Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Weight Watchers needs to send a calorie counter to Applebee's restaurants, a federal lawsuit claims.

The restaurant chain has been serving Weight Watchers-endorsed meals since 2004. Their menus post the fat, fiber and calories along with the Weight Watchers "points" for each dish.

But an analysis done this year by independent Analytical Labs in Boise, Idaho, showed that Applebee's math is all wrong - and so was the math of other chain restaurants, especially on items they advertise as "healthy."

"They found in no uncertain terms that it wasn't even close," said lawyer August Matteis, who has filed a $5 million class-action suit against Applebee's. "People go into places like Applebee's for the healthy menu, and a lot of people go specifically because they have that option."

In one case, Applebee's says its Cajun Lime Tilapia dish has 6 grams of fat and 310 calories, but the study discovered 14.3 grams of fat and 401 calories, according to court papers. In another, the Steak and Portobellos meal was advertised as having 10 fat grams, but actually has double that amount.

Two other meals had triple the amount of listed fat grams: the Italian Chicken and Portobello Sandwich has 18.6 grams of fat, while the Garlic Herb Chicken had 18. Both are listed on the Applebee's menu as having 6.

The claims are all the more disturbing, Matteis said, because Weight Watchers is a powerful brand. "Weight Watchers is probably the most respected diet institution in the world," he said.

The $5 million lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Kansas, where Applebee's is headquartered.

Applebee's parent company, DineEquity, Inc., and New York-based Weight Watchers are also being sued.

Manhattan dancer Alison Solomon, a potential plaintiff, says that when she traveled for work, she was relying on Applebee's Weight Watchers menu to make sure she was eating healthy.

"It's very upsetting to learn that what you're getting is not what we're told," Solomon said. "If the claims are true, then I can't trust the menu."

Weight Watchers declined to comment. Applebee's said it warns customers that a difference between the nutritional information on its menus and what's actually in the food "is inevitable."

"We are closely reviewing the claims made in the litigation," spokesman Miles McMillan said. "We do not believe the claims have merit."

The same lab, commissioned by a Scripps Howard TV station, found similar misinformation at other restaurants. The "Guiltless Grill" salmon at Chili's didn't live up to its name, coming in at 35 fat grams, well above the claimed 14.

And a Taco Bell steak soft taco actually had 20 grams of fat and 297 calories, instead of the advertised 4.5 fat grams and 160 calories.

I don't like posting articles that show Weight Watchers in a negative light. But I felt it was necessary to post something like this as a sort of warning. Thank you Donna from WWMSG for sharing this with the group.

By ANGELA MONTEFINISE and KATHIANNE BONIELLO - Originally posted on nypost.com: http://www.nypost.com/seven/09282008/news/nationalnews/weight_botchers_menu_at____131118.htm

Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Beat the Holiday Weight Gain Odds

From 'food pushers' to parties that tempt your senses, here's how to overcome holiday diet temptations.

Just when you're finally getting your weight under control, boom! It's the holidays, and food is everywhere. From the office to the factory, from the office supply store to the drugstore (not to mention parties and family events galore), it seems as if the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's holiday season is one long, tempting food fest designed to make you gain weight.

Add in the emotions of the season and experts say the holidays can deal your weight loss efforts a double whammy.

"You've got the stress of the holidays, along with a lack of sleep, and, for many, a cauldron of bubbling emotions coming to the surface -- and you've got all this food beckoning you at every turn," says Warren Huberman, PhD, a clinical psychologist specializing in weight control at New York University Medical Center. "It can be a dangerous combination for those who have problems controlling what they eat."

But it is possible to keep the holiday food fests from ruining your weight loss plans. One of the best ways to start, experts say, is by discovering what your personal holiday overeating cues really are.

Food and Feelings: The Holiday Weight Gain Double Whammy

Though it may seem as if the temptation to overeat is all wrapped up in those hand made cannoli or that German chocolate cake, just being around more scrumptious food isn't the whole story. One recent study indicates that, for most of us, the drive to overeat at any time of the year is governed more by emotion than environmental cues.

In research published in the journal Obesity, Heather Niemeier, PhD, and colleagues found that for many people, the seed of overeating is actually planted within their emotions. Further, they found that people whose overeating is triggered by emotions tend to have a harder time losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

"When it comes to successful weight loss, our research showed that our emotions and our thoughts seem to actually play a bigger role than environmental cues -- we eat in response to feelings -- and for many people, the holidays can drum up a whole treasure chest of feelings, both good and bad," says Niemeier, a researcher with Miriam Hospital's Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Rhode Island.

Whether it's longing for the memories of holidays past, having to face the lifelong struggles that come to the forefront at family functions, or just being alone this time of year, for many, this can also be a season of sadness.

"If we have somewhere in our history an emotional response that we responded to by eating, that's going to get triggered again -- that connection gets built and doesn’t get broken, particularly since we keep reinforcing it over and over, over time," says Katherine Muller, PsyD, director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

And there is some research to show that the food itself may act as an emotional trigger, causing even more emotions to bubble to the surface during this time.

"Much like music can evoke memories, so can certain foods stir up memories, plus, the olfactory sense is a direct path to the brain," says Huberman. "So sometimes, even the smell of a certain holiday dish can evoke an emotional response that ultimately sends you back to the buffet table more times then you even realize -- and you don't even know why."

In this respect, experts say, taking a moment to think about what role holiday foods play in your memory bank might help you overcome the temptation to eat them.

"It's OK to have the emotion, to think about the memory, but just don't try to bring back the good times or cover up the bad times with the foods you associate with those feelings," says Muller.

Making a Plan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Although understanding why you eat can offer some measure of control, experts say it's also important to head into each potential food fest with a plan for how you're going to handle the temptation.

