How to Lose Weight with Weight Watchers

Now incorporating WW's current green points, blue points (formerly called Freestyle) and purple points plus their zero-point free foods and Weight Watchers recipes sorted by points.

When I first lost 30 pounds with Weight Watchers, I collected the "secrets" to my success. It's time to brush them off again, especially to reflect Weight Watchers' latest trio of myWW point-counting systems, the green plan, the blue plan (formerly called Freestyle) and the purple plan.

How to Lose Weight With Weight Watchers ♥ Practical tips, resources & recipes.

Straight Talk About How to Successfully Lose Weight With Weight Watchers. Dozens of Practical Tips for Getting Started, Sticking With It, Eating Out, Taking Advantage of the Zero-Point Free Foods.

Yes, It's That Time of Year. Again.

Well, well, if it’s not that time of year again, the time for weight loss resolutions.

Determination soars, doesn't it?

"This is the year," we tell ourselves.

"This is the year," we resolve, when we'll take off the pounds that collect on our thighs and hips and waists.

"This is the year," we promise, when we’ll really make the food and exercise changes that we know we need – we know! – to live long and healthful lives.

This is the year we’ll finally lose that excess weight.

We will, really we will.

Maybe It's Not You. But It Is Me.

Ahem. Yes. To keep this real, let me switch from third person to first person, even if I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here.

You see, I Alanna, I’ve made myself this same promise for the past three years. And three years in a row, I’ve broken it within a few weeks. (And many Mondays, too. Do we all start our diets anew on Mondays?)

So the words of Lyn, a beautiful writer from the inspiring blog Escape from Obesity, really resonate.

Lyn wrote recently,
here in her own words:

"On New Year's Day, the Internet will abound with people searching for things like "lose weight fast", "cookie diet", "how to drop 20 pounds in 20 days", "cabbage soup diet", and "magic weight loss pill".

I know, because I used to be one of those people.

I was desperate, longing to change what seemed impossible. How on earth can anyone lose 100+ pounds??

It sounds insurmountable. It will take forever. One pound at a time.

And I want that weight gone NOW.


Ah, well, we can dream ...

But the reality is,
we just have to work for it,
moment by moment.

So Here I Am, Working For It. Again.

So here I am again, I Alanna, making myself a promise – but the truth is, already, in the back of my mind, I wonder if I’ll keep it.

Sure, just after my mother died, I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers.

For more than two years, I kept it off, maintaining a healthy weight at the bottom of the range for my height and age. Then came five pounds, then another five … we know how this goes, right?

One year, I even signed back up for Weight Watchers: it was the Monday (there’s those Mondays again) the week before Thanksgiving. I weighed in once and never went back. (Something about the online software not working right, I explained. Yeah, right.)

Now I’m at the top of the range for my height and age.

So – as much for myself as for the many readers who flock to the Weight Watchers recipes, low-carb recipes and low-calorie recipes here on Kitchen Parade and the Weight Watchers recipes and low-carb recipes on A Veggie Venture, I’m dusting off my old notes, my own tips for making the Weight Watchers program work for me. With any luck, my tips will help others too.

This is my year.

Quick Links to This Page

~ Getting Started with Weight Watchers ~
~ Sticking to a Weight Watchers Program ~
~ Free Foods Are So Helpful ~
~ Strategies for Eating Out While on Weight Watchers ~
~ Weight Watchers Recipe Resources ~

JUST SO YOU KNOW This post contains links to useful Resources. I personally selected these items —and if you buy something through these links, Kitchen Parade may earn a small commission, no extra cost to you. Every bit helps, so thank you! My Disclosure Promise

YOUR OWN WEIGHT LOSS TIPS When this page was first published, I asked readers to add their own Weight Watchers tips in the comments to register for a give-away for a kitchen scale. That contest is now over but please do keep adding your weight loss tips, they're inspiring for me and for other readers!

Getting Started with Weight Watchers

COUNT POINTS – Every day, every meal, no matter what.

FOR A WEEK, GIVE YOURSELF A REALITY CHECK – For those who haven't used the Weight Watchers system before (or who are switching from one point system to another, say), I think it's smart to use the first week to get a grip on the reality of your current eating.

So that first week, don't change your eating – in fact, go for it, make your favorites, go back for seconds, keep drinking soda, grab an extra cookie, snack in front of the TV, etc. Don't hold back and definitely don't "diet".

But DO count the points.

Trust me, just counting points will give you plenty to work on, that first week. Figure out the app. Figure out how many points are in the foods you eat most often. Learn how to enter recipes. Ingrain the habit of tracking each meal. Get comfortable with how it all works.


Counting your "before WW diet" just might be a real eye-opener. If Weight Watchers gives you 23 points per day and you're consuming 40 or 50 or even more? You'll see, viscerally, what our eating habits are doing to our bodies. You'll begin to understand, truly, that Weight Watchers isn't a "diet for a a few weeks or a few months" – it's building the daily habits and practices that we can follow for the rest of our lives.

Counting points for your "before WW diet" could expose some small changes will get you down into your healthy allotted points. For example, one small change for me? I still use half & half in my morning coffee, just not every day and definitely not every cup.

Most importantly, counting points for your "before WW diet" means you'll know where you're starting from, your personal baseline.

GET A FAST START – In the beginning, when you're highly motivated, take advantage of that "fresh start" adrenaline. How? Skip the bread, baked goods and sweets entirely for the first while, consuming protein, vegetables and healthy carbs for your meals. Later, sure, you can add additional carbs and even sweets in modest portions. But in the mean time, you've built in some healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner mealtime habits.

CALCULATE POINTS BEFORE TAKING A BITE – By the time Kitchen Parade recipes are published online, nutrition information and Weight Watchers points are all neat and packaged. But me, I really must-must-must calculate points before I cook. Weight Watchers, of course, makes this easier than ever with the recipe builder on its app, also the bar code reader that keeps you honest, right next to the broccoli bin ice cream freezer.

RESOURCES This is the software that I use for calculating nutrition. These days, running your own application is probably only for the most hard-core cooks who want to develop and maintain their own database of nutrition information and point values. But the big benefit to developing your own is that it's yours, no monthly fees, no re-entering everything to make small changes every time you adapt a recipe. I also maintain that keeping your own information will make you a better cook. What's the difference between sautéeing a pound of vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead of the 4 tablespoons that many magazine recipes specify? Huge. With your own information, you'll see the difference instantly.

DON'T COUNT POINTS for BREAKFAST or LUNCH – What??? Didn't I just say to count points every day, every meal? Well, yes.

But I take the work and calculating out of two meals by eating the same things again and again. For years and years, my favorite breakfast was Microwave Creamy Oatmeal with Peanut Butter, now during the winter it's often Creamy Oatmeal and most recently, I've yet to tire of this two-point Everything Bagel Breakfast Salad.

Now, if you need more variety, no problem. Just build up an arsenal of breakfasts and lunches and memorize the point values over time. But make them rote. Make it so you don't need to calculate points for either breakfast or lunch 90% of the time.

START YOUR NEW WEIGHT WATCHERS DAY WITH DINNER – This tip comes from my sister and is a bit confusing at first. But wow, what a difference it makes!

It starts with the recognition that dinner is probably the meal that's hardest to control: maybe your spouse cooks, maybe you go out.

But in contrast, it's super-easy to control breakfasts and lunches, even to eat "zero" points" or "just a few points" without starving ourselves. Or if dinner is light, then you know you've got extra points to spend/invest for breakfast and lunch.

So let's say it's Monday. On the app, apply what you actually eat for dinner on Monday into Tuesday. Tuesday morning, get up and count your breakfast and lunch and everything you eat up until five o'clock (or your own cut-off time, whatever makes sense) to Tuesday's breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Now it's Tuesday and time for dinner. On the app, put what you actually eat for dinner on Tuesday into Wednesday.

Now track and repeat! Do it a few days, it becomes absolutely natural and even, dare I say, easier to follow the Weight Watchers program. Eat what you want for dinner (within reason, making healthy choices, etc.) and then use the next day's breakfast and lunch to reach your point allotment for 24 hours.

