How to eat out at restaurants:

I know I have a lot of problems when it comes to eating out at restaurants. First comes the bread, which is SO HARD for me to say no to (especially if it’s at Bonefish Grill or Red Lobster… mmm cheesy biscuits…) so I am going to compile a list of dos and don’ts for y’all

While you can have bread on weight watchers, I try to refrain. One cheesy biscuit at Red Lobster is about 5 points, and to me that’s just a waste of points when I could get something more filling in my actual meal. So if it’s just my husband and me, I usually ask them to just not bring out the bread. I know this is hard to do, because the bread is so good, but it’s a choice that you won’t regret. If I’m with friends that want bread, I usually ask them to keep the bread on their side of the table so that I wont be within easy reach of it. This sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how much it works. If you move it out of your reach it’s less likely that you’ll just casually pick up a piece and start munching away. My friends are great supporters in my diet, and they usually help me keep myself from making bad choices when we go out to eat. Unless their name is Kathleen. Then she tries to get me to cheat… 😛 Anywho, if you can pass the bread test, you can pass any other test at a restaurant!

Beware of alcoholic beverages! I love getting fun fruity drinks when I go out, but they can rack up the points faster than anything. Alcohol isn’t as easy for the body to metabolize, so it usually just makes you pack on the pounds much faster. If you absolutely have to have a drink with the girls (or boys!) try to find something like this to help you out:

Not all places will be so considerate, but if you find a drink like this try to choose it over a pina colada.

Next up are salads… all I have to say is BEWARE. Salads in restaurants are DECEIVING. They can be some of the highest point items on the menu. I am NOT joking. Chili’s has one salad, a citrus balsamic vinaigrette salad, that is upwards of 19 points. Now don’t get me wrong, I love salads. But you really have to pick and choose the ingredients you put in them:

Just look at those ingredients; points ninjas waiting in the shadows to strike!

I tend to get the basic house salad and ask to have the croutons and cheese taken off. If the salad has nuts or dried fruit, I take those suckers off too. Nuts are high in points and although fresh fruit is zero points, dried fruit isn’t. I also usually get balsamic or vinegar and oil. Any cream based salad dressing will be high in points, so be careful. If they have “lite” salad dressings, those are usually okay (again, lite cream based salad dressings will be worse). **It is also a good idea to ask for the salad dressing on the side, because then you wont eat as much of it.** Fill up on salads and vegetables! You will be less likely to pig out when your actual meal arrives.

Grilled Chicken alla Caprese from Red Robin: sans bread, croutons, and pepperoni slices. Extra onions 🙂

**Just a tip, the salad at Olive Garden is amazing, but the salad dressing is upwards of ten points. Solution? They have a low fat version of their salad dressing that you can ask for that tastes exactly the same. I am not joking. It’s awesome.

If you’re looking for a cup of soup before your meal, try to get something that isn’t cream based and has lots of veggies in it. Chicken noodle is a good choice. I usually average a cup of non-creamy soup at around 6 points. If the soup is cheesy, it’s probably not a good idea.

**Olive garden’s soups range anywhere from 3-6. The Minestrone is 3 per bowl and the Zuppa Toscana [sp] is about 4-5 (I always round up just in case. I’d rather spend too little points than too many.) Soup and salad is always a good choice at this restaurant, because you can fill up on the yummy salad and have one or two bowls of soup.

For your main course, try to figure out what dishes the restaurant serves before hand. I usually google the nutritional value menus for the restaurant that we’re going to for the night. For example, Outback Steakhouse has a complete nutrition menu available online. I can look up what I want to eat and just calculate how many points I will be spending from the comfort of my home. Then, when we get there, I don’t even open the menu. I set it aside and stick to what I picked out at home. (By the way, their mahi mahi is great!). Fish is always a good choice, but be careful with what they smother it in. Restaurants like to cover them in cream based sauces.

Desserts: I don’t even have to say beware, I’m sure most of you know this already. If you HAVE to have a desert, split it with someone. If it’s ala mode (with ice cream) ask for it without the ice cream. Again, Olive Garden has a great dessert option. Their berries and cream (which is unfortunately seasonal to summer) is only about 6 points and is fabulous. Can you tell I like Olive Garden?

Remember, you’re usually not as hungry as you think you are! Order something light and once you’re done with the salad/soup and your dinner, you will be full. I’m not talking about fit to bursting full; that’s never a good idea. I’m talking about satisfied but not weighed down full. I’m talking about healthy full 🙂 Choose your meals wisely!

Also remember that weight watchers lets you have 49 indulgence points each week, so if you really do want those two cheesy biscuits or that mango margarita, it is possible to splurge!