"If you think you can just go into the party and wing it, or worse still, believe you can simply avoid the buffet table, it's almost a sure thing you're going to lose control and eat everything in sight," says Huberman.

Instead, he says, you have to have a coping plan.

In research published recently in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy, doctors found that dieters who tried to control their appetites using avoidance strategies were at greater risk for overeating than those who developed coping skills to control their overeating.

Among the strategies that work best is positive self-talk, with the help of appetite "flash cards," says Judith Beck, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia and author of TheBeck Diet Solution

"Part of the Beck Solution is to make a list of every good reason why you want to lose weight, and read it to yourself every morning -- and when you are tempted to eat something you hadn't planned, just read it again, so you're constantly reminding yourself why it's worth it to turn down food," she says.

She believes you have to rehearse your reasons for wanting to be thin, the same way you rehearse the speech you give your boss when asking for a raise or the pep talk you give yourself before any challenging situation.

"You have to condition yourself and change your mind-set about what food means to you," says Beck.

Muller says this method works well for those who are "thinkers" and do well with a script. For those who are more spur-of-the-moment, "see it and eat it" types, a technique called "mindful eating" may work best, she says "So often, overeating is connected to a primitive, emotional place inside us, and we just mindlessly start eating," says Muller. "So one of the strategies would be to cultivate mindfulness: Keep bringing yourself back to the here and now, notice what's in your hand, notice what's on your plate, and pay attention to what you are eating."

Huberman says you can also go party-by-party, with a plan for each event: "You can limit the number of dishes you will eat, limit how much you will eat at each course, limit yourself to the three foods you absolutely love the most. The key is to put parameters around how much you will consume, and then stick to your plan."

Don't Let 'Food Pushers' Lead to Holiday Weight Gain

Despite your best laid plans, your holiday food goals can still go awry thanks to "food pushers" – friends, family members, and co-workers who refuse to take "no" for an answer when they're offering fattening treats.

"These are the people who, for whatever reason, seem to believe that their holiday celebration just isn't complete until they get you to give in to their food weaknesses," says Huberman.

From that co-worker with the bottomless cookie jar, to Mom and Great-Aunt Sue with their pecan pies and zillion-carb stuffing, to the hostess who won't let you leave her house before you wolf down a plate of diet-busting treats, even well-meaning friends and family can drag you into the Diet Twilight Zone.

The easiest way out? Just say "no" -- over and over and over, the experts say.

"We call this the broken record technique," says Huberman. "If you continue to politely refuse the food pusher, eventually they will stop pushing you. You don't have to be rude, but you do have to be firm."

Beck adds that we should feel entitled to do what is good for us.

"If you were refusing food because of an allergy or for religious reasons, you wouldn't think twice about saying 'no' and sticking to it," Beck says. "So give yourself that same sense of entitlement when you say 'no' to something because you are protecting your good health."

There's no need for lots of explanation about why you don't want to eat something. You don't even have to mention the word "diet."

"It's really OK to just say 'No, thank you -- it smells divine, but I'm really full.' You don't have to offer more explanation than that," says Huberman.

If you simply can't get away without accepting something fattening on your plate, Muller says, accept it. Then, just walk into the next room and dump it.

"Just because it's on your plate or in your hand," she says, "doesn't mean you have to eat it."

By Colette Bouchez - Review by Brunilda Nazario, MD - Originally post on WebMD.com: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20071218/how-beat-holiday-weight-gain-odds

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Forgiving Myself

Last night Ross and I went out, and I had two drinks... after dancing we came home and had a small meal... healthy, but I had already exceeded my points for the day. I woke up this morning trying to figure out how to make up for the points... I don't know how many points my drinks were (I'll have to figure those out)... either way no matter how many points they are - there is no way I can make up for those.

I've decided to journal everything I ate, forgive myself for over-eating, and move on. Today's a new day, so I'm starting over. Of course since I spent all my flex points I won't have any of those, but I'm allowing myself my full 25 points. I'm human, I'm not perfect. Of course this doesn't mean I'm going to be doing this every week... but this time in order to stay on track I have to just let it go.

Weight Watcher's is a forgiving program, so I need to learn to be forgiving of myself too. I have to remember I'm in this for the long haul, and on all long journeys usually there are bumps in the road. You get past them and move on... that's what I'm going to do.

I hope you have a great Sunday...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tough Week

This is a tough week... my weigh-in was Thursday and by Friday I was already over 9 points (all my flex points were used up)... I have 4 days until weigh in, so I've cut 2 points per day until Thursday in order to make up for it... we'll see how this works out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday Weigh-In

I weighed in yesterday, and had a loss - 1 pound. I'm slightly disappointed, I was expecting more considering last week I only had a .2 loss. I thought this week would make up for it, I think it would have if I didn't have water so late at night. I drank a bit of water after mid-night... it was so hot and my throat was so dry, I had too.

Also, I think my nervous stomach had something to do with it. I had a test earlier in the day at school, that I was very nervous about. I don't think my stomach digested my food properly.

Well there's next week. The good thing(s) about this weigh in is I am down a WHOLE pound, and I went down into the lower decade of numbers... :)

This week has gotten off to a rocky start. Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend to Chevy's... since I wasn't really expecting it I wasn't sure what to order. I had fajitas, which I thought was pretty safe... for the day, I ended up using all of my points, plus 22 flex points. I have to save the rest of these points for this weekend and next week. I think I'll get in a few hours of cardio in order to get some extra points to make up for the lack or shortage of flex points.

Well, I've better get running...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Basic Weight Loss Mistakes

A lot of us are out there watching what we eat and exercising, but still not making a dent in our bellies and body weight. There are a few things we are probably not doing, or doing too much of, that would mean major improvements in our health.