But let's say it's mid-afternoon and you're feeling a little hungry but are out of points. Can you wait until five o'clock when the next day starts? You bet you can.

For my sister, for me, this gives the whole Weight Watchers program a flexibility that's really, truly useful and effective. It's worth figuring it out!

GET A KITCHEN SCALE – If you don’t have a kitchen scale, get one. Otherwise it’s all guesswork. The average chicken breast? It weighs 3/4 of a pound even though a serving of (uncooked) chicken is a 1/4 pound. The average baked potato? It weighs a pound. We just don't know how super-sized foods have become until we weigh them!

RESOURCES This is the kitchen scale I've used for years and years. My Disclosure Promise

EAT A LOT – It’s no good to go around hungry. Especially in the first couple of weeks, if you do feel hungry, eat lots of bulk, use no-point and low-point foods to fill up. As you continue on and your body and your palate adjusts, eating less will feel good. You won't need all that bulk to "fill up".

FIND A FAST SNACK – It does take awhile for our bodies to become accustomed to less food volume. During this period, make sure to have "free foods" readily available to snack on fast, little preparation. Believe it or not, my go-to snack is canned green beans for zero Weight Watchers points. I buy them by the case at Sam’s Club!

WATER & MILK – Measure out the day’s quota of water and milk in the morning, drink them throughout the day. (FYI, it used to be that WW plans specified a cup of milk. I think it was a cup per day? I'm not sure why this no longer is the case, I remember Weight Watchers saying back then that there was a correlation between weight loss and milk. Perhaps it was the calcium? Anyway, milk is a habit I keep up.) In the current point plans, plain non-fat yogurt and non-fat Greek yogurt are the only dairy foods that count as "free". Women, especially, need calcium so perhaps you set a daily quote of water and yogurt?

FEELING HUNGRY? IT MIGHT BE THIRST NOT HUNGER I've learned that lots of times when I think I'm hungry, I'm actually thirsty. A glass of water really helps. In addition, when I cook supper, instead of sipping on a glass of wine while cooking, I fill a tall glass with ice and club soda, then sprinkle it with bitters. That way, if we're having wine for dinner, then I'm happy to stop after a single glass.

RESOURCES Thirst-Quenching, Low-Cal, Low-Alcohol Drinks

ARE YOU REALLY HUNGRY? I heard somebody say once, if you're really hungry, you'll eat an apple. So the trick is to ask yourself, "Am I so hungry that I'd eat an apple? or is it that cheesy quesadilla that's calling out to me?" And if the answer is you really want the quesadilla, then you're not really hungry.

Well, hey, what about the apple lovers in the crowd?! Me, I could eat an apple almost any hour of any day. So instead, I've found that my question is, Am I so hungry that I'd make a salad? If not, then, well, I'm not really hungry.

The point is to quickly assess whether you're really hungry or if it's something else.

PREPARE for WEAK MOMENTS – I have three and need strategies to deal with each one. I bet you can list your own. So do that. Write them down. And write down how you'll respond to each one.

  • Second helpings
  • Losing vigilance after a second glass of wine
  • The "hungries" before bed

EXERCISE FIRST – Otherwise it doesn’t / won’t happen, no matter what I tell myself.

Sticking to a Weight Watchers Program

STAY WITHIN A TIGHT POINT RANGE – Weight Watchers taught me that eating too little is as much a problem for weight gain as eating too much. Work really hard to go no more than two or three points above the daily point goal. It's also super-important to never go below the daily point goal. The tight range seems to be important, training our bodies to expect a certain number of calories, no more, no less. The tighter the range, the more your metabolism self-regulates. I work really hard to never dip into the Weekly Remaining Points.

PORTION SIZE MATTERS – This doesn’t mean that all portions must be small.

  • Weight Watchers taught me to think "big" portions of broccoli, spinach, asparagus and other low calorie / high fiber foods and "small" portions of everything else.
  • Weight Watchers taught me to think this way: a meat serving is 4 ounces, a main course stew is 1 cup, a soup is 1 cup, a vegetable serving is 1 cup, drinks are 4 ounces, etc.
  • Consistency truly helps. That way, there's no debating how big a serving is. There's no remembering the serving sizes for different foods and recipes.

FOOD CHOICES MATTER – It’s possible (though stupid) to maintain and even lose weight eating only cream and butter, calories in and all. But body tone is tighter, firmer, when calorie intake is based only or largely on protein and vegetables.

FRUIT – Weight Watchers and I part paths on fruit.

Officially, fruit is "free" in Weight Watchers now. And maybe point-free fruit works for members who before Weight Watchers snacked on cookies and chips: yes, fruit would of course be the better choice. WW does reward members for choosing whole fruit versus the dense calories of dried fruit (dried fruit is not free in WW) or fruit juice (fruit juice is also not free) or even sugar-free jams. Whole fruit offers more fiber, more moisture and more volume per calorie.

But for me, fruit is a danger zone, it just can't be "free".

Even with whole fruit, I realized that just like fast-food fries, even fruit is super-sized. Just look!

  • An average banana weighs 9 ounces, that’s the equivalent of 10 SmartPoints!
  • The average apple from the loose fruit bin would rack up 7 SmartPoints! That said, my supermarket DOES sell small apples in three-pound bags (they’re cheaper too).
  • FULL DISCLOSURE & REMINDER The official WW program calls bananas, apples and other whole fruits "free". My stance on free fruit is different than what the nutritionists/others at Weight Watchers say.

So I began to think of fruits in one-point volumes and that's what I'd eat, just a point's worth. When I first started Weight Watchers, that meant a cup of blackberries, a cup of blueberries, a cup of cherries, a cup of orange sections, a cup of watermelon, 1-1/2 cups of raspberries and strawberries, a 5-ounce orange, a 6-ounce peach, a 6-ounce pear, a 6-ounce tangerine, etc.

But with SmartPoints? A mere 1.5 ounces of fruit, on average, is all you get for a single SmartPoints.

So if your weight loss has stalled and you thinking fruit might be the culprit, join me in counting points for fruit. I've learned the hard way that free fruit just doesn't work for me.

RESOURCES Want to learn more about my thoughts on free fruit? Read Rethinking Fruit for Weight Watchers, it's completely up to date with Weight Watchers' current myWW point system, the green, blue and purple plans.

Rethinking Fruit for Weight Watchers, how and why to count points ♥ WW works but free fruit doesn't work for everyone. If your weight loss journey is stalled, fruit might be the culprit.

COUNT POINTS – Points matter. I can’t say this often enough. Track them on the Weight Watchers app. Write them down. Whatever tracking system you can stick with, use it. Don't let not having a smartphone get in your way!

INSPIRATION – Blog watchers, I love sites like Smitten Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman and Joy the Baker (no links, you notice!) as much as anyone. But for the next while, I’m going to stop visiting because frankly, I know I’ll get sucked in because the recipes look so good. But I am going to pay attention to food bloggers who publish nutrition analysis and calculate Weight Watchers points.

WAKE UP HUNGRY – When I wake up hungry, I know that the Weight Watchers program is working, that my body actually needs calories to get going for the day. This is a good thing – and there's no skipping breakfast!

SPECIAL OCCASIONS – For me, special occasions are all about the occasion, not my weight issues so I choose to give myself a "day off" or "evening off" to just enjoy.

Free Foods Are So Helpful

When I first started Weight Watchers, all foods had points. But for some years now, Weight Watchers has selected certain foods that are "free" – that's right, no points.

This is a brilliant strategy!

The big thing is that the free foods teach us to incorporate particularly healthful foods into our diets. We fill our fridges and pantries with these healthful foods. We choose recipes that include the free foods. This is so good, building healthy cooking and eating habits.

But once we learn which foods are free, if we can't count points for some reason (lunch out? on vacation? just tired of counting points?), we can just choose the free foods and we're good to go.

WHICH FOODS ARE FREE? Sorry, there's no a quick answer.

