So these aren’t the best pictures of me in the world, but they do demonstrate that since the beginning of January I’ve lost some weight, and if you remember, in the last post, I asked you if you thought I was able to reach my goal of losing 10% of my body weight by Easter. Well, it’s almost Easter, and looking at those two pictures, before on the left, after on the right, what do you think?
At my home weigh-in on March 9, I had officially lost 11% of my starting body weight, so I was able to reach my goal almost a month early. Now, I’m working on the next goal: another 10% lost by October.
As I mentioned, I have been doing the “best of diets,” cutting out sweets and desserts except on special occasions and doing Weight Watchers (WW) for free. It’s really the combination of these things that has made losing weight possible while at the same time not feeling deprived. I eat out. I make “cookies” out of nuts and dates, and I make “ice cream” out of bananas and strawberries. And I still lost weight, so I wanted to share the resources that I’ve been using to help me. If you’ve done Weight Watchers before, then it’s fairly easy to do it for free with the right tools.
If you haven’t done it, then it might be a little more challenging since you’re not familiar with the basics, but here’s the blog that made me realize that it’s very possible to do:
On this blog, she shares helpful links. The first one you’ll need is a calculator to figure out how many points you can eat each day:
Then, once you know how many points you can have, you’ll need a way to calculate points for foods:
If you’re having a food that doesn’t include nutritional information (because it’s fresh/not packaged), then you might use Spark People:
Then you can use the calculator to find points for it. Luckily, there are many fruits and vegetables that are 0 points and are, therefore, free foods. WW provides a nice list:
If you exercise, you earn activity points. I have found that I can’t actually eat my activity points and still lose weight, but each person needs to experiment with what they can and can’t eat:
Finally, besides your daily points, you also get 49 points. Again, you have to experiment with what your body needs and can handle. I can’t use the full 49, or I won’t lose. I’ve set my weekly allowance at around 40 so that I can continue to lose larger amounts. The weekly allowance allows you to splurge when you need to without having to feel guilty.
Consider giving WW a try if you’re trying to lose weight and eat healthier. As I learned during my time paying for WW and participating in the online communities, WW really isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle. I hope you give it a try. To make it easier on you if you decide to try to do it for free, I’m sharing the Google Spreadsheet I use to track points and measurements. It’s a Google Doc, so please create a copy of the spreadsheet first before entering your information; otherwise, everyone will be able to see it!
On an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats, Alton is describing how he makes smoothies for breakfast every morning, and he gives some tips for choosing the ingredients. He says that when it comes to smoothies, frozen fruits are best, and he especially likes bananas for their creamy texture. This is when he gives the best tip: buy the reduced-price/marked-down bananas, bring them home, wrap each one in plastic wrap, and freeze them. They may look all beat up on the outside, but they’re perfectly ripe on the inside.
Well, guess what? He’s right! I’ve done this the last couple times I’ve gone to the store. The first time, there were just three, but I bought them and froze them. They were perfectly fine on the inside. Today, I bought a bigger bunch, about 6 bananas. I got them home and saw that I had paid 70 cents for organic bananas. I hardly ever buy organic bananas. We also bought a regular bunch of bananas and paid about $2 for them, so those smoothie bananas were a great deal!
This should really help my goal for the near future of having a smoothie every day for breakfast.
Give it a try! Buy marked down bananas. Bring them home, wrap them up, and freeze them for your smoothies. Yummy!