Get more sleep. After a very short period of time (about 6 nights), studies show that your glucose levels can rise if you get only 4 to 7 hours of sleep each night. New parents are excluded, but everyone else should try to hit the 8 hour mark as often as you can and get to bed BEFORE midnight. Every hour of rest before 12 a.m. is twice as valuable as the hours after midnight: Our cortisol levels are lowest before midnight therefore our recovery is the highest.

Eating fewer refined and processed foods. Avoid fast and fried food and try to consume as many real foods as you can. It's also imperative to get enough fiber (helps with elimination); fruits and veggies are a great way to fill up.

Avoid sugary drinks and reach for more water. Water is great for so many things like digestion, eliminating toxins in the body, and transporting important nutrients to our cells which need energy to burn calories. Americans drink 20% of their calories, so be careful of that silent pitfall.

Get to know your kitchen. I realize it takes more work, but the simple truth is we eat out or order in too often. There is a greater opportunity to control what is in your food if you cook it yourself.

Slow down. When you do sit down to a meal, don't wolf it down. Our culture encourages eating while driving or sitting at our desks. The only time we seem to sit down and enjoy our food is at Thanksgiving. The monks chew each bite of food 100 times (which is excessive), but they also eat only until they are full. They recognize that chewing their food more makes it easier for the body to digest.

Breathe. There are so many days that I don't breathe deeply. In the morning, mid-afternoon, and at the end of the day take a 10 conscious, belly-deep breaths. Close your eyes, pull that air deep into your stomach via your nose and let all the junk out through your mouth. Whether its a stressful day, or you just want to start and end your day on the right foot, breathing is important.

Don't starve yourself. Oddly enough some of you may not be eating enough, and the lack of calories is putting your body into save mode. Our bodies are so brilliant, and if they aren't getting enough food, your metabolism will tell your body to store each and every calorie it receives or to make energy from whatever muscle tissue you have. Not good. Oh and by the way, don't skip breakfast. People who skip breakfast are over 4 times more likely to be overweight.

Do more than exercise. Even if you are working out, you can't eat and drink whatever you want. It really is a three sided puzzle: balancing exercise, food, and (oh yes) the spirit (which stress and happiness play into).

I wish you the greatest of success, and remember, being healthy is like making your bed. It really is something we have to work at everyday.

Written By Gabrielle Reece. Originally posted: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/gabbyguide/8717/basic-weight-loss-mistakes/

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Eve Before Weigh-In

It's the eve before weigh-in. Once again I've had a fantastic week... I just have to work on getting a regular exercise routine down, but I think I won't start that until I've reached my first 10% loss... for now I just do it when I feel like it, or need to make up points like I had to Monday.

Last week I only had a .2 lost, so I'm a little excited and nervous this week... the last I got on the scale - earlier this week I was 2 pounds less, so I'm hoping Weight Watcher's scale is just as nice... that would put me down to a 8.2 total loss in three weeks... which is great! But for now I'll keep my hopes up for a 1.4 pound loss... and next week another 1.2 pounds off. On the 16th of October, a day before my birthday I'm aiming for 11 pounds to be gone, and on the 23rd - the week of the New Kids On The Block concert I want to be at least at a 12 pound total loss. By the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (holidays weigh-in day will be on Tuesdays) I'm aiming to have shead 15 pounds, and 5 more off by the last weigh-in of the year for me... December 30th.

Okay, let me do one of my favorite things and make a list of my mini goal - dates and losses:

09/25/08 - 7.6 pound loss
10/02/08 - 8.8 pound loss
10/16/08 - 11 pound loss
10/23/08 - 12 pound loss
11/25/08 - 15 pound loss
12/30/08 - 20 pound loss

I think that's pretty realistic. I'm not sure about the last two, those being the holiday weigh-ins... but what I'm going to aim to do this year is make the holidays 1 day events not whole week events. By then I should be on a regular work out schedule so I'll have a few extra points to play with.

I get excited just imagining myself 20 pounds lighter... that's only a 3rd of what I want to lose, but still a 3rd is a big chunk. That would be 4 more charms added to my charm bracelet... a charm for 10 pounds gone, 15 pounds gone, 20 pounds gone, and for reaching my 10 percent... this excites me. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Motivate Me - A to Z of Motivation

Ever wondered what motivation really is? An invisible force? Or
practical steps you can take to make sure you reach your Goal?
Success does not depend on luck alone, so here are 26 ways to ensure
your motivation is always at its peak.

Adapt Switch™ to suit yourself. It's easier to stick to a food plan
that suits you so make yours fit your preferences rather than the
other way around.

Be specific about your goals. How will you feel when you've achieved
them? What will you see? What will you hear?

Create small goals and rewards to help you keep going. Make goals
the right size for you – whether that's 1lb, 2lb, 7lb or 1st. And
make rewards fit the goals, e.g. a magazine for 1lb, a paperback
book for 7lb and something you really want for 1st.

Do something different. If you always do what you always did, you'll
always get what you always got. So if what you're doing isn't
working, do something different.

Evolve strategies that work. When you find something that does work
for you, build it into your daily or weekly routine.

Find ways to say no and mean it. "No, I shouldn't really" sends the
message that if asked again, you'll say yes. "No thank you" is much
more definite.

Get help. Don't be afraid to ask for the help you need. Get clear
about what you need (e.g. an exercise partner). Think about what's
in it for the other person (e.g. they'll get to spend time with you
while getting fit), and ask at a suitable time.

Have fun. Good moods help people to think more creatively and find
solutions to problems, so look for opportunities to have fun.

Identify your resources, so you can call on them when needed.
Resources could include: your determination to succeed, a role
model, money, a friend to exercise with, this website.

Join Weight Watchers Meetings for a weekly dose of support,
motivation and tips that work. Find a Meeting near you.

