 1 point if you weigh up to 160 pounds. 2 points if you weigh between 160 and 260. three points if you weigh 260 to 360. you get 4 points for this activity if you weigh over 360 pounds.
low intensity: if you weigh less than 220 pounds, 30 minutes will earn you 1 point. if you weigh between 220 and 360 pounds, you earn 2 points. if you weigh over 360 pounds, you earn 3 points.

9) the points that you earn by exercising can be used as extra food points. these points can roll over from day to day within one week but cannot roll over from week to week. so if you exercise on monday and earn 5 points, you can apply those points to a dinner out on sunday. however, if you don't apply your activity points as extras, you will lose weight faster.

10) there are so many great products on the market that are specifically geared towards those on the weight watchers plan. lean cuisines, smartones, and healthy choice products usually have the weight watchers points right on the box. also, weight watchers has their own ice creams and bakery products. i love their blueberry muffins (3 points!) and their lemon cream cakes (only 1 point!). i even had them when i was home a few weeks ago and my little brother, caleb, ate a muffin and some of my lemon cream cakes. they're tasty! smartones desserts are lifesavers! they're key lime pie and chocolate chip cookie dough sundaes are AMAZING! even if you aren't trying to lose weight, they're just as good as any restaurant dessert. they are a staple in my freezer.

11) i've found that eating high fiber foods is key to WW success. i found some delicious wraps by la tortilla factory at public that are 0 points! i like to fill them with grilled chicken, low fat cheese, and lettuce and gobble them up. i usually pair them with reduced fat pringles (2 points a serving!) for a delicious and filling lunch.

12) find tricks that work! many fruits are filling and delicious. i've found myself chomping on grapes while i'm preparing dinner. grapes are only 1 point and they are a great appetizer because they fill me up a bit before dinner so i don't eat too much. a lot of being successful is portion control. in the spirit of halloween (which we just celebrated) find tricks and treats that work for you!

13) and speaking of halloween... i am a candy fanatic! i've found that you can have the candies you crave. but moderation is key. for example, a fun size bag of peanut m&m's is only 2 points. give in to your cravings. but only a little at a time. this will help you avoid over-indulging later.

14) remember... nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

so that's it! i know it may seem kind of complicated and a lot of information, but the plan is really easy to follow. let me know if you follow it and it works for you! i'll update my progress as we get closer to the big day. 331 days and counting!



Tara said...

Okay Paigey Monster - I'm feeling a tad more motivated now - ummm as I pop peanut M&Ms in my mouth!

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