Posts tagged pro points
There are many things that make losing weight difficult. Motivation to eat healthily and exercise more comes and goes for all of us for many reasons. Sometimes it’s the weather – how hard is it to say no to a big baked potato at lunch time or a massive hot chocolate in the afternoon with our current climate? Sometimes it’s our lifestyle – it is more difficult to make good food and drink choices when you are busy and overtired. And sometimes it is the very fact that you are surrounded by food and drink all the time – it’s not easy to give into temptation when you can smell the chocolate!
For me and hundreds and thousands of people, what we do for a living hampers our weight loss efforts. Well unless you are a chocolate taster or a professional fast food eater your actual work isn’t the problem, it is the nature of what we do. Sitting at a computer for eight hours a day is a recipe for snacking, for drinking high sugar drinks, for giving in to temptation without even realising it. Especially when you work in an office with lovely people who provide cakes, biscuits and sweets weekly if not daily to help make everyone smile. And then there is the commuting. Not a problem I have any more as I’m only a short drive (or a long walk) from my office, but I admit there are always sweets in the car to help make journeys more bearable!
I mean, just look at this totally amazing cake… yes… look… drool… wish… want…
…I can confirm that this was quite possibly the nicest chocolate cake I have ever tasted. It was moist, had chocolate butter cream inside and on top, and of course Maltesers topping it off. So good. It was made by a colleague’s partner for our Red Nose Day bake sale (we raised just under £150 by the way!). An extreme example of how work can lead to over eating for sure (unfortunately the fact that calories consumed for charity don’t count is a myth), but there are often cakes in our office and when they are home made it is incredibly hard to say no. The fact is when someone brings in a home made cake I don’t want to say no, I want to eat it.
It’s not really the odd slice of cake that’s the problem, though (so colleagues, if you’re reading this, please continue to bake bake bake!) – we have weekly Weight Watchers Pro Points and Activity Pro Points that we can use to treat ourselves on occasional naughtiness like that. Not a problem, it is a lovely thing to share tea and cake with friends and I shall continue to do so when I fancy something that I’m offered. But it’s the fact that we’re sat on our bums moving little more than our fingers, that it’s too easy to not go out for a walk at lunch time thanks to a combination of the amount of work and the weather, that when we’re at work we eat for the sake of it. It’s the extra cereal bars, chocolate bars, cans of coke, full-fat lattes.
So what can we do? The best thing, of course, is to take all the food for the day to work with you. That should include a nice healthy but filling lunch and some healthy snacks for those grazing moments. Easier said than done and something I’ve been really bad at recently – getting into the habit of taking a packed lunch is key. And when you don’t have time or there’s nothing in the house? There are lots of healthy choices around, you just have to make the right decisions. This was an absolutely gorgeous Rainbow Salad from M&S with some honey and lime dressing – really tasty, I’d choose that one again. And thin cuppa soups are a brilliant way to “eat” without adding too many calories or Pro Points to your daily total – I always have some of those in my desk drawer.
I also try to keep a supply of healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, low calorie cereal bars and that sort of thing in my desk drawer – keeping snacks like that close to hand makes it easier to say no when someone offers to get you something from the corner shop.
The only way to lose weight successfully is to take in fewer calories than you burn off, so moving around is an absolute necessity. There’s not much chance of me getting a stand-up desk at work (not that I’ve asked), but I’m trying to see what things I can get done stood up, such as reading through reports and other documents. Organising any meetings away from my own desk also forces me to walk about, and of course making sure I take my hour for lunch and go out for a walk into town (without going into the cafes and coffee shops!) is great.
So now I’m after some inspiration. What should I keep in the house to create lovely things for midday eating in the office? What are the best healthy choices if you need to buy lunch? And what other things do you do to help curb your office over eating? Feel free to comment below.
A good friend pointed out this afternoon that I’m not really a good advocate for the Weight Watchers programme. She’s quite right. I have neglected it somewhat over the last two or maybe three weeks.
I started so well. I like a challenge and being a Weight Watchers Blog Ambassador was the perfect opportunity to combine my need to be healthier and lose a few ponds with my love of writing here on Splodz Blogz. I lost consistently for the first few weeks and met my first target within about six. I cut down on foods that were bad for me, was good at not giving into temptation, and learnt a lot about making the right choices. I had a week off for a holiday but still lost a little bit, and got back to counting pro points as soon as I got back.