Keep going. People who achieve their weight-loss goals don't lose
weight faster than those who don't – they just keep going longer.

Learn and practice new behaviors until they become habits – it
takes approximately 21 'repeats' for something to become a habit.

Manage your emotions. Find ways of coping with anger, sadness,
anxiety, joy or elation that don't involve food, e.g. call a friend
or take a brisk, pavement-pounding walk.

Negotiate. It doesn't have to be either-or... If part of you wants
to eat in a healthy way and part wants to eat chocolate, get
creative and find a solution that means both parts get what they
want. A good solution to this problem would be: fresh strawberries
sprinkled with chocolate shavings.

Overcome setbacks. The way you cope with setbacks will be crucial in
determining your success. Look upon them as challenges or chances to
learn rather than indicators of failure.

Plan ahead. How will you cope with that social event? When will you
do some exercise? Why not plan your food and exercise this week?

Quit unhelpful habits. Identify the habits that don't serve you
well: consider why you do them and what 'benefits' they bring you.
Now find other ways to get those benefits.

Repeat positive phrases, like 'this diet works for others, so it can
work for me' or 'I have the power to make any changes I want to'.

State goals in the positive. Say what you want (e.g. to be healthy)
rather than what you don't want (e.g. not to be fat).

Think healthy. When tempted, ask "What would a healthy person do right
now?" The answer will tell you what YOU need to do.

Unconditionally track your food. Learn to track, no matter what you eat... track it. People who track what they eat are generally more successful on the scales. Having a record helps them know what they're doing as well as make decisions about what to do next.

Visualise. We move towards what we picture in our minds, so take a
minute each day to imagine the healthy you.

Weigh yourself every week and record your progress. Experiment with different foods.

You can do it - believe in yourself.
"Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do."
- Edmund O'Neill

Zoom in on the positives. Remember that there's no such thing as
failure, only feedback. Life's most trying times can be positive
events if we learn from, and find the good in, all situations.

This is originally from Weight Watchers UK posted to WWMSG by

Monday, September 22, 2008

3 More Days...

I got three more days until weigh in. I'm excited. Tom has left the building, and I'm ready for weigh-in... this week I'm on program. I used up all my flex points this weekend... not a very smart thing to do, but it was WELL worth it. I went over three points, so I did an hour walk on the treadmill and earned those points back.

I got on the scale this morning and was 1.5 pounds less than my last weigh in... of course I was naked, so I should expect about that much of a loss on Thursday. I'm excited and motivated. I don't know if I mentioned it... but I've already lost over 10% of what I think might be my final goal weight.

I love Weight Watchers, it really works... the trick is staying motivated. Thursday, I'll complete 3 weeks on program and so far my excitement hasn't died down. I feel like I did when I first tried Weight Watchers in 2000. I was super pumped until I reached my 10%.

I think what happened was that I was expecting what I was told was going to happen. I thought I was going to have a consultation with my group leader and we were going to choose my next goal... whether it be another 10%, a medium sized goal... or my final goal. I didn't get anything.

The day I reached my 10% and was presented with my keyring... after the meeting I approached my group leader about setting an appointment with him to discuss my next step. He didn't set a time with me, instead he said why don't you lose another 10% and we'll go from there... I said okay, he said "Okay, theres your consultation." I don't know what else I was expecting to get from the consultation but whatever it was I was expecting more then just a 15 second conversation while he straightened up the center.

It seems once I reached my 10% my excitement and motivated dropped a little and sadly just kept going down from there. This time I refuse to let that happen. This time when I reach my 10% I will let them know I except my full consultation... (whatever that means).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

5 Essential Weight Loss Foods

Diets are very hard, as is the feeling of being overweight. Many of these fad diets may promise instant and significant weight loss results, but most of them rely on depriving your body of certain nutrients and disrupting the natural function of your body's metabolism. Chinese medicine considers obesity to be partly the result of declining function of the metabolic fire of the kidney network and a diet that provides a well-balanced array of nutrients is the key to losing weight in a healthy way. What follows are five foods that will help you restore your body's ability to use energy and help you become your healthy weight.

1. Millet: A well-balanced diet should consist of whole grains instead of refined grains like white rice and pasta, and millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of this category of food. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn't an acid forming food, is easy to digest.

2. Asparagus: When losing weight, it's important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine - which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function.

3. Pomegranates: Eating a balanced diet to lose weight should include eating fresh fruits, and pomegranates are a wonderful example of a healthy, nutritious fruit that has antioxidant properties and will help prevent cancer. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.

4. Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees and are considered an essential ingredient in the tasty Italian mixture pesto. Chinese medicine uses pine nuts to improve gastrointestinal tract and digestive functions, and pine nut oil is even used for appetite suppression. Pine nuts and other nuts are a tasty part of a well-balanced diet intended for weight loss.

5. Green Tea: It has been found that consuming large amounts of coffee and caffeine can lead to food cravings, increase one's appetite, and induce stress-related eating. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee in that it does provide a little caffeine but also contains beneficial antioxidants. So drink up!

A healthy diet also includes lean proteins like chicken breast, legumes such as lentils, and other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While fad diets may promise a large amount of weight loss in a short period of time, there's almost a guarantee that you will put that weight back on-and then some!

Eat five smaller meals a day, avoid processed foods, chew more slowly, and incorporate more healthy foods into your diet-starting with these five.

Adapted from an article by Dr. Mao called 5 Essential Weigh Loss Foods... original article maybe be found here: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/15737/5-essential-weight-loss-foods

Friday, September 19, 2008

America's Worst Breakfast Foods

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of eating breakfast. Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. Beyond that, people who skip breakfast are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, and they’re less likely to exercise.

But just because breakfast is the most important meal of the day doesn’t grant you permission to go into a feeding frenzy. But that’s exactly what many of the country’s most popular breakfast joints are setting you up for, by peddling fatty scrambles, misguided muffins, and pancakes that look like manhole covers.

