Monday, 26 July 2010

Standard Weight Watchers stuff

For those not in the know, Weight Watchers is a weightloss and weight management system which currently works on a Points system; all foods are given a number of Points per portion or serving, and then the individual is allocated a certain number of Points to eat per day based on various criteria including starting weight, height, age, gender, lifestyle etc.

Points are worked out based on calorific value and amount of saturated fat; one Point is roughly equivalent to about 60 calories or so, however this does vary somewhat depending on other criteria including the saturated fat. The amount of Points a person will be allocated goes down as they lose weight.

All of the recipes I add here will be Pointed exactly as they are shown, however, it is useful to know some of the basic foodstuffs and measurements. Many foods are free and these are the ones we should focus on to add bulk and variety as well as key nutrients.

Vegetables, with a few exceptions like potatoes/sweet potatoes, parsnips and peas, are free, or 0 Points. Straight away that gives plenty of scope for building interesting recipes. Something I didn't realise is that butternut squash and pumpkin are free, although if you do have insulin resistance, diabetes or other blood sugar disorders it's worth bearing in mind that you probably shouldn't be eating it every day.

Fruit does have Points, although not huge amounts of them. Possibly the highest is banana, which works out on average at about 1.5 Points a go. An apple is 0.5, a couple of satsumas is the same. So they're still the healthy snack/dessert!

Meat should be very lean. As a rough guide, a medium chicken breast, which is about the size of a computer mouse, is around 1.5 Points. I have however weighed all the chicken I have put into the recipes here as it can vary somewhat. Turkey breast is also very good and lean. Bacon works out to about 1.5 Points per slice, although peculiarly (if you're in the UK), ASDA's streaky bacon is only 1 Point per slice.

Rice, pasta and lentils work out very similarly; about 1 Point per 20g dried weight, however WW suggests that about 60g is an average portion.

A slice of wholegrain bread - about 40g - is around 1.5 Points, or thereabouts.

A medium egg is 1.5 Points (and two works out to 2.5 Points)

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