  • First, there are hundreds of free foods, mostly vegetables and fruit but also some dairy, some protein and so on.
  • Second, which foods are free depends on which plan you're following. The "green" plan has many (but the fewest) free foods; the "blue" plan has more (and so many) free foods; the "purple" plan has the most (and so so many

But I'm here to help! I created this condensed list to quickly show which foods are free in each plan. Here you go, Weight Watchers Zero Point "Free" Food Lists.

Weight Watchers myWW Zero Point Foods for the Green, Blue and Purple Plans ♥, simplified lists of Weight Watchers' free foods and zero-point ingredients plus links to recipes using those ingredients.

Strategies for Eating Out While on Weight Watchers

EAT MINIMAL POINTS BEFOREHAND – If there’s a big dinner that I really want to enjoy, I eat minimal points during the day and so head to dinner having consumed maybe four points total. But I'm also not hungry, I've had a big glass of water and a hearty no-point or low-point salad just before leaving. That way I won't stuff myself from the get go.

EAT HALF – Rather than estimating points at a restaurant, I order what I want but eat only half of what’s served. The exception is salads and vegetables.

So let's say my husband orders an appetizer, he's big on appetizers! I mentally split what arrives at the table in half (his half and my half) and then I eat half of my half aka a quarter of the entire dish. I do this without mentioning it, talking about it, just enjoying the portion I've eyeballed and allotted.

So let's say then I order lasagna that comes with a salad and a roll. I eat all the salad but half the lasagna and half the roll, enjoying every bite!

This "eat half" strategy worked beautifully on a two-week trip last year when we ate out three times a day. But I've also been using it out, ever since. I never go hungry but I don’t come away stuffed either. It’s wonderful!

Weight Watchers Resources

~ Weight Watchers recipes ~
(sorted by Weight Watchers blue points, formerly called Freestyle)

~ Weight Watchers, Meet Michael Pollan ~
(how my friend Ann lost thirty pounds in three months)
~ My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing ~
(how does cooking fit into weight loss?)
~ Rethinking Fruit for Weight Watchers ~
~ Low-Carb Recipes ~
~ Low-Calorie Recipes ~

~ About Kitchen Parade & Weight Watchers ~
~ About Kitchen Parade ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

~ Weight Watchers Recipes ~
(vegetable recipes sorted by points,
including the famous Weight Watchers Zero-Point Soup Recipes)
~ Low-Carb Vegetable Recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If these tips are useful for you, I'd love to know! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2010, 2019 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Thanks for the chance to enter your contest! My best diet strategy is to put my husband on a diet!!! Seriously! If I can engage him in the process, it really helps me! It is so much easier if we both plan and prepare than if I work it alone. I guess it is just more fun to have a weightloss partner.

    dfuller55 at verizon dot net

  2. Anonymous1/03/2010

    Excellent post! You managed to sum up a lot of my own feeling and WW tips. The reason WW worked for me: I drank the (sugar free) Kool-Aid. Tell everyone you're on WW and go to meetings and participate. Screw being embarrassed. Embrace that YOU are doing something to be healthier and look better while others continue to talk about it.

    biogrrl2002 at yahoo dot com

  3. Hi Alanna- great advice. When I quit smoking 14 years ago I gained 40 pounds. Weight Watchers worked for me then, and when 15 pounds creeped back on, I lost 10 of those pounds last year with Weight Watchers. Working on maintaining a healthy weight prompted starting my blog, Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right. It helps keep me honest. I calculate Weight Watchers points for my recipes as well. Good luck! Glad I found your blog.

  4. What a great motivator to finally, finally stick to my diet!! Good luck to you - and me!!

  5. kirsten1/03/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to use smaller plates-my daily plate size is 7 inches across (and beautiful Polish pottery hand imported by my brother Karl). I can fill up that plate to overflowing, but still because it is small the portion size isn't too much. I also walk for an hour 3 mornings a week with friends, do Pilates twice a week, walk the kids to/from school . . . but the plate size is the best strategy I think.

    madaus (of course!) at mac dot com

  6. Ashley1/03/2010

    Great tips! Even though you'd think most are common sense, it's amazing how often we need to be reminded of them. Food makes common sense go whacky!

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... taking the decisions out of eating. I make one or two healthy dishes over the weekend and package them in single serving portions. That's what I eat for dinner all week long. No "what to eat tonight" decisions required, I just throw together a salad and heat up one of my containers. No leftovers for me to pick at while they're hanging out on the stove waiting to be put away.

    given2dream at gmail dot com

  7. Hi Alanna...great post! I've lost nearly 50 pounds since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 16 months are my top five strategies:

    1. Accept the fact that to be healthy you need to control your diet for the rest of your life and that a new approach, not a temporary fix, is what you need.

    2. Weigh or measure everything, and record all calorie intake or WW points (both work equally well if you are diligent and honest).

    3. Make an exercise schedule and don't let anything interfere with it. Plan to expend at least 2500 calories a week in aerobic exercise.

    4. Weigh yourself once a week at most, at the same time of day and pay attention to the long term trend, not the short term ups and downs...and recognize that if you're not meeting your goal it's because either your target numbers are wrong or you're cheating...and fix it.

    5. Plan ahead when you eat out. Research the menu online if possible and make selections ahead of time. Only order items which allow you to clearly see exactly what you're eating, like salad with no dressing. Also, eat a small, healthy snack shortly before going to the restaurant and then order lightly.

    I love the KP...thanks for a great post...

    best, Stephen

  8. "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is exercise! I exercise one hour 5 days a week. I too am a Weight Watcher alum. Although I went over 20 years ago. I did lose weight then but regained it back. I took the bull by the horns and lost 100 pounds in 2009 using my old WW stategies. I would love to win the scale, mine gets quite a workout and I could really use a new one.
    Karen in NE Indiana

  9. My best tip is to get on a body fat scale daily. If I am making progress I see it and am encouraged. If not, I notice and get back on track.

  10. Alanna, thanks for the post and all the encouragement!

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to weigh every day." Meaning myself. I know WWs says to weigh once a week, but it's more encouraging to me to weigh each day. After months of charting, I began to see patterns and that was enlightening. Slight gains that were just part of the pattern still caused me to be extra careful those days.

    Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity! ~~Rhonda
    reacoulter at gmail dot com

  11. Anonymous1/03/2010

  12. Anonymous1/03/2010

    "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is eating oatmeal daily, skipping sweets, and counting calories, with weekly weighin. if i notice an increase in my weight, i curb back my indulgences...

  13. Great advice! My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to use the Weight Watchers app on my phone. It's the easiest way for me to make myself keep an accurate log, and I have no excuse for not knowing how many points something is before I eat it. It's not for everyone, but it sure works for me.
    kelli.heath [at]

  14. Alanna, these are such great tips! I have done Weight Watchers in the past. Thinking of doing it again, as I'd love to kiss 30 lbs goodbye this year!

  15. Are family members eligible?

    I just made Laura's Carrot Soup - been meaning to try it since you first posted it - Yummo!!! I guess my best strategy is to go back to what I know works ... make better decisions, STOP SNACKING (my own personal downfall), spend more calories than I eat (exercise) - I've signed up for a few sessions with a personal trainer.

    lfrolander at (msn) dot com

  16. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to keep that food diary/points faithfully. It's really hard to lie to yourself about how much you've eaten if it's written right there on the page. And use vegetables to fill up on!

    wishwords at gmail dot com

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is portion control...I have been down this road too many times before and I know to make it work, portion control is the key...if you want something bad enough - EAT IT...just don't eat a gallon of it!! I found that if I had my meals on a sandwich plate, I always had enough and didn't feel the need to "finish everything on my plate" to get myself back to doing that and sticking with it...therein lies the challenge!!
    hockeymom nine six nine eight at gmail dot com

  19. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ...count my points!!! And I weigh myself every day...

    r s euler at hotmail dot com

  20. Anonymous1/03/2010

    Alaina, I am so glad that you are going back to the WW plan. I have been below my goal weight for just over a year but this week I noticed that the Thanksgiving-Christmas eating has caught up. I plan to go back to writing everything down, avoiding alcohol for the next month, measuring everything and keeping the trigger foods out of the house! I know that my husband and I will be back on track and you will, too.

    cpeets at rochester dot rr dot com

  21. caroline k1/03/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is do it with my husband! It's too difficult to try to do it alone while my husband pigs out. Luckily, he's ready to make some changes too!

    chon76 at hotmail dot com

  22. Thanks for this most informative article - have been on WW and lost 18 pounds so far and can only imagine the pounds I'd lose with an accurate scale ;-)

  23. I love your tips and thank you for sharing. Like you, I am a WW veteran - seven years on program and four and a half at goal.