These foods are loaded with unhealthy fats, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates, which catapult your blood sugar, sap your energy levels, and tell your body to store fat.

To help you avoid the morning mishaps, we searched out the good, the bad, and the greasy, and uncovered some of the worst breakfast foods in America. We’ve presented a sampling of the worst offenders below. It’s like a lineup down at the local police station, except in this case, they’re all guilty as charged.

Worst Side Dish
Burger King Hash Browns (large)
620 calories
40 g fat (11 g saturated; 13 g trans)
1,200 mg sodium
60 g carbs

Yes, you’re ingesting more than a meal’s worth of calories from a side dish, but the real cause for concern here is that these little potato cakes pack seven times more trans fats than you’re supposed to eat all day! Until BK learns to cut out the partially hydrogenated oils, avoid encounters with potatoes of any kind at that fatty food joint.

Eat This Instead!
Burger King Egg & Cheese Croissan’wich
300 calories
17 g fat (6 g saturated; 2 g trans)
740 mg sodium
26 g carbs

Worst Breakfast Sandwich
Hardee’s Monster Biscuit
710 calories
51 g fat (17 g saturated)
2,250 mg sodium
37 g carbohydrates

When they say “Monster,” they mean it. This 700-calorie behemoth should be enough to scare anyone: It contains nearly a full day’s worth of sodium and saturated fat. Instead try the Sunrise Croissant with Bacon. It’s not exactly diet-friendly, but if you’re stuck at Hardee’s, it’s a way to escape without too much damage.

Eat This Instead!
Hardee’s Sunrise Croissant with Bacon
450 calories
29 g fat (12 g saturated)
900 mg sodium
28 g carbs

Worst Kids Meal
Denny’s Big Dipper French Toastix with margarine and syrup
770 calories
71 g fat (13 g saturated)
107 g carbs

As important as it is for mom and dad to eat a good breakfast each morning, it’s even more critical that their kids do. After all, breakfast affects their energy levels, metabolism, and performance in school. Better think twice before feeding them these dubious little sticks. For more healthy kids’ choices, check out Eat This, Not That! for Kids.

Eat This Instead!
Kid’s D-Zone Smiley Alien Hotcakes
340 calories
12 g fat (5 g saturated)
49 g carbs

Worst Pastry
Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll
813 calories
32 g fat (5 g trans fat)
117 g carbs

You wouldn’t start your day with three brownies, would you? As far as your body knows, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing if you wake up with this cinnamon-swirled disaster area. In fact, because Cinnabon offers no healthy alternatives, you’ll have to invite friends (or enemies?) to share the risky roll, or steer clear of Cinnabon altogether.

Worst Smoothie
Smoothie King Grape Expectations II (40 oz.)
1,102 calories
256 g sugars
740 mg sodium

Why Smoothie King would even offer a 40 oz. serving size is beyond us. With more than half the calories you need in a day and the sugar equivalent of 12 Haagen Dasz ice cream bars, this “drink” should be renamed "diabetes in a glass." Just goes to show you the importance of drinking responsibly.

Drink This Instead!
Smoothie King Low Carb Strawberry Smoothie (20 oz.)
268 calories
3 g sugars
176 mg sodium

Worst Combo Meal
McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast
1,360 calories
64 g fat (22 g saturated)
2,325 mg sodium
160 g carbs
49 g sugars

With four vehicles for refined carbohydrates (biscuit, hash browns, hotcakes, syrup), this “deluxe” disaster will send your blood sugar soaring. Why blow nearly an entire day’s calories under the arches, when a perfectly satisfying Egg McMuffin will save you more than 1,000 calories?

Eat This Instead!
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with coffee
310 calories
12 g fat (5 g saturated)
820 mg sodium
30 g carbs
3 g sugars

Worst Omelet
IHOP Big Steak Omelet
1,490 calories
(No additional nutrition information available)

IHOP doesn’t provide nutritional information aside from calorie counts, but with a boatload of steak, a bucket of cheese, and handfuls of hash browns, this omelet’s fat and sodium numbers are surely just as appalling.

Eat This Instead!
IHOP For Me Garden Scramble
440 calories

The Worst Breakfast in America
Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes
1,543 calories
77 g fat (26 g saturated; 9 g trans)
2,259 mg sodium
198 g carbs
109 g sugars

It’s not a good sign when it takes you nearly five seconds to spit out the name of your breakfast. This bad boy packs in more than 75 percent of your calories for the day, along with more sugar and fat than nine glazed Dunkin’ Donuts, and nearly as much sodium as five Bloody Marys.

Eat This Instead!
3 Scrambled Egg Beaters with 2 slices of bacon and fresh fruit
314 calories
19.5 g fat (5 g saturated)
700 mg sodium
21 g carbs
18 g sugars

Written By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding. Originally posted here: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/eatthis/13908/americas-worst-breakfast-foods/

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I weighed in today... there's good news and bad news. The good news is... I lost this week! The bad news is it was only .2.

Part of me felt a bit discouraged when I seen the scale, but the other part of me knows that this is TOM's fault, because I know I did GREAT on program this week. I saved a few points here and there, drank all my water... got in a lot of veggies, etc.

The other part of me can't wait for next week... I know I'll a nice loss.

This week I want to work on getting in more fruits and vegetables, also to drink my water in a timely manner... not drinking like crazy right before I go to bed. Also this week I might try Weight Watchers Infamous Zero Point Soup. In all the years I've been with Weight Watchers I have NEVER tried making or have tasted the soup... crazy, huh.

I've had subways and Fiber One bars, and water today... so I've better get going so I can go journal those...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny How Our Mind Works...

