Do You Need Some Inspiration to Become Healthier?

Inspire Yourself to Eat Healthier

February 14, 2011   35 Comments

Snack Girl definitely needs inspiration with all this snow lying around. So, she has started a new program.

Last week, I joined Weight Watchers to lose some weight. Weight Watchers corporate gave me three months of their program for free to see what I thought (very nice of them).

My history with WW (Weight Watchers) is not good. I attempted their program after the birth of my first baby and found the program frustrating. I absolutely hated counting points, and everyone at the meeting I attended was skinny.

(I think I made the mistake of sitting with skinny people - and didn't notice the people who needed to lose a few.)

So, I stopped it and didn't go back, and VERY slowly lost the baby weight.

Why try again?

Well, I think this new Points Plus program is very interesting. Ever since I read David Kessler's, "The End Of Overeating" (see below), I have been looking for a diet approach to advocate.

When I say DIET, I don't just mean losing weight. I mean a "what you eat" diet that will teach people how to eat healthier.

There are many ways to learn about healthy eating. For example, you could go to a nutritionist or read Snack Girl. But there is something different about WW.

For example:

  • You weigh in when you go to the meetings. (then they shout out your weight to the entire room, just kidding :)
  • You log in your food choices in an interactive program to learn how much you eat every day.
  • The meetings include a bunch of other people who are struggling with the same problem.

Do NOT underestimate how good it feels to look around a room at people who are motivated to get to the same goal. It is like Alcoholics Anonymous, where the collective strength of its members can help a single member make the right choice.

The meeting I attended this time was full of people like me. People with some weight to lose that are looking for guidance, knowledge, and support.

Am I going to lose weight? I have no idea.

I will tell you one thing that I have noticed. I AM eating healthier. Yes, your healthy eating guru is motivated to eat more fruits and vegetables.


Because, I get 29 points per day to eat. Each food I eat, I determine how many points are in it and I keep track of the daily total.

BUT, every time I eat a fruit or vegetable, I don't have to count anything!! I just eat it and forget about it.

So, when I'm looking for a snack and there are cookies or an apple to choose from, I am choosing the apple. Or if I am more hungry, I am adding a little peanut butter to the apple because the apple is FREE and the peanut butter will set me back a point or two.

If I roast broccoli with a little bit of olive oil, I count the olive oil and not the broccoli. Isn't that lovely?

What if after 3 months, I am still the same weight but I have created habits that help me instantly make better choices?

I would be pretty happy with that outcome.

What ways do you encourage better choices for yourself?"

Weight Watchers has given Snack Girl three free months of the PointsPlus progam for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

  $9.49   Barnes & Noble

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I'm trying to lose baby weight right now, too. Almost back to my goal weight, actually, but man it's a tough road.

on February 14, 2011

Good luck to you. BTW, if you'd like to view a video of Dr. Kessler chatting about his book and concept, you can find it here:

on February 14, 2011

That's fantastic, Lisa!! I hope you enjoy it!

Just a note of caution: Remember to track your fruits & veggies. It's fantastic to use them as a snack instead of some other point-a-licious food, but some people have found themselves experiencing ... ahem ... difficulties when they've eaten too many. ;-)

on February 14, 2011

@Julie - thanks for the tip - I thought I could just eat them and forget about them - I didn't know I had to track them. I will do that.

on February 14, 2011

Hi Lisa,

Good luck with WW! I am a lifetime member, and find that if you really follow the program, you will lose weight - and it is a reasonable and healthy life style change. I agree that it is motivating to have other people in a meeting where you can share ideas. Good for you - keep it up!

on February 14, 2011

Did I miss the recipe on the roasted broccoli? Please do tell more...txs!

on February 14, 2011

@Maria - the roasted broccoli recipe will be posted tomorrow - it is amazing!! Check back after 9 AM EST.

on February 14, 2011

@Lisa -- You probably don't have to track them, but since you're just starting out, it might be helpful for you to notice how much you're eating. Plus, you'll want to make sure you track them in your Healthy Checks just to make sure you're getting your 5 servings/day.

I love having the group dynamic, too. It's nice to have a little cheering section when you reach a goal or just make a good choice that you're proud of.

