Eating Light


I have been doing reasonably well on Weight Watchers since I started a several weeks ago. I’m ten pounds lighter than I was when I started. That’s halfway to my ten percent goal. I’m on what is known as the Flex Plan. You are allotted so many points each day. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you stay within your points. While there is a bit more to it than that (exercise for example; a subject for another blog), my strategy has been to come up with some light examples of things I would eat anyway.

I was surprised at how many “light” versions of everyday food items there were. Right off the bat, I cut down my calories by switching to diet bread. Two slices of bread equals a single point on the Weight Watchers scale. This comes in handy with the fat free lunchmeat I eat.

I found the Oscar Mayer fat free bologna tastes pretty close to regular bologna, though I liked the garlic kind at the deli. I’m still working on that; garlic wouldn’t add any point value. Hot dogs with no fat range from different to just plain odd. Before Weight Watchers I used Hebrew National hot dogs in my recipe. I tried a couple of different fat free versions, but even with my mix of spices I use when I steam them, they left an odd taste in my mouth. However, I found frankfurters made out of veal made by Bobka’s. These are “old school” franks with thick skins, but they are twice as big as a regular hot dog and have half the points. And with a name like “Bobka”, you know they have to taste like something organic. Finally, light turkey and ham taste just like the real thing; I can even get them in smoked varieties.

I can’t eat a sandwich alone. I have been eating bags of salad (something new for me), but I do get the craving for potato chips. There are several different varieties these days. I like the baked potato chips, but actually the fat free Pringles made with Olestra are pretty good too. The only strange thing is how brittle the light chips are. I’ve bagged a lunch a couple of times. Each time the chips were banged around, they essentially crumbled to dust.

I’m not much of a breakfast eater. My normal breakfast on the go was a bag of Cheerios and a Diet Pepsi. I have added a vitamin to my regimen. Also, I’ve come up with a pretty good replacement Egg McMuffin. It turns out Canadian bacon is really pretty lean. Three slices is a single point. The light English muffins are also just a single point. If you don’t use egg yolks, the rest of the egg is practically nothing in terms of calories, so I combine these together and come up with a pretty serviceable breakfast for three points. The McDonald’s version is ten.

Finally, there’s dessert and – believe it or not – there are a lot of things you can have. This week I went out and got some Fudgesicles. They are a single point each. You can have sugar free Popsicles by the fistful for a single point. A 100 calorie bag of popcorn fills a pretty good sized bowl when watching TV. That’s only two points. And I’ve reverted to my childhood with canned fruit cocktail and applesauce. Daniel accompanied me to the store this weekend and he got to pick out a dessert for himself. He chose sandwich cookies: vanilla and chocolate. A serving of cookies isn’t really all that bad, only three points, but that is only two sandwich cookies.

This calls for the other Weight Watchers strategy: portion control. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

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