On the Menu This Week

Greek Style Cheeseburgers
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Roasted Cornish Hens with Quinoa and Broccoli

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where I get my nutritional information

So with most recipes I try to put in the approximate nutritional information so people not following WeightWatchers can adapt the meals to their diets and or nutritional needs. Someone asked me the other day where I got that information so here is the requested info.

I use Calorie King for my calorie and nutritional counting needs. This handy website includes the calorie, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar, calcium and potassium of most foods.

That's alot of information and they have a handy drop down for you to enter the quantity that you are using.

I then enter this information into a spreadsheet that I made in excel, which adds up each column and then divides it by serving size and gives me a count for each of those values and the WW points value as well.

So why you ask is this information labeled approximate everywhere? Well it's not exact. I have no idea how much of a marinade is absorbed versus thrown out, how much fat this particular piece of beef lets out and how good i was at pouring off the fat. Sometimes they only have a weight measure when I used a dry measure so I have to approximate or go into the kitchen and pour that dry measure then dump it on the scale. I am however trying to switch entirely to weighing my food, it's more accurate and since my scale can be zeroed between additions I use less dishes!

I hope this helps people know where my information comes from and helps them with creating their own recipes.

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My Plan

I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept off 20 of them until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.

For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under "Weight Loss" Books on the side bar, and a blog post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.

WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned.

You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I'm working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don't eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works

Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track.

Weight Loss Slideshow