More recently I have not been as attentive. I’ve just eaten whatever I fancied – not just once a week as a treat, but more like every day. Lots of bread and potato has crept back into my diet. I’ve purchased crisps – often daily. I’ve sat and scoffed chocolate in the evening without a second thought. There has been no attempt at counting. I’ve also missed a couple of weigh ins because I didn’t want to know. I’ve just not been bothered.
My friend is a good one because her comment has made me stop and think. As a result of that quick chat this afternoon I am here right now telling everyone that I am back on it as of now. Honest. I am hereby announcing that the last few weeks of my Weight Watchers Blog Ambassador trial will be fruitful ones. And to prove it? I went out for a little jog around the block when I got home from work this evening and cooked a very healthy chilli for tea.
The fact that I’ve fallen off the wagon as it were means I know exactly what my weaknesses are. Apart from cakes and chocolate, which are actually quite easy to avoid (if I want to), my biggest “oh go on then” food has to be potato. Fried, mashed, roasted, baked, chipped; I’m not fussy! If I’m cold or feeling a bit blue I like nothing better than a baked potato for lunch. With cheese if it’s raining. And there’s something wrong about meat, two veg and nothing else on the plate at dinner time. I totally love potato. I need to cut back on that again.
I know I’m not unusual for lasting a few weeks then giving up, this is a problem that people have over and over again. The Weight Watchers new approach to Pro Points is supposed to address some of the reasons for that and help us not to give in. There is nothing they can do about the number of cafes we pass on our way to work, nothing they can do about the fresh cream cakes brought in to work by a colleague celebrating a special birthday, and so on, of course. But they do offer some tools to help. So I will go back to my app and the Weight Watchers website and re-learn some of those skills I’ve obviously not been putting into practice.
My name is Zoe and I’m a poor Blog Ambassador. I will do better.
I love hot chocolate. But I am totally fussy. It has to be proper hot chocolate, made with hot milk.
Weight Watchers sent me some of their instant hot chocolate to see what I thought. Instant hot chocolate like this is a great way to warm up and get a sweet chocolate fix without many calories – about 40 in each mug full. Made with boiling water it’s easy to grab quickly when only chocolate will do.
I was given three flavours to try. The usual hot chocolate, a caramel one and a mint one. The sachets are really easy to take to work, and are made using water from the kettle.
Unfortunately Weight Watchers have been unable to change my mind. Instant hot chocolate still tastes horrid to me. It certainly smells of chocolate, but it doesn’t taste like it. It’s watery. It’s disappointing. I should add it’s not just Weight Watchers… they have only failed where all other instant brands have failed before. Sorry.
Hot chocolate will remain a high calorie treat made with hot milk for me. I would rather drink it much less often than have an inferior instant product.
I’m told that sometimes we all need a break. Whether it’s from work, from chores, from exercise, from anything and everything. Well this week, it is fair to say, I have taken a break from Weight Watchers. For various reasons on Wednesday I ate and ate and ate and ate. Then on Thursday I was hungry (probably because I’d eaten so much on Wednesday) so I ate like a pig again. Friday was, well, Friday, and included a plethora of treats including a Starbucks Caramel Cream Frappuccino (the photo of which sums up the week). And Saturday and Sunday I was away visiting friends and thoroughly enjoyed the bacon and cheese bagel, doughnut, Chinese takeaway, roast duck and baked potato, shortbread biscuits, rocky road, and pancakes. Yummy. I haven’t counted Pro Points since Wednesday morning. I stopped caring what I was eating. I’ve eaten proper meals, and vegetables, but I’ve snacked and gorged on other goodies too. I’ve just eaten what I’ve fancied. And then some.
I have still exercised. Which helps a bit. I’ve done my 30 Day Shred DVD five days out of seven and have been fairly active apart from that. I might be a lazy bum at times and have felt a bit apathetic towards many things this week, but I haven’t sat still, I’ve been moving around. I’ve just eaten a lot. I was fully expecting a gain when I weighed in this morning. I knew I deserved a gain. So the fact I have stayed the same is very surprising.