    Have my own scale but wish everyone luck on the contest.

  24. My best strategy for losing weight is really just to keep exercising. I lost 30 pounds about 10 years ago and have managed to keep it off. I attribute it to exercise. I also try to keep a look out for healthy recipes and try out new veggies I find at the farmer's market. And Kitchen Parade of course helps me with that. Thanks!

    amybyoo at yahoo dot com

  25. I forgot my best tip... forgive yourself. It takes a certain amount of discipline to be successful, but you also have to allow yourself to be human. When the stumble happens, forgive yourself, and even learn from it, then move on. Beating yourself only saps your energy and never helps you arrive at better options.

  26. Anonymous1/03/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me has actually been when I participate in Weight Watchers! I need the accountability! Plus it helps me monitor my calories and portions! Looking forward to reading your blog!
    sarapannell at hotmail dot come

  27. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to share my losses, gains, and plateaus on Facebook. I've lost 36 pounds since the middle of September when I joined WW and attribute much of my success to the encouragement of my FB friends.

  28. Anonymous1/03/2010

    Thanks for the tips, am staying at the W.W. meeting tomorrow for the first time since Dec. 1. Also increasing exercise with the Wii. Has been too hard to concentrate on W.W. and cope with the holidays, so just decided to not listen to the same old talk. I think I need that scale.

    cbrownone at yahoo dot com

  29. Anonymous1/03/2010

    I think the best thing we can do is realize we didn't gain it overnight and we can't lose it that fast. WW is a way of life not a quick fix and you need exercise to help build muscle.

  30. As I get older I find that I absolutely HAVE to exercise as well as follow a eating plan! Thanks for all the tips and Happy New Year!

  31. Oops, forgot to leave my email! It's
    dennimdtwo thousand

  32. Anonymous1/03/2010

    I really appreciate the chance to enter this contest. I could really use a scale to help me lean more about portion sizes. My best weight loss strategy is to incorporate meditation. I have found that if I can get spiritually centered then I am better able to stick with my goals for the day. I have also decided that "having" to lose weight makes it a chore, but "wanting" to lose weight makes it much easier.

  33. Thanks - these are great ideas! And I love that you're giving away a scale! I've been on WW now for about 7 months, and it really works! I've lost 46 pounds and am now only one pound away from my "healthy range". Probably my best "tip" is when eating out - NEVER have the salad dressing that "comes with" - I carry fat free in my purse (I don't trust that their idea of "lite" is the same as mine), or I ask for 4 or 5 lemon wedges that I squeeze over the salad. That's surprisingly good! If I HAVE to have theirs, because it just won't taste the same without, I have it on the side and dip my fork in the dressing before picking up food on it. At the end of the meal, it looks like there's no dressing gone, and I've had the taste.

    abucksworth at gmail dot com

  34. Anonymous1/03/2010

    I forgot to add my name on the last post about meditation.

    It is: nelle49 at hotmail dot com

  35. Kristi1/03/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... to plan my meals. I usually shop on Sundays and cut veggies and cook meats for 3 - 4 days worth of meal. I'll freeze what I don't plan to eat in that time so that it can be thawed out when I don't have time to plan/prepare.

  36. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is eating lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Very little beef, pork and chicken. Thanks for the chance to win the scale. It's a great help in knowing exactly how much you are eating.

  37. "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ...
    1. Plan, plan, plan ahead ... menu plan/grocery list for the week, including WWpts
    2. Count EVERY point, no matter what, and record it
    3. Exercise 3 times a week
    4. repeat steps 1 thru 3

    Allana, timing is everything and you posted and I read at exactly the right time. Thanks!

  38. Great post today. 2 years ago I lost 29 pounds and felt great. have gained most of the weight back and I want to lose it again.

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to keep a food journal. My favorite WW leader always said "If you bite it write it"

    simonen at comcast dot net

  39. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to not bring it home! If those snackie things I love are here, I will definitely eat them. Thanks for the chance to enter your contest! Love your blog.

  40. Anonymous1/03/2010

    I love this friend told me about when I joined WW in May of last year. Since then I have lost 40 lbs and hopefully counting! The recipes I LOVE but really love the Point Value that you give everything! I always look forward to my recipe of the day and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have that scale!

    Thanks again and keep the great recipes coming!

  41. Oooh, I've been dying for a kitchen scale. Ok, my best strategy is a workout-to-treats ratio. If I go for a run, I get cake. If I'm too tired or lazy or sick to go to the gym, I'm too tired or lazy or sick to get chips. Either I'm working out more or I'm eating less (usually working out more, because CAKE!).

    booksidoneread at telus dot net

  42. writing down everything I eat! It's a must and I have lost 12lbs and have 28 more to go....must.keep.writing.

    Love WW!

    chickfilamom at comcast dot net

  43. Hugs, Alanna! This IS going to be your year... mine too :)

    Thanks for the shout out!

  44. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is portion control. I have lost 85 lbs to date with Weight Watchers and it is amazing how out of control portions can get!
    My next step, is to get my husband on Weight Watchers! LOL

  45. is where I tweeted "Great contest from @kitchenparade to win a kitchen scale to help succeed at #weightwatchers!! "

    weightlossmama @ gmail dot com

  46. Great website! My mom forwarded it to me and I instantly book-marked it! My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is exercising with a friend! We chat and chat and chat and before we know it we're done! And WW of course ... I'm down 23 lbs in 4 months!

    mabell at telus dot net

  47. I've been a fan for a while -- links for KP and VV are on my blogs & I also get the posts in e-mail via subscription. I have to say, though, that this post has meant more to me than any of the recipes (although you have GREAT recipes). I'm not entering to win the scale because I already have one that's getting more and more use everyday ... I just wanted to say thanks :)

  48. Chris_Quilts1/04/2010

    I've been WW since Oct. 08 and have lost 30lbs. I have more to go, but I love getting KP recipes in my in box. 1st thing I do is scroll to check out the points. Thank you for that and the great links in this post for other on-line sites.

    chris_quilting at yahoo dot com

  49. My best weight loss strategy so far has been... I've stopped beating up on myself! Over Christmas/New years I didn't have time/energy to count points, etc, and let it go, refusing to feel guilty and beat up on myself?

    Result? I gained .4 lb.... less than half a pound back. And I'm eager to get back on the bandwagon and get moving! No guilt, no trauma.

    dlsimpson3 at

  50. Jane Hailey1/04/2010

    I am a pediatrician who LOVES your blog - and recommend it to parents. "If your child only likes carrots, go through ALL the carrot recipes - involve him or her in the choosing and cooking - and maybe he or she will choose to try another letter or vegetable!" I also LOVE to cook and am a passionate foodie. I've struggled with my weight for decades, and currently feel great, having discovered exercise AND (the reason for this post) MINDFUL EATING. Sit down, eat slowly, don't read or watch TV (even if you're alone) and put your fork, spoon, sandwich etc. down after taking a bite until you've completely swallowed your bite of food. Good luck to all us!

  51. Planning to bookmark your blog. I was forwarded over here by Kirsten. Loosing the weight this year will be a struggle as my DH does all of the cooking. But as he needs to get on board as well, maybe he'll take the tips/recipes to heart.

    bluekaeru at yahoo dot com

  52. Anonymous1/04/2010

    I love your website and use many of your recipes. I too am constantly looking for the "magic combination" to lose weight. My best diet strategy is to make a pledge to make time for myself. I need to remember that I won't be there for everyone else if I don't take time care of ME. To stay committed this time, I am enlisting the support of my co-worker. We are talking about our foods and walking at lunch time and doing yoga together after school. As the yogi says, "Honor yourself".