Ignore the wording with the virtual mes. The one on the left is my starting weight, and the one on the right is my current weight. I still look the same... don't I.

It's funny how our mind works. I look at the two images and don't see a change... maybe a very slight change, but it could just be my eyes playing tricks on me.

It's the eve of me completing two weeks on program. You might not be able to see any results yet, but I am changing... I can feel it. Physically, I feel stronger, my clothes feel just slightly bigger. My energy level is changing. I feel great... I look in the mirror and I'm even starting to sort of like what I see... (baby steps, baby steps).

Mentally, I also feel stronger. I'm proud of myself... I'm doing it. I'm sticking to program. I'm journaling. I'm counting my points. I'm drinking my water. I'm rocking it! I had a HUGE points day, actually two this week... and I still managed to not completely rock the boat and fall out... I had those days (one planned, one not), and I got over it and moved on... thank goodness for those 35 flex points.

I feel good today, even though I got on the scale this morning and it showed a gain (which might be from eating late last night), I still feel good. Regardless of what the scale said this morning, it's not my officially weigh-in, and even if that shows a gain... I will still stick to program... why? Because I'm in this for the long haul!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mixed Emotions

2 more days until weigh-in, and well since I've stuck to program all week I couldn't keep my curiosity down and broke one of the Weight Watcher rules. I got on the scale this morning, and was disappointed... it showed only .2 of a loss. It could be little more than .2 because my scale only breaks it down to .5 and theirs to .2 - either way it couldn't be more than a pound. So disappointing...

I was hoping for at least a pound loss. I'm sure it's not because I did anything wrong, but just because I had such a huge loss last week and my body is still adjusting... or it could be because I finished my last 2 bottles of water last night passed mid-night and it was only about 6 hours later that I got on the scale.

I'm still going to hope for at least a pound loss, but if I have less than that... that's okay too... like I always say, "A Loss is a Loss regardless of the number".

Recently on my online Weight Watcher group someone who didn't have very much of a loss (or none at all - can't remember, not important part) said she was okay with the outcome of that weigh-in because she was in this for the long haul. That made so much sense to me, and was very inspiring... that's the attitude I want to have...

I'm in this for the long haul, so regardless of what the scale says on weigh-in day... I'm going to stay motivated and on program.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Don't Quit.. Inspiration for a "bad" day

When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
And you feel like the biggest failure in town,

When you want to give UP just because you gave IN,
And forget all about being healthy and thin....
It's your NEXT move that counts...So don't you quit!

It's a moment of truth. It's an attitude of change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.
It's telling yourself, "You've done great up til now.
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow."
It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal.
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.

To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
If you summon the will to get back in the race!
But, often the strugglers, when losing their grip,
Just throw in the towel and continue to slip.
And learn too late when the damage is done,
That the race wasn't over...They still could have won!

Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
But facing each challenge will help you grow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint in a cloud of doubt.
When you're pushing to the brink, just refuse to submit.
If you bite it, you write it...but don't you quit!!!

I didn't write this myself, I found it years ago when someone posted it to a group I belonged too... I saved it, figuring it was something good to keep on hand for inspiration for those 'bad' days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Doing Things Differently

Last week at my Weight Watcher's meeting my leader asked me: What did I do different? How do I feel now that I've lost my first 5 pounds?

It my first week so my success had a lot to do with that. Most of the 6 pounds was probably water weight (but getting rid of water weight also is just fine with me). But also this week on program I really put my heart into it. I journaled everything, I didn't cheat myself by nibbling here and there and not counting it... I got all my water in, and went for a few walks through out the week. But the most important thing I feel that kept me with in my points is that I planned my meals. Or at least mentally I would decide in the morning how I was going to use the majority of my points. I think it truly helped me to know or have an idea of what I was going to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Not once did I stick to my plan to a T but I was close and that was good enough.

I feel great to be back on program, back on track, and in general living a healthier life style. It's nice to have a goal to be working towards. I love trying new healthy combinations of food to waken my taste buds... like chipotle con adobe in a salad - Mmmmm Yum!

My goal(s) this week has been to do just as I did next week: Stay prepared, plan, exercise, and journal. We'll see proof of how it worked this week on Thursday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mini Chocolate-Chip Cookies


2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp table salt
1 large egg white(s)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup


Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a medium bowl, cream butter, oil and brown sugar together. Add
vanilla, salt and egg white, and mix together thoroughly.

Mix together flour and baking soda. Add chocolate chips and stir to
distribute evenly.

Drop rounded half-teaspoons of dough onto a nonstick baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 4 to 6 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Yields 2
cookies per serving.

Flavor Booster: Indulge your craving for an intense chocolate
experience. Buy a 3-ounce bar of fine chocolate with a percentage of 75
or higher on the label. The percentage indicates the combined amount of
cocoa bean and added cocoa butter in the chocolate. The higherthe
percentage, the greater the chocolate taste and the less sweet the
product. Chop up the bar and use in place of chocolate chips.

Servings - 24

Preparation Time - 10 min
Cooking Time - 20 min
Level of Difficulty - Easy

Friday, September 12, 2008

You know You're a Weight Watcher member when...

You know You're a Weight Watcher member when...

You accidentally swallow toothpaste and wonder how many POINTS it had in it.

You stand in the aisles at the grocery store with your WW PointsFinder figuring POINTS before you buy.

Everyone at your lunch table is asking you to figure the POINTS on their lunch.

You threaten to put your cat on WW.

You figure the POINTS on cough syrup.

Your child says there are too many POINTS in something they don't want to eat!

You don't want to share ANY of your food with anyone because you've measured it and know exactly how many POINTS are in it.

You know where every public restroom is wherever you go . . . you need it after drinking all that water!

You weigh yourself before and after the bathroom just to see how much of a difference it makes.