At the start of a new week I should start caring again. I got up yesterday (Monday is the last day of my Weight Watchers week), did my DVD, ate a couple of Weetabix for breakfast, popped a yoghurt and some fruit in my bag and went to work. At lunch time I walked to Morrisons and got a few bits including some much needed fruit and vegetables. I had a wrap for lunch (no photo as I wolfed that down way too quick) and some baked salmon and Mediterranean style vegetables for dinner. I had a bit of fruit and nut toblerone to use up my daily points, but I’ve not touched my weekly or activity points – not that I know how many I’ve got left because I’ve not been counting the rest of the week. So I’m back on it. Honest. There will be another 1lb off come next Tuesday. I hope.
This week blog ambassadors have been challenged to discuss how to stay on track on special occasions. This is centred around it being Valentines Day this week, but also includes birthdays, Christmas, Easter, dinner parties, lunch dates, and other such occasions.
I’m probably the wrong person to give advice on this. Especially this week when I have been particularly carefree about my eating. But I say if you’re going out for dinner for a celebration or a special occasion, and assuming you don’t go out every night of the week, then go and enjoy yourself. Make the most of the money you spend on a meal at a restaurant and the time you are spending with friends or family. If you fancy chips, eat them. If you fancy a desert, have one. Just don’t make a habit of it every day.
There are, of course, ways you could help yourself. On Weight Watchers you are given weekly points – 49 of them – that you can use for a treat such as a meal out or a takeaway. You can also earn activity points to top those up if you are planning on being particularly gluttonous. Plan ahead and use your points how you like.
The problems come, of course, when there is more than one of these “special occasions” in a week. Then it’s time to try and make better menu choices, perhaps; go for some nice fish, choose dishes with vegetables rather than chips, just have a main course, drink water with your meal. I think we all know how to be sensible and what the right choices are when we think about it. Don’t let dieting make an evening at a restaurant a miserable one.
All I can say is… bring on the pancakes tonight!
This week I was challenged by Weight Watchers to eat breakfast daily. I said last week that I am very bad at eating breakfast – I’m in too much of a rush in the mornings and besides don’t really fancy anything to eat. But I did, because it was a challenge. I had a selection of cereal in the house already (we like cereal for lunches sometimes) so I just made use of that and didn’t have to buy anything extra.
Here’s what I ate (always accompanied with a cup of tea):
Tuesday – Sultana Bran with Semi Skimmed Milk
Wednesday – Two Weetabix (no sugar!!) with Semi Skimmed Milk and an Apple
Thursday – Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with Semi Skimmed Milk
Friday – Jordons Country Crisp with Raspberries
Saturday – Jordons Country Crisp with Raspberries again – I do like this cereal but it’s really high in Pro Points at 5 for a portion not including milk.
Sunday – Oats So Simple (Original) with some Granulated Sweetener
Monday – One Weetabix with some Granulated Sweetener and Semi Skimmed Milk
I learnt that actually I can face a small bowl of cereal in the mornings, and I do have time to eat it – even today when I got up very late (I’ve no idea if I even set my alarm!) I was able to scoff a Weetabix.
The problem? Cereal and milk eats into my Pro Points total. I was five points down before I even started the day, which for some reason I found difficult to deal with! Also, whoever says breakfast keeps hunger at bay until lunch time lies! I was still as hungry by 11am if not 10am as I would be without eating breakfast. I did my best to go for a no points snack mid-morning but an apple wasn’t enough some days.
I think it’s something I could get used to during the week – I will do my best to continue to eat breakfast. But I think I might change it up a bit. I had some kiwi and pomegranate and grapes this morning along with some fromage frais which made a nice alternative and only one Pro Point.
This week, though, I am proof that you can still lose weight even if you use every single Pro Point available to you. I used all my daily points, all my weekly points, as well as the handful of activity points I achieved (I was a bit lazy I admit, I was recovering from all that skiing!). While I have been trying to make good food choices and not be tempted I have been using up what I have left to eat the chocolate and sweets still left from Christmas – three segments of Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a very worth while four Pro Points by the way! Even with that I lost 2lb. So I’ll take that with a grin and do my best to make better choices this week.