I hope you enjoy it! It really is a good program!

on February 14, 2011

Yay! I started WW about a month ago. I really like it. I'm for sure finding myself making more healthy choices like fruits and veggies for snacks. This week I actually didn't go to the grocery store, I went to a fruit stand instead! Loaded up on fruits and veggies. I'm just doing the online thing, not going to meetings. Good luck!

on February 14, 2011

I'm reading that book right now!! It's sooo good! Thanks for sharing!

on February 14, 2011

Good luck is right, I also think brave to put it out there that you're doing WW, for some reason people don't always share (perhaps in case they do not do well). I'm curious if the blog has made you healither/less healthy. And if you decide you want to try the nutritionist route...there's always Foodtrainers.

on February 14, 2011

Good luck w/WW. I'll think you'll be pleasantly surprised & you have the right attitude. Tracking can be a real reminder of what goes in. I too started WW (again) back in Nov - have lost and am pleased. It definately is a new life style & not just a DIET!

on February 14, 2011

I am so glad that you decided to try the pointsplus program. I have just recently stumbled upon your site after joining WW myself 2 weeks ago. So far I FEEL healthier but I have only lost 2.5 pounds. I guess, like other programs, its a process and getting healthier is the goal.

on February 14, 2011

The points calculator is a great gadget for y our purse too! I find myself checking points on food items that i THOUGHT we pretty healthy...the fun part is finding alternatives that are lower in points and tast just a good! WW is making me aware of what i eat, i love it!

on February 14, 2011

I find the new WW misleading. It says that you can eat all the fruits and veggies you want, but they don't take into consideration how many calories are in fruit or veggies. Say you eat an orange--that can set you back amost 110 calories and a banana (a large one) is 120 calories. Sugar snap peas are 70 calories in a cup--Calories are calories and you need to keep track of those, not points. There is a new website that does all the calorie counting for you and analyzes all the nutrients and breaks down how many calories you should eat to reach your goal weight and it gives you a realistic timeline......and it is free! I did WW also, but I feel this website is much more informative because it breaks down all the nutrients you have put into your body and what you need to work on. Also it has an area where you can build your own recipe and it breaks down all nutritional information. Again, this is all free. There are blogs and sucess stories to keep you motivated. I guess if you are the type that needs a group meeting this probably isn't for you, but for me I like it...and did I is FREE!! :)

on February 14, 2011

Also, I have lost 27 pounds in 7 weeks tracking my calories and workouts--because it also tells you how many calories you are deficent a day. I think it takes 3200 calorie deficit to lose 1 lb.
It is a life style change. It has taken my 2 years to lose 74 lbs....only 14lbs left to go until my goal weight!

on February 14, 2011

Snack Girl,
I'm a newer reader, and have really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for so many great tips and recipes!

I did want to comment today, as I might be the 'skinny' girl you sat next to the first round of WW. (I've gotten those looks before.) And I just wanted you to know that I'm there because I lost over 100 pounds and the accountability keeps me sane and on track. So don't worry about the 'skinny' part. I'm on the same journey, if perhaps just a little further down the road. ;o)

on February 14, 2011

@ Angela - What is the name of this free site that you speak of??

on February 14, 2011

Great job, Snack Girl! WW totally works if you stick to the plan! And to the person above who thinks that 2.5# isn't much to lose in two weeks, wow! 1.25# per week is awesome weight loss. And remember, you don't want to lose too quickly as you need the time to 'reset' or 'retrain' your brain. I lost 20# and got to my goal weight, was a Lifetime Member but now I am up these days about 5#. Old habits die hard! I'm only 5# over from 4 years ago at goal, so not too bad but,... So I say the slower the better. I still have my moments of emotional eating!
Also, for those of you on restricted diets like me, a gluten free diet due to celiac disease, WW is totally adaptable and workable. You don't have to eat any of their food.

on February 14, 2011

Hi Vanessa--it is called calorie count and this is the link.
I love it but it takes a couple of days going around the site to figure it out.

on February 14, 2011

I know this is a food blog, but I wanted to talk about exercise. My gum does a Lazyman Triathlon, which is Ironman distance, but you chart your exercise over 6 weeks. This is just what I needed to step up my exercise routine in the middle of winter. If I'm sitting less, I eat less!

on February 14, 2011

Like Angela, I count calories not points (i use which is also free and allows me to add my fav recipes, etc). However, I disagree with her that the WW method with free fruits and veggies is wrong - WW has their own method of "counting". It seems counter-intuitive that a banana can have 100 "points" in one system and 0 "points" in another but WW still works. When I count calories I can have a mini candy bar or two oreos for 100 "points" instead of a banana (and sometimes i *do* choose to spend my "points" on a homemade cookie over a piece of fruit...) WW new "points plus" accounts for human nature as much as the "points" in a banana and it'll work for a lot of people.

In the last year I've lost 95 pounds by making healthier choices (and Snack Girl has been a daily part of this learning process) and more important, my annual blood work has gone from "just over the line into the bad numbers" to "right in the middle of the good numbers". I still have 40 pounds to go but every healthy choice gets me closer to my goals!

on February 14, 2011

Welcome back to WW! I'm loving the new pointsplus. I've been back at WW since August last year and I love it. I just found your site a few months ago through them too!

I'd be honored if you'd check out my progress on the blog that I created to track it! the site is

let me know what you think!

on February 14, 2011

I'm an on again, off again WW and have been for many years, and I really like the new program.