You ask your WW leader to bring in a curtain so you can weigh-in naked.

Your child gets an "A" in English for turning your journal in as a book report.

You convince the grocery store owner to organize the food aisles according to POINTS values.

You hang your 5 pound book markers from your car antenna.

You replace your college diploma with your 50 lb. magnet (now which one is actually tougher to achieve?).

You Calculate Activity points for Sex!

People at work know when your WI day is because you have the same outfit on that day EVERY WEEK

you call your family to the dinner table and instead of "what's for dinner?" they ask "how many points are we having for dinner?"

you take a bite and then spit it out because you realize it wasn't worth the points!

you mark all the food boxes in the house with points per serving

you carry your journal with you wherever you go

you take Molly McCheese with you to the restaurant so you don't waste your points on butter

you ask your family to hide the cookies and chips so you won't be tempted

"On The Side" become the 3 most uttered words in your vocabulary

you start parking in the back of the parking lot for the extra exercise

you start wondering why restaurant servings of most meals are large enough to feed 3 grown men

you start wondering how many points are in bubble gum

you look down at the backs of your hands and get freaked out by how skinny they look

you want to drive to Ben & Jerry's individual houses and drown them in a vat of Chunky Monkey

you take up knitting/crocheting/tatting/rughooking/p

aintbynumbers to keep your mind off food

the thought of having a bran muffin for breakfst gets you so excited you can't fall asleep.

you dance a little jig in front of the frozen foods case in the grocery store because you finally found Skinny Cows!

You stop licking postage stamps when you realize they are 1 tenth of a calorie each.

you know in advance, by heart, what you can eat at each and every resturaunt that DH may want to go to.

instead of carrying an armful of things thru the house, you intentionally made several trips to get in that extra 20 steps of walking.

you smile and gaze adoringly at the produce aisle.

your junk drawer at work has been revamped to include Milky Way Lites, LF granola bars, FF Pringles and lite peach cups instead of Cheetos and snickers bars.

you take a big black permanent marker and not only mark the points but also write your name and "DO NOT TOUCH OR ELSE".

everywhere you go, you take along two 'purses'. Your regular purse, and your Weight Watcher's Black Bag, with your points guide booklet and slider in there!

you dont wear any makeup to get weighed in , fearing it will weigh too much

you see really overweight people and want to tell them they can do something to change their lives!

You hold up your snacks next to your kids' snacks and warn them to be sure not to eat yours or it will result in their demise.

the jeans that you would have never dared to put in the dryer for fear that they would not make it back over your hips... are in there right now, as you hope to shrink them enough that they won't fall straight off!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two Charms Added

I weighed in this afternoon... 6 pounds gone! Very close a third way to reaching my 10%! I can't believe it!

I came up with this great idea, inspired by Weight Watcher's reward keyring and charms. When I joined Weight Watchers again I brought a plain charm bracelet... every time I reach a 5 pound loss, or milestone I add a charm... I'm not allowed to purchase the charm (unless it's a rare one to find, like my HALF WAY TO GOAL charm... I brought that one already, but it's saved so when I'm ready to add it) until I've reached my mini goal. It's my way of rewarding myself and also as long as I'm wearing the bracelet it's a reminder of how well I'm doing and to keep me motivated.This weigh-in I get to add two charms... one to celebrate my first weight loss, and another to celebrate that I reached a 5 pound loss.

I've done Weight Watcher's before, so I know that every week isn't going to be this great. I might not ever have another week with such a huge loss... and that's okay. I feel I'm realistic with the rate I expect to loss, so I'm planning on adding my 10 pound charm before or on October 2. That's three weeks for 4 pounds., that's just a little over a pound a week which is average healthy weight loss.

Well it's time for me to go this time... please make sure to stop on by again soon... I'll be adding a few recipes this weekend, tips, and ideas... this weekend I'm going to try a new recipe stay tuned for pictures and reviews.

Also... I'd love to know who visits here, so please feel free to leave me a comment.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pre-Weigh in…

It's the day before my weigh in, I'm a little excited and nervous at the same time. I've been really good for the past week. Drank all my water, stayed within my points ranges... didn't go over my flex points. I still have three left for today.

I guess I'm a little nervous that I'll go over my last day before weigh in, which would suck if I did. Here's my plan to stay within points:

1 Weight Watcher's Chocolate Shake with 1 cup fat free milk - 3

1 cup cheerios with 1/2 cup fat free milk - 3

1 Fiber One bar - 2

2 chicken legs flavored with chipotle in adobe, 2 turkey bacon strips, and salad - 3

1 cup of grapes - 1

1 Fiber One bar - 2

I'm not sure what's for dinner... maybe a chicken sandwich, or BLT... maybe a salad. Then a snack before bed.

My meetings at 12:15, I can't eat before then. It's going to be a challenge considering I get up at 5:30am... I'll be starved and thirsty by noon. What I'll do is buy a sandwich or something before my meeting, weigh in and before the meeting starts I'll have some.

Wish me luck. Keep an eye out tomorrow afternoon for my first weigh in results!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weight Watcher ABC's

Accept responsibility
Be confident and self-assured
Challenge yourself
Draw upon your strengths, assets, and talents
Empower yourself
Find supportive and encouraging people with whom to surround yourself
Guzzle water
Have a meaningful, well-defined, measurable, and realistic goal
Invest time in yourself
Jump, run, or walk - just move
Know you deserve the best
Live your life in the mind and body you desire
Mute negative self-talk
Nurture your body with healthy food and your mind with positive thoughts
Open your mind and senses to new ideas and possibilities
Physically move toward your goal
Quit procrastinating
Reward yourself every step of the way
Stand up for what you want. Don't allow saboteurs to infiltrate your dreams
Take the risk TODAY
Use your imagination, talents and abilities
Visualize what you want and what it would be like to reach your goal
Write in your Journal daily and write ideas that will work for you
Xpect it will happen. Don't just hope it will
Yield to no temptations or diversions
Zero in on your Winning Outcome and don't stray

Monday, September 08, 2008

She's Not Getting My Clothes!!!

