BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge – Week 6

Okay, so last week I was back in York and couldn’t do my weigh-in until Monday – where I’d gained 1lb. I kind of expected it as we had to rely on motorway service food (which had next to no low-calorie sandwich options), and spent a total of 12 hours driving (so no exercise) so things weren’t going to be great.

Then there was Friday just gone – a gig. I reverted back to old ways – eating well at work but on getting home with H I didn’t have time to make any food before I had to be out again – so it was a West Cornwall Pasty Co Vegetable pasty at Wimbledon Station. I knew it would be bad, but I had no idea how bad – 18 points. GULP. It was delicious and thank goodness I only checked today. The wedges were just as bad – around 10 points. That’s pretty much an entire allowance for a day. Then I had a few drinks.. I was socialising with friends and catching up with them – another 17 points. I FEEL SHAME.

I also felt quite hungover yesterday so calmed my raging head with… double chocolate cookies. That sounds bad, but they’re WeightWatchers ones so I feel less guilty – I spotted Ocado have a cookie mixture so H and I did a spot of mixing, baking and eating. They’re 1 point each, though have an annoying habit of creeping up to 7 points when you have five. (this is one thing I wish WW did – said say, 1.3 points per thing if it’s slightly over – I get caught out a lot by this)

Making WeightWatchers Cookies

So now for the weigh-in… I have in fact gained another 1lb. Sob. So that’s 2lb gained over two weeks. (and in some ways mentally prepares me for Christmas and potential weight gain then)

One big thing for us is a purchase I made this week – a Morphy Richards Soup Maker. I’ve done a review, and yes – why have a soup maker when you have pans? It’s a timesaver thing for me – as we often get in from work at 5.45 and eat at 6.30. We eat quite a lot of soup, so as long as I chop and prepare the vegetables the night before, I can leave it to cook while I get some time with H. Our first soup was a bit bland, however Shaun’s first go on it was quite a yummy spicy concoction…

Morphy Richards Soup Maker

There’s been a few stressful things going on, and I’ve definitely turned to food a bit more than usual. However, I’ve not been as bad as I used to be and I still stayed within the ‘overdraft’. Actually, one of the things my mum said which kind of summed up how I think she views diets is that “you have to allow yourself a treat every now and then” – which is exactly what I shouldn’t be doing. I should be eating what I want, and if I eat a little more, then I know I’ve the extra points to cover it and knowing my portion sizes. Maybe it’s the same thing but coming from different angles, I’m not sure. There’s WeightWatchers foods out there which cover my chocolate needs, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Anyway, I met up with loads of friends I’ve not seen for a good couple of years and everyone said I’d lost weight – which was a big boost.

We’ve our NCT Halloween gathering later today, though I’m driving so no drinking – so it’s just keeping an eye on portion sizes instead… and cake. Wish me luck…

WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge with BritMums

BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge – Week 4

Week Four. I fear I’m getting a bit evangelical about it all, as I slowly tot up points and work out what I can or can’t eat. It’s all feeling quite easy, although in my head there’s a touch of self-doubt – like, I’m succeeding so much right now and losing weight, so it’s all set to go wrong soon too. I guess I’m just not used to things going well quickly, and maybe a few listens of the SlimPod (which I can recommend, while it hasn’t helped me lose weight it’s helped me think differently) and I’ll get back on track.

Anyway, I had a sad day yesterday, an anniversary so I finished it off with wine, so things are a little more ‘down’ this week than previous ones. I stayed well within my limits though. So… here’s the weigh-in…. and… I’ve lost 1lb*. But I’m happy with that. However those sneaky WW gremlins have officially moved me down to 29 points on the app, so now I’ve got to work that bit harder.

I’m starting to think we are quite boring food-wise. I get in from work at 5.30 and we eat at 6.30, so generally I have 30 minutes to prepare, cook and serve food, which isn’t very long. We’ve never taken the ready meals route, and I’ll always serve fresh vegetables, plus we always sit and eat as a family together at that time. Taking a photo of every meal this week does show this too – the same vegetables, plenty of them with different sauces – and surprisingly the biggest points is the soup! (thankyou bread rolls)

I tried out the recipe calculator for our bread making (which is done in the bread maker) to get a proper points value, and was pretty shocked to find that it’s 3 points per slice – I’d thought it was 2 – so I’m trying to find ways of improving the recipe – though the points come with the flour and there doesn’t seem to be alternatives (and with our busy lives we need to just put stuff in the bread maker and have bread in the morning) – so if anyone has any good tips to share, please do!

I do a weekly shop with Ocado and have found their WeightWatchers selection of foods to be pretty good – and most importantly of all they have the chocolate digestives in! I’ve still not found the vegetarian pizza – every supermarket has the meaty option which isn’t an option.