If you read the fine print, WW has included 200 calories per day in your point calculation to account for "free" fruits and veggies. And the point is NOT to eat as many as you want (as someone said above), but to eat to SATISFACTION.

I have found keeping my fruits at 2-3 servings a day and 3-4 veggies works best for me. Remember, a fruit serving is ONLY 1/2 a cup - so a large banana could easily account for two fruit servings. In the beginning I was eating probably more like 5 servings of just fruit and was really struggling to lose.

on February 14, 2011

Incidentally, I have never had a Weight Watchers leader tell me that I could eat unlimited amounts of fruits and/or vegetables. They are worth 0 PointsPlus, but it is recommended that you eat about 5 servings of fruits & veggies/day.

(p.s. And I see that Trudie just addressed the # of fruit/veggie servings as I was typing this! ... sorry for the repeated info)

I practice this by constructing a meal within the point values I'm aiming for, and then I will round it out with enough fruits & veggies to satisfy my hunger.

The same goes for snacks. I'll have whatever I want for a snack -- sometimes that's chocolate ;-) , and if I'm still hungry, I'll have an apple, banana or pear. Usually, I'll try to make sure my snack contains fat and/or protein so that it will keep me full until my next meal.

I have used Calorie Counts for years. I like it; it has a lot of good tools, and the last time I was there, I discovered that they've revamped it quite a bit. I really didn't lose any weight using it, though. I don't think I have enough discipline to be successful without being accountable at my weekly weigh-in.

Also, it's really nice having the support of a group of people, a.k.a. a cheering section. It's also very inspirational to be able to see how other people are doing and return the favor by cheering for them!

And that is why it's nice that we have choices. ;-)

on February 14, 2011

Thanks for the reminder about portion size, Trudie. I keep thinking that I'm not getting enough fruits and vegetables, when in reality I'm probably right where I need to be most days.

Snack Girl - if you really don't like counting points, you might want to consider the "Simply Filling" alternative. It's similar to the Core system that they had previously. Just ask your leader for the handout.

on February 14, 2011

I just returned to WW myself weeks ago to learn the new system. I like it and have found I am also eating more fruits and vegetables due to the 0 point value. Glad to learn about the 5 a day limit. I think your experience will be greatly influenced by your meeting leader. They can make or break it. Good Luck to you!

on February 14, 2011

Really kind of disappointed that u r doing WW. I hope that future tips from snackgirl do not revolve around this program. If I wanted a WW program I would have joined that instead. I hope that it works out for u and that u do well but its not for me, its nonsense, I just need to eat healthy and count calories n be sure that the calories I do eat r worth it and good for my body. Whenever I feel I need inspiration and wish I was eating candy, I go try on some clothes and that pits me right back on track. Good luck to everyone, n to the ones above looking for a free tracker website I would suggest I use it everyday, its awesome.

on February 14, 2011

@Brandi - I promise that this will not become a WW site. I just thought it would be interesting to give it a try so I can assess its strengths and weaknesses.

I am also looking at a bunch of apps, websites, books, etc. to review for Snack Girl as many different venues are helpful to people who want to eat healthier.

on February 15, 2011

The comment that WW suggests keeping your fruits and veggies to 5 a day is right but lets face it, no one ever became overweight by eating too many fruits and veggies. You probably won't loose as quickly as you would like if you over eat on fruits and veggies but if you stay within points otherwise you will certainly be more healthy!

on February 15, 2011

just realized i gave the wrong website in my previous comment, the free calorie tracking website is not plus. sorry! @snackgirl - that's awesome that u r reviewing different venues, can't wait to hear about them all :)

on February 16, 2011

I'm one of those people who doesn't do well with public weigh ins. :D I've lost 100 pounds to date and am working on another 60. Currently I'm using a site called It's entirely free and has LOADS of informational tools for you to use. As you move through the program you learn better food choices. Plus the food tracker is outstanding. There are tons of food already there, but if there's a regional favorite that you eat, just enter the info and it's there for you to use. You can also type in your recipes and it will give you the calorie and nutritional breakdowns. It has a nice community feel and not as "food radical" as some sites tend to be (ie no "you're crazy if you eat carbs" or "all fat is evil" type stuff).

on February 16, 2011

@JS: I have a friend who is using ... she loves it, too!

on February 16, 2011

Snack Girl. I wanted to know how your doing on Weight Watchers? I've been looking for an update but couldn't find anything maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

on April 10, 2011

I joined weight watchers 5 weeks ago and have lost 8.2 pounds. I love the program and i am finding it fun .Have been eating so much healthier and have been able to have most of the things i love in moderation(having those extra weekly points,good luck
are great).I can't wit to see how you like it

on February 15, 2013

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