My 14 year old daughter's favorite past time is going into my bedroom and digging through my clothes... to see what fits her, and if she can convince me to let her have it. Usually if it's something I've had for years and doesn't fit anymore I'll let her have it. Yesterday, she found a t-shirt... I told her no it still fits me. She said it was too small. I told her it's a fitted t-shirt. She tried it on anyway.

She's much smaller than me... MUCH SMALLER, height and width. She tried it on, and it fit her like a regular t-shirt (non-fitted). She giggled when I tried to convince her I wear it as a fitted t-shirt. 'Mind you she doesn't know I'm doing Weight Watchers again. Finally, we compromised that she can 'borrow' the t-shirt, but if and when the day comes that it fits me right again, I'm reclaiming it.

This morning I tried it on, to see how long more I have to go. It fits now, fitted... just not a comfortable fitted... anyway, I tried it on and it didn't look bad, a tiny bit too fitted for my comfort... I did however notice a big difference in how it felt on me since the last time I tried it on.

I decided to jump on the scale and see if there's a difference at all in my weight since Thursday... I officially weighed on at 196.2 and am now 192 exactly - 4.2 pounds! My scale I think is a little off from Weight Watchers, but hell I can at least expect a 3+ pound loss this week! I can't wait for Thursday!

Happy Monday

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Citrus-Glazed Chicken Thighs

1 c. orange juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. grated lime rind
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
12 skinnles boneless chicken thighs
cooking spray
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Put first 7 ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add chicken and marinate 1 hr.
2. Preheat broiler.
3. Put chicken on foil-lined jelly-roll pan w/cooking spray. Broil 8 min. each side or until done.
4. Put reserved marinade, flour, and salt in pan. Boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and cook 1 minute or until thickened.
5. Serve sauce w/chicken

4 Points

Sounds yummy, doesn't it? I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I do plan on it... once I do I'll be sure to post pictures.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Virtual Me

This is a virtual me at my current Weigh-in weight. Get a free virtual you at virtualmodel.com

Check it out. It's a great program where you can even virtually try on clothes, or see yourself post reaching goal!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Whittle While You Work

Eight easy ways to lighten your load at the office

It's not your imagination: Sitting at a desk all day really can make your rear end as wide as your swivel chair. In a recent survey by careerbuilder.com, 49 percent of office workers said they had gained weight at their current jobs, and 28 percent of those had piled on more than 10 pounds. Try these easy adjustments, so you can work 9 to 5 without gaining 10 to 20.

1. Stand and Deliver

James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic professor, found that we burn about 1,500 fewer calories per day than we did 150 years ago. That deficit could mean a 10-pound gain in one year. Chained to your desk? Get an adjustable-height work station so you can stand for part of the day. Your posture will improve, and you'll burn a third more calories. The average set up runs $350. (ergoindemand.com)

2. Dial "C" for Calorie

Get a headset and walk while you take calls. "Use a pedometer to track how many steps you take," says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer and physi­ologist for the American Council on Exercise. An extra 500 a day burns 25 extra calories--in a year, you could drop two pounds without changing your diet. Sure, coworkers might make fun of you. But you can laugh all the way to the beach.

3. Schedule Snacks

An American Dietetic Asso­ciation report found that 75 percent of workers eat lunch at their desks at least two to three times per week. But that kind of multitasking can lead to multi chins, so minimize mindless eating by booking snack appointments in your calendar. When an e-reminder pops up, step away from work and enjoy your food. If you're aware of what you eat when, you'll be less likely to nibble all day.

4. Lean to the Left

If you have an emergency stash of Combos, keep them in a left-hand desk drawer. Researchers at Dartmouth College found that we're more likely to reach for things to the right of our field of vision regardless of handedness. Even better, keep fruit on your desk in a prime right-hand spot so it will be an obvious snack choice.

5. Go Green

Fill your mug with green tea. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who drank oolong tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost 2.4 more pounds than people who drank plain oolong tea. Catechins, antioxidants found in green tea, may stimulate the body to burn calories and decrease fat.

6. Put a Lid on It

Give your willpower an assist and keep candy in an opaque dish. A study by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that workers dipped into chocolates 71 percent more often when they were in transparent containers. Or switch to hard candies: They're lower in calories than bonbons, and they last longer.

7. Smell Success

Break out the air freshener. A group of overweight people who inhaled sweet smells (green apple, peppermint, vanilla, or banana) when they were hungry lost an average of 30 pounds in six months. Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, believes the scents suppressed rather than stimulated appetites. Can't stand room spray? Go au naturel: "Just having the smell of a green apple on your desk could suppress your hunger," Hirsch says.

8. Place Your Bets

Strike up a weight-loss competition with your cube mates. Researchers from Southeast Missouri State University asked office mates to split into teams for a 12-week diet program, with the winners awarded cash prizes. On average, participants lost eight pounds. Sometimes it pays to lose.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back On The Wagon

I've been fiddling with Weight Watchers for some time now. I first joined January 2, 2000... and have been back and forth with it about a hundred times. I leave for various reason... sometimes I just try to do the program on my own.

I rejoined again today, with my head on straight. I'm excited to back this time. I truly feel I'm on program both physically, emotionally, and mentally.

I've been blogging quite a while, since about 2002... I figured it time to start a fresh new blog to share with you my weight loss journey... it should definitely be a fun ride.

I plan on sharing my experiences, recipes, tips, ideas, and articles I come across... make sure to check back daily for updates.