Other than that, I tried some different options for my lunchtime when I’m at work – though while Waitrose do a wrap which has the same points as Sainsburys (and tastes loads better) it’s double the price – so I’ll be sticking with Sainsburys for now. Also, I was making myself do their meal deal, so rather than having juice and snack a jacks with a sandwich, I’m now just getting a sandwich for 99p which does me fine and saves a bit of money too.

So, this week I decided to take a photo of my evening meal each night and add the points total. What you’ll see is a mass of sludge when I cook, and a beautifully laid out plate when Shaun does! Hey ho…

Sunday – pasta and veg with quorn – a kind of spag bol (though it’s angel hair pasta)Sunday - pasta and veg kind of bolognese

Monday – butternut squash, veg and basmati rice curryMonday - Butternut squash, veg and rice with quorn

Tuesday – left over curry and cous cousTuesday - left over curry and cous cous

Wednesday – Butternut squash soup with bread rollsWednesday - Butternut squash soup with bread rolls

Thursday – veg and pasta with tofu Thursday - veg and pasta with quorn

Friday – curry with vegetables, sweet potato and butternut squash
Friday - curry with vegetables, sweet potato and butternut squash

Saturday – sweet potato and butternut squash with veg and pasta

Sunday - pasta and squashed butternut squash

Goodness, we’re boring, aren’t we? (apologies for awful resizing of photos too)

One thing I found this week – Iceland do WeightWatchers chips, coming in at 5 points per portion – one to remember when the need for chips starts. Actually, that’s what I like about WW – the options are there so you don’t have to get a bag of chips from the chip shop if you felt tempted. Having said that, I was sat next to a girl on the bus eating chips from a bag and oh GOD they smelt so good, I was like the Bisto kid taking in the aromas.

There’ll be no update next week as we’re away. The next update will be when I’ve more to share. Don’t forget you can try WeightWatchers for £1 for seven days – so you get to try out the app too.

WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge with BritMums

I received six months of WeightWatchers membership for free, and a load of WW food goodies to try out. All opinions are my own.

* I have been reliably informed by Shaun that our scales may be being a bit odd right now, and need a new battery which I’ll be getting tomorrow. I’m sticking with 1lb though.

BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge – Week 3

I’m starting to feel like there should be some kind of announcer, a bit like when The Apprentice is on, doing a swift recap of the previous week and all the things I’ve learnt.

If you don’t want to read what I’ve found out this week, then let’s just get it over with – I’ve lost another 2lb!

Actually, one of the great things about this challenge is finding out what others are doing, stealing the idea and making it work for me – and one of those is the very excellent Sonya over at Ramblings of a Rock n Roll Mum who suggested substituting butternut squash (nul points – to be said in Eurovision voice), when everyone’s having baked potato. Even better, I made a ton of veg and added some mashed butternut squash to the top and voila, a sort of veggie Shepherds Pie which came in around six points – and there’s enough for two nights too.

Work-wise I’ve got my snacking under control (though it has been a stupidly busy week) – my Graze box I’ve been getting has snacks at around 100 calories tops, so 2-3 point snacks.

I’m finding my way around the app a bit more now too – every night I was typing out the same vegetables until tonight I spotted the ‘Recently Added’ section which saves me a bit of time. Also Clare at Seasider in the City  pointed out the app will also work offline which I hadn’t realised – something that I’m going to find useful as I’m on my iPod Touch relying on free internet when I’m out and about (but not any more!).

WeightWatchers app options

I’ve also started looking at the recipes – and I’m liking that you can add the ingredients to your shopping list within the app, so you know exactly what to buy, so I’ll be planning my Ocado shop this way this week. I did notice some of the recipes in the cookbooks weren’t in the app, so I’m adding them manually as I go along.

WeightWatchers app recipe

Oh, and we made a Pea and Sweet Potato Korma from the WeightWatchers cookbook which was delicious!

Things I’ve found out this week: most supermarkets stock WeightWatchers food – however, most of it seems to be ready meals that are meaty, so not much use to me. Those supermarkets that don’t have their own brand ones (cough, Tesco, Waitrose), but the vegetarian options are poor – for example broccoli and pasta – which would take around 5-10 minutes to make anyway. Nowhere is stocking the cheese and tomato WeightWatchers pizza which I’m dying to try – though Sainsburys are stocking the meaty ones which is a start (even if I can’t eat them).

Poundland again came up trumps as far as snacks go – I picked up another £5 worth of snacks including pitta bread. They stock the wraps too – and there are deals to be had which is a much more impressive range than the supermarkets.