  53. dschuna at faegre dot com1/04/2010

    Love your blog and your recipes - keep them coming and thanks. My best strategy for achieving/ maintaining a healthy weight for me is not to take second helpings and try to write everything down.

  54. Thanks for the wonderful post. My best stradegy is to log everything I eat... down to the last crumb... even if I'm not happy I ate it!

  55. Donna from Ma1/04/2010

    I have been following your blog through my email for some time. I just love the recipes. I just signed up for your RSS feed. I lost 70 pounds 5 yrs. ago and I have put 20 + pounds back on - really need to get a handle on this - so here I go. Here is my email address

  56. Anonymous1/04/2010

    Thanks for the post! I'm back on WW after taking a year or so off (and watching 15 pounds creep back on). This was just the encouragement I needed to stay with it. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me resisting the temptation to eat "little portions" of those high-point foods. I know by now that once I start, I can't stop. So 1/2 a brownie turns into 1/2 the pan. It's better for me to skip it all together.

    gigglgyrl03 at aol dot com

  57. Anonymous1/04/2010

    great page! I need to go back to my diet seconds and walk! Thanks for the great info. I look forward to becoming more acquainted with all you offer.


  58. Anonymous1/04/2010

    I found that my best diet strategy is no second helpings.That way I get to eat whatever I have prepared for the rest of my family.If I get the urge for something I probably shouldn't have I will have a small taste then walk away. I lost 22lbs starting Oct.2008 and have kept it off since Feb.2009. Having a scale would be very helpful as I'm not sure I always eat enough meat.
    hurst underscore 41 at yahoo dot com

  59. Thanks for the great contest and wonderful post. I've been considering rejoining Weight Watchers for a couple of months now. What great motivation!

    My best strategy for reaching/maintaining a healthy weight is to pay close attention to what I'm eating to not to eat anything unless I've consciously decided it's what I want. Much easier said than done, but something I try to practice regularly.

    Thanks again!

    (writingherlife at gmail dot com)

  60. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... documenting everything and always carrying my food journal. I HOPE this is my best strategy! I haven't lost my weight yet... here's to 2010! I think your site will be a great help!

  61. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is counting carbs. Carbs are my downfall and if I can keep them under 50 and fill up on fruits and veggies I feel much better. Thanks for the giveaway.

  62. oooooooooops I forgot, I an a loyal subscriber. katklaw777 at yahoo dot com Thanks again!

  63. "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... attending all of the weight watcher meetings even though I'm a lifetime member..I also track and found that I have to eat at least 2 pr 3 points of the 35 extra every day..I have cut out beef and pork totally from my diet(but mostly due to digestion issues)and substitue ground turkey and I have also cut out sodas. I do give myself a free day from time to time so my body doesn't think "I'm dieting". Its also great to be able to go to great websites and get grat new recipes. Once I made up my mind to change the the way my family eats then it became easy. Water is my best friend as it keeps you filled up when you think your thirsty. I also bought the measuring spoons from WW and use them daily. I will go ahead and measure out lunch for the next day before I set dinner on the table, that a way its less for my family to eat cause I also measure out my food and put it on the plate before I put the rest of dinner on table, then I don't have to worry bout. I also went from using a large dinner plate to using the size plate the is bigger than the salad plate but small than the dinner plate. I limit my bread, pasta and forzen dinners(even WW) so that I don't get the heavy feeling and I no longer eat bread if I'm having some kind of starch. I plan all of the meals even when we go on Vacation based from my WW cookbooks and even if it is a regular recipe I convert it to WW way. It is the most wonderful program I have ever used to lose the weight and I wonder why it took me so long to go.
    proudmomX3 at gmail dot com

  64. All good info! I lost 100 pounds on Weight Watchers. I have since become obsessed about healthy cooking and started a blog as well. Please do not include me in the give-away, I have a scale and wouldn't want to win and have someone who needs one lose out.

  65. Wow, I decide to get back on WW for the new year and then I stumble onto this post! Great Inspiration! My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to mix it up. I get bored of foods easily so finding new recipes that are tasty and healthy really keeps me going.


  66. Mommy of 41/06/2010

    My best strategy for weight loss is to NOT eat the leftover food on my kids' plates. The points actually count ;) and add up wayyyy too quickly! Yes, it means the food will be wasted, but at least it won't end up in my tummy and on the scale! I'm just starting back on WW after a 2 year hiatus having twins, and finding this site has been invaluable! Thank you for all the recipes and inspiration!

    mommy of 4 at rogers dot com

  67. Great giveaway. I'm trying to get back on track after a slow slide up in pounds the last couple months. Exercise is key to maintaining, and I didn't do that consistently enough.

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... planning and and executing healthy meals on the weekend that I can take to work with me throughout the week.

    mztargaryen at gmail dot com

  68. Anonymous1/07/2010

    My best strategy for getting to a healthy weight is attending weekly WW meetings (and weighing in there). I've tried doing this on my own and it wasn't successful. For me, I need to attend the meetings (stay for the message) and have someone else record my weight. I don't know why just logging it into the website doesn't work for me.
    Great post by the way! And I subscribed to Feedburner so that's 2 entries for me.
    d8t8k at aol dot com

  69. Anonymous1/07/2010

    I have been reading your blog ( and getting your veggie ventures emails) for awhile now, and Ilove them, and your attitude!
    Your WW post was just perfectly needed for me, as I have just gotten back up on the WW horse after a little fall.
    I read the post 4 times and will probably print it and put in in my purse.
    Iloved reading everyones tips!!
    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is excercise everyday,as soon as I get home, before things get in the way.
    Also all through WW, I have made a huge pot of soup every week_(2-3 pt) and frozen it into lunch servings for the week or 10 days.
    I use several recipes, but always lots of veggies, fiber and low sodium. Sometimes with a little low fat meat.
    Thanks for your blog!
    jmelindy at hotmail dot com

  70. I am also a WW lifetime member. I have gone up after my daughter's wedding ushering in the holidays. I can't say enough how important it is to EAT YOUR POINTS. No matter what, even if it means grabbing a portion of walnuts at the end of the day to get you there. Eat your exercise points, eat your extra points and eat your daily allowance - just really try to eat them in foods that contribute to your health and not junk food. I also lay off HFCS & diet soft drinks.

  71. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ...
    I don't own a car and walk everywhere plus go to the gym everyday.
    I also brush my teeth after I'm finished eating so I'm not tempted to go back for more or eat between meals.

  72. Oh and I subscribed via email!

  73. I eat half a sandwich, half a bagel, half an english muffin, instead of the whole thing. If I prepare a whole sandwich etc, I feel like I have to finish it, but after a half, I'm actually satisfied. This helps a lot around the holidays when there are so many sweets around!

  74. I am a lifetime WW member and my best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is doing at least 60 min of cardio 5 or 6 times a week along with weight training or yoga 3 or 4 times per week.

  75. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is avoiding the junk food aisles at all costs. We don't even tempt ourselves and keep healthy, filling snacks around- nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc. We also try to cook from scratch as much as possible. Thanks for sharing!
    mgormanmd at gmail dot com

  76. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to limit snacking and try to limit portions.