The challenge us bloggers have been set for the coming week is simple… sit less, move more… I’ll let you know next week how I get on! I started with good intentions by getting up half an hour earlier today to use the exercise bike before work, but I’ve just ended up doing chores like changing the towels, emptying the bins, you know the sort of thing. It all needs doing! I was once told “you don’t get to heaven on your good intentions” – so I fear I will have to do much better than that!
Here’s a question for you. If (“if” being an important word there!) I get up half an hour earlier to do a bit of exercise before work (I’ve just ordered Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD on a mass of recommendations – it won’t arrive in time for this weeks challenge sadly), should I eat breakfast first or afterwards?
This week’s Weight Watchers challenge is to do a “Day in the Life” post telling you what I did and what I ate.
Thursdays are generally my busiest day of the week. I work in the day and it’s rehearsal night for the brass band I play in, so it’s a quick turnaround at home. It’s therefore important that I am organised if I want to be healthy and eat properly – other days of the week I can get away with not planning because there is time; I still like to plan but it’s not so vital.
Here you go…
My alarm went off. It’s normally the same time every day, unless I need to get something done before work. Today I snoozed it. Several times. Oops.
I suddenly realised how many times I snoozed my alarm, quite a few more than normal, oops. So I got up quickly and had my morning shower.
I rushed downstairs much later than normal, filled and boiled the kettle and went outside to sort the bunnies out – they had broccoli and hay for breakfast, yum! I made some tea and ate a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes with some semi skimmed milk (5 Pro Points). While I ate my breakfast I worked out the Pro Points values for my packed lunch and evening meal and entered them into the tracker app on my phone so I knew what was left for snacks (I have a biscuit bar thing to review that I wanted to eat!). This is the most organised I’ve ever been with tracking, I normally track after eating or while preparing dinner – but I quite like the idea of knowing ahead of time what the damage is, I think I will try and do this more often.
We left for work ten minutes late – I blame LincsGeek – he says it’s not his fault. The roads seem especially busy this week, probably because of the wintery weather. The four miles took 25 minutes today so not too bad. I parked at the far end of the car park and walked to the office, good to get some fresh air first thing. I do like to cycle to work but haven’t done so for a few months – a combination of the weather, tiredness and not feeling particularly safe on one stretch of the journey along a busy road into the city. Even when we cycle regularly we don’t do so on a Thursday as we don’t have time to mess about with showers etc when we get home before we have to go out again.
Arrived in the office, offered a cuppa straight away which was nice, stuck the computer on, had a bit of a chat with colleagues about LincsGeek’s graduation ceremony yesterday (very proud!), and started work.
The kettle goes on again. A decaf tea for me – I generally only have a couple of caffeinated teas a day to try and keep my caffeine levels down. I am a massive tea drinker, it is my “go to” drink, which probably comes from being brought up by Salvation Army Officers (oh there’s nothing like an Army cup of tea…). I take my tea white with no sugar if you ever need to know!
I was getting hungry so I had a glass of water in the hope that would calm my stomach for a while. Whoever says eating breakfast keeps you going til lunch lies! The water worked for a little while but didn’t do the trick for long so I resorted to some chewing gum to make me last til 11am. I always have sugar free fruity flavoured chewing gum in my desk drawer – it’s actually one dieting tip I can pass on if you have the same problem as me. Chewing the gum tricks me into thinking I’ve had a nice packet of sweets or something, but it’s practically no calories. If you work in an office where there is temptation all day then get some. It even smells like sweets.
Hooray for snack time!!! Bringing in my own snacks in with me is important because I work in an open plan office where there is always sweets and cakes to tempt me, and now there is a café just outside the office door in our building which serves lovely things – food everywhere. Some days I will happily give in and have a slice of cake (especially if it’s homemade), but today I was able to resist. I suspect that had a lot to do with writing this diary and not wanting to show myself up!! I had a decaf cuppa and a Special K Biscuit Moments Chocolate bar. This is something I have been sent to review for Splodz Blogz, I love getting food parcels in the post (keep them coming please!) but it can be terrible for my diet. I used the calculator on the online tracker to work out the value at 3 Pro Points. I was hoping that a 98 calorie snack would be worth one or two but based on the protein, fat, carb and fire values it is three. It was very tasty – I’ll post my review in the next week or so.