I checked out our local Iceland who have some of the Heinz WeightWatchers meals, including six chocolate eclairs at £1.50 and only two points per eclair. They taste pretty good too, we treated ourselves yesterday. A regular one would come in somewhere between 6-8 points (and I just looked up Krispy Kreme’s – 10 points – that was out of curiosity, but that’s a meals-worth; food for thought there) – worth knowing when you don’t want to deny yourself the food, but you don’t want to go over your points allowance.

Super Amazing Mum has a bloghop going on, so head over there to read others progress on the BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best challenge – and don’t forget, you can try it for £1 if you click this link (and you get to trial the app for free too)!

WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge with BritMums

I’ve been provided with six months of free WeightWatchers membership, plus I received a hamper of WW goodies. All opinions are my own.

BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge Week 2

Hello! Here’s my Week 2 update. Firstly, may as well break the good news – I appear to have lost 3lb! I don’t want them back, thankyou, so if you do happen to find them they’re all yours.

So this week has been an interesting one. I’ve made some discoveries – I can eat the same as I did pre-WW, it’s about the portion sizes (most of which I’d been doing way too high) – which has been very easy to fix.

My biggest problem last week was my lunches at work. I’d be choosing a sandwich and doing the Sainsburys £3 meal deal, trying to find a healthy option (and usually failing) – a sandwich would come in at around 14 points which is really too high. HOWEVER – they have their healthy range, and an egg mayo sandwich comes in at around 7 points – not the most exciting of sandwiches there – AND they’ve put the points on the sandwich. Alas my local Sainsburys doesn’t always have them in stock, so my new fall back is sushi – as I’d never have thought they’re low points – but they are. Oh, and I don’t actually have to do a meal deal – who needs Snack A Jacks and fruit juice anyway? I only bought them as it worked out at a good discount.

So now I’m a little more on track than I was last week. Eventually I’ll get some energy and make food the night before, but for now I’m pleased I can buy something that’s low points. I also tried soup for the first couple of days, although that prevents me leaving my desk and having a walk for lunch (and every single little walk is being tracked on Endomondo now, to make sure I’m getting everything logged properly) – so I wont do it every day. That works out really low, points-wise.

The WeightWatchers app is helping me a lot, it’s like some little creature with its own little personality trapped in my iPod – me and the app are in a little bit of a battle, and one which I’m winning – just by me keeping within my points. I’ve dipped into ‘the overdraft’ a couple of times (and only by 2 points when I have), so I feel like it’s definitely me 3, WW app 1. We’ll see. It’s also really good for working out portion sizes when we’re out and about. Being on the iPod means I’m not online all the time, but there’s so many networks available when you’re on the go I’m logging everything quickly. It’s really convenient and much faster than doing it directly online – it’s also really straightforward to add items to the system.

Poundland stock a decent range of WeightWatchers food – so I got a load of things (snacks for work and so on) for a fiver which pleased me a lot – including some crisps – the nachos – which are really tasty. Even better they’re on a 6 packs for the price of 4 kind of deal, so that’s over a weeks worth of snacks at work there – and at 2 points per pack. They’ve also got the bread rolls – and they’re proper bake in the oven rolls – 2 points each again and they taste really  good.

In addition to this weightloss, my jeans are feeling quite loose – I was even able to fit my camera into one of the front pockets (something I’ve never been able to do)! I fear I may need to spend money soon… not too soon but soon… and I only got these jeans at Christmas…

We ate out today at Pizza Express where I tried one of their 500 calorie pizzas (which will be approximately 12 points – the kind with the salad in the middle) – and while I wasn’t full afterwards I can have some fruit or veg when I get home if I need to snack.

Looking ahead, next weekend could be our first quiet one in ages, so we’re going to attempt to cook something from our WeightWatchers cookbook, so hopefully this time next week I’ll be reporting back on that.

So yes, a positive week so far – I’ve been able to have wine, gin, pizza and not go over my points. I did plenty of activities (walking mainly) which earned me some really good points – and I lost that weight. Excellent! I’m also being realistic, I know I’m not going to lose lots next week like this as otherwise by Christmas I’ll be a stick, quite possibly – but I’ll keep on keeping on, oh yes indeedy.

WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge with BritMums

Disclosure – I have been given six months of free WeightWatchers membership. All opinions are my own.

BritMums WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge – end of Week 1

Okay, so here I am after a week of what I’d like to think is paddling in the world of Weight Watchers – I’ve (mostly) kept within my points, though it has revealed a lot about what I eat and what we do.