  77. ammamom1/09/2010

    My latest strategy (which I unfortunately did not follow this past December)is to keep tracking points on most days, even if I take a couple of single holiday DAYS off. My downfall last month was deciding not to track my points for several weeks at a time just because it seemed too hard to figure out points at the occasional staff party, church dinner, etc. I just kind of gave up ahead of time, and paid for it in pounds. Now I have to re-lose what I already lost once. :( Time for a fresh start. :)

    skorstanje at shaw dot ca

  78. My best strategy is regular exercise, pure and simple! When I run every day during the first half of my lunch, I'm less hungry for the entire afternoon, I crave fresh fruits and veggies all the time. If I'm stressed over school and start craving sweets late at night, I'll run up and down the stairs or do a lap around the house or just do jumping jacks rather than mindlessly eating while half-heartedly studying.
    jakannan AT vt DOT edu

  79. ammamom1/09/2010

    I just signed up for your Kitchen Parade subscription. I have been enjoying the emailed recipes from Veggie Venture, and didn't know about the Kitchen Parade side of things. Looking forward to more great recipes! Thanks!

    skorstanje at shaw dot ca

  80. My best strategy for achieving a healthy weight is manyfold:

    1) I make at least four veggie recipes for dinner. With a small portion of meat and several healthy vegetable dishes, I feel like I'm eating a lot. In fact this strategy is what led me to your site (LOVE Peasant Cabbage Soup).

    2) I keep the WW points in mind, though I must admit I don't count anymore. Instead I keep track on a website called

    3) Exercise. It does make a difference. I don't love cardio work, but I do about 15 minutes three times a week, but what I've found I love is yoga. If you get into a vigorous yoga class you'll be feeling fine.

    Thanks for the contest.

  81. Anonymous1/10/2010

    I've lost 55 pounds by counting points so I know it works!

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is limiting whatever foods I eat to one portion. This way I can still enjoy treats and special foods without doing too much damage.

    phantomcg at AOL dot com

  82. Water water water.

  83. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... not keeping trigger foods in my house- I have discovered that when there are chips and chocolate laying around, it's hard to not eat them ALL in a week moment!
    annie- simkina at gmail dot com

  84. Anonymous1/10/2010

    Thank you for a great site. It is very inspirational and has terrific recipes. I am a vegetarian and really appreciate a site like yours.
    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight is to track every crumb I eat, to weigh-in every single week of my life- forever- at a weight watchers meeting, and as one of our illustrious members said at a meeting "If it tastes good, spit it out"- Hopefully you will take that as the joke it is!
    Seriously though- It is a lifestyle. And a good healthy one at that. Luck to everyone.

    realjill at tampa bay dot rr dot com

  85. "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is counting points and exercise. I lost 40 pounds once on WW so I know it works. BUT... like so many others, I quit counting points and I gained back 10 pounds every year till I was back where I started.
    Perfect timing for me and this post. I'm going back to WW tomorrow. Wish me luck, I'll need it! :)


  86. I'm already an e-mail subscriber!

  87. I'm already an e-mail subscriber!

  88. I'm a facebook fan but I'm starting to feel more like a stalker ;)

  89. I'm a facebook fan but I'm starting to feel more like a stalker ;)

  90. My best way to stay on a diet and to actually lose weight is to reduce portion size. It is so easy to take more food onto your plate than is an actual serving size. Measuring is one of the best ways to do that. That is why a new scale would be so helpful.

  91. My best strategy for achieving a healthy weight is to take inspiration from my children! All 3 of my children (ages 18,19 and 22) are lifeguards and are very into good health and exercise and they have all come to value the part that good nutrition plays in living a healthy life. My 19 year old also works retail and he says he is shocked and saddened to see people that come into his store so physically out of shape. In fact he has given up any fast food and sodas! My children have inspired me to attend to these creeping pre-menopausal pounds!

    Thanks for the contest and for the wonderful website and with all this WW information and advice, I know I will be able to succeed in shedding this extra poundage!

    ckoller03 at yahoo dot com

  92. Writing things down is essential for me. I lost about 100 lbs. doing this and then when I stopped I stopped losing weight. I maintained for awhile and now am 0 lbs. above my low and I still have a long way to go so I have started writing things down again. I am doing a weight loss contest with a bunch of friends and we even have a blog about it. That helps too!

    crabbymomofthree@comcast dot net

  93. Sad to say, I don't have much of a best strategy. I am looking for help with weight loss, which is how I found your blog. I hope it is a source of inspiration and motivation. Reading through these comments has helped me start to look at things differently, which, I believe, will be a good start.

    And I'd love the scale. I have a HUGE issue with portion control, and the scale would be a definite aide in getting that under control.

    annie [dot] lanning [at] gmail [dot] come

  94. I was blessed with an amazing metabolism until I hit 45. I have put on about that many pounds in a very few years. I love the Weight Watchers points system, and your recipes are wonderful. Who knew 1 point could be tasty!?
    I have discovered though, as have many others, that portion control is key. Measuring serving sizes has been a real eye opener! One realizes very quickly that one entree at TGIF's or similar might feed a family of 4.

  95. I agree with all that you said Alanna. Two additional things that tend to help me:

    1- I try to make sure I get at least 23 grams of fiber a day. (goes along with making sure I drink plenty of water each day)

    2- I weight myself every morning to make daily adjustments as needed.

    The main thing is to make sure I track what I eat. Yesterday I stopped by Borders Bookstore and picked up a small spiral bound 2010 Diary with each page dated for every day of the year - one date per page. I am tracking my daily intake of foods, weight watcher points, fat, fiber, protein, and water in it. I made a pocket to keep my points slide in; it is small enough to slip into my purse so that I always have it with me. Here is where you can see a photo like the one I bought:

    Good luck to all of us! And - Happy New Year!

    tina dot hubert at gmail dot com

  96. My best strategies for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me are: cutting out all sugar (Stevia is a great aid in the transition), tracking what I eat, portion control and exercise. Thanks for your great vegetable recipes and for hosting this contest!

  97. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to TRACK EVERY POINT, EVERY DAY. It keeps me accountable and helps me judge how I'm doing.
    esmith75 at mac dot com

  98. My best strategy for maintaining a healthy weight is to bring lots of healthy snacks to work! The only way to avoid the M&M jar is to know I have plenty of yummy, healthy snacks with me and I won't go hungry.


  99. Mechelle1/10/2010

    My best strategies for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me are weighing myself every morning, exercising at least 3 times a week at the gym and measuring and recording all intake.
    Thanks for Kitchen Parade. What a great resource.

  100. Mechelle1/10/2010

    My best strategies for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me are weighing myself every morning, exercising at least 3 times a week at the gym and measuring and recording all intake.
    Thanks for Kitchen Parade. What a great resource.
    lmsiudy at comcast dot net

  101. My best strategy is:
    1. Journal, 2. Exercise and 3. Have healthy foods, especially frozen home-made WW food ready and available.

    irene dot rinehart at gmail dot net

  102. First off, Thanks for this amazing blog! I love Veggies, and your recipes are always just what I needed! "My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is AVOIDING WHEAT AND GLUTEN. It is amazing how much weight you can lose by cutting out the gluten!

  103. My best tips for keeping with Weight Watchers are not a lot different from yours- eating a lot of veggies, having snacks on hand for when I'm starving so I don't scavenge something that's not on my plan and planning my points before eating. I've renewed my weight watchers goals recently and am trying to eat on smaller plates, as I've heard that helps too.
    cassidy.stockton at

  104. Michele1/12/2010

    My best strategy used to be just to eat less for a few days. hahahahaha. Well, now that I have hit my mid-forties, I need to find away to not eat all those extra yummies in the evening AND exercise.