I despise peas…

But I love Progresso’s Split Pea soup with Ham. Not to be confused with their Split Pea Soup with Bacon (I really don’t know the difference, but this is the one I’ve tried and enjoyed). It is a remarkably hearty soup that doesn’t really taste like nasty little peas to me. I’ve decided to show y’all which of these “lite” soups I enjoy the most, and this is the first one I will start out with. I enjoyed this soup SO much that Blaine and I went back to the store to buy four more cans of it.

Weight Watchers Pointsplus value: 6 for the whole can.

I wont lie to you. It looks kind of gross, but it tastes great. I add in cracked pepper, salt to taste, and loads of louisiana hot sauce 🙂

With this soup I went ahead and grabbed one of the prepackaged lite Caesar Salad bags from the salad section. This is my favorite salad, even though it is semi-high in points. It is 3 points for every serving, but be forewarned that they consider this bag to be 4 servings total. So either save up your points if you’re a salad hog like me, or make sure you stick to the serving size. I don’t know if croutons are included in the nutritional value, but I always add in one or two as a treat 🙂

Total Weight Watchers Pointsplus value: 3 per 2 cups of salad (and 1.6 tbs of dressing).

On a somewhat related note, when my mother visited she bought us all kinds of cute Halloween decorations. I’ve had an ongoing love/hate relationship with this guy though:

We filled him with peanut butter M&Ms and I’ve been sneaking them every once in a while, which can’t be good. So, to remedy this situation, I filled him chock full of my low point candies so that when I get the urge for something sweet I don’t have to fall back on those dirty little joy filled M&Ms.

Problem Solved!

Be proactive! If you know something is a huge temptation for you, fix the situation! Throw away that chocolate cake. Don’t rationalize it by saying it’s going to waste, if you eat it, then it’s just going to waist! Get it! … Yeah… um anyway, if you know you have a weakness to something, don’t even allow yourself to succumb to it. Remove the temptation! Or, if you have a hungry hungry hippo for a husband, like I do, don’t let him eat it around you. If he does, then treat yourself to a low point popsicle or some frozen gummy bears 🙂 And always remind yourself when you go to bed that if you’ve done well today, then tomorrow you will reap the benefits!

Dog food.

We realized after eating dinner that our puppy had run out of food, so we made a quick trip to the Mart of the Wal to pick some up. I realized as we were looking through the big bags that they actually weighed LESS than my total weight loss so far. So naturally I took a triumphant picture of me holding a 40 lb bag of dog food. (Before you freak out, no we don’t feed Mishka Iams.) I can’t even imagine now walking around with this much weight on me! No wonder I got tired just going up the stairs.

Also, here are some pictures of the chicken recipe I posted before. We ended up having it for dinner tonight.

Omnomnomnomnom!

Never go through your old photos…

I was looking through my old photos and found something scary… me pre-diet! I’m really baring my soul here by showing this. I almost just deleted it:

Holy guacamole. Forget deleting it, I think I’m going to print this sucker out just so I can burn it. NEVER again!

 

Grocery Shopping!

I had to go pick up some things today, so I took the opportunity to take pictures of some of my go-to foods that I usually take home. (Yes, I was that weird chick walking around Wal-Mart taking pictures of the food.) Some of the things I bought were the ingredients for Anne’s Fruit Dip… ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I licked the spoon clean after mixing it together. I did end up cutting all the ingredients in half because I felt like 32 oz. was a heck of a lot of fruit dip.

I can tell this is going to become a staple dessert in my diet.

Here are some other things that I thought I’d share with y’all:

If you don’t know about Laughing Cow cheese, you should probably go to the store right now and buy some. They come in a bunch of different flavors, but my favorite is the jalapeno pepper flavor. All of them are quite good though, and they’re super low in calories. The Weight Watchers version of this cheese is also super yummy!

Weight Watcher Pointsplus value: 1 per slice (they are prepackaged inside).

These veggie straws are what I automatically go to whenever I feel the mood to just eat something crunchy (they’re the closest thing to potato chips I’ll ever eat). They are actually REALLY good, especially when you load them up with some laughing cow cheese 🙂 The best part about these chips is that the serving size is huge compared to other chips.

Weight Watchers Pointplus value: 38 chips for about 3 points.

Next up are the Wal-Mart brand egg rolls. Yep, you read me right. The shrimp and chicken egg rolls are an astounding two points per egg roll. Two egg rolls are pretty filling, let me tell you. A meal for 4 points? Can’t beat that!

Weight Watchers Pointsplus value: 2 per roll

*Disclaimer: The pork egg rolls are higher, I don’t touch them. And this isn’t to say ALL egg rolls are so low in points, just these!

For those of you who have a sweet tooth, there are actual Weight Watcher candies available to buy. I am not a huge fan of buying Weight Watcher brand foods, because I feel like most of the time I can get the same thing but for less money, but these guys are pretty good at making some yummy desserts. Also very good are the sugar free candies for those people that have insulin problems, but they actually tend to be about a point higher.

Weight Watcher Pointsplus value: 1 point per candy

Greek Yogurt! Absolutely amazing and incredibly good for you! I favor this brand because I like having a little crunch in my yogurt, but most brands are pretty good. The points values tend to fluctuate a bit depending on the brand you buy.

Weight Watchers Pointsplus value: 3 per yogurt cup.

Okay, these guys defy all logic. They’re chocolate fudge popsicles that are only ONE POINT. I could eat these all day. They don’t taste like diet popsicles at ALL. I have no clue how they did this, but to whatever genius out there that made this happen, you have my thanks.

Okay, as a whole I don’t tend to eat all that many nuts, despite the fact that they’re so good for you. They tend to be high in fat, which jumps up the points on their value, and I usually just decide to eat something else. These little duders are actually really good though; they’re dusted with cocoa powder. Almonds are absolutely great for your body, and my mother tells me that eating six a day will make your hair healthier. I’m all about my hair, so I’m gonna try eating these a little more often.

If you’re actually on this diet and have a problem with remembering how many points each item is, try this little trick:

Grab a sharpie marker and write those numbers down so you have a quick reference, instead of having to dig through your pocket to find your calculator/smart phone to puzzle out the point values.

Anyway, I know this was a long post, but I had a lot to say! I have to get all my ideas down before I forget to show them to y’all. I hope this has helped some of you!

Recipe of the week!

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and I’ve eaten it almost every night this week. It is absolutely delicious and so simple I could smack myself for not having thought of it first. If you aren’t a fan of vegetables (sans the cheesy goodness that I used to slather them up with) this is your new best friend.

Bake chicken thighs in the oven at 350 BUT throw your veggies in there with the chicken. Sprinkle it all with garlic salt and whatever else you feel like throwing on there (we tend to put lemon pepper on the chicken as well). The yummy juices from the chicken soaks into the vegetables and gives them an awesome flavor. If your broccoli and green beans come out a little brown, it’s okay because they’re DELISH this way. We also throw in some brussels sprouts because they’re so dang good for you.

Total Weight Watcher Pointsplus Value: 4 per chicken thigh. Vegetables and fruit are virtually ALL zero points! (There are some exceptions. Avocado, for example, is extremely high in fats and therefore high in points.)

I hope y’all give this a try! Tell me what you think 🙂

Here I go…

I’ve never been one to blog things. It’s not that I don’t like to write; I just never had anything of ongoing importance to write about. Today, as I was cooking dinner, it occurred to me that now I do have something to share that I feel would help others.

First, it’s important that you know I am not what you would call a skinny bitch. I have been and probably always will be chubby. My problem is that I fluctuate wildly through varying degrees of chubby. Yes, okay. A year ago I went far beyond just “chubby” and well into the fat category. I can admit that now. At the time it didn’t seem like such a huge problem (pun intended), but in retrospect I am astonished that I was able to go through life the way I did.

When I was in sixth grade my father suddenly decided that I was a fat kid and put me on the Atkin’s diet. Thus began my long and arduous journey of drifting through different diets and failing miserably at them all. Atkin’s seemed like a great diet; I lost a lot of weight and quickly, but the problem was that I packed the pounds right back on as soon as I was done. I know many of you have probably tried this diet and can admit this is a pretty accurate assessment of it. Still, I always ended up going back to it. It may have been because it was the first diet I cut my teeth on; it may have been the simple fact that it made me lose weight fast. The truth of the matter is, while on this diet I felt incredibly sick ALL THE TIME.

As a consequence, when my friend decided to give weight watchers a try, I figured it couldn’t be any worse than Atkins. So, at the highest weight I have ever been, I coughed up the 17$ a month and signed up for the online version of this diet, not expecting much. Before you say anything, no I am not getting paid to say any of this. The baseline for this entire blog is this; the weight watcher’s diet worked for me, worked better than any other diet I have ever been on, and I plan on staying on it for the rest of my life so I never have to feel ashamed to look at myself in the mirror again.

I know what it feels like to have dug a hole for yourself. I know that it feels like you’ve dug yourself so deep into this hole that you don’t even want to bother trying to get out of it. I should have started writing this blog months ago, but I never thought I’d stick with the diet for so long. So now, with forty-eight pounds down and thirty more to go, I am going to begin documenting my progress and frustration (of course. Which diet doesn’t have frustration? I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to give up sometimes).

I’ll share with you some of the meals that other WW enthusiasts have shown me, and I will detail the pros/cons of this diet. I hope that if you read this blog it will help give you the motivation to begin and the knowledge that you are only human, so cut yourself some slack and set a healthy pace. I know it’s exciting at first and you want to lose weight as fast as possible, but slow and steady does the trick! If you starve yourself you’re only going to make yourself weaker to temptation.

If you don’t feel the need to lose weight, hopefully this girl’s description of the woes of being tubby is amusing to you at least 🙂

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