Firstly, when I’m at work I go over my points limit – yet when I’m at home I don’t. My drawers are full of what I thought were healthy snacks, but I’ve found out that oatcakes (while satisfying when you’ve eaten a pack of six individual ones) are actually quite high in points. So instead I have bananas.

Secondly, out of sheer tiredness and wanting to lie down I cannot prepare food for the following day at work – so I do the Sainsburys Meal Deal every day – yet one sandwich (gluten-free) takes 14 points! When I’ve got just 30 a day to use, it seems wasteful – so I need good ideas for lunches that if needs be, I could buy. Snack A Jacks are 3 points which weirdly could be improved if I had French Fries crisps instead!!

Thirdly, the one which got me was pizza. Most pizzas are 7 points per slice which means they’re special occasions only – fine as we don’t eat them weekly – however, WeightWatchers are now doing pizza, and low points too so I’m going to try one out when I can find someone who stocks them.

For this last week I’ve kept my eating to the same kind of pattern I would do pre-Weight Watchers, and as I suspected my portion sizes were way too much. As the week progressed it was less rice and even more veg which worked pretty well. We’re going to switch rice from basmati to brown as well, as that’s the lowest of points. Having the WeightWatchers scales has helped a lot – I’ve never measured portion sizes and just guessed up to now.

Fourthly, I use too much oil. We have a huge frying pan which I use to do stir fry which needs slightly more than four squirts of oil due to its hugeness, but even then it’s less than I would have used normally. The WeightWatchers Oil dispenser is good for this!

Anyway, the results are in – after one week of watching what I eat but not drastically changing things, I’ve lost a grand total of 1lb! So next week I’m going to follow more recipes and work on lunches at work as I’d like a few more points for my evening meals.

I also intend to look for as many WeightWatchers foods to see what makes them lower points than others – as for example, we make our own pizza, so if there are ways we can adapt our recipe then that’s a good thing – and how are WW bagels better than regular shop ones (they’re yummy by the way).

As far as the WW app goes, it’s doing all the hard work for me. I’m using it on my iPod Touch and keeping track of everything. Kathryn at work who had amazing results did say I’d maybe start thinking of it being a bit like a computer game, and I’d be trying to beat the points – and yes,  it’s happened…! I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to read instructions and prefers to get on with it – and so far the app has been straightforward and uncomplicated. In fact, the only thing that got me was when adding foods, and I couldn’t work out how to do portion  sizes. I ended up phoning Shaun, who helpfully suggested I weigh one… OH yes… oops!

If you’ve read this far and want to try WeightWatchers for yourself, then you can join for £1 and trial the app for free!

Disclosure – I have been given six months of free WeightWatchers membership. All opinions are my own.

Hello Weight Watchers!

I’m taking the Weight Watchers Back 2 Best challenge with BritMums!

I remember growing up in the seventies, my mum tried several diets – but it was always just her doing whichever diet she felt she needed to do while we ate normally. They didn’t seem like much fun back then, and I remember my mum being miserable about being on a diet – none of them really working and having any kind of lasting effect.

When I was pregnant I developed Gestational Diabetes and we followed the GI Diet – eating low GI foods to keep my blood sugars down. It helped and I lost weight – but I resented not being able to have the occasional pizza or higher GI food, and when the diabetes went, my good eating habits did too.

I’ve also recently found out that the white spots under my eyes are due to cholesterol – I’m due to be tested to find out more on this, and have since found out it can be linked to diabetes, but that’s set off alarm bells again – I need to be looking after myself, we all need to look after ourselves – and we need to promote a healthy lifestyle to H so it’s second nature to her.

I work with K who did Weight Watchers with her husband (this article is worth a read – warning – contains lots of swearing), who has lost an incredible amount of weight who has promised me she’ll give me loads of tips to help (and already has) – diets are about a lifestyle change, or adapting what you already do to make it healthier. I know I can do this.

I think we’ve kept some elements of the GI diet, though we’re not losing weight. We don’t have takeaways very often, though I do snack badly at work. I’m doing the Thinking Slimmer SlimPod which is helping the way I think about bad food (it’s really working with chocolate) – it’s working in changing how I think.

So. Weightwatchers. Here we go. A change of lifestyle which will hopefully make us change how we eat as a family – including H – without her getting those thoughts of us ‘being on a diet’. I’m looking forward to it, and want to lose at least a stone – plus being able to track it on my iPod Touch will be easy as I’ve always got it with me, so now it’s just controlling portion sizes and being even more aware of what we’re eating as a family. I know we can adapt and change and make it work – bring it on!

There’s a Twitter Party this lunchtime – more info over here – where you can win Weight Watchers things – 1-2pm #wwback2best – Tuesday 18th September 2012

WeightWatchers Back2Best Challenge with BritMums