    Living in the Northern part of the country makes it even harder, because once the high temps are only in the 20's or less - it gets real hard to get out and walk and the weight comes right back again. But I'm not giving up. :-)

    reaching5678 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  105. Mrs. Smith Cooks1/12/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ... honestly, I don't think much about it. I try to eat veggies and fruit, daily. Mostly, if I've gained a few lbs, I just eat less for a day or two... but I'm pretty young and I don't expect it to stay that way for too much longer.
    anathnaha at yahoo dot com

  106. Anonymous1/13/2010

    My best strategy is to become totally immersed in the program I'm following, so I read cookbooks, plan meals and exercise fanatically. And now that I have to lose those same ten pounds again for the nth time, I'm going to give WW a try.
    I'm also getting bored with the treadmill, so I've been snowshoeing in the backyard in the morning before the kids get up for school. The dog likes the exercise too!

    cannons@gmavt dot net

  107. Anonymous1/13/2010

    My best diet strategy was for my husband to join weight watchers and understand the diet - which he did today. I was looking for the weight watcher soup recipe and that was how I found you wonderful blog. Have been reading all your tips and am very inspired right NOW.........


    colinfam at optonline dot net

  108. Roberta Boyack1/13/2010

    My best weight loss strategy is exercise. Whenever I exercise regularly I start losing weight. The problem is, I also regularly get injured (I have bad knees and feet from a previous life as a dancer), slack off in order to heal, and the weight comes back.

    rjboyack at bellsouth dot net

  109. I posted on my blog and will do the same on a couple others I have.

  110. I just added as a fan on facebook, but to tell you my best weight loss/healthy lifestyle strategy has been working with someone sharing what we eat and our exercies. Right now it's my sister. Every evening we email to eachother our food and our exercise. It's seriously been the best trick yet! I email points, she emails calories, but either way we are writing our food, tracking it and being accountable. It's also a helpful way to see what healthy meals the other has prepared!

  111. My best strategy... is to force myself to exercise almost every day - at least five times a week. If I'm putting that much effort into it, I'm sure as hell not going to negate it all by pigging out! Double whammy. :) It's working so far, anyway... two weeks into the new venture.

  112. Anonymous1/14/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to use portion control, write down everything I put in my mouth, and exercise even when I don't feel like it(like right now!). Also to not get to discouraged when my friend loses more weight than I do. Weight-loss is a personal journey with personal results.
    cookiebonster at mac dot com

  113. jessica dot scruggs at marriott vanderbilt dot com1/15/2010

    My best died strategy is to eat my veggies and drink a glass of water first and then eat the rest of the meal.

  114. Being honest about portion sizes and tracking! This includes all the "tasting" while cooking! Also drinking more water which I always forget.

  115. NOT beating myself up over set backs. It is when I get truly disgusted with myself that I run for the chocolate and slurpees! Sigh...

    rhonda dot pictureperfect at gmail dot com

  116. Thanks for the giveaway, Alanna! My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is... to exercise with friends. If I didn't KNOW my girlfriends were waiting for me in the early morning darkness, I would probably crawl right back into bed. ;) Plus, it's a lot more fun, and motivating, to work out with people you like. xo, Dawn

  117. I posted on Twitter!

    kitchen dot travels at yahoo dot com

    (But... bummer! I forgot to put my email in my first comment. :( Hopefully if I win on that comment, you can find me via my blog link. Thanks again for the giveaway!)

  118. Nancy/Virginia1/16/2010

    I've lost 94 pounds on WW since October, 2008 - and still losing! My best diet strategy is to choose foods with more fiber than fat whenever possible.
    nries at cox dot net

  119. Anonymous1/16/2010

    I am so glad aI found this site. My strategy - when I feel hungry between meals, I always drink a glass of water first. This usually helps the craving for food subside and I can snack sensibly. I look forward to searching through your site more and wish everybody great success!

    jsndsplus3 at sbc global dot net

  120. Adanna1/16/2010

    My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to keep sweets and snacks out of the house, and to have an evening "treat" planned into my WW points for when I need to be indulged.

    adanna underscore kellogg at yahoo dot com

  121. elyse wasserman1/16/2010

    Hi!! Just found your website tonite and I am so glad I did. I am ready to get back to eating healthy. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is to write down everything that eat. I would love that scale. Its a beauty!! Thanks for the chance. My email is

  122. My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight is to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. By eating 5 or 6 small meals a day I never get really hungry and it helps me to control my portions and make smarter food choices. If I start skipping meals I am doomed to overeat.
    klharding at cableone dot net

  123. I would like to win! My best strategy is to drink water throughout the day.

  124. Anonymous1/17/2010

    Oh, that kitchen scale looks great! It would be very nice to win that...My best stategy to lose weight and keep it off is to eat zero points veggies all day long, filling up on a big bowl of whatever, salad, green beans, mixed veggies, and then have very small amounts of all other food groups, never excluding anything. After dinner munchies? My rule - veggies only. It really works, and it helps if you love veggies - I LUV veggies!!

  125. Anonymous1/17/2010

    Being raised by my vegetarian grandparents it is great to see people use so many vegi when loosing weight. So here I am again getting back on the wagon. Thanks for the inspiration.

    acecrane at clear dot net

  126. pennie1/17/2010

    Being raised by my vegetarian grandparents it is great to see people use so many vegi when loosing weight. So here I am again getting back on the wagon. Thanks for the inspiration.

    acecrane at clear dot net

  127. I've always enjoyed eating healthy but every now and then I do get cravings for the "bad" stuff (like brownies..). My best strategy for achieving/maintaining a healthy weight for me is ...everything in moderation!

    ksgillmore at yahoo dot com

  128. Donners301/18/2010

    Thanks for the post! Being an overweight person all of my adult life, I have tried so many diets - but all in all the new WW plan is so forgiving, allowing you to have special occasions in your life, and so easy to follow. Wine is my weakness, so our strategy is no wine unless you exercise at least for 1 hour - it usually consists of a 45 min walk with the dog, and our exercise video of 40 minutes. You wouldn't believe how well this works! Thanks again!

    donners30 at hotmail dot com

    note from Alanna: this tip came in last night, before the contest expired, but was accidentally rejected, so I'm adding now, so that the entry is valid

  129. Anonymous2/14/2010

    I've tried various low-carb, low-calorie, and low-fat diets for the past couple of years. Although the Atkins diet is very popular, it made me feel somewhat unhealthy.

    The diet plan I'm on right now is the Medifast Diet. The caloric intake is roughly 800-1000 calories. However, it doesn't make my body feel weak. It is a bit of a pricey diet, but there are plenty of coupons available on the internet. .You should never pay full price.

    My advice is just choose a diet plan which your body reacts positively to. No one knows your body better than you do!

  130. What a JOY it is to have found your sites...this one and Veggie Adventure are part of my daily check and I have made a TON of your recipes...having left Atkins to do WW just a month ago, I THROUGHLY enjoy all the recipes including beans and the freedom of knowing how much rice or cous cous will actually aid in weight loss...wonderful!!

    I just had a question: I know staying on points is important, but my tendency is to eat about 2 calculated points less per day...not cause I'm trying to, just because I figure SOMEWHERE in my measurements of oatmeal or Lentil Vincent Soup (the BEST), I've probably added a point...or when I've snacked on green beans and spaghetti squash that by the time I'm done, I've probably added up to a you think it's okay to miss actually calculating those 1 or 2 points because I am guessing I've probably consumed them??? And, I try not to ever go over, or use my 35 points, unless I have a big night out or am in desperate need of some dessert :) is eating 1-2 points less okay? Plus, in a couple months, my age goes up "1" so, I'm going to be losing a point anyway...just getting my body ready :)

    AND, in the Apple many ounces is a one point apple? I also buy the apples in a bag, but my WW book gives me diameter as measurement for points, not ounces...I have a scale, so if I knew a 5 oz. apple was one point, it would be easier than trying to measure my apples with my measuring tape :)

    THANK YOU for your awesome absolute favorites, the best tips and most delicious recipes!!! Great info and great reading!!!!!

  131. Meghan ~ Congratulations, you're really gungho, counting points carefully is so important.

    First, the easy question, how many points in an apple. A four-ounce apple is about half a point (rounded down from .62) and a six-ounce apple is a solid point.

    Points matter so much, I'd really recommend investment in a kitchen scale and nutrition software (MacGourmet for Apple, Accuchef for PCs) so that you can make these kinds of careful calculations on your own.

    The harder question, the honest answer is that "I don't know", not officially -- but do know that what is most important in my experience is consistency both in the short-term (over a few days) and the long-term (many months). So you are training your body to expect that many number of calories, if you can sustain it in the long-term after losing, my sense is that it would be okay.

    But -- since you're new to WW, why not bring it up at a meeting, ask other WW people and the group leader what they think? It's a great question.

