I forgot how tough both strength training and losing weight can be. My first week on this plan was a huge challenge and a reminder that this won’t be easy. But, I did everything I planned so it was a success. I lost 1 pound, which I’m thrilled about even though it’s not much. I’m also building muscle, so I’d rather slowly lose fat than lose water weight that I can quickly gain back and muscle that I need.
The routine I posted about last week is focused on lower body with some upper and core mixed in. The plan called for doing the main workout twice a week and the shorter workouts other days. But I was so sore from the main workout that I didn’t feel recovered enough the following day to do the same exercises. So I changed it up by doing the main workout three days a week on non-consecutive days and my own workout that focuses on upper body and core exercises the other three days, with one rest day. All the exercises challenge me and were really hard, and I was a sweaty mess at the end of most. I did two sets of each exercise and ended the week with 128 minutes of strength training. This week I’ll be using the same weights but increasing to three sets of each exercise.
Tracking on Weight Watchers
I successfully tracked every single thing I ate. One WW meeting I attended a while back explained so well why tracking works. Imagine that a reality TV crew followed you around for a day. Would you eat differently? If you’re like most of us, chances are you’d think twice about making poor food choices because you don’t want the world seeing you inhaling a bag of potato chips in one sitting. Tracking works in a similar way. When you log what you eat, it highlights exactly what and how much you’re eating. It’s all too easy to grab a few handfuls of pretzels when you’re walking through the kitchen. When you see that you’ve just eaten 50 pretzels and what it cost you in terms of WW points or calories, you’re less likely to eat mindlessly and more likely to make better choices. My sister is also a lifetime WW member and works for WW. She says that in almost every case, those who gained weight quit tracking, and starting to track again helps them lose weight. And when I say tracking, I’m talking about recording accurately what you eat. For me, that means I measure everything and don’t guess. It can be a pain for some, but I don’t mind it and know that it really keeps me on track.
What I Ate
I get 30 points in WW a day. Here’s my food log for Monday, which is pretty typical of how I’ve been eating.
- Breakfast: Oatmeal made with 1/2 cup oats, 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, 3/4 cup light vanilla almond milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 packet stevia, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter. 10 points
- Mid-morning snack: Banana. 0 points
- Lunch: Homemade lentil soup, homemade whole-wheat drop biscuit, raw bell pepper sliced with salt, 1/2 cucumber sliced with salt, 1 bowl of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 avocado, 3 clementines. 10 points
- Afternoon snack: Apple. 0 points
- Dinner: Tofu salad (1/4 block tofu mashed with 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast, .5 tbsp Veganaise, onion powder, garlic powder), toasted wheat English muffin, steamed kale and miso gravy, baked leek and sweet potato gratin. 13 points
- Evening snack: Strawberries. 0 points
- Total: 33 points
As you can see, I didn’t eat any splurges or treats beyond fruit. Veganaise was the closest I came to a splurge. I ate mostly whole foods and a lot of veggies and fruits. And I was still 3 points over for the day. I like to have some treat in the evening, even if it’s just a small bowl of air-popped popcorn, but there isn’t really any room for splurges in the new WW plan (which is why so many members don’t like the new plan.)
And even though I was several points over every single day, at night I was starving. I mentioned in my weekly recap that I was having trouble sleeping. Part of the reason is that I would wake up in the middle of the night and be starving with a rumbling belly. I was so hungry that I couldn’t fall asleep and instead tried to force myself not to go down to the kitchen and eat. I know when you start eating less, it takes a bit for your tummy to adjust and to not feel as hungry, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m going to give it another week, but I might have to start eating more in the evening if I keep waking up with a hangry belly.
I did have one splurge day. My husband and I went out for dinner and drinks on Saturday night. I didn’t restrict what I got. I had 2 glasses of wine, an appetizer, and dinner that I completely finished. My points for that day was 54! But, I made sure that this was the only splurge day of the week. The night before my husband wanted to get burritos from our favorite burrito place, but I said no because I knew the following night would be a splurge. Also, since I drank wine, my senses went out the window and I asked my husband to stop at a convenience store on the way home so I could buy Swedish fish. He didn’t, thank goodness, and I satisfied my sweet tooth when I got home by pureeing a banana with frozen peach slices for a peach gelato.
One low-cal dish I have a lot to fill me up and that tastes great is a big bowl of steamed kale and either a vegan gravy (in winter) or raw kale and dressing (in summer). Kale is not only really nutritious, but it also fills me up and satisfies me. Luckily for me, vegan gravies take just a few minutes to make with just a few ingredients and can be low-calorie. I love all the gravies from the Happy Herbivore cookbook, all low-cal and easy to make. She posted a Brown Gravy and Mushroom Gravy–both delicious–on her website.
Recipe: Baked Leek and Sweet Potato Gratin
One of my goals with this plan is to cook more. I had this Baked Leek and Sweet Potato Gratin recipe from Vegetarian Times on my to-make list for a while so thought I’d try it. It’s amazing! I wasn’t sure I’d like it because I’m not a huge rosemary fan, but I loved it. Unfortunately, while it was only 5 points a serving, the serving sizes ended up being very small. And because the sweet potato slices cook down so much, I wouldn’t have had much trouble eating the entire thing. While it wasn’t a great fit with WW, it was a delicious recipe I’d highly recommend, especially if you need a good side dish or something to bring to a potluck. Cooking note: I sliced my sweet potatoes a little thicker so cooked it for 40 minutes. Also, I didn’t use parm cheese.
On to week 2!