I normally eat my lunch whilst working at my desk at midday ish, and I’d taken in a packed lunch made lovingly by LincsGeek last night for that purpose (that would have been worth 6 Pro Points), but a reminder popped up on my screen: I am meeting a friend for lunch and some blogging chat at 1pm. Doh! So I had a couple of glasses of water and watched the clock… the packed lunch is in the fridge ready for tomorrow.
All that organisation over breakfast went to pot. Why am I so forgetful and unorganised at the moment – even when I am trying to plan properly?! I deleted my packed lunch from my tracker and decided on a baked potato with baked beans from the pub (10 Pro Points – wow potatoes have loads, I’m shocked!) which was served with a bit of salad. I enjoyed it very much, and it was good to talk twitter and blogging too. I had diet coke to drink which is free. I realised I just tucked right in so there’s no pic for my Day in the Life post – I was hungry!
Back at my desk feeling pretty satisfied hunger wise so simply water and some minty chewing gum. I like to have something to drink on my desk at all times – tea or water or squash or a diet drink. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem drinking enough water, I know very quickly if I’ve not drunk enough as it makes me feel very groggy. I know it means I end up going to the loo loads but at least I’m properly hydrated!
Ooo a nice cup of tea…!
A colleague opened some biscuits. I could hear the rustling packet and could see them out of the corner of my eye. She offered me one. I said no. They spoke to me – I’m still satisfied from lunch but could just imagine how good that biscuit would taste. Oh dear. I moved the apple that I brought with me right in front of my keyboard so it’s closer and joked with a colleague that if the apple is between me and the biscuits then I’m safe.
I always struggle a bit in the afternoon, even when I’ve had a decent sized lunch. That biscuit temptation really got to me so I grabbed the apple and started eating. At least it has a zero Pro Points value so I could do so without any guilt. I know I didn’t need anything really but there’s something about being sat at a desk all day, it makes me want food – especially when everyone else is munching. I could easily graze all day on a combination of healthy stuff and rubbish – this is probably why I have to diet now!
There’s no place like home. I put the washing machine on – I’m still trying to get all the holiday stuff washed, had a bit of a tidy up, fed the bunnies, sorted out a blog post for this evening, took a set of blog photos of something that arrived the other day (more food!), and got myself changed. Oh and I tweeted a bit and had a quick go on The Simpsons on my iPad. Evenings always seems to go fast, but I know I have to use it wisely – if I just sit down at that point then that’s me done for the evening.
Dinner has to be easy on a Thursday so I can either cook it quickly or leave it cooking while getting other stuff done. We had Lincolnshire sausages (3 Pro Points each – I had two) cooked in the oven with red onion, mushrooms and peppers (0 Pro Points for the vegetables), and a mashed sweet potato (another 4 Pro Points). It was very yummy, an easy meal with loads of flavour that I cook every couple of weeks or so. Here:
After dinner, which we ate in the lounge as the washing machine was making a racket in the kitchen, I was very VERY tempted by the open box of Thorntons assorted fudge on the table next to me. We are slowly working our way through all the lovely sweet gifts we were given for Christmas. I nearly had a piece, worth 2 Pro Points each I think, but thought better of it. I was so close but LincsGeek quite rightly pointed out I’d have to confess on here if I did, so I left the box alone. Go me!
There’s no temptation during band practice – no break for tea and biscuits, no sweets in my eye line. And there aren’t even any mints in the car at the moment so I didn’t have a sneaky sweet treat on the way there or back. So an evening surviving on what I’ve already consumed, which is most likely how it should be every day!
We’re home, I’ve grabbed a glass of water, and am off to bed. Good night.
That all works out at 28 Pro Points eaten – two over my daily allowance. So not bad as I have plenty of weekly points left. I go over my daily points and use up some of my weekly points most days – usually for an evening treat rather than my normal meals. Being a Thursday I haven’t had time to sit and watch television with a cup of tea and bar of chocolate or few bits of fudge. And I know for certain that if I hadn’t chosen today for my Day in the Life post I would have had a third sausage at dinner and added another three points to my total. But I didn’t need it and so I’m glad that writing this diary has encouraged me to make the better choice. I love my food, and find it difficult to stick with what I need rather than what I want on a daily basis. Stick your helpful suggestions in the comments box!