    Good luck, Megan, I'm so glad that my websites are working for you!

  132. Hi, Megan - this really is a wonderful site, isn't it? I love all the recipes.

    As to your main question about if it's alright to eat under your points in the assumption that you're going over - well... it depends.

    If you're assuming you're going over eating veggies, like the peas and Spaghetti squash you mention, that's not possible - they're zero point foods. But of course, none of us can be positive that we've remembered everything or accurately accounted for all the blts - Bites, Licks and Tastes.

    That's why I make sure I never get too close to using ALL my weekly points, but if you're eating right up to but maybe under your daily points, you'll find your weight loss slows down. You MUST eat all your dailies - those are a minimum. If you eat less, your weight loss will slow down or stop. (counterintuitive, I know, but it's true).

    So don't sweat the veggies for sure - you can eat all you want of just plain veggies! And when it comes to your weeklies - most people find they lose best when they use at least SOME of them.

    Good luck!


  133. thank you BOTH, Alanna and Julie! I appreciate you reading my "book" and helping to answer my questions.

    I do own a great scale, and I use it often...I specifically asked about the Apple because, as I said, in my book, it only gives the "diameter of the apple" to get your points, not the ounce of the apple...odd...

    I'm doing WW with all the info, with 3 friends; 1 is a returning "graduate" to the program, and the other 2 are doing it online...I have all the books, info etc, but am not actually doing meetings, so that's why my "apple question" has been unaswered :)

    Julie, thanks for the tip about eating the specified it better...I know Squash and beans are zero points, but eventually, don't enough "0" point foods add up to one point? I mean, if I have 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti squash at lunch AND with my dinner, wouldn't that kind of lead to about "1" point??? My thinking was that eventually everything adds up to a point...or as you said, the blt's of things :) (very cute)!!

    I am writing everything down, counting, measuring but, I always figure to eat under by about 2 points...if I have soup, I figure your scoops could have more meat than veggie...kwim???

    HOWEVER, I also know what you said is taught as truth, that you must try to eat all your points...I fear I do lean toward eating "less" rather than "all" my points, so I need to be careful I don't go too far with it...

    So, let me finalize with this question: I am "doing" all the right things (weighing, journaling, measuring), but when I see that I have 2 points left, should I really try to eat them, be it by a bag of FF popcorn or some yogurt, or should I let them go??? I would say, as I look at my journal, I'm usually only NOT eating 1 or 2, at the most, of my points...and the only reason I DON"T eat them is because I'm guessing I probably underestimated somewhere in the day, not because I'm trying to eat less...that's NEVER my motivation :) :) :)

    okay, after this, no more dissertations...thanks again! Going to enjoy some HamBeen's Soup with Squash for dinner!!!

  134. Megan ~ It's such an interesting question, I hope that others chime in too. My sense is that it's better to eat the minimum points, unless you're just on the cusp of switching to a new threshold and fewer points, unless you're feeling HUNGRY and thus more likely to fall off. But I'd also make them healthy calories, so not throwing them away just to be eating something. Or - hey, this works. Have a glass of wine with dinner and just savor.

  135. thanks again...I will go down a point when my birthday comes in July, so essentially, I only miss one or two points when I miss...and I'm never hungry...I have realized I could practically be a vegetarian with how much pleasure I get eating half an acorn squash for lunch, and having more veggies at good!

    And, a little wine would work, as long as it didn't cause me to lose my inhibitions and binge on M&M's

    Appreciate all the tips!!

  136. Hi, again, Megan. I do WW online, and the best answer I've seen about things adding up to a point eventually, is that yes, most do, but not many veggies. Corn and avocados, and some like that have points attached no matter how much (or little) you have. But something like peas or squash, no - however, depending on how they're fixed, of course, the dish could have lots of points. If you have your squash mashed up with lots of butter, then, absolutely, that's points!

    Another thing to keep in mind, is that veggies are so good for you, if you're going to have lots of something, it can't hurt if it's a vegetable! I know for sure, I didn't get fat because I ate too many veggies, hahaha.

    And finally - as to points - I would say, yes, eat them! Remember - you are training your body how many calories to expect every day. Let's say you stay two points under your "allotment" every day, and are successful at losing the weight. Then what? Are you prepared to eat that little every day for the rest of your life? If not, you could be putting the weight right back on as soon as you start eating more. Your body will keep adjusting your metabolism to make sure it's not starving to death. Unfortunately, starting to eat more will not result in a higher metabolism. It's really hard to kick it back up after it's been lowered.

    You're right that each scoop will have different amounts of meat and other things - but anything with meat in it is not zero-point, anyway. I think that the program makes adjustments for that fact, and probably already "rounds up".

    I wish you lots of luck - it's a great program and really works if you work the program.


  137. Julie, I so appreciate your tips...

    Again, I know I'm kind of beating a dead horse, but I just want to clarify :)

    0+0+0 will continue to equal 0, right??? And, I mean the true 0 point foods...when I eat 2 cups of plain Spaghetti Squash (which I did between lunch and dinner) and I have a cup of steamed green beans, it all is still 0 points??? I just figured I had to count all of that as at least 1 point, since it's more than a portion size in one day...

    And, yes, I am talking steamed veggies, no butter or added fats when I'm talking 0 points...also, I'm not eating those because I'm trying to eat under points, but because I TRULY love veggies...a good steamed squash??? Yummmm!!!

    OKAY, so I guess I need to make sure I really am eating enough points...since I've been rounding up and counting 3 portions of "0" point veggies as 1 point, I may actually be eating less points than I thought...and I certainly am NOT trying to do that!!

    I will continue to drink all my water, measure, weigh, record and count, but with a little better understanding of the 0 point foods! 5 pounds gone, I just want to keep it going...

    You've been so helpful...thank you, thank you for clarification!

  138. OH, and Alanna...I am trying to get the MacGourmet/Nutritional software uploaded to our computer...I tried a while ago, but something didn't was giving me the trial offer, but I could never get to where I actually purchased it...then when I tried to upload a recipe on the trial, it wasn't working...

    Can you tell me in the meantime: so, you can just list your recipe, and it will calculate the nutritional info, so I can figure out the WW points from that??? That will just be a fantastic tool to have!!!


  139. Hi, Megan - Yep - that's right - 0+0+0+0 = 0! And that is ONLY for vegetables. You are quite right about other 0-point foods, as they are based on quantity, and assuming you are having only a small portion.

    WW has a good 0 pt. veggie soup that you can eat tons of for no points if you need to at the end of the day - also, you can have a HUGE salad (leaving off dressings, cheese, croutons, etc. and using only 0-pt. veggies).

    If I had a point or two at the end of the day, I'd have probably some cheese, or if I had time to plan it, probably add a little more olive oil or whole grain bread into my day. I'm getting close to goal now and have a lot fewer points daily than I used to have - I find trying to get in all my healthy guidelines pretty much ensures I use up all my points!

    If I truly had some free points, I'd probably have a square or two of dark chocolate!


  140. So much help here...thank you!

    Now, I'm waiting on my hubby to install the MacGormet software and wondered if you could figure something for me...I can't find anywhere else to easily do this...and I looked at my WW cookbook, but still didn't quite find what I was looking for...

    I made Chicken Noodle Soup (noodles on the side so as to not soak up all the broth)...I used carrots, celery, onions, chicken and FF broth + you think that is about 1 point per cup or more??? I know the chicken is where the points add up so...I know my noodle points, but if I skip noodles, what do you think I'm looking at pont wise???

    Thanks...and if there is a better place to ask such questions, could you let me know? As I said, once hubby installs software, I'm all set, but until then, I appreciate the help :)

  141. Four ounces of raw chicken, three ounces of cooked, is three points. This should get you started.

  142. Anonymous3/29/2010

    Well that was a very uplifting intro...I have just started weight watchers after letting my weight go up by about 20 pounds. I have been a long time low carber but the truth is it is not healthy to eat that amount meat, very little to no fruit and typically high fat. I look forward to trying some of your recipes and good luck!!!!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna